Sunday, November 18, 2018

Gumbo-Limbo Botanical Origin of Triterpenoids from Yucatecan Propolis

Botanical origin of triterpenoids from Yucatecan propolis

Phytochemistry Letters
Volume 29, February 2019, Pages 25-29

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• Mangiferolic acid, iso-mangiferolic acids and dammarenediol II in Yucatecan propolis.
• The resin of B. simaruba is a botanical source of triterpenes in propolis sample.
• Triterpenes in propolis sample not from the resin of local M.indica varieties.
• First report of dammarenediol II as a component of propolis.


Propolis is a resinous material produced by bees from plant exudates; the most common secondary metabolites found in propolis are poliphenolics with different biological activities. Nevertheless, to date, there are a number of reports describing the presence of triterpenoids in propolis. This work describes the isolation and identification of the triterpenoids mangiferolic acid (1), iso-mangiferolic acid (2), and dammarenediol II (3), together with a number of ubiquitous pentacyclic triterpenes, from the extract of a propolis sample collected in Yucatan, Mexico. While the cycloartanes 1 and 2 have been reported previously from propolis samples collected in Africa, Asia and South America, this is the first report of 3 as a component in propolis.

The botanical origin of 3 and the pentacyclic triterpenes has been traced to the resin of Bursera simaruba, a tree commonly found in Yucatan peninsula. The results of this investigation confirm the close relationship between the flora surrounding the beehive and the chemical composition of propolis.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Propolis, Vitamin E Protect Against Liver Toxicity

Synergistic potential of propolis and vitamin E against sub-acute toxicity of AlCl3 in Albino mice: in vivo study

Physiol Res. 2018 Oct 23. [Epub ahead of print]

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Current study evaluated the synergistic potential of propolis and Vitamin E against sublethal toxicity of aluminum chloride on different biochemical parameters and liver histology. Swiss albino mice (n=42) were randomly divided into five groups. Group I received 0.2 ml of 0.9 % saline solution, Group II received Propolis (50 mg/kg b.w.), Group III received Vitamin E (150 mg/kg b.w.), Group IV received AlCl3 50 mg/kg b.w., Group V received AlCl3 + Propolis, Group VI received AlCl3 + Vitamin E and Group VI received AlCl3 + propolis + Vitamin E.

Blood and tissue samples were collected after 7 and 21 days. The body weight of the animals significantly increased in all groups except group IV. The concentration of serum high density lipoprotein significantly decreased in group IV and increased in group V, VI and VII.

The level of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine transferase, alkaline phosphatase, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and low density lipoprotein significantly increased in AlCl3 treated group and increased in group V, VI and VII. Tissue sections were processed and stained by hematoxylin and eosin. Group II showed cellular necrosis. Group V, VI showed decreased number of vacuolization, sinusoidal spacing and macrophage cell infiltration. Group VI showed less degenerative changes in the third week.

Vitamin E and propolis in combination with Al provides more protection against AlCl3 induced toxicity.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Propolis May Help Treat Type 2 Diabetes by Ameliorating Insulin Resistance

Galangin and Pinocembrin from Propolis Ameliorate Insulin Resistance in HepG2 Cells via Regulating Akt/mTOR Signaling

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Oct 21;2018:7971842

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Insulin resistance has a critical role in type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of pinobanksin, galangin, chrysin, and pinocembrin from propolis on insulin resistance.

Our study shows that galangin and pinocembrin can ameliorate insulin resistance; on the contrary, pinobanksin and chrysin are ineffective. Galangin and pinocembrin treatments substantially increase glucose consumption and glycogen content by enhancing the activities of hexokinase and pyruvate kinase. Galangin treatment with 80 μM increased hexokinase and pyruvate kinase activities by 21.94% and 29.12%, respectively.

Moreover, we hypothesize that galangin and pinocembrin may have a synergistic effect on the improvement of insulin resistance via Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, through distinctly upregulating the phosphorylation of IR, Akt, and GSK3β and remarkably downregulating the phosphorylation of IRS. Most notably, this is the first study to our knowledge to investigate pinocembrin about the alleviation of insulin resistance.

Our results provide compelling evidence for the depth development of propolis products to ameliorate insulin resistance.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Royal Jelly Boosts Endurance Training

Effects of Royal Jelly Administration on Endurance Training-Induced Mitochondrial Adaptations in Skeletal Muscle

Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1735

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We investigated the effect of royal jelly (RJ), a natural secretion from worker bees, on the endurance training-induced mitochondrial adaptations in skeletal muscles of ICR mice. Mice received either RJ (1.0 mg/g body weight) or distilled water for three weeks. The mice in the training group were subjected to endurance training (20 m/min; 60 min; 5 times/week).

There was a main effect of endurance training on the maximal activities of the mitochondrial enzymes, citrate synthase (CS), and β-hydroxyacyl coenzyme Adehydrogenase (β-HAD), in the plantaris and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles, while no effect of RJ treatment was observed. In the soleus muscle, CS and β-HAD maximal activities were significantly increased by endurance training in the RJ-treated group, while there was no effect of training in the control group.

Furthermore, we investigated the effects of acute RJ treatment on the signaling cascade involved in mitochondrial biogenesis. In the soleus, phosphorylation of 5′-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) were additively increased by a single RJ treatment and endurance exercise, while only an exercise effect was found in the plantaris and TA muscles.

These results indicate that the RJ treatment induced mitochondrial adaptation with endurance training by AMPK activation in the soleus muscles of ICR mice.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Egyptian Beekeeper Uses Venom to Treat His Patients for Pain, Rheumatism, Boost Immunity

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CAIRO: On his rooftop in the outskirts of Cairo, Omar Abulhassan raises thousands of bees - not for the honey, but their venom.

After reading about the benefits of bees in the Koran, Abulhassan, 30, decided five years ago to raise the insects and use the venom in alternative therapy. He believes bee stings can relieve pain and cure illnesses such as rheumatism.

"These are not the only benefits," said Abulhassan, who has no medical background. "It helps with having a better mood."...

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Iranian Honey Bee Venom May Help Treat Cervical Cancer

Apoptotic Effect of Melittin Purified from Iranian Honey Bee Venom on Human Cervical Cancer HeLa Cell Line

Int J Pept Res Ther. 2018;24(4):563-570

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Melittin, an amphipathic 26-residue peptide, is the main component of honey bee venom. Studies have been demonstrated that melittin has an inhibitory effect on proliferation of cancer cells. However, the precise mechanism of action is not completely understood.

In the present study we have shown that purified melittin from Iranian honey bee venom shows anti-cancer effects on human cervical cancer cell line through induction of apoptosis. The venom was collected from Iranian honey bee (Apis mellifera meda) and melittin isolated using reversed phase HPLC. Biological activity of melittin was analyzed by hemolytic test on human red blood cells. In order to investigate whether melittin inhibits proliferation of cervical cancer cells, the viability of the melittin treated HeLa cell line was measured via MTT assay.

Finally, cell death analysis was performed using Propidum iodide and Annexin V-FITC dual staining. The results showed that the half hemolytic concentration (HD50) induced by mellitin was 0.5 µg/ml in free FBS solution. IC50 obtained after 12 h at 1.8 µg/ml by MTT assay. According to flow cytometric analysis, melittin induced apoptosis at concentrations more than 1 µg/ml.

These results suggest that melittin induces apoptotic cell death in cervical cancerous cells as observed by flow cytometric assay. It is concluded that melittin could be regarded as a potential candidate in future studies to discovery of new anticancer agents.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Propolis Beats Anti-Viral Drug Aciclovir in Treating Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex Labialis)

Lip creams with propolis special extract GH 2002 0.5% versus aciclovir 5.0% for herpes labialis (vesicular stage) : Randomized, controlled double-blind study.

Wien Med Wochenschr. 2018 Nov 7

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A lip cream with special propolis extract GH 2002 at a concentration of 0.5% (199 patients) was tested against aciclovir 5% (198 patients) in the treatment of episodes of herpes labialis under double-blind conditions. Upon inclusion, all patients were in the vesicular phase.

Application was five times daily of approximately 0.2 g of cream to the entire upper and lower lip. The primary parameter was the difference in time between groups to complete encrustation or epithelization of the lesions. Secondary endpoints were the course of typical herpes symptoms (pain, burning and itching, tension and swelling), the global assessment of efficacy and the safety of application. The predefined clinical situation was reached after a (median) 3 days with propolis and 4 days with aciclovir (p < 0.0001).

Significant differences in favor of propolis were also found for all secondary parameters. No allergic reactions, local irritations or other adverse events occurred.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Honey Helps in the Treatment of Scalp Psoriasis

Clinical and Videodermoscopic Evaluation of the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of a Shampoo Containing Ichthyol, Zanthalene, Mandelic Acid, and Honey in the Treatment of Scalp Psoriasis

Skin Appendage Disord. 2018 Oct;4(4):296-300

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Purpose of the Study:

The aim of the present prospective multicenter open study was to clinically and instrumentally evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of a shampoo, Mellis Cap® shampoo, containing ichthyol, zanthalene, mandelic acid, and honeydew honey in the treatment of mild to moderate scalp psoriasis.


Thirty subjects with mild to moderate psoriasis applied the shampoo three times a week for 12 weeks. The outcome was evaluated at 30 days (T1), 60 days (T2), and 90 days (T3) of treatment, comparing it to baseline (T0) by means of clinical and patients' evaluation, digital photographs, and videodermoscopy.


Clinical and patients' evaluation showed improvement of scalp psoriasis and itching. This was confirmed by videodermoscopy analysis with a significant reduction of scalp psoriasis severity at T2 and T3 compared to baseline. No side effects were observed or reported.

Study treatment was well tolerated and showed significant clinical and instrumental improvement of scalp psoriasis. Mellis Cap® shampoo is a good alternative to other medicated shampoos in the treatment of mild to moderate scalp psoriasis.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Finnish Beekeepers Encouraged to Harvest Pollen and Bee Larvae as Foodstuffs

Grubs, pollen to create new buzz in beekeeping business

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On the heels of crunchy insect bread made from crickets, beekeepers in Finland are now looking to sweeten their margins with grubs and pollen.

Finnish apiarists are inceasingly interested in producing insect-related foodstuffs in addition to honey, according to the Finnish Beekeepers' Association.

"It's a way for beekeepers to get some extra income on top of their honey production," project chief Anneli Salonen from the association told Yle.

Bee-entrepreneurs looking to sweeten their business, are exploring adding protein-rich grubs of drone bees and pollen to their product ranges. Pollen and grub collection does not disturb the life of a beehive, as the worker bees that run much of the hive are undisturbed in the process.

But everyone isn't jumping at a chance to introduce their taste buds to bee larvae...

Introducing 'bee glue'

One of the lesser-known by-products of beekeeping is propolis, a resinous wax known as 'bee glue' that is produced when bees collect resins from trees and other plants.

Propolis has numerous uses both inside a hive as well as on a plate.

"A propolis shell protects the hive and its entry points," Salonen said. "It is also a disinfectant and antibiotic, so it defends the hive against bacteria and microbes. Once stung, bees also coat intruders such as mice with propolis, embalming them in the hive."

Consumers can meanwhile look forward to propolis-based nutritional supplements touted for their anti-inflammatory properties, according to Salonen.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Propolis May Help Treat Necrosis of the Liver

Brazilian green propolis suppresses acetaminophen-induced hepatocellular necrosis by modulating inflammation-related factors in rats

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J Toxicol Pathol. 2018 Oct;31(4):275-282

Propolis is a resin-like material produced by honey bees from bud exudates and sap of plants and their own secretions. An ethanol extract of Brazilian green propolis (EEBGP) contains prenylated phenylpropanoids and flavonoids and has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.

Acetaminophen (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol; APAP) is a typical hepatotoxic drug, and APAP-treated rats are widely used as a model of drug-induced liver injury. Oxidative stress and inflammatory reactions cause APAP-induced hepatocellular necrosis and are also related to expansion of the lesion. In the present study, we investigated the preventive effects of EEBGP on APAP-induced hepatocellular necrosis in rats and the protective mechanism including the expression of antioxidative enzyme genes and inflammation-related genes.

A histological analysis revealed that administration 0.3% EEBGP in the diet for seven days reduced centrilobular hepatocellular necrosis with inflammatory cell infiltration induced by oral administration of APAP (800 mg/kg) and significantly reduced the area of necrosis. EEBGP administration did not significantly change the mRNA expression levels of antioxidant enzyme genes in the liver of APAP-treated rats but decreased the mRNA expression of cytokines including Il10 and Il1b, with a significant difference in Il10 expression.

In addition, the decrease in the mRNA levels of the Il1b and Il10 genes significantly correlated with the decrease in the percentage of hepatocellular necrosis.

These findings suggest that EEBGP could suppress APAP-induced hepatocellular necrosis by modulating cytokine expression.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Propolis as a Probiotic May Boost Gut Microbiota

Resveratrol and propolis: Two promising targets to boost gut microbiota

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05-Nov-2018 By Tingmin Koe

Recent studies have revealed how polyphenols can alter gut microbes, suggesting they are worthy of further examination alongside probiotics to boost health outcomes.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Propolis Nanofibers May Help Wound Healing

Electrospinning of zein/propolis nanofibers; antimicrobial properties and morphology investigation

Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
November 2018, 29:165

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In this work, for the first time, zein nanofiber mats loaded with ethanol extracts propolis (EEP) were successfully produced.

Raw propolis was extracted by ethanol 70% and total flavonoid content was estimated by aluminum chloride colorimetric method. The anti-microbial activity of the EEP was investigated and compared with amoxicillin via zone of inhibition test against various microorganisms included gram-positive: Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, gram-negative: Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and fungus: Candida albicans.

The EEP showed activity only against gram-positive types and fungus, whereas no activity was observed against gram-negative types. Electrospun zein nanofiber was obtained from 70% ethanolic solutions included different content of zein, 15–40 wt.%. The SEM images revealed a smooth ribbon-like morphology for zein nanofibers without any beads in zein content more than 25 wt.%. As well, the SEM images of electrospun zein nanofibers containing different content of propolis (0–40 wt.% based on the zein content) disclosed the increase in the average size of fibers with propolis content from 264 to 419 nm. This increasing was more probably due to the reduction in ionic conductivity of zein solutions with propolis content.

The proteinic nature of zein along with the antimicrobial activity and the herbal nature of the propolis make the obtained mats promising candidate for more evaluation in wound healing study.

Monday, November 05, 2018

VIDEO: Bee Venom Used to Treat Pain, Lyme Disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Arthritis

Honey Bee’s venom used to treat pain

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — Local honey has long been touted as a way to treat allergies.

But did you know the honey bee's venom can take the sting out of pain? Or so, some say.

It’s part of apitherapy.

"It's an ancient art in medicine and incorporates all the products of the bee hive as the medicine chest," said Frederique Keller, a licensed acupuncturist in New York and the President of the American Apitherapy Association.

"The venom has 60 identifiable components as well as some unidentifiable ones,” said Keller. “The two biggest ones are appemine and melittin and one is a peptide 401 that's what it's called. It's 100 times more potent than cortisone."...

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Propolis Boosts Wound Healing

Transdermal Hydrogel Composed of Polyacrylic Acid Containing Propolis for Wound Healing in a Rat Model

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Macromolecular Research

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the Carbopol® hydrogel containing propolis (CHP) on wound healing in a rat model. CHP extracts inhibited nitric oxide production induced by lipopolysaccharide in RAW264.7 cells with a concentration-dependent manner.

Wounds were prepared through excision to remove full-thickness skin of rats k]and then were covered with CHP. The covered wounds showed significantly rapid contraction and closure. Histological tissue examination indicated that CHP induced advanced granulation tissue formation and re-epithelialization in the wound.

These results indicate that CHP may be helpful for the promotion of wound healing.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Honey May Help Treat Wounds Using Maggot Debridement Therapy

In vitro evaluation of the association of medicinal larvae (Insecta, Diptera, Calliphoridae) and topical agents conventionally used for the treatment of wounds

Acta Trop. 2018 Oct 29. pii: S0001-706X(18)30549-7

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Wound healing is a complex process involving multiple biochemical and cellular events and represents a neglected public health issue. As a consequence, millions of people worldwide suffer from chronic wounds. The search for new treatment alternatives is therefore an important issue.

In the context of wound healing, Maggot Debridement Therapy (MDT) is an inexpensive treatment with few contraindications and very promising results. This study aimed to evaluate the in vitro feasibility and implications of larvae (= MDT) use when combined with topical agents as a strategy to identify additive or synergistic combinations. The weight and survival rate of Cochliomyia macellaria (Fabricius) (Insecta, Diptera, Calliphoridae) larvae reared in an in vitro wound with either honey, hydrogel, 10% papain gel, essential fatty acids (EFA), collagenase, or silver sulfadiazine were evaluated after 24, 48 and 72 h. Hydrogel (for weight: 24 and 72 h; for survival: 24 h) and 10% papain gel (for weight: 48 h; for survival: 48 and 72 h) demonstrated the least interference in larval weight gain and survival rate, when compared to the control group.

The results obtained in this study showed that the combined use of larvae and hydrogel or 10% papain gel may be promising to maximize the tissue repair. Honey, EFA and collagenase could be used to prepare the bed of the dry wounds to receive the MDT.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Brazilian Red Propolis Shows Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Fungal, Antioxidant, and Anti-Cancer Activity

Phytochemical screening and in vitro antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and antitumor activities of the red propolis Alagoas

Braz J Biol. 2018 Oct 29. pii: S1519-69842018005029101

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The study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial activity, antioxidant, toxicity and phytochemical screening of the Red Propolis Alagoas.

Antimicrobial activity was evaluated by disk diffusion method. Determination of antioxidant activity was performed using the DPPH assay (1.1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl), FTC (ferric thiocyanate) and determination of phenolic compounds by Follin method. Toxicity was performed by the method of Artemia salina and cytotoxicity by MTT method. The phytochemical screening for the detection of allelochemicals was performed.

The ethanol extract of propolis of Alagoas showed significant results for antimicrobial activity, and inhibitory activity for Staphylococcus aureus and Candida krusei. The antioxidant activity of the FTC method was 80% to 108.3% hydrogen peroxide kidnapping, the DPPH method showed an EC50 3.97 mg/mL, the content of total phenolic compounds was determined by calibration curve gallic acid, resulting from 0.0005 mg/100 g of gallic acid equivalent. The extract was non-toxic by A. salina method.

The propolis extract showed high activity with a higher percentage than 75% inhibition of tumor cells OVCAR-8, SF-295 and HCT116. Chemical constituents were observed as flavonones, xanthones, flavonols, and Chalcones Auronas, Catechins and leucoanthocyanidins.

It is concluded that the extract can be tested is considered a potential source of bioactive metabolites.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Taiwanese Propolis May Help Treat Gout (Gouty Inflammation)

Mechanistic insight into the attenuation of gouty inflammation by Taiwanese green propolis via inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome

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J Cell Physiol. 2018 Oct 28

Dysregulation of NACHT, LRR, and PYD domains-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is involved in many chronic inflammatory diseases, including gouty arthritis. Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome requires priming and activation signals: the priming signal controls the expression of NLRP3 and interleukin (IL)-1β precursor (proIL-1β), while the activation signal leads to the assembly of the NLRP3 inflammasome and to caspase-1 activation.

Here, we reported the effects of the alcoholic extract of Taiwanese green propolis (TGP) on the NLRP3 inflammasome in vitro and in vivo. TGP inhibited proIL-1β expression by reducing nuclear factor kappa B activation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages. Additionally, TGP also suppressed the activation signal by reducing mitochondrial damage, ROS production, lysosomal rupture, c-Jun N-terminal kinases 1/2 phosphorylation and apoptosis-associated speck-like protein oligomerization.

Furthermore, we found that TGP inhibited the NLRP3 inflammasome partially via autophagy induction. In the in vivo mouse model of uric acid crystal-induced peritonitis, TGP attenuated the peritoneal recruitment of neutrophils, and the levels of IL-1β, active caspase-1, IL-6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in lavage fluids. As a proof of principle, in this study, we purified a known compound, propolin G, from TGP and identified this compound as a potential inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome.

Our results indicated that TGP might be useful for ameliorating gouty inflammation via inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome.