Friday, March 16, 2018

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Infertility

Protective potential of royal jelly against cadmium-induced infertility in male rats

Andrologia. 2018 Mar 12

This study aimed to investigate the protective potential of Royal jelly (RJ) against cadmium (Cd)-induced testicular dysfunction in rats.

Thirty-five adult male Wistar rats were assigned into five groups. G I; (control) injected intraperitoneally with saline, G II injected intraperitoneally with a single dose of CdCl2 (1 mg/kg BW), G III received RJ (100 mg/kg BW/day) orally, G IV was pre-treated with RJ for 1 week then, treated with CdCl2 , and G V was co-treated with RJ and CdCl2 .

After day 56, serum and tissue samples were collected and analysed. The results showed decreased serum testosterone, luteinising hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, sperm motility and count while increased malondialdehyde, nitric oxide, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and sperm abnormalities, along with a severely damaged seminiferous tubules epithelium with cytoplasmic and nuclear disruptions following Cd toxicity.

Additionally, Cd stimulated testicular mRNA expression of TNF-α while inhibited those of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, cytochrome P450 cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme androgen binding protein, FSH-receptor, LH-receptor, androgen receptor, 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD), 17β-HSD, and cytochrome P450 17A1. These negative alterations of cadmium were greatly reduced by RJ treatment.

This study concluded that RJ protects against Cd-induced testicular toxicity.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bee Venom May Help Treat Allergies

Inhibitory effects of bee venom on mast cell-mediated allergic inflammatory responses

Int J Mol Med. 2018 Mar 12

Although bee venom (BV) is a toxin that causes bee stings to be painful, it has been widely used clinically for the treatment of certain immune‑associated diseases. BV has been used traditionally for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.

In this regard, the present study analyzed the effect of BV on the regulation of inflammatory mediator production by mast cells and their allergic inflammatory responses in an animal model. HMC‑1 cells were treated with BV prior to stimulation with phorbol‑12‑myristate 13‑acetate plus calcium ionophore A23187 (PMACI). The production of allergy‑associated pro‑inflammatory mediators was examined, and the underlying mechanisms were investigated. Furthermore, to investigate whether BV exhibits anti‑inflammatory effects associated with anti‑allergic effects in vivo, a compound 48/80‑induced anaphylaxis model was used. BV inhibited histamine release, mRNA expression and production of cytokines in the PMACI‑stimulated HMC‑1 cells. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of BV on mitogen‑activated protein kinase (MAPK), MAPK kinase, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and Akt were demonstrated.

The present study also investigated the ability of BV to inhibit compound 48/80‑induced systemic anaphylaxis in vivo. BV protected the mice against compound 48/80‑induced anaphylactic‑associated mortality. Furthermore, BV suppressed the mRNA expression levels of pro‑inflammatory cytokines, and suppressed the activation of MAPK and STAT3 in this model.

These results provide novel insights into the possible role of BV as a modulator for mast cell‑mediated allergic inflammatory disorders.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bee Venom May Help Treat Chronic Sinusitis

Anti-inflammatory effect of bee venom in an allergic chronic rhinosinusitis mouse model

Mol Med Rep. 2018 Mar 9

Bee venom (BV) has long been used as anti-inflammatory agent in traditional oriental medicine; however, the effect of BV on chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is not commonly studied.

The aim of the present study was to determine the anti-inflammatory effect of BV on an allergic CRS mouse model. An allergic CRS mouse model was established following the administration of ovalbumin with Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B (SEB) into the nose. A total of 0.5 or 5 ng/ml of BV were intranasally applied 3 times a week for 8 weeks. Histopathological alterations were observed using hematoxylin and eosin, and Periodic acid Schiff staining.

The levels of inflammatory cell infiltration, interleukin (IL)‑4, IL‑10 and interferon (INF)‑γ in nasal lavage fluid (NLF) were measured. Nuclear factor (NF)‑κB and activator protein (AP)‑1 expressions were also determined by immunohistochemical staining. The group treated with BV had significantly decreased inflammatory cell infiltration and PAS‑positive cells. The levels of INF‑γ, and neutrophil and eosinophil counts in NLF were significantly decreased, and the SEB‑induced NF‑κB and AP‑1 expressions in mouse nasal mucosa were significantly suppressed by 0.5 and 5 ng/ml BV.

Thus, BV exerted significant anti‑inflammatory effects in an allergic CRS mouse model and may have potential value for the treatment of CRS.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Addition of Propolis Has Anti-Listerial Effect in Milk

Inhibitory activity of propolis against Listeria monocytogenes in milk stored under refrigeration

Food Microbiol. 2018 Aug;73:168-176

Propolis is a natural bee-product with documented antimicrobial properties in vitro. The objective of this study was to develop a protocol for adding propolis into milk and to determine whether the addition of propolis can confer anti-listerial activity during the storage of milk under optimal or improper refrigeration conditions.

Upon dissolving propolis ethanolic extract (PEE) into glycerol, the PEE-glycerol mixture contained no visible insoluble particles and could be dispersed evenly into milk, without leaving any insoluble material. PEE, with or without glycerol, was added into extended shelf-life milk, artificially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The addition of PEE dissolved into glycerol resulted in a pronounced and dose-dependent anti-listerial effect in milk stored at 4 °C, with the higher concentration tested (4 mg of dry PEE per mL of milk) resulting in complete inhibition of L. monocytogenes growth throughout 30 days of storage. The combination of PEE with glycerol was also effective in significantly reducing the growth rate of the pathogen in milk stored under improper refrigeration (10 °C).

Based on a patented PEE-deodorization protocol, the addition of deodorized PEE into milk resulted in a product with average consumer acceptability. However, the PEE deodorization process resulted in reduction or even complete removal of propolis constituents with known antibacterial activity, with a concomitant significant reduction in its anti-listerial effect.

Nonetheless, the data presented in this manuscript highlight the strong anti-listerial potential of propolis in milk and suggest that, upon further research on its deodorization and standardization, there may be room for the application of propolis as a natural preservative in dairy beverages.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Brazilian Green Propolis May Help Treat Cancer

Anticancer activity of the supercritical extract of Brazilian green propolis and its active component, artepillin C: Bioinformatics and experimental analyses of its mechanisms of action

Int J Oncol. 2018 Mar;52(3):925-932

Propolis, a resinous substance collected by honeybees by mixing their saliva with plant sources, including tree bark and leaves and then mixed with secreted beeswax, possesses a variety of bioactivities.

Whereas caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) has been recognized as a major bioactive ingredient in New Zealand propolis, Brazilian green propolis, on the other hand, possesses artepillin C (ARC). In this study, we report that, similar to CAPE, ARC docks into and abrogates mortalin-p53 complexes, causing the activation of p53 and the growth arrest of cancer cells.

Cell viability assays using ARC and green propolis-supercritical extract (GPSE) revealed higher cytotoxicity in the latter, supported by nuclear translocation and the activation of p53.

Furthermore, in vivo tumor suppression assays using nude mice, we found that GPSE and its conjugate with γ cyclodextrin (γCD) possessed more potent anticancer activity than purified ARC. GPSE‑γCD may thus be recommended as a natural, effective and economic anticancer amalgam.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Propolis May Help Treat Celiac Disease

Ex vivo immunomodulatory effect of ethanolic extract of propolis during Celiac Disease: involvement of nitric oxide pathway

Inflammopharmacology. 2018 Mar 7

Celiac Disease (CeD) is a chronic immune-mediated enteropathy, in which dietary gluten induces an inflammatory reaction, predominantly in the duodenum. Propolis is a resinous hive product, collected by honeybees from various plant sources.

Propolis is well-known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immunomodulatory effects, due to its major compounds, polyphenols and flavonoids. The aim of our study was to assess the ex vivo effect of ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) upon the activity and expression of iNOS, along with IFN-γ and IL-10 production in Algerian Celiac patients. In this context, PBMCs isolated from peripheral blood of Celiac patients and healthy controls were cultured with different concentrations of EEP. NO production was measured using the Griess method, whereas quantitation of IFN-γ and IL-10 levels was performed by ELISA. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, NFκB and pSTAT-3 activity were analyzed by immunofluorescence assay.

Our results showed that PBMCs from Celiac patients produced high levels of NO and IFN-γ compared with healthy controls (HC). Interestingly, EEP reduced significantly, NO and IFN-γ levels and significantly increased IL-10 levels at a concentration of 50 µg/mL. Importantly, EEP downmodulated the iNOS expression as well as the activity of NFκB and pSTAT-3 transcription factors.

Altogether, our results highlight the immunomodulatory effect of propolis on NO pathway and on pro-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, we suggest that propolis may constitute a potential candidate to modulate inflammation during Celiac Disease and has a potential therapeutic value.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Review of Honey as an Anti-Diabetic Agent

Honey and Diabetes: The Importance of Natural Simple Sugars in Diet for Preventing and Treating Different Type of Diabetes

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 Feb 4;2018:4757893

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder with multifactorial and heterogeneous etiologies. Two types of diabetes are common among humans: type 1 diabetes that occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys insulin and type 2 diabetes, the most common form, that may be caused by several factors, the most important being lifestyle, but also may be determined by different genes.

Honey was used in folk medicine for a long time, but the health benefits were explained in the last decades, when the scientific world was concerned in testing and thus explaining the benefits of honey.

Different studies demonstrate the hypoglycemic effect of honey, but the mechanism of this effect remains unclear.

This review presents the experimental studies completed in the recent years, which support honey as a novel antidiabetic agent that might be of potential significance for the management of diabetes and its complications and also highlights the potential impacts and future perspectives on the use of honey as an antidiabetic agent.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Determination of Aminoglycoside Residues in Honey and Royal Jelly

Optimization and application of parallel solid-phase extraction coupled with ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for the determination of 11 aminoglycoside residues in honey and royal jelly

J Chromatogr A. 2018 Feb 19. pii: S0021-9673(18)30211-5

A robust and sensitive method of solid-phase extraction followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was established and performed for the simultaneous determination of eleven aminoglycosides (AGs) in royal jelly and honey.

After sample extraction by a phosphate buffer containing trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and ethylenediaminetetracetic acid disodium salt (Na2EDTA), the extraction solution was subjected to a parallel solid-phase extraction for clean-up prior to the LC-MS/MS analysis. The same method was applied to analyze two completely different matrices, honey and royal jelly. Good sensitivity, repeatability, and recovery were obtained by using the mobile phase without an ion-pairing reagent such as heptafluorobutyric acid (HFBA) or sodium heptanesulfonate.

The calibration curves of the honey and royal jelly samples exhibited a good linear response (R2 > 0.99) at six concentrations in the range of 10-1000 μg/mL. The limit of quantification (LOQ) of the AGs ranged from 10 to 25 μg/kg in the honey and from 12.5 to 25 μg/kg in the royal jelly. The recoveries of the AGs for the honey and royal jelly samples were in the range of 79.48% to 108.95% and 74.61% to 113.70% respectively and the relative standard deviations (RSDs) were between 1.23% and 9.59%, and between 1.51% and 9.98%, respectively.

The proposed approach has been allowed in China as a reference method for the simultaneous determination of eleven AGs in honey and royal jelly.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Propolis Helps Prevent Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Business Standard

Propolis – Propolis or bee glue supports white and red blood cells. It is also a natural anti-infective and an antibiotic. Propolis helps protect the patient from infections and surrounding viruses. Propolis is both available as capsules and in liquid form in pharmacies.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Manuka Honey Helps Cure Acne

Can Manuka Honey Really Cure Your Acne?

Manuka honey is the homecoming queen of the beauty world this year. And like the homecoming queen at your high school, it's really good at a lot of things.

But beyond soothing allergies, fighting bacteria, and even helping you sleep better, one of the biggest promises Manuka honey offers is its supposed ability to fight acne. Even celebs like Kourtney Kardashian claim it’s helped zap stubborn zits.

Could slathering this specialty honey from New Zealand bees really clear up your complexion? 

Here's what dermatologists have to say:

Basically, what makes it great for your skin in general makes it really work for acne, says Karen Hammerman, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group.

"Its anti-inflammatory effects can decrease acne inflammation, and as an antibacterial, it leaves few bacteria to infect pores and cause acne," Hammerman says. This should help existing breakouts look less red and swollen, and prevent future painful pimples.

It can also help slough away dead skin cells, she says—keeping them from clogging your pores and causing blackheads and whiteheads. The soothing and hydrating properties of the sweet stuff can heal existing pimples, and it can help speed up recovery from old acne scars, says New York City dermatologist Arash Akhavan, M.D., founder of the Dermatology and Laser Group...

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

WATCH: Beekeeper Talks About Benefits of Apitherapy

Bees provide more than honey

Bo Sterk is a local beekeeper and president of the St. Johns County Beekeeping Association. He is also involved in Bees Beyond Borders, an organization that teaches beekeeping in the Caribbean.

Sterk has been keeping honeybees for 25 years and got started because of something called Apitherapy. Apitherapy is the use of bees and bee stings as therapy. Watch the video above to find out more.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Propolis May Help Treat Periodontitis

Rapid Bactericidal Action of Propolis against Porphyromonas gingivalis

J Dent Res. 2018 Feb 1:22034518758034

Propolis, a resinous substance produced by bees, is used as a folk medicine for treatment of periodontal diseases. However, its mode of the action and the compounds responsible for its activities remain obscure. In the present study, we comprehensively investigated the antibacterial activities of ethanol-extracted propolis (EEP) and EEP-derived compounds toward Porphyromonas gingivalis, a keystone pathogen for periodontal diseases.

Broth microdilution and agar dilution assays were used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentrations of EEP against a range of oral bacterial species, of which P. gingivalis showed a higher level of sensitivity than oral commensals such as streptococci. Its antibacterial activity toward P. gingivalis was maintained even after extensive heat treatment, demonstrating a high level of thermostability. EEP also induced death of P. gingivalis cells by increasing membrane permeability within 30 min. Spatiotemporal analysis based on high-speed atomic force microscopy revealed that EEP immediately triggered development of aberrant membrane blebs, followed by bleb fusion events on the bacterial surface.

Furthermore, we isolated artepillin C, baccharin, and ursolic acid from EEP as antibacterial compounds against P. gingivalis. Of those, artepillin C and baccharin showed bacteriostatic activities with membrane blebbing, while ursolic acid showed bactericidal activity with membrane rupture. In particular, ursolic acid demonstrated a greater ability to affect bacterial membrane potential with increased membrane permeability, probably because of its highly lipophilic nature as compared with other compounds.

Taken together, these findings provide mechanistic insight into the antibacterial activities of EEP and its exquisite membrane-targeting antibacterial compounds and imply the applicability of narrow-spectrum therapeutics with EEP for treatment of periodontitis.

In addition, the advanced technology utilized in the present study to visualize the nanometer-scale dynamics of microorganisms will contribute to expanding our understanding of the activities of antimicrobials and the mechanism of drug resistance in bacteria.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Giant Honey Bee Venom Shows High Antioxidant Activity with Little Irritation

Antioxidant activity and irritation property of venoms from Apis species

Toxicon, 2018 Feb 27. pii: S0041-0101(18)30089-8. doi

Pharmacological effects of bee venom has been reported, however, it has been restricted to the bee venom collected from European honey bee (Apis mellifera). The aim of the present study was to compare the antioxidant activities and irritation properties of venoms collected from four different Apis species in Thailand, which includes Apis cerena (Asian cavity nesting honeybee), Apis florea (dwarf honeybee), Apis dorsata (giant honeybee), and A. mellifera.

Melittin content of each bee venom extracts was investigated by using high-performance liquid chromatography. Ferric reducing antioxidant power, 2, 2'-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), and 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl assay were used to determine the antioxidant activity, whereas, hen's egg test chorioallantoic membrane assay was used to determine the irritation property of each bee venom extracts. Melittin was the major constituent in all bee venom extracts.

The melittin content in A. dorsata, A. mellifera, A. florea, and A. cerena were 95.8 ± 3.2%, 76.5 ± 1.9%, 66.3 ± 8.6%, and 56.8 ± 1.8%, respectively. Bee venom extract from A. dorsata possessed the highest antioxidant activity with the inhibition of 41.1 ± 2.2% against DPPH, Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity of 10.21 ± 0.74 mM Trolox/mg and equivalent concentration (EC1) of 0.35 ± 0.02 mM FeSO4/mg.

Bee venom extract from A. mellifera exhibited the highest irritation, followed by A. cerena, A. dorsata, and A. florea, respectively. Melittin was the compound responsible for the irritation property of bee venom extracts since it could induce severe irritation (irritation score was 13.7 ± 0.5, at the concentration of 2 mg/ml).

The extract from A. dorsata which possessed the highest antioxidant activity showed no irritation up to the concentration of 0.1 mg/ml. Therefore, bee venom extract from A. dorsata at the concentration not more than 0.1 mg/ml would be suggested for using as cosmetic ingredients since it possessed the highest antioxidant activity with no irritation.

This study is the first report to compare the bee venom extracts from different Apis species and display their potential application of bee venom extracts in cosmetic products.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Honey Helps Reduce Post-Tonsillectomy Pain

Comparing the Efficacy of Peritonsillar Injection of Tramadol With Honey in Controlling Post-Tonsillectomy Pain in Adults

J Craniofac Surg. 2018 Mar 1


The authors investigated the effect of honey on post-tonsillectomy pain and compare its efficacy with tramadol.


This clinical trial was performed on 60 patients with American Society of Anesthesia I and II aged between 18 and 55 years and underwent tonsillectomy. Induction of anesthesia was carried out using 2 mg/kg propofol and 0.5 atracurium following 1.5 μg/kg fentanyl administration. Group B was given tramadol at dose of 2 mg/kg and with volume of 4 mL and Group A was given normal saline with the same volume 2 mL of medications were injected using needle (25) into tonsil bed and anterior old of each tonsil by an anesthesiologist. Three minutes after injection, the surgery was performed by the same ENT residents for all patients. In the recovery room Group B received antibiotics and oral acetaminophen. Group A was given antibiotics, oral acetaminophen, and honey dissolved in 40 mL warm water every 6 hours from when the patient was fully awake. Patients in Group A were told to eat honey 3 times a day 7 days postoperatively. Pain was scored using Numeric Rating Scale at the time points of 2, 6, 12, and 24 hours as well as 3 and 7 days postoperatively. Moreover, the healing status and epithelialization degree of tonsillar bed were considered on 1 and 7 days after the surgery by ENT specialist.


The mean of pain score was significantly higher in Group A within 24 hours postoperatively as compared with Group B (P < 0.01). The mean of pain score was lower in Group B after 3 and 7 days but this difference was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Considering restoration status and epithelialization degree of tonsillar bed on the 1st and 7th days, there was no statistically significant difference between 2 groups; however, tonsillar bed healing process was better in Group B on the 7th day.


The current investigation confirmed the positive impact of tramadol on post-tonsillectomy pain relief in adults. The authors also found that honey can be used as a complementary treatment along with acetaminophen and other analgesics for reducing post-tonsillectomy pain. Considering honey impact on wound healing and its anti-inflammatory effect, it is suggested for relieving complications after surgery.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Red Propolis Exhibits Antimicrobial, Anti-Inflammatory, Antiparasitic, Antitumor, Antioxidant, Metabolic and Nutraceutical Activities

Biological activities of red propolis: a review

Recent Pat Endocr Metab Immune Drug Discov. 2018 Feb 23

• Background: The red propolis (RdProp) is a resin produced by Apis mellifera bees, which collect the reddish exudate on the surface of its botanic source, the species Dalbergiae castophyllum, popularly known in Brazil as "rabo de bugio". Considered as the 13th type of Brazilian propolis, this resin has been gaining prominence due to its natural composition, rich in bioactive substances not found in other types of propolis.

• Objective: This review aims to address the most important characteristics of PV, its botanical origin, the main constituents, its biological properties and the patents related to this natural product.

• Method: By means of the SciFinder, Google Patents, Patus® and Spacenet, scientific articles and patents involving the term "red propolis" were searched until August 2017

• Results: A number of biological properties, including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, antitumor, antioxidant, metabolic and nutraceutical activities are attributed to RdProp, demonstrating the great potential of its use in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.

• Conclusion: The available papers are associated to pharmacological potential of RdProp, but the molecular mechanisms or bioactive compounds responsible for each activity have not yet been fully elucidated.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

New Bee Venom Proteins Identified


Acta Pol Pharm. 2017 Jan;74(1):53-65.

The integration of multidimensional liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry analytical plat- form was proposed for proteomic exploration of honeybee venom. The combination of HPLC with nanoLC-MALDI-TOF/TOF MS system was our method of choice for compressing the dynamic range of honeybee venom protein concentration.

Honeybee venom samples were separated into 6 fractions using HPLC and further analyzed by nanoLC-MALDI-TOF/TOF. Applied approach allowed to identify in total 394 peptides giving the identification of 50 components including putative toxins and trace elements. Moreover, all 12 known honeybee venom allergens were acknowledged. Additionally, four novel hypothetical proteins have been observed which were not observed in other studies.

The newly recognized proteins should be further investigated, in order to characterize their functions in the venom of Apis mellifera.