Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Propolis May Help Treat Cold Sores, Genital Herpes (Type 1 HSV-1 and Type 2 HSV-2 Viruses)

Antiviral activity of different extracts of standardized propolis preparations against HSV


Antivir Ther. 2021 Feb 23

Background: Viral infections are among the most common problems in healthcare practice. Natural products offer great promise as potentially effective antiviral drugs. Propolis is a honeybee product with biological properties and therapeutic applications. We aimed to investigate the antiviral activity of different extracts of Standardized Propolis Preparations (M.E.D.®) with glycol, ethanol, glycerol, and soya oil, against herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) viruses.

Methods: Chemical composition and antiviral activity of each extract were determined. The selective index (SI=CC50/EC50) was determined as a parameter to indicate the in-vitro antiviral activity of the extracts compared to acyclovir as the control.

Results: SI values of glycol, ethanol, glycerol, soya oil extracts and acyclovir were determined as 6.8, 4.1, 2.2, 3.3, and 6.3 against HSV-1, and as 6.4, 7.7, 1.9, 4.2, and 2.9 against HSV-2, respectively. Glycolic propolis extract was found to possess a greater antiviral activity than acyclovir for both HSV type 1 and type 2, while glycolic, ethanolic, and soya oil preparations were found to have more significant activity than acyclovir for HSV-2.

Conclusions: It was determined that standardized propolis preparations have antiviral bioactivity against HSV.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Bee Pollen May Help Treat Diabetes (High Blood Sugar, Hyperglycemia)


J Agric Food Chem. 2021 Feb 5

Extract of Unifloral Camellia sinensis L. Pollen Collected by Apis mellifera L. Honeybees Exerted Inhibitory Effects on Glucose Uptake and Transport by Interacting with Glucose Transporters in Human Intestinal Cells

Bee pollen possesses potential hypoglycemic effects but its inhibitory mechanisms on glucose absorption and transportation in intestinal cells still need to be clarified. Here, we determined the inhibitory effects of bee pollen extract originating from Camellia sinensis L. (BP-Cs) as well as its representative phenolic compounds on glucose uptake and transport through a human intestinal Caco-2 cell monolayer model.

It showed that three representative phenolic compounds, including gallic acid (GA), 3-O-[6'-O-(trans-p-coumaroyl)-β-d-glucopyranosyl]kaempferol (K1), and 3-O-[2',6'-di-O-(trans-p-coumaroyl)-β-d-glucopyranosyl]kaempferol (K2), with contents of 27.7 ± 0.86, 9.88 ± 0.54, and 7.83 ± 0.46 μg/mg in BP-Cs extract, respectively, exerted mutual antagonistic actions interacting with glucose transporters to inhibit glucose uptake and transport based on their combination index (CI) and molecular docking analysis. K1, K2, and GA might compete with d-glucose to form hydrogen bonds with the same active residues including GLU-412, GLY-416, GLN-314, and TRP-420 in GLUT2.

These findings provide us a deep understanding of the mechanisms underlying the anti-hyperglycemia by bee pollen, which provide a new sight on dietary intervention strategies against diabetes.

Friday, February 05, 2021

Fighting against the second wave of COVID-19: Can honeybee products help protect against the pandemic?


Conclusions and recommendations


Bee products and bee venom are well known of their nutritional and medicinal values, they have been employed since ages for different therapeutic purposes. In this review, we comprehensively discussed the promising effects of different bee products against the emerging pandemic COVID-19, bee products possess unique criteria and harbor a magic cocktail of phytomedicines that help to protect, to fight, and to alleviate COVID-19 infection.

Honey has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) as a first line treatment for cough due to upper respiratory tract infection, which is the main well identified COVID-19 symptom (Wölfel et al., 2020), on the other hand variable concentrations of Manuka honey surprisingly found to modulate the release of cytokines, chemokines and matrix-degrading enzymes that regulate inflammatory and immune responses (Minden-Birkenmaieret al., 2019), currently drugs that quiet cytokine storms and soften the hyperinflammation are greatly considered to protect from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) the major cause of death due to serious COVID-19 infection (Mehta et al., 2020a). Therefore, we recommend honey as a potential compatible antiseptic prophylaxis to help protect against the virus. Honey might safely disinfect the throat and trap virus particles, beside a major advantage that it has no side effects and of great nutritional value. Furthermore, research into the active ingredients that impart antiviral potency to honey and greater understanding of how those chemicals cause their effects on viruses might help direct development of effective antiviral drugs with potentially fewer side effects. We may even consider diluted solution of natural honey as a home-made antiseptic for hands, skin and mucous membranes or as a mouth gargle since honey is completely safe and widely used as sweetener in several pharmaceutical preparations.

Propolis contains a concentrated dosage of therapeutic flavonoids and phenolic compounds that interfere with maturation and replication machinery of the virus in one hand and mitigate the exaggerated inflammatory response of COVID-19 on the other hand. Propolis belongs to the safest ecological therapies, investigational studies and confirmed anti-corona effects of chemical ingredients of propolis highlight the necessity for further investigations covering the prophylactic effect of propolis in high‐risk groups, especially individuals in close contact with COVID-19 patients, and validating the anti-corona effects of propolis.

As a powerful immune modulator, bee venom should be taken in consideration, it enhance the differentiation of T regulatory immune cells, it works like a protective vaccine that puts the immune system in a standby state to interfere with the virus. Finally, we reconsider bee product in general as a treasure trove to fight COVID-19.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Bee Bread Exhibits Higher Antimicrobial Potential Compared to Bee Pollen


Antibiotics

This study aimed at investigation of the antimicrobial potential of ethanolic extracts of bee bread (BB) and bee pollen (BP) and suspensions of these products in MHB (Mueller Hinton Broth).

We covered 30 samples of BP and 19 samples of BB harvested in Polish apiaries. Slightly lower activity was observed against Gram-negative bacteria compared to Gram-positive staphylococci. BB extracts exhibited higher inhibitory potential with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values in the range from 2.5 to 10% (v/v) against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and ATCC 29213. Most active BB extracts, namely, BB6, BB11 and BB19, effectively inhibited growth of clinical isolates of S. aureus (n = 9), including MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) strains (n = 3) at concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 5.0% (v/v).

Minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) values were in the same range of concentrations; however, a shift from 2.5 to 5.0% (v/v) was observed for some products. The most active BP extracts inhibited the growth of reference strains of S. aureus at a concentration of 5% (v/v). Up to the concentration of 20% (v/v) three and seven BP extracts were not able to inhibit the growth of S. aureus ATCC 29213 and S. aureus ATCC 25923 respectively.

The growth of staphylococci was also importantly inhibited in suspensions of the products in MHB. No correlation between phenolic content and antimicrobial activity was observed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Propolis May Help Heal Spinal Cord Injuries


Effect of Propolis on Neurological Recovery After Experimental Spinal Cord Injury

Turkish Neurosurgery

Aim: To examine the effect of propolis on the healing process in terms of both electrophysiological and ultrastructural parameters in a rat model of experimental spinal cord injury.

Material and methods: Thirty rats were divided into control, spinal cord trauma, and treated trauma groups with 10 rats per group. The rats were sacrificed after 10 days. Before sacrifice, all rats were neurologically assessed by electrophysiological monitoring, and immediately after sacrifice, the spinal cord was examined ultrastructurally by transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

Results: According to the electrophysiological examination, the treatment group was statistically significantly different from the trauma group. However, no statistically significant difference was found between the control and treatment groups. In terms of the TEM examination, the treatment group was significantly different from the trauma group.

Conclusion: In this study, propolis was administered just before the induction of trauma, and the findings suggest that the use of propolis has a positive effect on the healing process. This implies that in order to prevent postoperative deficits, this treatment may be preferably applied before spinal cord surgery for trauma.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Malaysian Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut Honeys Show Anti-Diabetic, Anti-Obesity, Anti-Cancer, Anti-Oxidative, Anti-Microbial, Anti-Inflammatory, and Wound-Healing Properties


Physicochemical and Medicinal Properties of Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut Honeys: A Comprehensive Review


Nutrients. 2021 Jan 10;13(1):E197

Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut honeys are tropical rainforest honeys reported to have various medicinal properties. Studies related to the medicinal properties and physicochemical characteristics of these honeys are growing extensively and receiving increased attention. This review incorporated and analysed the findings on the biological and physicochemical properties of these honeys. Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut honeys were found to possess a wide variety of biological effects attributed to their physicochemical characteristics. 

Findings revealed that these honeys have anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-cancer, anti-oxidative, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties and effects on the cardiovascular system, nervous system and reproductive system. The physicochemical properties of these honeys were compared and discussed and results showed that they have high-quality contents and excellent antioxidant sources.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Green and Red Brazilian Propolis May Help Treat Heart (Cardiovascular) Disease (High Blood Pressure, Hardening of the Arteries)


The Cardiovascular Therapeutic Potential of Propolis—A Comprehensive Review

Biology 2021, 10(1), 27

Simple Summary

Propolis, also described as bee glue, is a natural component made up of a resinous mixture of honeybee compounds from multiple botanical sources. The literature has demonstrated a variety of medicinal properties attributed to propolis due to its chemical complexity. However, the positive effects of propolis on cardiovascular health have gained little coverage. Therefore, we aimed to provide an accurate and up-to-date review of the main cardiovascular health benefits of propolis. In particular, we intend to establish the key varieties of propolis and pharmacological compounds with the therapeutic effects that are most encouraging, as well as the physiological processes by which those advantages are accomplished.

The Brazilian green and red varieties reveal the greatest number of beneficial activities among the varieties of propolis studied. While much of the cardiovascular beneficial effects appear to derive from the cumulative actions of several compounds working via multiple signaling mechanisms, some individual compounds that may enhance the existing therapeutic arsenal have also shown significant results. It is also worth exploring the prospect of using propolis as food supplements.

Abstract

Owing to its chemical richness, propolis has a myriad of therapeutic properties. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first comprehensive review paper on propolis to focus exclusively on its major effects for cardiovascular health. The propolis compound varieties with the most promising therapeutic benefits and their respective physiological mechanisms will be discussed. Propolis displays an anti-atherosclerotic activity, attained through modulation of the plasma lipid profile and through stabilization of the fatty plaque by inhibiting macrophage apoptosis, vascular smooth muscle proliferation and metalloproteinase activity.

The antihypertensive effects of propolis probably arise through the combination of several mechanisms, including the suppression of catecholamine synthesis, stimulation of endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and vascular anti-inflammatory activity. The anti-hemostatic activity of propolis is attributed to the inhibition of platelet plug formation and antifibrinolytic activity. By inhibiting the secretion of proangiogenic factors, propolis suppresses endothelial cell migration and tubulogenesis, exerting antiangiogenic activity. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities are responsible for protection against vascular endothelial and cardiomyocyte dysfunction, mostly by the prevention of oxidative stress. Among the reviewed propolis varieties, the Brazilian green and red varieties show the largest number of beneficial activities. Further research, especially preclinical, should be conducted to assess the cardiovascular benefits of the given varieties with different compositions.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Propolis May Help Treat Diabetes, Obesity, Cancer (Cytokines, Inflammation, Fat, Diet, Cholesterol, COVID-19)




Biomedical Properties of Propolis on Diverse Chronic Diseases and Its Potential Applications and Health Benefits

NUTRIENTS

The use of alternative medicine products has increased tremendously in recent decades and it is estimated that approximately 80% of patients globally depend on them for some part of their primary health care. Propolis is a beekeeping product widely used in alternative medicine. It is a natural resinous product that bees collect from various plants and mix with beeswax and salivary enzymes and comprises a complex mixture of compounds. Various biomedical properties of propolis have been studied and reported in infectious and non-infectious diseases. However, the pharmacological activity and chemical composition of propolis is highly variable depending on its geographical origin, so it is important to describe and study the biomedical properties of propolis from different geographic regions. A number of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer, are the leading causes of global mortality, generating significant economic losses in many countries. In this review, we focus on compiling relevant information about propolis research related to diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The study of propolis could generate both new and accessible alternatives for the treatment of various diseases and will help to effectively evaluate the safety of its use...


Conclusions

Traditional and alternative medicine is the world’s oldest form of health care and is used in the prevention and treatment of physical and mental illnesses in the present day. Propolis is a beekeeping product widely used in alternative medicine due to its easy accessibility. In this review, we compiled some of the biomedical properties of propolis, focusing mainly on diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Our search for information reflects the global trend to seek new alternatives for the treatment of these diseases. There is a significant volume of research on propolis that shows that it is able to help in the control of diabetes by lowering glucose levels, MDA, and pro-inflammatory cytokines, and assisting in weight loss. Furthermore, it enhances serum insulin levels, the translocation of GLUT-4, and the function of antioxidant enzymes, in addition to protecting cells and pancreatic function. In obesity, propolis has also shown benefits, with in vitro and animal models providing evidence that it induces the transcription of adiponectin and leptin, reduces the mass of visceral adipose tissue, and regulates the levels of triglycerides, non-esterified fatty acids, and cholesterol. Another relevant aspect for propolis is the data obtained on its antitumor effects related to the inhibition of the cell cycle, apoptosis, proliferation, viability, growth, and cell migration; it is notable that many of these activities continue to have selectivity towards tumor cells without affecting non-tumor cells. It is necessary to emphasize that the propolis of each geographical region has different biomedical activities due to the significant diversity that exists in its chemical composition. As a result, each geographical variant of propolis can be considered a great source of natural products, particularly terpenes and phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids. Each propolis is thus unique, requiring individual study. Despite all the attributes and virtues of propolis, several challenges remain to overcome. The first is to determine a classification in which all the properties that have been studied can be integrated as well as those that emerge from future investigations. The proposal by Bankova (2005) can function as basis for achieving adequate classification [6]. The standardization of propolis will lead to its safe and adequate consumption, to achieve this it is necessary to generate a commitment from the scientific community that works with this beekeeping product to describe the chemical composition of all the propolis extracts used in any research. Another challenge is to increase in vivo and clinical studies, since much of the available evidence of the biomedical properties of propolis is in vitro work, which, in many cases, prevents the reported activities from being directly applied in humans. Furthermore, we consider that future clinical studies should use propolis with a well-established chemical composition, since this will allow the establishment of a specific dose for each disease and the adequate treatment in infectious and non-infectious diseases. Investigation and better understanding of the properties of propolis, and phenomena such as synergism and other mechanisms of natural products, can assist in the development of new and better medicines and safe consumption treatments as complementary therapies for these diseases.

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Propolis Used to Treat Gynaecological and Gastrointestinal Disorders, Cancer


...1. Helps fight cancer

One of the benefits of the bee propolis is that it has anti-cancer and anti-tumoral properties. Scientific studies are focusing on cancer treatment and propolis. Two propolis polyphenols in specific appear to be the most-effective and powerful antitumour agents. Scientists consider that propolis’ potential to obstruct cancer from growing in both human cell and animal models is probably the outcome of its capability to prevent DNA synthesis in tumour cells and its ability to persuade apoptosis of tumour cells.

2. Gastrointestinal disorder

The infestations caused by parasites usually occur in association with an infected area. The symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract infection consist of diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain, and bloating. Propolis has various advantages involving anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some studies reported that the clinical usage of bee propolis helps in treating viral infections. Research showed it to obstruct adherence and development of trophozoites. It prompted the separation of these parasitic structures.

3. Oral health

Excessive bacterial microflora is present in the oral cavity, and enormous bacterial growth can lead to various oral diseases. Several studies have found that propolis restricts periodontitis-causing pathogens and bacterial-plaque growth owing to its antibacterial activities. Bee propolis extract utilizes a selectively lesser cytotoxic work on human gum fibroblasts. It also helps in healing surgical injuries or wounds. Propolis extract also plays a vital role as a therapeutic agent.

4. Gynaecological care

The causes of vaginitis are vulvovaginal candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis. The reduction of lactobacillus in the vagina is a notable aspect of vaginal infections. This infection is associated with excessive development of vaginal pathogens. A study showed that the use of propolis extract resulted in an enhancement in the well-being of the vagina. It also provides symptomatic relief because of its anesthetic properties. Therefore, one can use propolis as an alternative for patients who cannot take antibiotics because of concurrent pharmacological treatment.

5. Oncological treatment

Propolis is useful in cancer treatment because of its antitumour property by activating apoptosis on cancer cells. While it kills cancerous cells, unlike chemotherapy, it does not harm the cells around it. Also, propolis minimizes the proliferation of cancer cells. Overall, it is beneficial in cancer treatments if used efficiently.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Stingless Bee Honey May Help Relieve Symptoms and Problems of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)


In Vitro Modulation of Endogenous Antioxidant Enzyme Activities and Oxidative Stress in Autism Lymphoblastoid Cell Line (ALCL) by Stingless Bee Honey Treatment


Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2020 Dec 1;2020:4539891

Autism has been associated with a low antioxidant defense mechanism, while honey has been known for decades for its antioxidant and healing properties. Determination of stingless bee honey (KH) effects on antioxidant enzyme activities and oxidative damage in Autism Lymphoblastoid Cell Line (ALCL) was performed. 

ALCL and its normal sibling pair (NALCL) were cultured in RPMI-1640 medium at 37°C and 5% CO2. ALCL was treated with 400 μg/mL KH (24 h), and oxidative stress marker, malondialdehyde (MDA), and antioxidant enzyme activities (catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and superoxide dismutase (SOD)) were measured via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), while deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage was determined via comet assay. 

Low SOD activity (p < 0.05) and high MDA level (p < 0.05) were observed in ALCL compared to NALCL. Higher grade (Grades 2 and 3) of DNA damage was highly observed (p < 0.05) in ALCL compared to NALCL, whereas lower grade (Grades 0 and 1) DNA damage was highly detected (p < 0.05) in NALCL compared to ALCL. KH treatment caused a significant increase in SOD and GPx activities (p < 0.05) in ALCL compared to untreated ALCL. 

Correspondingly, KH treatment reduced the Grade 2 DNA damage (p < 0.05) in ALCL compared to untreated ALCL. CAT activity showed no significant difference between all three groups, while the MDA level showed no significant difference between treated and untreated ALCL. 

In conclusion, KH treatment significantly reduced the oxidative stress in ALCL by increasing the SOD and GPx antioxidant enzyme activities, while reducing the DNA damage...

Conclusions

KH, an antioxidant-rich natural product, has a high potential in alleviating oxidative stress, reducing the oxidative damage, and may help to improve the symptoms and problems of ASD.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Propolis and Bee Pollen May Help Treat High Cholesterol (Excess Triglycerides) and Liver Damage Caused by Type-2 Diabetes


Effect of antioxidant-rich propolis and bee pollen extracts against D-glucose induced type 2 diabetes in rats


Highlights
  • Propolis and bee pollen have high antioxidant ability.
  • Naringin and Apigenin were the most abundant polyphenolic compounds in propolis and bee pollen, respectively.
  • 16 weeks of treatment with D-glucose led to type 2-diabetes, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and hepato-renal damage.
  • Propolis and bee pollen attenuated the deleterious effects induced by D-glucose.
The present study was designed to investigate the preventive effect of propolis, bee pollen and their combination on Type 2 diabetes induced by D-glucose in rats. 

The study was carried out by feeding daily two concentrations (100 and 200 mg/Kg BW) of propolis or bee pollen (or their combination to normal (non-diabetic) and diabetic rats for a period of 16 weeks. In vivo biochemical changes associated to diabetes are induced by drinking a solution containing 10% of D-glucose (diabetic rats). The in vitro antioxidant activity was also evaluated and the chemical composition of propolis and bee pollen extracts was determined by UHPLC-DAD. 

Phytochemical composition of propolis and bee pollen revealed the presence of several natural antioxidants, such as hydroxycinnamic acids, hydroxybenzoic acids, flavonoids, flavan-3-ols and stilbens. The major antioxidant compound present in propolis was Naringin (290.19 ± 0.2 mg/Kg) and in bee pollen was apigenin (162.85 ± 17.7 mg/Kg). 

These results have been related with a high antioxidant activity, more intense in propolis extract. In rats, the administration of D-glucose had induced hyperglycemia (13.2 ± 0.82 mmol/L), increased plasmatic insulin levels (25.10 ± 2.12 U/L) and HOMA-IR index (14.72 ± 0.85) accompanied with dyslipidemia, elevation of hepatic enzyme levels, and a change in both serum renal biomarkers and plasmatic calcium. 

The co-administration of propolis and bee pollen extracts alone or in combination restored these biochemical parameters and attenuated the deleterious effects of D-glucose on liver and kidney functions. Furthermore, these effects were better attenuated in the combined therapy-prevented diabetic rats. Hence, it is possible to conclude that propolis and bee pollen can be used as a preventive natural product against diabetes induced dyslipidemia and hepato-renal damage.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Red Propolis May Be Used to Treat Schistosomiasis (Snail Fever, Bilharzia)


In vitro studies and experiments with mice show that the natural extract was more effective than the only drug available to combat this parasitic disease.

Well-known for its bactericidal and anti-fungal properties, Brazilian red propolis has now been found to act powerfully against the parasite that causes schistosomiasis, reducing the number of eggs and killing the helminths (worms).

In experiments performed at Universidade Guarulhos (UnG) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, with FAPESP’s support, 400 milligrams per kilogram of body weight was a sufficient dose of red propolis to reduce the parasite load by more than 60% in mice infected with the flatworm Schistosoma mansoni. It was equally effective against the immature and adult stages of the parasite. In vitro tests also showed that red propolis blocked reproduction and oviposition (egg-laying).

“Propolis, especially the red variety, is well-known for its action against bacteria and fungi. It protects the beehive from intruders, and we expected that some of its more than 20 substances would act against parasitic infectious agents. What surprised us was that it disrupted the worm’s integument and killed adult as well as immature worms, which the conventional treatment for schistosomiasis doesn’t do,” said Josué de Moraes, a professor at UnG and last author of the article on the study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

The results of all the tests suggest red propolis may be more effective to treat schistosomiasis than the only pharmaceutical product available for this purpose. Before red propolis can be prescribed for patients, of course, it must be tested in clinical trials on humans with the disease...

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Heat Treatment Decreases Antibacterial Activity of Honey

Antimicrobial activity of heat-treated Polish honeys

Food Chem. 2020 Nov 17;128561

Bactericidal properties of honey depend on botanical and geographical origin, where thermal treatment can have a significant affect. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of temperature on minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC), vitamin C content, total polyphenols content and antioxidant capacity of ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP) of several nectar honey varieties from northern Poland (lime, rapeseed, multifloral and buckwheat). The honeys were subjected to thermal treatment at 22 °C, 42 °C, 62 °C, 82 °C and 100 °C for two exposure times. The results showed a significant reduction of antimicrobial properties (MBC ⩾ 50%) at 82 °C and 62 °C after 15 and 120 min exposure time for most samples. Short time exposure reduced vitamin C content (⩽ 50 %) but increased total polyphenols content (⩾ 27%) and FRAP value (⩾ 106%).



Thursday, November 26, 2020

Bee Venom May Help Treat Arthritis (Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Pain, Stiffness, Swelling, Inflammation)


Investigation of anti-inflammatory effects of bee venom in experimentally induced adjuvant arthritis


Reumatologia. 2020;58(5):265-271

Abstract

Objectives: Rheumatoid arthritis is a multisystemic inflammatory disease characterized by destruction of the joints. An effective treatment method of the disease has not been developed yet. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effects of bee (Apis mellifera anatoliaca) venom (BV) on serum inflammatory parameters, serum antioxidant load and clinical parameters of experimentally induced adjuvant arthritis in rats.

Material and methods: A total of 35 Wistar albino male rats were used. The animals were divided into 5 groups. First group animals served as negative controls. The second, third, fourth and fifth groups were used for experimental arthritis induction. Following clinical development of arthritis, the first group was subcutaneously administered 0.2 ml of physiological saline, and the second, third and fourth groups were treated subcutaneously with 2 µg/kg, 4 µg/kg and 20 µg/kg once a week three times. Physiological saline injected fifth group animals were used as a sham-treatment group. Clinical observations and evaluation of arthritis were made at the 15th day, and at the end of the experiment. The levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase, paraoxonase, serum aryl esterase, high-sensitivity C reactive protein, interleukin 1β (IL-1β), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were determined in cardiac blood samples taken at the end of the 29th day.

Results: From the data, total oxidant level (TOL) and oxidative stress index (OSI) were calculated. Significant improvements were observed in the clinical signs of arthritis and inflammatory markers such as in IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6 and TOL and OSI in the 20.0 µg/kg BV-administered group. Bee venom administration did not cause any significant increase in ALT and AST values or signs of liver toxicity.

Conclusions: Bee venom treatment was effective in alleviation of symptoms of the experimental rat adjuvant arthritis by means of clinical observation and serum inflammatory markers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Bee Bread, Bee Pollen Show Antimicrobial Activity

Bee-collected pollen (BCP) is a well-known functional food. Honey bees process the collected pollen and store it in the hive, inside the comb cells. The processed pollen is called bee- bread or ambrosia and it is the main source of proteins, lipids, vitamins, macro-and micro-elements in honey bee nutrition. During storage, beebread undergoes solid state fermentation which preserves it and increases the bioavailability of nutrients. Research on beebread has been rather limited until now. In recent years, there is an increasing interest regarding the antimicrobial properties of BCP and beebread, due to emerging antimicrobial resistance by pathogens. Both BCP and beebread exhibit antimicrobial properties against diverse pathogens, like bacteria and fungi. As is the case with other bee products, lack of antimicrobial resistance might be attributed to the synergy of more than one antimicrobial compounds within BCP and beebread. Furthermore, BCP and bee bread exert targeted activity against pathogens and affect the host microbiome in a prebiotic manner. This review aims to present up to date research findings regarding these aspects as well as to discuss current challenges and future perspectives in the field.

...BCP or BB demonstrate selective antimicrobial activity that is usually higher against Gram-positive compared to Gram-negative bacteria. Strain specificity should be further investigated to identify BCP/BB compounds responsible for that. In that respect more studies should be conducted towards exploring synergy of BCP and BB extracts (or compounds detected within) and antibiotics. This synergy could prevent or delay microbial resistance which is a major public health issue.