Friday, July 19, 2019

Here's the Lowdown on the Antibacterial Properties of Propolis


Bees make propolis to protect their hives and humans have been using it for thousands of years too

Alberton Record

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Bees make propolis from the sap of needle-leaved trees or evergreens all over the world. The antibacterial properties of propolis come from the trees’ active plant compounds. Here’s the lowdown.

Bees produce a compound called propolis from the sap of needle-leaved trees or evergreens. When they combine the sap with their own exudate and beeswax, they create a sticky substance used as a coating when building their hives.

The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of propolis come from the active plant compounds it contains.

The propolis also acts as an antibacterial barrier protecting the hive from contamination and external invaders. The name propolis comes from the Greek word meaning “defense of the city”...

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Manuka Honey Helps Save Injured Puppy

Pet Gazette

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Three-month old Cooper was successfully treated at Medivet 24 Hour Faygate and is now exploring his new home

A Labrador puppy with life-threatening wounds on his front leg has been saved due to an innovative combination of laser treatment and Manuka Honey dressings.

His owner Laura Hobbs had bought Cooper from a breeder at the end of May. She was told that he had a ‘small cut’ on his left foreleg but that it was nothing to worry about.

A few days later, he started limping and became lethargic, the next day the two wounds opened on his leg. They were partially covered by areas of black, hardened skin, indicating a condition called ‘necrosis’...

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Honey, Nutmeg Extract Product Boosts Success of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI, Fertility, Pregnancy, Menses)

The effect of a natural vaginal product based on honey on the success of intrauterine insemination (IUI) in infertility treatment

Avicenna J Phytomed. 2019 Jul-Aug;9(4):310-321.

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Objective:

Due to high prevalence of infertility and increasing tendency towards complementary medicine, this study was conducted to investigate the effect of a vaginal natural product based on honey and 1% extract of Myristica fragrans on the extent of success of intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Materials and Methods:

This non-randomized clinical trial study with a historic control group, was performed on infertile women. In this trial, 159 patients were assigned to the intervention group, and 288 patients were recruited to the control group. All the participants received clomiphene or letrozole from the third up to seventh day of menstruation, and on days 6, 7, and 8, they received human menopausal gonadotrophin (HMG) injections. IUI was performed 36 hours after human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) injection. In the intervention group, a natural vaginal product was used besides the above treatments, from menstruation day 7 until the day before performing IUI. Sixteen days after IUI, serum beta HCG was measured to investigate chemical pregnancy, and six weeks following IUI, vaginal sonography was performed to investigate clinical pregnancy.

Results:

Analysis showed that the pregnancy rate was higher in the group that receiving the natural product compared to the control group. Chemical pregnancy rate was 18.1% vs. 15.4%, and clinical pregnancy rate was 15.2% vs. 13.8% for intervention and control groups, respectively; but, this difference was not significant.

Conclusion:

It seems that the use of this vaginal product for a longer period of time and across several menses cycles before IUI, may produce more positive results. Further studies, however, are needed to be done.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Propolis Component May Help Treat Liver Cancer

Chemical and Pharmacological Aspects of Caffeic Acid and Its Activity in Hepatocarcinoma

Front Oncol. 2019 Jun 21;9:541

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Caffeic acid (CA) is a phenolic compound synthesized by all plant species and is present in foods such as coffee, wine, tea, and popular medicines such as propolis. This phenolic acid and its derivatives have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic activity. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the anticarcinogenic activity of this compound against an important type of cancer, hepatocarcinoma (HCC), considered to be of high incidence, highly aggressive and causing considerable mortality across the world.

The anticancer properties of CA are associated with its antioxidant and pro-oxidant capacity, attributed to its chemical structure that has free phenolic hydroxyls, the number and position of OH in the catechol group and the double bond in the carbonic chain. Pharmacokinetic studies indicate that this compound is hydrolyzed by the microflora of colonies and metabolized mainly in the intestinal mucosa through phase II enzymes, submitted to conjugation and methylation processes, forming sulphated, glucuronic and/or methylated conjugates by the action of sulfotransferases, UDP-glucotransferases, and o-methyltransferases, respectively.

The transmembrane flux of CA in intestinal cells occurs through active transport mediated by monocarboxylic acid carriers. CA can act by preventing the production of ROS (reactive oxygen species), inducing DNA oxidation of cancer cells, as well as reducing tumor cell angiogenesis, blocking STATS (transcription factor and signal translation 3) and suppression of MMP2 and MMP-9 (collagen IV metalloproteases).

Thus, this review provides an overview of the chemical and pharmacological parameters of CA and its derivatives, demonstrating its mechanism of action and pharmacokinetic aspects, as well as a critical analysis of its action in the fight against hepatocarcinoma.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Brazilian Green Propolis May Help Treat Neurodegenerative Diseases (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's, Dementia, Huntington's Disease, Prion, Motor Neurone)


Neuroprotective effects of Brazilian green propolis on oxytosis/ferroptosis in mouse hippocampal HT22 cells

Food Chem Toxicol. 2019 Jul 9:110669

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Propolis is a sticky dark-colored substance produced by honey bees and comprises resin, balsam, wax, essential and aromatic oils, pollen, and several other substances; it is used in food and beverages to improve health and prevent diseases.

We studied the neuroprotective effects of extracts of Brazilian green propolis in the mouse hippocampal cell line HT22. Ethanol extracts of Brazilian green propolis had a more potent preventive effect on oxidative stress-induced cell death, oxytosis/ferroptosis, in HT22 cells than water extracts of Brazilian green propolis, whereas it did not protect against anticancer drug-induced apoptotic cell death.

Among the primary constituents of ethanol extracts of Brazilian green propolis, only artepillin C, kaempferide, and kaempferol demonstrated neuroprotective effects against oxytosis/ferroptosis. The flavonoid derivatives kaempferide and kaempferol are antioxidants with radical-scavenging abilities that additionally induce antioxidant response element-mediated transcriptional activity, suggesting that upregulation of endogenous antioxidant defense protects against oxidative stress.

In contrast, artepillin C attenuated reactive oxygen species production; however, it did not induce antioxidant response element activation.

These findings indicate that the ethanol extracts of Brazilian green propolis help to prevent oxidative stress-related neuronal cell death that is involved in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Incorporation of Chitosan Hydrogel Into Honey Substantially Enhances Its Antimicrobial and Wound Healing Effects

Wound Healing and Antimicrobial Effects of Chitosan-hydrogel/Honey Compounds in a Rat Full-thickness Wound Model

Wounds. 2019 Jun 30. pii: WNDS20190630-4. [Epub ahead of print]

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INTRODUCTION:

Honey and chitosan have shown antimicrobial and wound healing effects. As a biocompatible and biodegradable biomaterial, chitosan has shown antimicrobial capabilities.

OBJECTIVE:

In this study, the effects of the incorporation of high molecular weight chitosan hydrogel on antibacterial, antifungal, and wound healing properties of honey were investigated.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The minimum inhibitory concentration of chitosan and honey were examined in pure and 3:1, 1:1, and 1:3 (v/v) compound ratios for Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans. In addition, the inflammatory, granulation and fibrotic tissue formation, reepithelialization indices, and wound shrinkage effects of each treatment were evaluated and compared with saline and silver sulfadiazine.

RESULTS:

Chitosan/honey 1:3 was found to be effective against all 5 aforementioned germs. Honey, chitosan/honey 1:1, and chitosan/honey 1:3 showed faster wound healing and shrinkage effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

Incorporation of chitosan hydrogel into honey can substantially enhance its antimicrobial and wound healing effects. Chitosan-hydrogel/honey (1:3) is an optimal wound dressing formulation with ample antimicrobial and healing properties.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Manuka Honey Used to Treat Eczema, Acne, Rosacea, Skin Wounds/Ulcers, Scars, Cancer, Stomach Ulcers, Dental Plaque, Gingivitis


These benefits of Manuka honey are actually backed by science

MIC.COM

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For the past decade or so, everyone’s been really into Manuka honey. As hipster culture permeates every wellness thing out there, people all over the country (many of whom aren’t even sure what makes it unique) have become obsessed. At $30 and up per bottle, it’s been lauded as everything from a skin treatment miracle to a cancer deterrent. Perhaps the wildest thing about Manuka honey besides its price is that unlike other passing health fads, this one actually has old-school science to back up its reputation as liquid gold. Here’s the deal with everything you want to know about the benefits of Manuka honey...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Comparison of the Antibacterial Activity of Honey with Antibiotics


Antibacterial Potency of Honey

Int J Microbiol. 2019 Jun 2;2019:2464507

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Despite the developments in controlling infectious disease around the world, they are still the second biggest cause of morbidity and mortality due in part to the increase in drug resistance among large numbers of the bacterial strains. This means that new strategies are needed to prevent and treat infectious disease. As a result, several ancient methods have been re-evaluated and the substances/procedures employed historically to cure diseases are now attracting renewed scientific attention. Honey is one such product that used to be widely used to combat bacteria. This review covers the antibacterial activity of honey, its use in the treatment of infection and diseases, and the features that are relevant to its activity...

Comparison of the Antibacterial Activity of Honey with Antibiotics

As the antibacterial effects of honey have been shown to be quite potent, a number of studies have sought to draw comparisons with the activities of conventional antibiotics. This is especially important since the current rise in the number of antibiotic-resistant microbial species highlights the need to source other antibacterial substances. One study compared the activity against P. aeruginosa and E. coli. of gentamicin and three kinds of pure honey obtained from Ibadan and Abeokuta in south west Nigeria, using undiluted and fresh aqueous dilutions of 1 : 2, 1 : 4, and 1 : 6 in an agar diffusion method. Undiluted honey and its 1 : 2 to 1 : 6 aqueous dilutions showed activity of 100% and 96.4%, respectively, against P. aeruginosa and E. coli. However, gentamicin showed generally lower antibacterial activity when used in concentrations of 8.0 and 4.0 μg/ml.

In another study, thirty samples of honey from different parts of Oman were investigated for their activity against S. aureus. Of these, 43% of honey samples showed excellent anti S. aureus activity. Thirty-eight percent of S. aureus strains were killed by 50% honey in 30 minutes and 45% after one hour. Gentamicin at the concentration of 4 µg/ml killed 70% of S. aureus after 30 min and 88% after one hour, whereas the percentage increased when a combination of honey and gentamicin was used (92% and 93% at 30 minutes and one hour, respectively). In contrast, Agbaje et al., reported that 100% honey might not proffer a total solution to the current problems facing bacterial chemotherapy when compared to 0.2% ciprofloxacin and 2.5% tetracycline.

Overall, the antibacterial activity of honey has been proven although there are contrasting results between researchers as to what concentration is effective and what is not. It is clear that this feature is due to more than one factor. More research is needed in this area. Moreover, the world today needs further assessments of natural substances that can be used to combat microorganisms with minimal side effects or consequences of overdose or high consumption.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Bee Pollen Shows Anti-Inflammatory Effects


Bee Pollen Extracts Modulate Serum Metabolism in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Lung Injury Mice with Anti-Inflammatory Effects

J Agric Food Chem. 2019 Jul 5

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Bee pollen (BP) collected from different floras possesses various potential bioactivities, but the mechanism-related research on anti-inflammatory effects is limited. Here, three types of BP originating from Camellia sinensis L. (BP-Cs), Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. (BP-Nn), and Brassica campestris L. (BP-Bc) were assessed using molecular and metabolomics methods to determine their anti-inflammatory effects.

The differences in polyphenolic abundance of three types of BP extracts were determined by HPLC-DAD/Q-TOF-MS. In vitro anti-inflammatory effects of three BP extracts were evaluated in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW 264.7 cells model. BP-Cs extract with the most abundant polyphenols was found to be the most effective in reducing inflammation by downregulating inflammatory-related genes expression and blocking the activation of MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways.

Polyphenol-rich BP-Cs was further evaluated for their in vivo anti-inflammatory effect in a LPS-induced acute lung injury mouse model. An UPLC-Q-TOF/MS-based metabolomics approach was applied to analyze metabolite changes in mouse serum. Weshowed that the pretreated BP-Cs extract alleviated inflammation and regulated glycerophospholipid metabolism significantly.

Our findings provide a foundation for developing and justifying BP as a potential anti-inflammatory ingredient in functional foods or nutraceutical formulations.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Brazilian Green Propolis Helps Control Agricultural Plant Pathogen


Bioactivity and action mechanism of green propolis against Pythium aphanidermatum

An Acad Bras Cienc. 2019 Jul 1;91(2):e20180598

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We have established how natural compounds from green propolis collected by the species Apis mellifera act against the growth of Pythium aphanidermatum. On the basis of mass spectrometry (Q-ToF MS), we determined that Artepillin C, the major constituent of green propolis, underlies the effect and displays activity against P. aphanidermatum at a minimal inhibitory concentration of 750 µg.mL-1.

Biophysical studies based on model membranes showed that this inhibitory effect may be linked with a membrane-related phenomenon: Artepillin C increases the permeability of membranes with relatively high fluidity in their lateral structure, a feature that is in line with the lipid composition reported for the cytoplasmic membrane of P. aphanidermatum.

Therefore, the present study supports the use of the effective and inexpensive green propolis to control the impact of the dangerous phytopathogen P. aphanidermatum on agriculture.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Topical Leptospermum (Manuka, Tea Tree) Honey May Help Treat Babies Born Without Skin on Areas of Their Bodies (Aplasia Cutis Congenita)


Topical Leptospermum Honey in the Management of Aplasia Cutis Congenita in Neonates: A Case Study

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2019 Jul/Aug;46(4):343-345

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BACKGROUND:

Aplasia cutis congenita (ACC) is an uncommon, heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by focal or widespread absence of skin from certain parts of the body. Complications range from 20% to 50%; they are potentially life-threatening. There is no consensus on best treatment of ACC. We report on successful closure of aplasia cutis lesions using topical active Leptospermum honey (ALH).

CASES:

This article describes a case of a full-term neonate with a large ACC lesion. A conservative approach was taken in the care of this lesion, in accordance with appropriate wound care principles and the care of this medically fragile neonate. This included applying topical ALH twice a day and covering defects with a secure dressing. All lesions progressed to complete closure. Time to closure was either similar or shorter than published data.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our experience with these cases suggests that topical ALH may be an effective natural treatment option for neonates with ACC. This conservative management led to wound closure without topical or systemic antibiotics or prolonged hospital stay.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Brazilian Red Propolis Shows High Antioxidant Activity


Evaluation of the antioxidant profile and cytotoxic activity of red propolis extracts from different regions of northeastern Brazil obtained by conventional and ultrasound-assisted extraction

PLoS One. 2019 Jul 5;14(7):e0219063

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Propolis is a complex mixture of resinous and balsamic material collected from the exudates of plants, shoots, and leaves by bees.

This study evaluated red propolis extracts obtained by conventional (ethanolic) extraction and ultrasound-assisted extraction of six samples from different regions of northeastern Brazil. The total phenolic compounds and flavonoids, in vitro antioxidant activity, concentration of formononetin and kaempferol and the cytotoxicity against four human tumor cell lines were determined for all twelve obtained extracts. Significant variations in the levels of the investigated compounds were identified in the red propolis extracts, confirming that the chemical composition varied according to the sampling region. The extraction method used also influenced the resulting propolis compounds.

The highest concentration of the compounds of interest and the highest in vitro antioxidant activity were exhibited by the extracts obtained from samples from state of Alagoas. Formononetin and kaempferol were identified in all samples. The highest formononetin concentrations were identified in extracts obtained by ultrasound, thus indicating a greater selectivity for the extraction of this compound by this method. Regarding cytotoxic activity, for the HCT-116 line, all of the extracts showed an inhibition of greater than 90%, whereas for the HL-60 and PC3 lines, the minimum identified was 80%.

In general, there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in the antiproliferative potential when comparing the extraction methods. The results showed that the composition of Brazilian red propolis varies significantly depending on the geographical origin and that the method used influences the resulting compounds that are present in propolis. However, regardless of the geographical origin and the extraction method used, all the red propolis samples studied presented great biological potential and high antioxidant activity. Furthermore, the ultrasound-assisted method can be efficiently applied to obtain extracts of red propolis more quickly and with high concentration of biomarkers of interest.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera) Injections Help Treat Osteoarthritis Knee Pain (Arthritis, Acupuncture, Acetaminophen)

Efficacy and Safety of Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera) Dermal Injections to Treat Osteoarthritis Knee Pain and Physical Disability: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J Altern Complement Med. 2019 Jul 8

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Objectives: To evaluate purified honey bee (Apis mellifera) venom (HBV) biotherapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) knee pain and physical function.

Design and Patients: Five hundred and thirty-eight patients with Kellgren/Lawrence grade 1-3 radiographic knee OA and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain score ≥2 were randomized 1:2 to either control ("histamine") or HBV in this double-blind study.

Interventions: After a dose escalation period, patients received 12 weekly dermal injections of control ("histamine") or HBV. At each of the 12 weekly visits, a set of 15 dermal injections (each containing 2.75 μg histamine or 100 μg HBV) were administered at prespecified acupuncture points (5 on each knee: knee top, eye-1 medial, eye-2 lateral, ST 34, BL 40 and 5 near the spinous processes: BL 19, 21, 23, 25, and 27).

Outcome Measures: Assessments included WOMAC pain and physical function subscales, visual analog scale (VAS), patient global assessment (PGA), and physician global assessment (PhGA). Rescue medication use (acetaminophen) and routine safety parameters were monitored.

Results: HBV biotherapy demonstrated a highly significant improvement over control in WOMAC pain score after 12 weeks (1.1 U mean difference; confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.3-2.0; analysis of covariance [ANCOVA] p = 0.0010 with baseline as covariate) that was also sustained 4 weeks post-treatment...

Conclusions: This phase 3 trial demonstrated that HBV biotherapy resulted in significant improvements in knee OA pain and physical function.

Friday, July 05, 2019

Propolis a Source of Extra Income for Turkish Beekeepers


Bee glue provides extra income for producers

SİİRT-Anadolu Agency

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Propolis, a resinous substance obtained from honeybees, has become a new source of extra income for beekeepers in Turkey.

In addition to honey, bees also produce a compound called propolis also known bee glue by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources.

In an attempt to provide new revenue for producers, the association is preparing a project for the production, processing and marketing of propolis, pollen and royal jelly, Siirt Beekeepers' Association head Faik Efe told Anadolu Agency.

"It is very hard to produce propolis. That is why beekeepers have not interested in," Efe noted.

"Now, in Turkey's eastern Siirt province, a total of 50 out of 1,300 members of the association are producing propolis," he added.

Also carrying out various research and experiment studies on honey, royal jelly, pollen and propolis at Beekeeping Research and Application Center in Siirt University, academician Cahit Ozcan said bees use propolis as a immune system to protect and sterilize their hives from viruses and bacteria...

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Polish Pine Herbhoney Used to Treat Upper Respiratory Tract Infections, Nettle Herbhoney Treats Gastrointestinal Disorders

[Characteristics and pro-health benefits of herbhoneys]
[Article in Polish]

Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2019 Jun 28;46(276):263-267.

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Herbhoneys are bee origin products. However, they differ from traditional honeys in the production method. The process of making herbhoneys is based on feeding bees with nourishments, which are a combination of sugar syrup and plant extracts.

For the preparation of the nourishment, plants that do not produce nectar or honeydew are often used.

Thanks to this treatment, ready-made herbhoney, apart from a rich composition of mineral compounds, may also contain active substances. Herbhoneys have a characteristic color, which is associated with its plant origin and chemical composition. They are used in the therapy and prevention of many diseases, and their health-promoting effect is associated with the plant material used to prepare the nutrient solution.

Research shows positive influence of pine herbhoney in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections, or the use of nettle herbhoney in gastrointestinal disorders. There are diverse data on the elemental composition of herbhoneys compared to natural honey. However, the essential factor conditioning the mineral content is the origin of honey and herbahoneys used for analysis.

Herbhoneys, like traditional honey, have antimicrobial activity. They have been shown to be bactericidal against gram-positive and gram-negative pathogenic bacteria. The content of bioactive substances in herbhoneys determines their high antioxidant potential.

Studies also indicate the presence of polyphenols, which occurrence is not observed in natural honeys. Herbhoneys, despite numerous health-promoting properties, are not a popular products on the Polish market.


Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Brazilian Brown Propolis May Help Treat Rose Gardener's Disease


Chemical and cytotoxic analyses of three varieties of Brazilian propolis (green propolis, jataí propolis and brown propolis) and its anti-Sporothrix brasiliensis in vitro activity

[Análises químicas e citotóxicas de três variedades de própolis brasileiras (própolis verde, própolis jataí e própolis marrom) e sua atividade in vitro anti-Sporothrix brasiliensis]

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Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

In this study, we described the antifungal activity of three Brazilian propolis extracts: brown, green and from jataí bees against Sporothrix brasiliensis. The extracts were obtained from ethanolic extraction and their chemical composition was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. The cellular toxicity was measured in MDBK (Madin-Darby Bovine Kidney) cells and quantified by the MTT assay (3- (4,5 dimethylthiazol-2yl -2,5-diphenyl-2H bromine tetrazolato).

For antifungal activity, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) were determined by broth microdilution. The results showed that cell toxicity was not observed at lower concentrations (0.097 to 0.39μg/ml) for all extracts in comparison to cell control. Among the chemical compounds identified, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid and rutin were quantified. In antifungal activity, green and jataí did not exhibit activity against the isolates (MIC and MFC greater than 0.78mg/ml). However, all isolates of S. brasiliensis were sensitive to brown propolis (MIC of 0.09 to 0.78mg/ml), including the standard strain (P < 0.001).

Among the Brazilian propolis studied, the brown propolis showed activity against the S. brasiliensis isolates and more studies should be undertaken in order to evaluate its promising use in the treatment of sporotrichosis.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Indonesian Stingless Bee Propolis May Help Treat Diabetes


α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity of Cycloartane-Type Triterpenes Isolated from Indonesian Stingless Bee Propolis and Their Structure–Activity Relationship 

LINK

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This study reports on the antioxidant activity and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity of five cycloartane-type triterpenes isolated from Indonesian stingless bee (Tetragonula sapiens Cockerell) propolis and their structure–activity relationships.

The structure of the triterpenes was determined to include mangiferolic acid (1), Cycloartenol (2), ambonic acid (3), mangiferonic acid (4), and ambolic acid (5). The inhibitory test results of all isolated triterpenes against α-glucosidase showed a high potential for inhibitory activity with an IC50 range between 2.46 and 10.72 µM.

Among the compounds tested, mangiferonic acid (4) was the strongest α-glucosidase inhibitor with IC50 2.46 µM compared to the standard (–)-epicatechin (1991.1 µM), and also had antioxidant activities with IC50 values of 37.74 ± 6.55 µM. The study on the structure–activity relationships among the compounds showed that the ketone group at C-3 and the double bonds at C-24 and C-25 are needed to increase the α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. The carboxylic group at C-26 is also more important for increasing the inhibitory activity compared with the methyl group. This study provides an approach to help consider the structural requirements of cycloartane-type triterpenes from propolis as α-glucosidase inhibitors.

An understanding of these requirements is deemed necessary to find a new type of α-glucosidase inhibitor from the cycloartane-type triterpenes or to improve those inhibitors that are known to help in the treatment of diabetes

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Bee Venom May Help Treat Skin Disease (Acne, Atopic Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Alopecia, Melanoma, Photoaging, Wrinkles, Vitiligo, Morphea)

Potential Therapeutic Applications of Bee Venom on Skin Disease and Its Mechanisms: A Literature Review

Toxins (Basel). 2019 Jun 27;11(7). pii: E374

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Skin is larger than any other organ in humans. Like other organs, various bacterial, viral, and inflammatory diseases, as well as cancer, affect the skin. Skin diseases like acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis often reduce the quality of life seriously. Therefore, effective treatment of skin disorders is important despite them not being life-threatening.

Conventional medicines for skin diseases include corticosteroids and antimicrobial drugs, which are effective in treating many inflammatory and infectious skin diseases; however, there are growing concerns about the side effects of these therapies, especially during long-term use in relapsing or intractable diseases. Hence, many researchers are trying to develop alternative treatments, especially from natural sources, to resolve these limitations.

Bee venom (BV) is an attractive candidate because many experimental and clinical reports show that BV exhibits anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, anti-fibrotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anticancer effects.

Here, we review the therapeutic applications of BV in skin diseases, including acne, alopecia, atopic dermatitis, melanoma, morphea, photoaging, psoriasis, wounds, wrinkles, and vitiligo. Moreover, we explore the therapeutic mechanisms of BV in the treatment of skin diseases and cytotoxic effects of BV on skin disease-causing pathogens, including bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Water Extract of Propolis Protects Against Intestinal Radiation Damage

Propolis extract protects against radiation-induced intestinal mucositis through anti-apoptotic mechanisms

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 Jun 25

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Intestinal mucositis is a common side effect during radiotherapy that could be largely prevented by compounds possessing anti-inflammatory or anti-oxidant properties, including extracts of propolis containing a high proportion of flavonoids.

A specially formulated aqueous extract of propolis (PWE) has been prepared in such a way to preclude the inclusion of flavonoids but contain mostly organic aromatic acids to study whether it would still protect against radiation-induced intestinal mucositis and to study the possible involvement of apoptotic pathways. Rats were exposed to a gamma radiation dose of 8 Gy from a Cesium-137 source in order to inflict intestinal mucositis.

Three days before exposure, rats were given PWE orally and treatment continued for 2 more days. Twenty-four hours later, rats were sacrificed, the small intestine was excised, and sections were examined histologically. Different parameters for apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress were determined in the serum and in intestinal homogenates. Radiation exposure led to histological and biochemical signs of intestinal damage. This was associated with an increase in apoptotic indicators and derangement in oxidative stress parameters. All deranged parameters were largely prevented by PWE.

The findings provide evidence that the protective effect of PWE against intestinal radiation damage involves not only its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects but also its anti-apoptotic properties as well.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Malaysian Tualang Honey Helps Treat Cancer-Related Fatigue, Improves Quality of Life in Head and Neck Cancer Patients


Effects of Tualang Honey on Cancer Related Fatigue: A Multicenter Open-label Trial of H&N Cancer Patients

Gulf J Oncolog. 2019 May;1(30):43-51.

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INTRODUCTION:

Cancer related fatigue (CRF) is a problem experienced by head and neck cancer patients, especially those who undergo chemoradiation therapy. CRF may persist for years post chemoradiation therapy and significantly impair their quality of life (QOL). Tualang honey is rich in amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. It is proven to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-tumour properties. As CRF is related to inflammatory mediators, the effects of Tualang Honey may improve CRF. The aim of this study is to determine if Tualang honey has a role in improving CRF and quality of life among head and neck cancer patients post chemoradiation.

METHODOLOGY:

In this open labelled randomized clinical trial, 40 participants aged between 18 and 65 with head and neck cancer who completed chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy in Hospital USM, Kelantan Malaysia or Hospital Taiping were recruited and randomized into two groups: Tualang honey (experimental) group or Vitamin C (control) group. They were prescribed with either daily oral Tualang honey 20mg or vitamin C tablet 100 mg for 8 weeks. Level of fatigue and quality of life were measured using FACIT-Fatigue and FACT H&N questionnaires at baseline, 4 weeks and 8 weeks. The white cell count and C-reactive protein level were also measured at baseline, 4 weeks and 8 weeks.

RESULTS:

After four and eight weeks of treatment with Tualang honey or Vitamin C, the fatigue level for experimental group was better than in the control group, and the differences were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Statistically significant improvements were seen on quality of life (p < 0.05) for the experimental group at week 8, however, no significant improvements were seen in white cell count and C-reactive protein level between control and experimental group.

CONCLUSION:

Our research provided support for the use of Tualang honey to improve CRF and QOL in head and neck cancer patients post chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Turkish Propolis May Help Treat Cancer


Antiproliferative Activity of Chemically Characterized Propolis from Turkey and Its Mechanisms of Action

Chem Biodivers. 2019 Jun 21

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the ethanolic extract of propolis originated from northern Turkey for its antiproliferative, apoptotic and cell cycle arrest promoting effects on MCF7, HGC27, A549 cancer cell lines and a healthy cell line (HUVEC) in terms of DNA content, morphological features, expression of cell cycle checkpoint proteins p21, p53, Cyclin D1 and immune checkpoint protein PD-L1.

The extract showed moderate antiproliferative activity against all tested cancer cell lines with IC50 values in the range of 58.6-90.7 μg/mL in MTS assay. Further studies indicated that propolis extract exerted apoptotic effect on cancer cell lines, promoted cell cycle arrest through activation of p21 and resulted in accumulation at G0/G1 phase of cancer cells.

Propolis treatment caused increased cell size, according to fluorescent imaging except for MCF7. HPTLC analysis revealed that 3-O-methylquercetin, chrysin, caffeic acid, CAPE, galangin and pinocembrin were the main components of the extract. The amounts of caffeic acid and CAPE in the extract were found to be 5.5 and 11.1 mg/g, respectively, by a validated HPLC method.

Our study is the first one, revealing effect of propolis on PD-L1 expression on certain cancer cell lines.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Brazilian Green Propolis Protects Against Cognitive Decline in Elderly Patients (Alzheimer's, Dementia, Aging, Memory Loss, Brain)

Brazilian Green Propolis Prevents Cognitive Decline into Mild Cognitive Impairment in Elderly People Living at High Altitude

J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;63(2):551-560

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BACKGROUND:

Systemic inflammation is known as a risk factor of cognitive decline.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effects of propolis on cognitive decline and systemic inflammation in elderly people living at high altitude.

METHODS:

Sixty participants (average 72.8 years) living at altitude (2,260 meters) were randomized to receive propolis (0.83 g, n  =  30) or placebo (n  =  30) for 24 months. Cognitive outcomes were assessed using MMSE and serum cytokine levels were measured for 24 months in a double-blind study.

RESULTS:

MMSE scores were 26.17 at baseline and 23.87 at 24 months in placebo group. Compared to placebo group, improvements of MMSE scores were significant in propolis-treated subjects (p  =  0.007) with a response emerging over time (time points×group interaction, p  =  0.016). In addition, the serum IL-1β and IL-6 levels were significantly different across treatments (p  <  0.0001) showing upward and downward trends in placebo- and propolis-treated subjects, respectively (p  <  0.0001). Serum levels of TNF-α were not significantly different across treatment (p  =  0.0528) but with a response emerging over time (time points×group interaction, p  =  0.016). In contrast, serum levels of TGFβ1 were significantly different across treatments (p  <  0.0001) showing downward and upward trends in placebo- and propolis-treated subjects, respectively. Serum levels of IL-10 were significant for the effect of groups (p  =  0.0411). Furthermore, MMSE scores correlated with the decrease in IL-1β and the increase in TGFβ1 in serum.

CONCLUSION:

Elderly people living at high altitude developed to MCI in 24 months with exacerbation of systemic inflammation. Ingestion of propolis (>12 months) protected against cognitive decline after systemic inflammation was reduced.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Bee Venom Used to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Lupus, Wrinkles, Pain, Lyme Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Acne


Bee Venom: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

Healthline

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As the name implies, bee venom is an ingredient derived from bees. It’s used as a natural treatment for a variety of ailments.

Its proponents claim that it offers a wide range of medicinal properties, ranging from reducing inflammation to treating chronic illnesses. However, research in some of these areas is either lacking or conflicting.

This article reviews the uses, benefits, and side effects of bee venom...

Monday, June 24, 2019

Hardy Kiwi and Acorn Bee Pollen Show Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Intracellular Antioxidant Activity and Inhibition of Bee Pollens on the Production of Inflammatory Mediators 

Curr Dev Nutr. 2019 Jun 13;3(Suppl 1). pii: nzz031.P06-081-19

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Objectives:

The purpose of this study is to present scientific evidences for health promotion of bee pollens through the investigation of the antioxidant and the anti-inflammatory effect.

Methods:

The intracellular antioxidant activity of bee pollen ethanol extracts was investigated by DCFH-DA assay for the oxidative stress induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in mitochondria of macrophages. Inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production were confirmed by the addition of bee pollen extracts. Inhibition of transcription/expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and the inflammatory mediators-production were investigated by adding the bee pollen extracts.

Results:

Intracellular oxidative stress by LPS was inhibited at approximately 53% by 0.25 and 3 mg/ml of the Darae-bee pollen extract. It was found that the Acorn- and Mixed bee pollen extract (3 mg/ml) reduced the intracellular oxidative stress at approximately 26.3 and 41.3%, respectively. For anti-inflammatory activity, all three bee pollen extracts (3 g/ml) inhibited effectively the production of NO to an equal to or rather lower than basal level in macrophages. Bee pollen extracts decreased the LPS-induced PGE2 production depending on the amount added, regardless of the kind of bee pollen added. Gene transcription and expression of iNOS and COX-2, an enzyme producing NO and PGE2, respectively, was suppressed by bee pollen extracts and confirmed by RT-PCR and western blot. Additionally, the production of IL-1b, IL-6 and TNF-α, which are inflammatory mediators in macrophages, were inhibited by Darae-, Acorn- and Mixed bee pollen extract.

Conclusions:

The ethanol extracts of Darae-, Acorn- and Mixed bee pollen were verified to have the intracellular antioxidant activity and the inhibitory activity on the production of several anti-inflammatory mediators in macrophage cells.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Propolis Component May Help Treat Obesity (Diet, Cancer, Inflammation, Diabetes)


Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester and Its Fluorinated Derivative as Natural Anti-obesity Agents 

Curr Dev Nutr. 2019 Jun 13;3(Suppl 1). pii: nzz031.P06-089-19

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Objectives:

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), an active component of propolis from honeybee hives, is well studied for its beneficial effects on cancer, inflammation and diabetes. There are however limited studies investigating the effects of CAPE on obesity. Currently, several natural products are under investigation for their effects on adipocyte life cycle. A multi-targeted approach for prevention and treatment of obesity includes targeting adipocytes at all the stages of life cycle by decreasing adipocyte differentiation, inducing lipolysis and/or by inducing adipocyte apoptosis. In this study, we examined the effects of CAPE on preadipocyte viability, adipogenesis and lipolysis. Earlier reports on CAPE indicate that CAPE is liable to enzymatic hydrolysis in vivo making this compound unstable for therapeutic applications. In the current study, we compared the anti-adipogenic effects of CAPE with its novel fluorinated derivative (FCAPE), a more stable compound.

Methods:

3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes were differentiated using a cocktail consisting of insulin, dexamethasone, and isobutyl methyl xanthine in DMEM supplemented with 10% FBS following adipogeneic differentiation. Pre- and mature adipocytes were incubated with CAPE or FCAPE for 24-48 hours and their effects on viability, lipolysis, and adipogenesis was tested using Prestoblue, Lipolysis assay (Zen-Bio) and AdipoRed assay respectively.

Results:

Our results indicate that neither CAPE nor FCAPE significantly altered preadipocyte viability within the tested dose range. Although both CAPE and FCAPE significantly decreased adipogenesis compared to control, FCAPE decreased lipid content by 73.6 ± 1.6% while CAPE reduced lipid content by only 36.8 ± 9.1% at 25 μM concentration. In contrast to adipogenesis data, our preliminary results with lipolysis assay indicate that only CAPE, but not FCAPE induces lipolysis in mature adipocytes.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that both CAPE and FCAPE possess anti-adipogenic properties. Further studies are needed to elucidate their differential effects on adipogenesis and lipolysis.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Iranian Honey Fights Infections by Through Interruption of Quorum Sensing System


Low concentrations of local honey modulate Exotoxin A expression, and quorum sensing related virulence in drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa recovered from infected burn wounds

Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2019 May;22(5):568-575

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Objectives:

Honey's ability to kill microorganisms and even eradication of chronic infections with drug-resistant pathogens has been documented by numerous studies. The present study is focused on the action of honey in its sub-inhibitory levels to impact on the pathogens coordinated behaviors rather than killing them.

Materials and Methods:

The impact of local honey on the quorum sensing related virulence of multidrug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa burn isolates was investigated by detection its effect on the virulence, biofilm formation and expression of quorum sensing related and exotoxin A genes.

Results:

Experiments to characterise and quantify the impact of honey on the P. aeruginosa quorum sensing networks showed that the expression of exotoxin A ( ETA), las and rhl glucons reduced by low concentrations of honey including the associated virulence factors.

Conclusion:

Our results indicated that honey fights infections either by its bactericidal components which vigorously kill cells or by weakening bacterial coordination and virulence through interruption of quorum sensing system.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Effect of Honey on Diabetic Patients Varies Widely Based on Nectar Source


The effect of different types of honey on the lipid profile of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

Arch Med Sci Atheroscler Dis. 2019 May 28;4:e113-e118

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Introduction:

The effect of honey consumption in diabetic patients has been contradictory. The aim of the present animal study was to compare the effect of different types of honey on the lipid profile in diabetic rats.

Material and methods:

Sixty-four male Wistar rats were divided into two main groups: a streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus (DM) group (including four subgroups) and a healthy group (including four subgroups), based on random allocation. Three subgroups of each main group were given 1 mg/kg of three different types of honey (acacia, astragalus, and artificial honey) by oral gavage for 10 weeks. The control groups were given distilled water. Blood samples were collected, and the lipid profile was measured and compared between the eight groups after the intervention.

Results:

The levels of LDL, triglycerides (TG), and total cholesterol (Tchol) in DM rats treated with astragalus honey were significantly lower and the HDL level was significantly higher compared to the other DM and healthy groups (all p-values < 0.05). LDL, TG, and Tchol levels in DM rats treated with artificial honey were significantly higher, and HDL levels were significantly lower than for other types of honey and for the control groups (all p-values < 0.05). LDL, HDL, TG, and Tchol levels in healthy rats were not significantly different between the groups (p-value > 0.05).

Conclusions:

Different types of honey (acacia, astragalus, and artificial honey) had various effects on serum lipid profiles in diabetic rats. The results of this study indicated that the effect of honey on diabetic patients can vary widely based on its source.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Brazilian Green Propolis May Help Treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)


p-Coumaric Acid Has Protective Effects against Mutant Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase 1 via the Activation of Autophagy in N2a Cells

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jun 16;20(12). pii: E2942

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the selective death of motor neurons. In previous our study, an ethanol extract of Brazilian green propolis (EBGP) prevented mutant copper-zinc superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1mut)-induced neurotoxicity. This paper aims to reveal the effects of p-coumaric acid (p-CA), an active ingredient contained in EBGP, against SOD1mut-induced neurotoxicity.

We found that p-CA reduced the accumulation of SOD1mut subcellular aggregation and prevented SOD1mut-associated neurotoxicity. Moreover, p-CA attenuated SOD1mut-induced oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress, which are significant features in ALS pathology. To examine the mechanism of neuroprotective effects, we focused on autophagy, and we found that p-CA induced autophagy. Additionally, the neuroprotective effects of p-CA were inhibited by chloroquine, an autophagy inhibiter.

Therefore, these results obtained in this paper suggest that p-CA prevents SOD1mut-induced neurotoxicity through the activation of autophagy and provides a potential therapeutic approach for ALS.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Bee Pollen Supplementation Boosts Growth

Effect of bee pollen on growth performance, carcass traits, blood parameters, and the levels of metabolic hormones in New Zealand White and Rex rabbits

Trop Anim Health Prod. 2019 Jun 11

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The aim was to evaluate the effect of bee pollen (BP) on performance, blood parameters, and metabolic hormones in New Zealand White (NZW) and Rex (RX) rabbits. A total of 60 six-week-old rabbits were allotted into a completely randomized design in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement (two breeds and three levels of BP: 0, 250, and 350 mg/kg body weight).

The effects of breed × BP supplementation level were non-significant for all growth performance and carcass traits, as well as the concentrations of metabolic hormones in the plasma. Meanwhile, some blood parameters (hemoglobin, packed cell volume, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and urea) were significantly affected (P < 0.05). Regardless of the effect of breed, the supplementation of BP at a dose of 350 mg/kg BW increased the final body weight (P = 0.008), average daily gain (P < 0.001), and net profits (P = 0.006). However, the rabbits treated with BP at a dose of 250 mg/kg BW showed lower average daily feed intake (- 14.45 g/d; P = 0.049) and feed to gain ratio (- 0.48; P = 0.039).

In both rabbit breeds, BP at a dose of 350 mg/kg increased the concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-1 (302.62 ng/ml, P < 0.001), insulin (16.63 ng/ml, P = 0.050), and triiodothyronine (158.50 ng/dl, P < 0.001) in plasma compared with other groups.

It may be concluded that intake of BP supplementation can improve the feed to gain ratios, blood indices, and metabolic hormones in different rabbit breeds. However, the appropriate dosage and the route of supplementation of BP in broiler rabbits need further research.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Honey an Effective Alternative Treatment for Toddlers with Diarrhea

The Effect of Honey with ORS and a Honey Solution in ORS on Reducing the Frequency of Diarrhea and Length of Stay for Toddlers

Compr Child Adolesc Nurs. 2019;42(sup1):21-28

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This study aims to identify the effect of honey with an oral rehydration solution (ORS) and a honey solution in ORS on the frequency of diarrhea and length of hospital stay for toddlers with diarrhea.

A randomized controlled trial was conducted in Padang and involved 72 toddlers aged 1-5 who were affected by diarrhea; the participants were selected through a probability sampling technique. The intervention group was provided with 5 ml of honey with an ORS and plain ORS at every diarrhea episode while the control group was provided with 10 ml of honey added to an ORS at every diarrhea episode. The findings suggest that there is a significant difference in the frequency of diarrhea between the intervention and control groups prior to and following the provision of honey with an ORS and honey added to an ORS (p < 0.05). T

here was a significant difference in the length of stay between both groups following the intervention and control treatments (p < 0.05). These results show that honey may be provided as an alternative therapy for toddlers with diarrhea.