Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Manuka Honey/Gellan Gum Hydrogels May Help Cartilage Repair

Antibacterial effectiveness meets improved mechanical properties: Manuka honey/gellan gum composite hydrogels for cartilage repair

Carbohydr Polym. 2018 Oct 15;198:462-472

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Biomaterials for cartilage repair are still far from clinical requirements, even if several studies recently focused on this topic. In this respect, Nature-derived hydrogels are a promising class of scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering, mimicking the native cellular microenvironment. However, they frequently lack mechanical features required for cartilage applications and are commonly subjected to infection threat.

This work describes the innovative use of Manuka honey as molecular spacer for preparing gellan gum-based composites with intrinsic antibacterial properties and superior compressive Young's modulus in respect of several Nature-derived gels based on chitosan, hyaluronic acid or alginate. The addition of Manuka honey made hydrogels able to inhibit the proliferation of S. aureus and S. epidermidis clinical isolates. Furthermore, no cytotoxic effects were detected on human mesenchymal stem cells seeded on the hydrogels. Moreover, chondrogenesis experiments showed a consistent expression of collagen II and high synthesis of GAGs and proteoglycans, thus indicating the formation of cartilage matrix.

Overall, these data suggest that the developed smart composites have a great potential as tools for cartilage tissue engineering.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Beeswax Useful in Natural Antimicrobial Coating for Fresh Produce

Physicochemical and Antimicrobial Characterization of Beeswax-Starch Food-Grade Nanoemulsions Incorporating Natural Antimicrobials

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Dec 15;18(12). pii: E2712

Nanoemulsions are feasible delivery systems of lipophilic compounds, showing potential as edible coatings with enhanced functional properties.

The aim of this work was to study the effect of emulsifier type (stearic acid (SA), Tween 80 (T80) or Tween 80/Span 60 (T80/S60)) and emulsification process (homogenization, ultrasound or microfluidization) on nanoemulsion formation based on oxidized corn starch, beeswax (BW) and natural antimicrobials (lauric arginate and natamycin). The response variables were physicochemical properties, rheological behavior, wettability and antimicrobial activity of BW-starch nanoemulsions (BW-SN).

The BW-SN emulsified using T80 and microfluidized showed the lowest droplet size (77.6 ± 6.2 nm), a polydispersion index of 0.4 ± 0.0 and whiteness index (WI) of 31.8 ± 0.8. This BW-SN exhibited a more negative ζ-potential: -36 ± 4 mV, and Newtonian flow behavior, indicating great stability. BW-SN antimicrobial activity was not affected by microfluidization nor the presence of T80, showing inhibition of the deteriorative fungi R. stolonifer, C. gloeosporioides and B. cinerea, and the pathogenic bacterium S. Saintpaul.

In addition, regardless of emulsifier type and emulsification process, BW-SN applied on the tomato surface exhibited low contact angles (38.5° to 48.6°), resulting in efficient wettability (-7.0 mN/m to -8.9 mN/m). These nanoemulsions may be useful to produce edible coatings to preserve fresh-produce quality and safety.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Bee Venom May Help Treat Atopic Dermatitis

Apamin inhibits TNF-α- and IFN-γ-induced inflammatory cytokines and chemokines via suppressions of NF-κB signaling pathway and STAT in human keratinocytes

Pharmacol Rep. 2017 Oct;69(5):1030-1035

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BACKGROUND:

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is identified by an increase in infiltrations of several inflammatory cells including type 2 helper (Th2) lymphocytes. Th2-related chemokines such as thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC/CCL17) and macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC/CCL22), and pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 are considered to play a crucial role in AD. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α- and interferon (IFN)-γ induce the inflammatory condition through production of TARC, MDC, IL-1β and IL-6, and activations of related transcription factors, such as nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) in keratinocytes. Apamin, a peptide component of bee venom, has been reported its beneficial activities in various diseases. However, anti-inflammatory effects of apamin on inflammatory condition in keratinocytes have not been explored. Therefore, the present study aimed to demonstrate the anti-inflammatory effect of apamin on TNF-α- and IFN-γ-induced inflammatory condition in keratinocytes.

METHODS:

HaCaT was used as human keratinocytes cell line. Cell Counting Kit-8 was performed to measure a cytotoxicity of apamin. The effects of apamin on TNF-α-/IFN-γ-induced inflammatory condition were determined by real-time PCR and Western blot analysis. Further, NF-κB signaling pathways, STAT1, and STAT3 were analyzed by Western blot and immunofluorescence.

RESULTS:

Apamin ameliorated the inflammatory condition through suppression of Th2-related chemokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Further, apamin down-regulated the activations of NF-κB signaling pathways and STATs in HaCaT cells.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that apamin has therapeutic effect on AD through improvement of inflammatory condition.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Brazilian Propolis Shows Better Anti‐Inflammatory Effect

Effect of propolis on preserving human periodontal ligament cells and regulating pro‐inflammatory cytokines

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Background/Aim

Propolis has been suggested as a storage medium for avulsed teeth. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of Brazilian propolis with Hank's balanced salt solution and milk in maintaining the viability of human periodontal ligament cells, their osteogenic differentiation potential, and pro‐inflammatory cytokine expression.

Material and Methods

Cell Counting Kit 8 assays were performed to test human periodontal ligament cell viability in different storage media. The preservative effect on osteogenic differentiation was evaluated using alkaline phosphatase staining and activity assays, Alizarin Red S staining, and western blotting. Quantification of pro‐inflammatory cytokines was performed using real‐time PCR and enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assays.

Results

Brazilian propolis at 10 μg/mL was not cytotoxic toward human periodontal ligament cells. The milk group showed the highest cell viability. Brazilian propolis and Hank's balanced salt solution groups showed similar cell viabilities. Alkaline phosphatase staining and activity were similar in all groups. Calcium deposition and mineralization nodule formation were similar in the Brazilian propolis and Hank's balanced salt solution groups but were higher in the milk group. Osteogenic marker gene and protein levels were similar in all groups. The genes and protein expression levels of IL1β, IL6, and IL8 decreased significantly after treatment with Brazilian propolis. TNFα mRNA expression showed no significant difference among the experimental groups. Pro‐inflammatory cytokine levels in the milk group were higher than in the Brazilian propolis and Hank's balanced salt solution groups.

Conclusions

Brazilian propolis, Hank's balanced salt solution, and milk maintained the viability of human periodontal ligament cells and preserved their osteogenic differentiation ability similarly. However, Brazilian propolis showed a better anti‐inflammatory effect.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Royal Jelly May Help Control Cancer Cells

Scientists probe 'magical' royal jelly for clues to control cancer

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Royal jelly, or milky-white "bee milk," has long been known for its mysterious growth effects on future queen honey bees, while also hailed by some as an anti-aging, cholesterol-lowering super supplement. But how this "queen magic" actually happens, and its potential benefit to humans, has remained a mystery to scientists.

Tapping into a fresh source from neighboring beehives at Yale's West Campus, researchers at the Yale Cancer Biology Institute are now exploring how royal jelly might affect cell signaling and growth in cancer cells.

"The exact structure of the key protein in royal jelly remains unknown. But it is expected to act through the epidermal growth factor (or EGF) receptor – the main pathway targeted by cancer therapeutics today," explained Daryl Klein, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Yale School of Medicine.

Klein's lab studies cell signaling, and how these signals can be "tuned" in different ways.
Previous studies of royal jelly have isolated the dominant protein thought to be responsible for the rapid growth spurt in honey bee larvae, while other experiments in fruit flies and round worms have noted a wide range of characteristics including anatomical and physiological differences, longevity and reproductive capacity.

Using commercial jelly shipped from China, initial studies from Klein's lab have started to resolve the oligomer structure of MRJP-1 (major royal jelly protein 1). However, the scientists found that resolution stalled around 11 Angstroms – not enough to reveal the potential secrets hidden in the jelly...

Friday, August 10, 2018

Honey is a Natural Treatment for H. pylori (Stomach Ulcers)

Researchers have conducted a range of studies on natural approaches to treating H. pylori infections.

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Eight potential natural treatments include:

1. Honey

People with H. pylori infections may find some natural treatments beneficial.

Honey is known for its antibacterial properties, and people have used it as a medicine since ancient times.

One study showed that Manuka honey suppressed the growth of H. pylori in gastric epithelial cells.
Other studies have demonstrated that honey has other anti-H. pylori properties, but more animal studies and clinical trials are needed to assess honey's efficiency as a complementary or alternative treatment...

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Propolis Component May help Treat Throat Cancer


Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Induces N-myc Downstream Regulated Gene 1 to Inhibit Cell Proliferation and Invasion of Human Nasopharyngeal Cancer Cells

Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1397

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Abstract

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a bioactive component extracted from propolis, is widely studied due to its anti-cancer effect. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is distinct from other head and neck carcinomas and has a high risk of distant metastases. N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) is demonstrated as a tumor suppressor gene in several cancers.

Our result showed that CAPE treatment could repress NPC cell growth, through induction of S phase cell cycle arrest, and invasion. CAPE treatment stimulated NDRG1 expression in NPC cells. NDRG1 knockdown increased NPC cell proliferation and invasion and rendered NPC cells less responsive to CAPE growth-inhibiting effect, indicating CAPE repressed NPC cell growth partly through NDRG1indcution.

CAPE treatment increased phosphorylation of ERK, JNK, and p38 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Pre-treatments by inhibitors of ERK (PD0325901), JNK (SP600125), or p38 (SB201290), respectively, all could partly inhibit the CAPE effect on NDRG1 induction in NPC cells. Further, STAT3 activity was also repressed by CAPE in NPC cells.

In summary, CAPE attenuates NPC cell proliferation and invasion by upregulating NDRG1 expression via MAPK pathway and by inhibiting phosphorylation of STAT3. Considering the poor prognosis of NPC patients with metastasis, CAPE could be a promising agent against NPC

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Bioprofiling of Egyptian Profiling

Bioprofiling for the quality control of Egyptian propolis using an integrated NIR-HPTLC-image analysis strategy

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2018 Jul 23;1095:75-86

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Quality control of propolis being a complex mixture of compounds that are very difficult to analyze and standardize is certainly challenging.

Shown on the example of 35 Egyptian propolis samples, a strategy for an improved quality control was demonstrated in which efficacy-directed fingerprint analysis of high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) fingerprints were evaluated in combination with Near Infra-Red spectrometry (NIRS) to realize precise discrimination and high quality assessment of chemical and effective consistency of propolis samples that are collected from various geographical locations in Egypt.

The fingerprints obtained after derivatization and fluorescence detection (FLD) at λ 366 nm were analyzed by using multivariate data analysis and data were used to identify nine marker ingredients of the different propolis samples. These markers were then quantified by a new validated HPTLC method and an attempt to classify the samples by using a targeted approach was implemented. All investigated propolis samples were initially divided into two types in the untargeted and targeted HPTLC image multivariate analysis. The antimicrobial activities of propolis samples were then evaluated and the results showed that there was significant variation in the biological activities of the different samples.

The quantitative data of marker compounds as well as the samples bioactivity results were then subjected to partial least squares regression (PLS-R) analysis which revealed that chrysin, galangin‑5‑O‑methylether, pinostrobin, and islapinin were the main bioactive markers. Based on the efficacy-associated marker ingredients, pretreated spectral patterns of NIRS were selected as a complementary evaluation technique directed to the comprehensive efficacy-directed discrimination of the different Egyptian propolis samples which could successfully classify the propolis samples tested into three different types. Hierarchical cluster analysis and orthogonal projection to latent structures discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) were applied to the quantitative results from the efficacy-associated markers only.

From this systematic method, the 35 samples were subsequently divided into three types; orange, green and blue, displaying a more intricate division than OPLS-DA which is based only on the untargeted HPTLC analysis or the full NIR spectral data. This study initiated the research on the Egyptian propolis and confirmed the existence of three different types of Egyptian propolis, the blue, green and orange types.

The study also emphasizes how it is critical to implement the fingerprint- efficacy relationship analysis in finding out the main health-relevant biomarkers for the quality assessment especially for samples displaying delicate differences in their chemical composition and bioactivity.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Propolis Can Help Preserve Knocked-Out Teeth

Inhibitory effect of Thai propolis on human osteoclastogenesis

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Background/Aim

Avulsed teeth should be immediately replanted into the socket or otherwise kept in a physiologic storage medium to maintain periodontal ligament cell viability. A previous study has demonstrated that Thai propolis extract can maintain viability of human periodontal ligament cells. However, root resorption by osteoclasts often occurs when the avulsed teeth are replanted. The aim of this study was to determine the inhibitory effect of Thai propolis extract on human osteoclastogenesis in vitro.

Materials and methods

Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated for osteoclast precursors and cultured in the presence or absence of various non‐toxic concentrations of propolis extract, as determined by the alamarBlue® assay, during in vitro induction of osteoclastogenesis. Osteoclast formation was examined by tartrate‐resistant acid phosphatase staining, actin ring formation, and real‐time polymerase chain reaction. The resorption pit assay was performed to determine osteoclast function.

Results

Non‐toxic concentrations of propolis extract suppressed osteoclast formation by significantly decreasing the percentages of tartrate‐resistant acid phosphatase‐positive multinuclear cells and the ratios of cells with F‐actin ring formation (P < .01) in a dose‐dependent fashion. Expression of several osteoclast‐specific genes was significantly downregulated by propolis in a dose‐dependent manner (P < .05). The percentages of resorption areas on dentin slices were significantly decreased by propolis (P < .05).

Conclusions

Thai propolis can inhibit human osteoclast formation and function, which may be beneficial for prevention of root resorption following replantation of avulsed teeth.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Astragalus Honey Helps Treat Cognitive Disorders, Depression

Efficacy of herbal combination of sedge, saffron, and Astragalus honey on major neurocognitive disorder

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J Res Med Sci. 2018 Jun 6;23:58

Background:

Major neurocognitive disorder (MCD) is an acquired progressive decline in cognitive abilities that causes a drop in specific acquired performance compared to former performances. We tried to investigate the efficacy of herbal combination of sedge, saffron, and Astragalus honey on cognitive and depression score of patients with MCD.

Materials and Methods:

It was a randomized double-blind clinical trial conducted on sixty patients with MCD, who referred to the geriatric psychiatry clinic of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. All the study participants had been using anti-MCD medications. Participants were randomized to receive a combination of sedge, saffron, and Astragalus honey in case group (n = 30) or placebo group for 8 weeks other than anti-MCD medications. Cognitive and depression scores were assessed using Addenbrook's Cognitive Scale and Geriatric Depression Scale, respectively, before intervention and at the 1st and 2nd months after intervention. The ANCOVA repeated-measure test was used to analyze the data using SPSS 20 software.

Results:

The Addenbrook's Cognitive Test score was 32.2 ± 26.5 in intervention and 22.1 ± 15.1 in control group before intervention (P = 0.074) and 38.8 ± 27.7 in intervention group and 22.6 ± 14.1 in control group in control group 1 month after intervention (P = 0.007). In addition, Geriatric Depression Scale score was 14.6 ± 7.9 in intervention group and 14.5 ± 6.9 in control group before intervention (P = 0.945) and 12.9 ± 6.9 in intervention and 14.3 ± 7.1 in control group 1 month after intervention (P = 0.465) and 12.2 ± 6.5 in intervention group and 14.4 ± 7.1 in control group 2 month after intervention (P = 0.224).

Conclusion:

Our findings suggest that adding the herbal combination of sedge, saffron, and Astragalus honey to the current protocols of treatment of MCD patients could be useful in the improvement of cognitive and depression score of these patients.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Honey May Help Treat Metabolic Syndrome

A Review on the Protective Effects of Honey against Metabolic Syndrome

Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 1009

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Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of diseases comprising of obesity, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. There are numerous pre-clinical as well as human studies reporting the protective effects of honey against MetS.

Honey is a nutritional food low in glycemic index. Honey intake reduces blood sugar levels and prevents excessive weight gain. It also improves lipid metabolism by reducing total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which leads to decreased risk of atherogenesis. In addition, honey enhances insulin sensitivity that further stabilizes blood glucose levels and protects the pancreas from overstimulation brought on by insulin resistance. Furthermore, antioxidative properties of honey help in reducing oxidative stress, which is one of the central mechanisms in MetS. Lastly, honey protects the vasculature from endothelial dysfunction and remodelling.

Therefore, there is a strong potential for honey supplementation to be integrated into the management of MetS, both as preventive as well as adjunct therapeutic agents.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Propolis Can Block Fungus that Leads to Meningitis

A potential of propolis on major virulence factors of Cryptococcus neoformans

Microbial Pathogenesis
Volume 123, October 2018, Pages 296-303

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Highlights

• Propolis represents a promising interfere molecule in the main virulence of C. neoformans.
• Suppression of phenotypes and genes associated with main virulence factors was noticed in propolis-treated C. neoformans.
• Anti-virulence approaches as an alternative way for cryptococcosis treatment.

The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of a natural product from honeybees, named propolis, against Cryptococcus neoformans and its effect in the expression of putative virulence factors, such as capsular polysaccharides, melanin production and urease enzyme.

Ethanol extract propolis (EEP) was first tested for its anti-cryptococcal activity and explored its impact on virulence factors in both phenotypes and enzyme activities. Moreover, the cryptococcal virulence genes were investigated using real time RT-PCR. The MIC value of EEP, 1 mg ml−1, displayed potent inhibition of C. neoformans cell viability. Of note is the high efficacy of sub-MIC concentrations (ranging from 0.5 to 0.125 mg ml−1) in decreasing the production of capsule, melanin, as well as laccase and urease enzyme activities. Importantly, EEP exhibited statistically decrease in the expression of gene-encoded virulence factors. In conclusion, EEP mediates C. neoformans growth inhibition and virulence factors by reducing the gene-encoding virulence-associated proteins and, thereby, disrupting the morphologic presence and attenuating their virulence.

This study introduced EEP as regards anti-cryptococcal virulence factors activities; therefore, EEP would provide alternative ways of controlling the pathogenicity.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Propolis Mouthwash Treatment Effectively Eases Severe Oral Mucositis


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Oncology Nursing Advisor

Patients in the intervention group who received propolis had a significantly lower risk for severe oral mucositis, researchers found.

Patients in the intervention group who received propolis had a significantly lower risk for severe oral mucositis, researchers found.

Under proper supervision of healthcare professionals, propolis mouthwash may be a safe and effective treatment for patients with severe oral mucositis, according to study published in Supportive Care in Cancer...

Monday, July 30, 2018

Flavonoid Extract of Propolis Prevents Cardiac Fibrosis Caused by Heart Attacks (Myocardial Infarction)

Flavonoid Extract from Propolis Inhibits Cardiac Fibrosis Triggered by Myocardial Infarction through Upregulation of SIRT1

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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Jun 27;2018:4957573

The flavonoid extract from propolis (FP) has been shown to protect against heart injury induced by isoproterenol. However, the effect of FP on cardiac fibrosis after myocardial infarction (MI) as well as the underlying mechanisms is not known.

In the present study, we used biochemical and histological approaches to examine the effects of FP on MI-induced cardiac fibrosis and the related mechanisms in a rat MI model and in angiotensin II- (Ang II-) treated rat cardiac fibroblasts (CFs).

In vivo, MI was generated by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery of rats, which remained for 4 weeks. Rats were randomly divided into the sham, MI, FP (12.5 mg/kg/d), and MI+FP groups. We found that FP treatment improved heart function, reduced cardiac fibrosis, and downregulated the expression of fibrosis-related factors including collagen I, collagen III, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), and p-Smad2/3, which coincided with the upregulated expression of silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1) in the hearts of MI rats.

Our in vitro experiments showed that FP inhibited the proliferation and migration of primary cultured rat CFs and downregulated the expression of the above-mentioned fibrosis-related factors in Ang II-stimulated CFs. In addition, FP can decrease ROS production induced by MI and Ang II in vivo and vitro. Notably, silencing SIRT1 counteracted the FP-induced effects on CFs treated with Ang II.

We conclude that FP inhibits MI-induced cardiac fibrosis through SIRT1 activation and that FP represents a potential promising drug for the treatment of MI patients in the clinic.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Natural Honey May Help Prevent Nematode Infections

Nematicidal activity of 'major royal jelly protein'-containing glycoproteins from Acacia honey

Exp Parasitol. 2018 Jul 21;192:52-59

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Parasitic nematodes infect more than two billion people worldwide particularly in developing countries. We previously reported nematicidal activity of natural honey using model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

In this study, characterization of nematicidal effects of natural honey and its glycoproteins has been carried out.

Chromatographically separated honey glycoproteins showed potent anti-C. elegans activity (LD50 = 100 ng proteins/μL). Honey glycoproteins with molecular masses of ∼260 kD and ∼160 kD comprised of 'major royal jelly protein-1'-containing complexes. In these complexes, MRJP1 was present in different glycosylation forms. Quantitative PCR based gene expression assays described molecular functions of C. elegans affected by honey and honey glycoproteins. Expression of 14 gene transcripts associated with key cellular and molecular functions including energy metabolism, cytoskeleton, cell division, transcription and translation was analyzed.

Acacia honey exerted a concentration-dependent alteration of gene transcripts involved in the citric acid cycle (mdh-1 and idhg-1) and cytoskeleton (act-1, act-2, and arp6). Likewise, MRJP1-containing glycoproteins caused down-regulation of arp-6 and idhg-1; and up-regulation of act-1 and mdh-1 gene transcripts. Consistent down-regulation of isocitrate dehydrogenase encoding idhg-1 gene which is among the rate-controlling enzymes of the citric acid cycle was considered as main biochemical factor involved in the nematicidal activity of honey and MRJP-containing glycoproteins.

Acacia honey suppressed the expression of gene transcripts encoding actin-2, while honey glycoproteins did not. Hence, honey partly exerted anti-C. elegans activity by decreasing the transcription of actin-2 gene transcripts, demonstrated by a defect in the movement and egg laying. Moreover, arp-6 gene transcripts encoding actin-related protein 6 was significantly and constantly down-regulated by honey and honey proteins.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Combination of Medicinal Honey and Photobiomodulation Treatment Accelerates Healing of Burn Wounds

Combination of medicinal honey and 904 nm superpulsed laser-mediated photobiomodulation promotes healing and impedes inflammation, pain in full-thickness burn

J Photochem Photobiol B. 2018 Jul 18;186:152-159

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Burn wound is a complex multi-factorial pathophysiology producing excruciating pain and psychological discomfort among patients, which imposes a major burden on the healthcare system. Multi-target therapy focuses on augmented healing by regulating different phases of tissue repair.

Recently, photobiomodulation (PBM)-induced wound healing has achieved profound impetus as a non-invasive, drug-free biophysical therapeutic approach. On the other hand, medicinal honey known to possess antibacterial and immunomodulatory properties and is being used as an effective treatment option for infected wounds.

The present study aimed to determine whether the combination of medicinal honey and PBM using superpulsed 904 nm laser treatment could additively accelerate full-thickness burn wound repair in rats.

Animals were randomly allocated into 4 experimental groups: control (C), PBM superpulsed 904 nm laser treated (PBMT), honey treated (HT) and combined treatment (CT). The dual treatment exhibited an enhanced wound area contraction and hexosamine content as compared to the other groups. Histopathological analysis revealed increased cellular proliferation, extracellular matrix accumulation and decreased inflammation in the CT group. Further, the CT group demonstrated synergistically attenuated inflammation, pain and enhanced cell adhesion, migration as evidenced by significantly reduced protein expression of TNF-α, NF-κB, IL-1β, COX-2, substance-P receptor and up-regulation of fibronectin, respectively as compared with the other groups.

Thus, the findings of present study signify that the combination of medicinal honey and PBMT accelerates the repair process of burn wounds.

The study showed that therapeutic efficacy of 904 nm superpulsed laser-mediated PBM augments in the presence of medicinal honey by enhancing cellular proliferation and attenuation of inflammation and pain in burn wound healing.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Honeybee Pheromones Safely Repel Elephants, Study Finds

An organic formulation containing honeybee pheromones has been found to safely repel elephants, offering promise for a new strategy to prevent the world's largest land animals from destroying crops or causing other damage in areas where humans conflict with elephants, according to a study published July 23, 2018 in Current Biology.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Tualang Honey Boosts Results of Breast Cancer Treatment of Postmenopausal Women with Anastrozole

Tualang Honey adjunct with Anastrozole on Improvement of Parenchyma Enhancement of Breast Tissue in Breast Cancer Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Integrative Medicine Research
Available online 23 July 2018

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Objective

To investigate whether combination of anastrozole and Tualang honey (T honey) influences background parenchymal enhancement (BPE) in breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of postmenopausal women with breast cancer.

Methods

A total of 30 patients were recruited and randomly divided into control (anastrozole 1 mg daily) and intervention (anastrozole 1 mg + T honey 20 g daily). The BPE of the contralateral breast before and six months following treatment was compared using the sign test.

Results

There was a decrease in BPE in 10% of the women (p = 0.317) who received only anastrozole, which resulted in a change of BPE category from moderate to mild. However, the combination of anastrozole and T honey evoked a decrease in BPE in 42% of the patients (p = 0.034).

Conclusions

The combination of T honey and anastrozole maybe more efficacious than anastrozole alone in decreasing breast BPE in breast cancer patients. These findings support the medicinal value of T honey as an adjuvant treatment to anastrozole.
Keywords

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Propolis May Help Prevent Fungal Lung Infection Cryptococcosis

A potential of propolis on major virulence factors of Cryptococcus neoformans

Microb Pathog. 2018 Jul 21. pii: S0882-4010(18)30784-8

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The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of a natural product from honeybees, named propolis, against Cryptococcus neoformans and its effect in the expression of putative virulence factors, such as capsular polysaccharides, melanin production and urease enzyme.

Ethanol extract propolis (EEP) was first tested for its anti-cryptococcal activity and explored its impact on virulence factors in both phenotypes and enzyme activities. Moreover, the cryptococcal virulence genes were investigated using real time RT-PCR. The MIC value of EEP, 1 mg ml-1, displayed potent inhibition of C. neoformans cell viability. Of note is the high efficacy of sub-MIC concentrations (ranging from 0.5 to 0.125 mg ml-1) in decreasing the production of capsule, melanin, as well as laccase and urease enzyme activities. Importantly, EEP exhibited statistically decrease in the expression of gene-encoded virulence factors.

In conclusion, EEP mediates C. neoformans growth inhibition and virulence factors by reducing the gene-encoding virulence-associated proteins and, thereby, disrupting the morphologic presence and attenuating their virulence. This study introduced EEP as regards anti-cryptococcal virulence factors activities; therefore, EEP would provide alternative ways of controlling the pathogenicity.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Propolis, Honey May Help Prevent Dental Erosion

Impact of honey on dental erosion and adhesion of early bacterial colonizers

Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 19;8(1):10936

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The aim was to investigate if honey causes erosion and if salivary pellicle modified with honey, or its components, or the by-product propolis has a protective effect against dental erosion and adhesion of early bacterial colonizers. The tested substances were: 3 types of honey, methylglyoxal (MGO), hydrogen peroxide, propolis. First in the erosion experiment, 120 human enamel specimens were covered with salivary pellicle and modified with the substances. Then they were eroded with 1% citric acid, pH 3.6 for 2 min, before surface hardness was measured. In the microbiological assay, the enamel specimens (n = 126) covered with modified salivary pellicle were contaminated with bacterial suspensions. The antimicrobial activity of each substance and their effect on early bacterial colonizer adhesion and biofilm formation were determined. Despite a low pH, honey did not cause erosion. On the other hand, pellicle modification with the tested solutions did not protect the enamel from erosion. Microbiologically, the 3 honeys inhibited species-specific growth of oral bacteria. Propolis decreased initial attachment of Streptococcus gordonii, while one honey inhibited demineralization of enamel by biofilm. In conclusion, pellicle modification with honey, or its components, or propolis did neither protect against erosion nor promote it. Propolis presented some bacterial adhesion inhibition.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Malaysian Propolis May Help Treat Diabetes

Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and synergistic anti-hyperglycemic effects of Malaysian propolis and metformin in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

Food Chem Toxicol. 2018 Jul 17;120:305-320

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Diabetes mellitus is characterized by hyperglycemia which causes oxidative stress. Propolis has been reported to have antihyperglycemic and antioxidant potentials. 

The present study therefore examined the anti-hyperglycemic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of Malaysian propolis (MP) using streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Ethanol extract of MP showed in vitro antioxidant (DPPH, FRAP and H2O2 radical scavenging) and α-glucosidase inhibition activities. Male Sprague Dawley rats were either treated with distilled water (normal control and diabetic control), MP (300 mg/kg b. w.), metformin (Met) (300 mg/kg b. w.) or both. 

After four weeks, fasting blood glucose decreased, while body weight change and serum insulin level increased significantly in MP, Met and MP + Met treated diabetic groups compared to diabetic control (DC) group. Furthermore, pancreatic antioxidant enzymes, total antioxidant capacity, interleukin (IL)-10 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen increased, while malondialdehyde, nuclear factor-kappa B (p65), tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-1β and cleaved caspase-3 decreased significantly in the treated diabetic groups compared to DC group. Histopathology of the pancreas showed increased islet area and number of beta cells in the treated groups, compared to DC group, with D + MP + Met group comparable to normal control. 

We conclude that MP has anti-hyperglycemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic potentials, and exhibits synergistic effect with metformin.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Yale Scientists Probe Royal Jelly as Cancer Cure

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Royal jelly, or milky-white “bee milk,” has long been known for its mysterious growth effects on future queen honey bees, while also hailed by some as an anti-aging, cholesterol-lowering super supplement. But how this “queen magic” actually happens, and its potential benefit to humans, has remained a mystery to scientists.

Tapping into a fresh source from neighboring beehives at Yale’s West Campus, researchers at the Yale Cancer Biology Institute are now exploring how royal jelly might affect cell signaling and growth in cancer cells.

“The exact structure of the key protein in royal jelly remains unknown. But it is expected to act through the epidermal growth factor (or EGF) receptor – the main pathway targeted by cancer therapeutics today,” explained Daryl Klein, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Yale School of Medicine...

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Propolis Boosts Effectiveness of Cranberry Juice in Treating Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)


Propolis potentiates the effect of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) against the virulence of uropathogenic Escherichia coli


Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 16;8(1):10706

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Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), the most prevalent bacteria isolated in urinary tract infections (UTI), is now frequently resistant to antibiotics used to treat this pathology.

The antibacterial properties of cranberry and propolis could reduce the frequency of UTIs and thus the use of antibiotics, helping in the fight against the emergence of antibiotic resistance.

Transcriptomic profiles of a clinical UPEC strain exposed to cranberry proanthocyanidins alone (190 µg/mL), propolis alone (102.4 µg/mL) and a combination of both were determined. Cranberry alone, but more so cranberry + propolis combined, modified the expression of genes involved in different essential pathways: down-expression of genes involved in adhesion, motility, and biofilm formation, and up-regulation of genes involved in iron metabolism and stress response. Phenotypic assays confirmed the decrease of motility (swarming and swimming) and biofilm formation (early formation and formed biofilm).

This study showed for the first time that propolis potentiated the effect of cranberry proanthocyanidins on adhesion, motility, biofilm formation, iron metabolism and stress response of UPEC. Cranberry + propolis treatment could represent an interesting new strategy to prevent recurrent UTI.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Mimosa Honey Produced by Stingless Bees Helps Reduce Cholesterol

Effects of honey from Mimosa quadrivalvis L. (malicia) produced by the Melipona subnitida D. (jandaira) stingless bee on lipid metabolism, antioxidant status and intestinal health of dyslipidaemic rats 

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Food & Function
11 Jul 2018

This study assessed the effects of supplementation with honey from Mimosa quadrivalvis L. (malícia) (MH) produced by jandaíra stingless bees (Melipona subnitida D.) on the lipid metabolism, antioxidant status and some intestinal health parameters of rats with diet-induced dyslipidaemia. Rats were randomly divided into four groups: healthy control (HC), dyslipidaemic control (DC), healthy experimental (EHH) and dyslipidaemic experimental (EDH).

Malícia honey (MH) was administered (1000 mL/kg) via orogastric feeding for 35 days. Dyslipidaemic rats supplemented with MH showed lower food consumption, increased glucose tolerance and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and decreased total cholesterol, LDL and AST blood levels.

Counts of Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp. and excretion of organic acids in faeces increased in dyslipidaemic rats supplemented with MH. MH supplementation protected the colon and liver from tissue damage induced by the dyslipidaemic diet.

These results show the beneficial effects of MH on lipid metabolism, antioxidant status and intestinal health of rats with diet-induced dyslipidaemia.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Black Seed Oil Boosts Healing Power of Honey


Synergistic effect of honey and Nigella sativa on wound healing in rats

Acta Cir Bras. 2018 Jun;33(6):518-523

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PURPOSE: 

To investigate the therapeutic potential of honey, Nigella sativa (N. sativa) and their combination in rat model of excisional wound healing.

METHODS: 

A circular excision wound was established in the back region of 50 Wistar rats. Subsequently, they were divided into 5 groups and daily topical administration of lanolin in the control group, honey in the honey group, cold-pressed N. sativa seed oil in the N. sativa groups, mix of 1:1 ratio of honey and N. sativa seed oil in the mix group, and phenytoin cream in the phenytoin group were used. Then, wound surface areas were evaluated using digital camera immediately after the injury and at post excision days 5, 10, 15 and 20.

RESULTS: 

Significant reduction in wound surface area was observed within and between the groups (P < 0.001). In the post excision days 5, 10, 15 and 20 the wound surface areas in the mix group were significantly lower than the other groups followed by the phenytoin, honey, N. sativa, and control groups.

CONCLUSION:

The wound healing may be improved and accelerated by using topical solutions of honey, N. sativa seed oil and especially their mixture.

-----------

Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): I heard Allah's Apostle (the Prophet Muhammad) saying: "There is healing in Black Cumin for all diseases except death." (Sahih Bukhari)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Propolis Lip Balm Better at Treating Cold Sores Than Aciclovir Cream (fever blisters, herpes simplex labialis, recurrent herpes labialis, orolabial herpes)

Comparative Study with a Lip Balm Containing 0.5% Propolis Special Extract GH 2002 versus 5% Aciclovir Cream in Patients with Herpes Labialis in the Papular/Erythematous Stage: A Single-blind, Randomized, Two-arm Study

Current Therapeutic Research
Volume 88, 2018, Pages 1-7

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Background and objectives

This controlled single-blind trial compared the efficacy of a lip balm with propolis special extract GH 2002 at a concentration of 0.5% in the treatment of episodes of herpes labialis with that of 5% aciclovir cream.

Methods

Patients in the erythematous/papular stage were randomized: 189 patients were treated with propolis cream, 190 patients were treated with aciclovir cream (intention-to-treat population). Application was 5 times daily. The primary parameter was the difference in median time to complete encrustation or epithelialization of lesions. Secondary parameters were the development of typical herpes symptoms (eg, pain, burning and itching, tension, and swelling), the global assessment of efficacy, and the safety of application.

Results

The predefined clinical situation was reached after a median of 4 days with propolis and after 5 days with aciclovir (P < 0.0001). Significant differences in favor of the study preparation were found with all secondary parameters and symptoms. No allergic reactions, local irritations, or other adverse events were observed.

Conclusions

A formulation of 0.5% propolis GH 2002 extract lip balm was found to be superior in the treatment of episodes of herpes labialis over 5% aciclovir cream in patients in the papular/erythematous phase upon inclusion.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Brazilian Brown Propolis May Help Treat Trichomonas Vaginalis STD

Brown propolis-metabolomic innovative approach to determine compounds capable of killing Staphylococcus aureus biofilm and Trichomonas vaginalis

Food Res Int. 2018 Sep;111:661-673

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Propolis, a resin produced by bees, is widely used in industrial products, including food, cosmetics, supplements, and pharmaceuticals. Extracts (ethanolic and hydroethanolic) and fractions, yielded by accelerated solvent extraction methodology, were obtained from different samples of Brazilian brown propolis (BBP).

They were evaluated for antioxidant capacity, antibacterial, antibiofilm, and anti-Trichomonas vaginalis activities. The metabolomics profiling was determined by LC-DAD-MS and an innovative application of statistical analyses (univariate and chemometrics) was applied to correlate chemical compounds with biological activities. Eighty-six compounds were identified, including phenylpropanoic acids, flavonoids, chlorogenic acids, and prenylated phenylpropanoic acids.

Propolis-fractions killed about 93% of Staphylococcus aureus in biofilm (at concentration of 125 μg/mL), showed activity against T. vaginalis with MIC at 400 μg/mL and significative antioxidant capacity (IC50 2.32-3.80 μg/mL). Propolis extracts and fractions did not show antibacterial and antibiofilm activities against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The prenylated phenylpropanoic acids positively correlated with both the antibiofilm (S. aureus) and anti-T. vaginalis activities, such as the metabolites artepillin C, drupanin, and baccharin.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Honey Has Significant Diuretic Activity Alone or in Combination with Propolis

Antioxidant and diuretic activity of co-administration of Capparis spinosa honey and propolis in comparison to furosemide

Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 10, Issue 10, October 2017, Pages 974-980

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Objective

To study the antioxidant properties of Capparis spinosa (C. spinosa) honey and propolis and the effect of combined honey and propolis administration on urine volume and electrolytes in rats.

Methods

C. spinosa honey [1 000 mg/kg body weight (b.wt)], propolis (100 mg/kg b.wt), honey/propolis mixture (C. spinosa honey 1 000 mg/kg b.wt/ propolis extract 100 mg/kg b.wt ), distilled water (1 mL/kg b.wt) and furosemide (10 mg/kg b.wt) were orally administered to five groups of rats for 21 d. Urine volume, blood and urine sodium, potassium and chloride were measured. The antioxidant activity of propolis and honey was assessed and their total phenols and flavonoids were determined.

Results

Propolis and C. spinosa honey contain polyphenols including flavonoids and propolis demonstrated higher antioxidant activities than honey. Honey significantly increased urine volume and urine electrolyte excretion. Propolis had no significant effect on urine volume, but co-administration of propolis and honey caused significant diuresis. No major changes were observed in plasma electrolytes with the use of honey, propolis or their combination.

Conclusions

Honey and propolis have antioxidant activity and contain polyphenols including flavonoids that are more pronounced in propolis. Honey has a significant diuretic activity alone or in combination with propolis. This is the first study comparing the diuretic effect of co-administration of propolis and C. spinosa honey with furosemide.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Dietary Propolis Polyphenols May Help Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Dietary polyphenols and type 2 diabetes: Human study and clinical trials

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2018 Jul 11:1-19

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Significant evidence from epidemiological investigations showed that dietary polyphenols might manage and prevent type 2 diabetes (T2D). This review summarizes human studies and clinical trials of polyphenols as anti-diabetic agents.

Polyphenols from coffee, guava tea, whortleberry, olive oil, propolis, chocolate, red wine, grape seed, and cocoa have been reported to show anti-diabetic effects in T2D patients through increasing glucose metabolism, improving vascular function as well as reducing insulin resistance and HbA1c level. However, individual flavonoid or isoflavonoid compounds appear to have no therapeutic effect on diabetes, based on the limited clinical data. Preliminary clinical trials provided evidence that resveratrol had anti-diabetic activity in humans by improving glycemic control in subjects with insulin resistance. Besides, anthocyanins exhibited anti-diabetic properties by reducing blood glucose and HbA1c levels or the improvement of insulin secretion and resistance. The structure-activity relationship of polyphenols as anti-diabetic agents in humans has been rarely reported.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

New Zealand Thyme, Manuka and Honeydew Honeys May Help Treat Prostate Cancer

Honey reduces the metastatic characteristics of prostate cancer cell lines by promoting a loss of adhesion

PeerJ. 2018 Jul 3;6:e5115

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Honey has been shown to have a range of therapeutic effects in humans, with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects among those previously characterised.

Here, we examine the possibility of New Zealand thyme, manuka and honeydew honeys, and their major sugar and phenolic components, reducing the development of metastatic cancer.

Their activity was examined in vitro, in PC3 and DU145 prostate cancer cell lines, through measuring the compounds' effects on the metastatic characteristics of migration, invasion and adhesion. First, the phenolic compounds gallic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin, kaempferol and chrysin were quantified in the honeys using high performance liquid chromatography, and found in nanomolar concentrations.

In a Boyden chamber-based migration assay, non-toxic concentrations of thyme and honeydew honeys reduced cell migration by 20%, and all phenolic compounds except caffeic acid also lowered migration, although a mixture of only the sugars found in honey had no effect. All of the honeys, phenolics and the sugar-only mixture reduced invasive movement of cells through extracellular matrix by up to 75%.

Most notably, each of the three honeys and the sugar-only mixture reduced cell adhesion to collagen I by 90%. With the exception of quercetin, phenolic compounds did not reduce adhesion.

Therefore, honey and its sugar and phenolic components can lower the metastatic properties of cancer cells, and may do this by preventing effective cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix. The sugars and phenol compounds of honey are much more effective in combination than individually.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Manuka Honey May Help Prevent Cavities

Manuka Honey: A Potent Cariostatic Agent- An in vitro Study

Int J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2018 Mar-Apr;11(2):105-109

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Aim:

The aim of the study was to test the antibacterial activity of manuka honey and compare its efficacy with another commercially available honey (Dabur honey) on the cariogenic bacteria on Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus.

Materials and methods:

An in vitro study was carried out on 40 agar specimens; the samples were divided into two groups of 20 samples consisting of S. mutans and Lactobacil-lus respectively. The 20 samples in each group were further subdivided into four groups of five each, which were tested with 25% manuka honey, 100% manuka honey, 25% Dabur honey, and 100% Dabur honey for both Lactobacillus and S. mutans groups. The antibacterial activity was tested using the agar well diffusion method against S. mutans and Lacto-bacillus. Antibacterial activity was assessed by measuring the diameter of inhibition of zones surrounding the wells. The results obtained were statistically analyzed (one-way analysis of variance test, p-value).

Results:

The results showed that 25% of manuka honey has statistically significant (p ≤ 0.001) antibacterial effect than 25% of Dabur honey on both Streptococcus and Lactobacillus species, and manuka honey with 100% concentration showed a statistically significant (p ≤ 0.001) antibacterial effect than 100% Dabur honey on the same species of bacteria. 100% of both the honeys showed statistically significant (p ≤ 0.001) antibacterial effect than 25% concentrations of the same on S. mutans and Lactobacillus.

Conclusion:

Manuka honey had more antibacterial activity than Dabur honey on S. mutans and Lactobacillus bacteria in the in vitro study. This effect was dependent on the concentration of honey used.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Honey More Effective Than Povidone Iodine in Preventing Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter-Related Infections

A Retrospective Sequential Comparison of Topical Application of Medicated Honey and Povidone Iodine for Preventing Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter-Related Infections

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Perit Dial Int. 2018 Jul-Aug;38(4):302-305

Application of medicated honey (MH) to peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter exit sites has been found to be as effective as intra-nasal mupirocin for preventing PD catheter-related infections (CRIs), but was associated with increased risk for CRIs in diabetics. The efficacy of topical MH as a prophylactic agent has not been compared with the exit-site application of povidone iodine (PI). This retrospective multicentre cohort study compared cumulative incidence rates of PD CRIs (peritonitis or exit-site infections) and the number of PD CRIs observed per patient over the study period with PD exit-site application of MH or PI, in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients.

Outcomes were compared in incident patients in 2 eras: January 2011 - December 2012, when 147 received exit-site care with PI (PI group), and July 2013 - June 2015, when 171 patients applied MH (MH group). Patients were followed until technique failure, death, transplant, or end of study treatment era. Cumulative incidence of PD CRIs was higher in the PI group (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1 - 2.6, p = 0.019) and the benefit of MH was not modified by diabetic status (present/absent, interaction p = 0.723). A similar trend was observed in the cumulative incidence of peritonitis (HR = 1.6, 95% CI 0.99 - 2.6, p = 0.059). After adjusting for months of exposure, the rate ratio for PD CRIs was 1.58 for PI compared to MH (95% CI, 1.03 - 2.42, p = 0.035).

We conclude that exit-site application of MH is more effective than PI in preventing PD CRIs, and this effect is not modified by the presence or absence of diabetes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Propolis Helps Treat Palmoplantar Psoriasis


Apitherapy as a New Approach in Treatment of Palmoplantar Psoriasis

Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2018 Jun 10;6(6):1059-1061

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BACKGROUND:

Apitherapy is the medical use of honey bee products, "honey, propolis, royal jelly, bee wax, and bee venom to relieve human ailments. Propolis is one of the most well-documented products derived from the honeybee and has always played an important role in traditional folk medicine.

AIM:

The aim was to justify the consideration of Aloe Vera as an effective remedy for the treatment of psoriasis.

METHODS:

The study follows (857) patients (354 females, 503 males) with a mean age range from (9 - 62) years, affected with moderate to severe psoriasis in palms and foot soles treated by a combination mixture of propolis and Aloe in the form of an ointment (Aloreed) and Beauty reed cream. The treatment duration was for 12 weeks. Results were evaluated by using clinical, histological and statistical parameters.

RESULTS:

After the 12 - week treatment, we observed an 86% overall response rate from which 62% showed excellent results and 24% showed good results, therefore proving the efficiency in the use of the mixture of propolis 50% and aloe vera 3% as topically applied ointment in the treatment of mild to moderate psoriasis.

CONCLUSION:

Patients who have palmoplantar psoriasis, who were treated with a topically applied mixture of propolis (50%) and aloe vera (3%), have shown noteworthy improvement thus proving the efficiency of propolis and aloe vera in the treatment of mild to moderate psoriasis.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Propolis May Help Treat Stomach Ulcers (gastric inflammation, peptic ulcer, gastric cancer, and lymphomas)


Propolis: The future therapy against Helicobacter pylori-mediated gastrointestinal diseases

Journal of Applied Biomedicine
Volume 16, Issue 2, May 2018, Pages 81-99

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Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), which is found in the stomach of approximately 50% of humans, remains there for almost the entire lifetime of the infected individual, leading to various gastrointestinal tract-associated disorders following full-blown infection.

Due to the emergence of antibiotic resistance, recurrence and high cost of therapy, most antibiotic-based treatment strategies are not very effective in eradicating H. pylori infections. The quest for an alternative treatment free of these inconveniences is currently in demand. One of the important alternatives is propolis, produced by the honeybee Apis mellifera, which has been used to treat different diseases since it possesses a wide range of biochemical properties.

Propolis has been reported as a useful therapeutic regimen against H. pylori, which is an important cause of gastric inflammation, peptic ulcer, gastric cancer, and lymphomas of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues. Apart from propolis, various active compounds of other natural products have also been confirmed to be effective.

This review compiles the scientific evidence of the role of propolis and other natural products against H. pylori-associated gastrointestinal tract-related health complexities by acing as an anti-angiogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant factor as well as via modulation of enzymatic activities.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Australian Native Leptospermum Spp. Honey Has Potential to Surpass New Zealand’s Manuka Honey for Both Activity and Scale


CATCH THE BUZZ – OZ MAY HAVE BETTER MANUKA THAN NEW ZEALAND AFTERALL

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Bee Culture

Australia is home to 85 of the world’s 87 leptospermum species. (Photo: Sunshine Coast University)

Australian native leptospermum spp. honey has the potential to surpass New Zealand’s Manuka honey for both activity and scale.

Australia is the homeland of leptospermum with 84 of the world’s 87 species/

But in Queensland, University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) PhD researcher Simon Williams says the testing shows not all Aussie Leptospermum are equal.

Some have been found not to have the precursor compound dihydroxyacetone in their nectar while others are more active than leptospermum scoparium.

Manuka honey derived from New Zealand’s sole leptospermum tree, leptospermum scoparium is the gold standard in medicinal honey.

Scientists in the USC honey research laboratory have been working on understanding Australian leptospermum honeys for the last seven years.

They have found Australian honeys are comparable or better than New Zealand’s Manuka honey.

“Every state has bioactivity, but it has very large range, which is one of the complications in Australia,” Williams says...

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Propolis Emulgel: A natural remedy for burns and wounds.

Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2018 Jul 5:1-41

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OBJECTIVES:

To develop an alternative medicine, propolis, in emulgel formulation for burn and wound treatment.

METHODS:

The effect of two independent variables: emulsifying agent concentration and oil concentration on the cumulative amount of propolis release (dependent variable) from liquid paraffin and isopropyl palmitate emulgels was investigated. Eight formulations were prepared and evaluated for physical appearance, pH, propolis content, viscosity and in vitro propolis release. The release results were fitted into different kinetic equations and analysed using contour plot, interaction surface plot and one-way ANOVA. The selected emulgel formulation was investigated for its wound and burn healing activity in rats.

RESULTS:

All the prepared emulgels showed acceptable physical properties concerning colour, homogeneity, consistency, and pH value. The concentration of emulsifying agent had more pronounced effect on propolis release than oil concentration. Formulations F1-F6 showed "anomalous" drug release, while Formulations F7 & F8 showed zero-order kinetic.

CONCLUSIONS:

The formulation F7 with 5% isopropyl palmitate, 5% emulsifier mixture, 1% hydroxyl propyl methyl cellulose, 1% oleic acid and 10% propylene glycol is a promising formula for better management of wound and burn.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Royal Jelly Shows Anti-Inflammatory, Bactericidal Activity to Benefit Human Gastrointestinal Tract

10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid of royal jelly exhibits bactericide and anti-inflammatory activity in human colon cancer cells

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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Jul 3;18(1):202

BACKGROUND:

Royal jelly (RJ), the exclusive food for the larva of queen honeybee, is regarded as the novel supplement to promote human health. The function of RJ may be attributed to its major and unique fatty acid, 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA). The current study investigated the anti-inflammory function of 10-HDA on human colon cancer cells, WiDr, as well as its effect on the growth of pathogenic bacterium.

METHODS:

The pro-inflammatory cytokines, receptor antagonist cytokine (IL-1ra) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) in WiDr cells was analyzed by Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or western blot. The growth inhibition of 10-HDA on bacterium was evaluated by determination of minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal bactericide concentrations (MBC).

RESULTS:

The production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, Interleukin (IL)-8, IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in WiDr cells was modulated by 10-HDA. IL-8 were dramatically declined by 10-HDA at 3 mM, while IL-1β and TNF-α were significantly decreased. 10-HDA increased IL-1ra in a dose manner. NF-κB pathway is primarily in response to prototypical pro-inflammatory cytokines, and NF-κB was reduced after 10-HDA treatment. 10-HDA acted as potent bactericide against animal- or human-specific pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus alactolyticus, Staphylococcus intermedius B, Staphylococcus xylosus, Salmonella cholearasuis, Vibro parahaemolyticus and Escherichia coli (hemolytic).

CONCLUSIONS:

The current study showed that in vitro 10-HDA from RJ exhibited anti-inflammatory activity in WiDr cells, as well as anti-bacterial activity against animal pathogens. 10-HDA showed its potential as anti-imflammtory agent and bactericide to benefit human gastrointestinal tract.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Even Low Concentrations of Propolis Tincture Killed More Than 99% of Salivary Bacteria

Activity of preparations from Spilanthes oleracea, propolis, Nigella sativa, and black garlic on different microorganisms involved in oral diseases and on total human salivary bacteria: A pilot study

Phytother Res. 2018 Jun 25

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Due to continuous rise in antibiotic resistance, there is a need for alternative treatment options to reduce the levels of oral pathogens for the maintenance of oral as well as overall health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro antibacterial potential of tinctures of Spilanthes oleracea and propolis, Nigella seed oil, and an ethanolic extract of black garlic on microorganisms involved in oral diseases. Both the minimum inhibitory concentration assay and the minimum bactericidal/fungicidal concentration assay were used in this study. Inhibition effects against total human salivary bacteria were also determined.

Our results show that all of the preparations tested had potent antimicrobial activities. When measured 10 min after exposure, even low concentrations of the propolis tincture were found to have killed more than 99% of salivary bacteria, whereas Spilanthes tincture and black garlic extract killed more than 90% and Nigella seed oil more than 60% of the pathogens.

This suggests that all preparations are promising candidates for the use in oral health care products and that all have the potential to control biofilm associated infections.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

New Zealand Kanuka Honey Helps Treat Actinic Keratosis (Squamous Cell Cancer)


Successful Treatment of Actinic Keratosis with Kanuka Honey

Case Rep Dermatol Med. 2018 May 31;2018:4628971

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Actinic keratoses form as rough, scaly plaques on sun-exposed areas; they can be an important step in premalignant progression to squamous cell cancer of the skin. Currently, pharmacological treatments consist of topical immunomodulatory agents with poor side effect profiles.

Use of honey has been common in both ancient and modern medicine, where it is now a key therapy in the management of wound healing. In vitro studies show the New Zealand native Kanuka honey to have immunomodulatory and antimitotic effects, with recent evidence suggesting efficacy of topical application in a variety of dermatological contexts, including rosacea and psoriasis.

Here, we present a case report of a 66-year-old gentleman with an actinic keratosis on his hand, which had been present for years. Regular application of Kanuka honey over three months resulted in remission immediately following the treatment period with no signs of recurrence at nine months.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Medical-Grade Honey Helps Treat Wounds Associated with Cochlear Implant Wounds in Pediatric Patients

The use of honey in cochlear implant associated wounds in pediatric patients

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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2018 Aug;111:80-83

INTRODUCTION:

The use of honey in wound care is becoming more common due to the proven benefit in all three phases of wound healing, as well as the antibacterial and antibiofilm properties. We present our experience using TheraHoney gel, a medical grade honey, for the successful treatment of cochlear implant associated skin breakdown.

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the role of TheraHoney gel in the management of cutaneous infection and ulceration associated with cochlear implants.

METHODS:

Three cases of wounds treated traditionally with antibiotics, plus the addition of TheraHoney, were retrospectively reviewed. The first patient had a superficial 1 × 1 cm ulcer, the second patient had bilateral ulcers: one superficial 1.5 × 1.5 cm ulcer and the other a 1.5 × 2 cm stage III pressure ulcer with an exposed receiver stimulator, and the third patient with a 3 × 3.5 cm stage III ulcer with an exposed receiver stimulator.

RESULTS:

With the addition of TheraHoney gel, complete wound closure was achieved at all three patients without the need for surgical reconstruction.

CONCLUSION:

Cutaneous infection with or without skin breakdown is a common delayed complication after cochlear implantation. We demonstrate the efficacy of adding medical grade honey in promoting healing in infected scalp pressure ulcers overlying the cochlear implant site.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Propolis Can Help Stabilize Natural Beauty Products


Is Propolis the Key to Safe Natural Emulsion Products? - Chromatography Explores

Chromatography Today

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As consumers become more conscious of their health and the effect they can have on the environment they turn to natural and organic products. In a 2018 UK report, the Soil Association reported that the growth in the UK market for organic food and drink increased for the sixth year in a row, this time by 6% with total sales of £2.2 billion.

And it is not just food and drink products that are seeing an increase in sales. In 2017, the Soil Association reported that sales of health and beauty products increased by over 20% — with the UK market worth over £61 million. A recent paper published in the Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal — Effect of poplar-type propolis on oxidative stability and rheological properties of O/W emulsions — has investigated whether propolis can help to make natural beauty products stable.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Propolis Reduces Risk of Colon Cancer (changes in bowel habits, diarrhea, constipation, rectal bleeding, cramps, sudden weight loss, weakness, and fatigue)


Propolis can reduce the risks of Colon cancer, study claims

Top Health Journal

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Honey isn’t the only product by the bees. Bees also produce a greenish-blue, glue-like substance named “Propolis”. It is a mixture of bees’ saliva, beeswax, and the nectar they collect from flowers and buds. Propolis is used by the bees for coating their hives and sealing the superfluous gaps present in it.

History also reveals plentiful benefactions offered by propolis. It has long been used by the Greeks to treat swelling and blisters while the Assyrians treated infections with propolis and used it to improve the process of healing. The Egyptians used it to prevent the decay of mummies.

In addition, a recent study has proved propolis to be effective against the spreading of colon cancer.

Colon cancer is the third most frequently occurring cancer all around the globe. One individual in every twenty people is diagnosed with colon cancer. Colon cancer is caused by genetic alterations inside the body which causes the Polyps to turn into cancerous cells. Polyps are present naturally underlying the gut region. At the point of initiation, polyps form small and benign clumps of cells which over the time turn metastatic causing the death of the organism directly.

The symptoms of the diseases include changes in bowel habits, diarrhea, constipation, rectal bleeding, cramps, sudden weight loss, weakness, and fatigue...

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Bee Pollen May Help Treat Neurological Disorders

Therapeutic and Protective Potency of Bee Pollen Against Neurotoxic Effects Induced by Prenatal Exposure of Rats to Methyl Mercury

J Mol Neurosci. 2018 Jun 26

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MeHg is a widely distributed environmental toxicant with harmful effects on the developing and adult nervous system.

This study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic and protective efficacy of pollen grain in improving the toxic effects of MeHg, through the measurement of selected biochemical parameters linked to oxidative stress, energy metabolism, and neurotransmission in brain homogenates of male pups' neonates.

Forty healthy pregnant female rats were randomly divided into five groups, and after delivery, each group was consisting of 10 male neonates: (1) neonates delivered by control mothers, (2) neonates delivered by bee pollen treated mothers who received bee pollen at the dose of 200-mg/kg body weight from postnatal day 0 for 4 weeks, (3) neonates delivered by MeHg-treated mothers who received MeHg at the dose of 0.5 mg/kg/day via drinking water from gestational day 7 till postnatal day 7 of delivery, (4) therapeutic group: neonates delivered by MeHg-treated mothers followed by bee pollen treatment who received bee pollen at the dose of 200-mg/kg body weight from postnatal day 0 for 4 weeks, and (5) protective group: neonates delivered by MeHg and bee pollen-treated mothers. Mothers continued receiving the bee pollen at the same dose until day 21.

Biochemical parameters linked to oxidative stress and energy metabolism and neurotransmission were investigated in brain homogenates of neonates from all the five groups. MeHg treatment showed an increase in oxidative stress markers like lipid peroxidation and catalase activity coupled with a non-significant decrease in glutathione level. Impaired energy metabolism was ascertained via the inhibition of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase activities.

Dramatic decrease of Mg2+ and K+ concentrations confirmed the neurotransmission defect. Interestingly, the bee pollen treatment was highly effective in restoring the catalase, lactate dehydrogenase, and creatine kinase activities in addition to normalizing the levels of Mg2+, K+, lipid peroxidation, and glutathione.

Overall, the exposure to MeHg during the developing brain stages was highly effective to show signs and symptoms of neuronal toxicity. Furthermore, it has been concluded that bee pollen can be used safely to ameliorate oxidative stress, poor detoxification as well as metal ion defects, and neuronal death as a critical mechanisms involved in the etiology of numerous neurological disorders.