Monday, May 25, 2020

Propolis Component May Help Block COVID-19/Coronavirus


Ashwagandha takes the lead to be the mother nature’s COVID-19 warrior: Study

They discovered that Withanone (Wi-N), a natural compound derived from Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE), an active ingredient of New Zealand propolis, have the potential to interact with and block the activity of Mpro. The team described that they have also searched for the capability to these bioactives to modulate the protein on the surface of human cells, to which the SARS-CoV-2 binds and allows its entry into our cell - the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), and selected Withanone. The study is currently under review and expected to be published in a near future.

The team said that their findings may not only connect to save time and cost required for screening for anti-COVID-19 drugs, but may also offer some preventive and therapeutic value for the management of fatal COVID-19 pandemic, and hence warrant prioritized validation in the laboratory and clinical tests. They added that the drug development may take a while and in the current scenario, these natural resources (Ashwagandha and Propolis) may offer some preventive or even therapeutic value. However, although they are easily available and affordable, one has to be cautious about the content of bioactive ingredients. CAPE, while is a major component of propolis, its amount and stability are critical factors that could be managed by generating its complex with cyclodextrins. This has been earlier described by the DAILAB team. Withanone, on the other hand, varies with geography/parts/size of the Ashwagandha plant. So, in order to acquire or appreciate particular effects, we must use the right and quality-controlled resource/extracts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Happy World Bee Day

Tualang Honey Supplementation as Cognitive Enhancer in Patients With Schizophrenia


Heliyon. 2020 May 12;6(5):e03948

Introduction: Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness with clusters of symptoms, including cognitive impairment. This study aimed to explore the effect of Tualang Honey (TH) on cognitive domains, especially as it pertained to the verbal memory of schizophrenia patients.

Method: This was a cross-sectional study involved 80 individuals, diagnosed with schizophrenia. The Malay Version Auditory Verbal Learning Test (MVAVLT) was used. Data were analysed using SPSS 20.0 software. Intention to treat analysis was applied.

Result: A comparison of the total learning score at eight weeks between the two groups based on time effect and time-treatment interaction favoured TH group.

Conclusion: This study concludes that by supplementing schizophrenia patients with 8-week of TH did improve total learning performance across domains in the immediate memory among patients with schizophrenia.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Propolis Effective Against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1, Cold Sore)


[Comparison of Antiviral Effect of Olive Leaf Extract and Propolis with Acyclovir on Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1].

Mikrobiyol Bul. 2020 Jan;54(1):79-94

While acyclovir, a nucleoside analogue, is widely used for herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), emergence of drug-resistant viruses due to frequent usage of this class of medicines, and their toxic side effects require exploring novel active molecules. Despite the studies on developing synthetic molecules in medical sciences and pharmacology, herbs as a natural source of biologically-active compounds remain popular.

In this in vitro study, olive leaf extract (OLE) and propolis alone or in combination with acyclovir were investigated for their antiviral efficacy in HSV-1.Toxic doses of OLE, propolis, and dimethyl sulfoxide, propolis diluent, for Hep-2 (ATCC, CCL-23) cells were determined by conventional cell culture. Using "endpoint" method, the viral dose infecting half of the cell culture (TCID50) was calculated, and viral quantity was determined with Spearman-Karber method. Antiviral effects of OLE and propolis on HSV-1 were investigated by conventional cell culture and real-time cell analysis (RTCA). Combinations of the two extracts with one another and with acyclovir were evaluated by RTCA. Active substances prepared at three different dilutions were added to tubes with HSV-1 of logTCID50: 11.5 in descending order starting from the highest non-toxic concentration, and they were left at room temperature for two different durations (one hour and three hours).

The aliquots taken from the tubes were cultured in plates containing Hep-2 cells and evaluated after 72 hours. Combinations of extracts and acyclovir at concentrations at least four times lower than the lowest concentration showing antiviral efficacy against HSV-1 were cultured with Hep-2 cells in the e-plates of the xCELLigence RTCA device, measurements were obtained at 30 minute intervals, and data were recorded in real time. In the test with two different durations and at different concentrations of OLE and propolis, antiviral efficacy was observed both with one-hour and three-hour incubation at a concentration of 10 μg/ ml for propolis and 1.2 mg/ml for OLE with RTCA.

The duration and concentration of the greatest decrease in viral quantity were in the first one hour and 10 μg/ml for propolis, and in the first one hour and 1.2 mg/ ml for OLE. Combination of propolis and OLE with acyclovir caused no cytopathic effects, and the combination of extracts led to delayed cytopathic effect.

According to these results, propolis and OLE, alone and in combinations with acyclovir, have antiviral efficacy against HSV-1. These agents may reduce the dose and side effects of acyclovir in case of co-administration since they exert their effects through a different mechanism than acyclovir,possibly through direct virucidal activity, inhibition of virus internalization or viral inhibition in early stages of replication (inhibition of adsorption/binding of viral particles to the cell).

These extracts that do not require conversion to active form have the potential to reduce infectivity in oral lesions, prevent spread, and be used in the topical treatment of acyclovir-resistant HSV infections, particularly in immunocompromised patients. However, in vivo studies should be conducted to determine their medicinal properties and potential toxicities. These results should be supported by further comprehensive studies and the efficacy against other viruses should also be investigated.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Does Bee Venom Apitherapy Prevent COVID-19/Coronavirus Infection?


Bee venom and SARS-CoV-2

Toxicon

According to data from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the global number of confirmed COVID-19 case exceeded 2.0 million on the 15th of April. I am a physician, and I participated the prevention and control of coronavirus in China.

There is one discovery we would like to report here. It reminds us the story of the discovery of cowpox and the eventual victory of humans over this disease (Bennett and Baxby, 1996). In Hubei province, the epicentre of COVID-19 in China, the local beekeepers association conducted a survey of beekeepers (Fig. 1). A total of 5115 beekeepers were surveyed from February 23 to March 8, including 723 in Wuhan, the outbreak epicentre of Hubei. None of these beekeepers developed symptoms associated with COVID-19, and their health was totally normal. After that, we interviewed five apitherapists in Wuhan and followed 121 patients of their apitherapy clinic. These patients had received apitherapy from October 2019 to December 2019, and all the five bee apitherapists have the habit of self-apitherapy for their own health care (apitherapy means making use of bee venom from the honeybee's sting to treat or prevent certain diseases). Without any protective measures, two of the five apitherapists were exposed to suspected COVID-19 cases and others were exposed to confirmed COVID-19 cases, but none of them were infected eventually. None of the 121 patients were infected by SARS-CoV-2, and three of them had close contact with immediate family members who were confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection cases. It might be supposed that beekeepers are less likely to be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 because they live in less densely populated rural areas. But the five apitherapists and their patients are from densely populated areas in Wuhan. These people have one thing in common: they develop a tolerance to bee sting.

Bee sting can cause allergic reactions (Park and Lee, 2016), and it can even lead to death due to the excessive stress response of the immune system (Vazquez-Revuelta and Madrigal-Burgaleta, 2018). Bee venom can affect the body's immune system (Cherniack and Govorushko, 2018) and enhance the differentiation of human regulatory T cells (Caramalho et al., 2015), which play an important role in control of SARS-CoV infection (Chen et al., 2010). Does the stimulation of the immune system caused by bee venom reduce susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2? To test this, animal experiments would be needed. Monkeys might be suitable for this study. Monkeys could be divided into two experimental groups with the same breed and age. One group could be made tolerant to bee venom after a period of daily bee stings, while the other group receives no intervention. They could then be raised in the same environment contaminated by SARS-CoV-2, and multiple tests performed to see if they were infected by SARS-CoV-2.

Our purpose in writing this letter is to ask scholars with appropriate research conditions to test this assumption. In the absence of vaccine of SARS-CoV-2, if this method works, then it could offer one hope towards victory over COVID-19.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Electrospun Manuka Honey Nanofibrous Wound Dressings


Manuka honey incorporated cellulose acetate nanofibrous mats: Fabrication and in vitro evaluation as a potential wound dressing

Wound dressings are the primary barrier between the wound surface and the outer environment. Here we report the fabrication of cellulose acetate (CA)–Manuka honey (MH) composite nanofibrous mats as a biocompatible and antimicrobial wound dressing. CA mats with different quantities of MH were developed by electrospinning. The ATR-FTIR spectra confirm the inclusion of MH in the composite CA-MH nanofibrous mats. The fibers were continuous and bead-free with acceptable mechanical properties. The fiber diameter increased with an increase in MH content. Inclusion of MH in the electrospun composite CA-MH nanofibrous mats shows high efficacy to prevent bacterial growth on the wound surface.

The MH loaded CA nanofiber mats showed good antioxidant abilities, while the ability to free radicalize the DPPH was dependent upon the factors of MH content in the fiber and the time of immersion in the DPPH solution. Besides, the nanofibrous mat's high porosity (85–90%) and WVTR values of 2600 to 1950 g/m2/day, suitable for wound breathability and the mats show high cytocompatibility to NIH 3T3 cell line in in vitro testing, proving to be effective for promoting wound healing...

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Propolis Used to Treat Colds, Rheumatism, Diabetes, Stomach Pain


Searching for bioactive compounds from Vietnamese propolis

Propolis is biologically a mixture of sap with secretions from the bee's salivary glands, which is used to seal the hive, help preserve honey, protect the development of larvae, eggs and itself from the attack of pathogens.

Among bees, Italian bees (Apis melifera, Apini tones) and Du wasps (also known as stingless bees) (Meliponini tones) give much propolis and have drawn interest from researchers. Unlike Italian bee Apis melifera, the Du is rich in number of species, with more than 500 species in the world, distributed in many different geographical areas. In Vietnam, according to previous studies, there are more than 10 different species of the Du.

Propolis has long been used in the treatment of colds, rheumatism, diabetes, stomach pain, and has many biological activities that have been discovered such as antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-HIV. Due to many practical applications such as medicine products and functional foods, propolis has attracted a lot of research on chemical composition and biological activity.

Currently, scientists have isolated more than 500 compounds in honey propolis as well as Du propolis in the world. The chemical composition of propolis includes phenolic acid compounds, phenolic esters, flavonoids, triterpenes, stilbenes and prenyl flavanoids. However, there has not been much research on the chemical and biological activity of propolis in Vietnam...

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Manuka Honey in High Demand Due to the Coronavirus - COVID-19

BusinessMole
   
Since the start of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus (Also known as the Corona Virus), Manuka Honey has seen sales increase at around 100%. This rather significant spike in its demand has undoubtedly due to its “Superfood” status as seen by its many users globally. It is easy to see why this is the case when we delve deeper into its renowned properties.

Manuka Honey is not only famous for its taste, but also for its varied health benefits and importantly its bacteria killing properties. This particular honey is very unique in that it contains a compound called Methlyglyoxal (MGO). This is part of the chemical make up of three different elements that can determine the quality and potency of the product...

Friday, March 06, 2020

People Are Stinging Themselves With Bees at Home to Treat Lyme Disease


...The protocol is known as bee venom therapy (BVT), and among those afflicted with chronic Lyme, it’s gaining a lot of adherents. They call themselves “stingers.”

“I meet online two or three new people every week who I haven't found before, who are doing BVT,” she said. “Most people, if not everyone, say that they're improving.”

The claim is difficult to measure because chronic Lyme is not recognized by the medical establishment as existing at all. In other words, one can’t be recovering from a disease that most doctors simply won’t diagnose.

“The chronic Lyme label seems to be a convenient way to attribute very nonspecific symptoms that may have nothing to do with Lyme disease,” said Dr. Asim Ahmed, an infectious diseases expert at the Boston Children’s Hospital. “And it's just medically unaccepted as a diagnosis.”

The stingers of course don’t buy that, and are in a sense willing to prove it by stabbing themselves with pulsating venom sacs multiple times a week, sometimes for years...

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Medical Grade Honey Boosts Healing of Pediatric Abdominal Wounds

Medical grade honey for the treatment of paediatric abdominal wounds: a case series

J Wound Care. 2020 Feb 2;29(2):94-99

OBJECTIVE:

Children are at high risk of injuries and wounds. The application of medical grade honey is a promising approach to improving the healing of wounds of various origin and severity. However, the use of medical grade honey in young paediatric patients remains limited. The aim of this study is to show the safety, efficacy and usefulness of medical grade honey in abdominal wounds, of different causes, in paediatric patients.

METHOD:

This was a prospective, observational case series evaluating five young infants with abdominal wounds at the General Hospital in Thessaloniki. All wounds were treated in the same manner with daily medical grade honey applied to the wound area and closely monitored.

RESULTS:

All treated wounds rapidly presented granulation tissue formation and underwent re-epithelialisation. Peripheral oedema and inflammation decreased upon initial application. Necrotic tissue was effectively debrided when present. Slough was removed and no signs of infection were detected, irrespective of initial wound presentations. Scar formation was minimal and the full range of motion was preserved in all cases.

CONCLUSION:

Based on this case study, medical grade honey is safe and effective in treating different abdominal wounds, including infected or dehisced wounds as well as burns. The easy application and broad applicability make medical grade honey recommendable as a first-line treatment in paediatric patients.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Potential Benefits of Propolis for Humans

Green Matters

According to WebMD, some people believe that propolis might be inflammatory, that it can help heal skin, and that it can fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi. As the NCBI review added, propolis (and propolis-derived products) are believed by some to have "antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antimycotic, antifungal, antiulcer, anticancer, and immunomodulatory" properties...

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Honey Reduces Postoperative Pain after Tonsillectomy (Tonsillitis)


The effect of adjuvant oral application of honey in the management of postoperative pain after tonsillectomy in adults: A pilot study.

PLoS One. 2020 Feb 10;15(2):e0228481

OBJECTIVE:

To analyze the effect of adjuvant oral application of honey for treating postoperative pain after tonsillectomy.

DESIGN:

Single centre prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Two cohorts of patients after tonsillectomy.

PARTICIPANTS:

56 patients treated with honey 8 times per day (honey group), 18 patients treated without honey (control group); baseline analgesia were non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) or coxibs; opioids were used as pro re nata (PRN) medication; mean age 34.4 ± 13.4 years; 36% women.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

On first to fifth postoperative day, patients rated their pain using the validated questionnaire of the German-wide project Quality Improvement in Postoperative Pain Treatment (QUIPS) including a numeric rating scale (NRS, 0-10) for determination of patient's pain. QUIPS allows standardized assessment of patients' characteristics andpain-associated patient-reported outcomes (PROs). The influence of preoperative and postoperative parameters on patients' postoperative pain were estimated by univariate and multivariate statistical analysis.

RESULTS:

Average pain in activity in the control group was greater than 4 (NRS 4.4 ± 2.4) during the first five postoperative days, with a renewed increase in pain intensity on the fifth day (4.3 ± 2.5). In the honey group, the pain in activity decreased without any further pain increase and was only higher than 4 on the first three postoperative days (4.3 ± 2.1, all p > 0.05). However; neither minimal nor maximal pain were significantly different between both groups on the first postoperative day (p = 0.217, p = 0.980). Over the five postoperative days, the minimal and maximal pain in the honey group decreased continuously and faster than in the control group. With regard to pain-related impairments on the first day, the honey group reported less pain-related sleep disturbance (p = 0.026), as well as significantly fewer episodes of postoperative oral bleeding (p = 0.028) than the control group. Patients without honey consumption had on the first and fifth postoperative day a higher risk of increased minimal pain (OR = -2.424, CI = -4.075 --0.385). Gender was an independent factor for compliance of honey consumption on the second postoperative day (p = 0.037). Men had a lower probability for compliance of honey consumption (OR = -0.288, CI = -2.863 --0.090).

CONCLUSION:

There was a trend of reduced postoperative pain after oral honey application. Honey also seems to reduce pain-related impairments. The need for additional opioids on the first day could be reduced. A larger controlled trial is now needed to varify the effect of honey on pain after tonsillectomy.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Royal Jelly may Help Treat Alzheimer's Disease (Memory, Aging, Cognition, Cognitive, Neurodegenerative Diseases)


Oral treatment with royal jelly improves memory and presents neuroprotective effects on icv-STZ rat model of sporadic Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive decline in cognitive function. Intracerebroventricular injection of streptozotocin (icv-STZ) has been used as an experimental model of Sporadic AD (SAD) in rodents and represents a promising tool for etiopathogenic analysis and evaluation of new therapeutic proposals for AD.

The icv-STZ model shows many aspects of SAD abnormalities, resulting in decreased brain glucose and energy metabolism, cognitive impairment, oxidative stress, neuronal loss, and amyloid angiopathy. Royal jelly (RJ), a substance produced by worker honeybees of the Apis mellifera species, has been popularly used for more than 30 years in areas related to health eating and natural medicine.

Researches indicate that RJ has a several pharmacological activities, including neuroprotective and improvement of cognitive function. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of oral treatment with royal jelly during 2 weeks in Wistar rats submitted to icv-STZ on a working memory and neuroprotection, as evaluated by neurogenesis, neurodegeneration and oxidative stress.

In this study, icv-STZ injection induced deleterious effects in the hippocampus, associated with cognitive impairments, and developed marked neurodegeneration, besides the reduction of neurogenesis and increased oxidative stress.

On the other hand, RJ long-term oral administration induced beneficial effects in animals injured by icv-STZ injection, increasing retention time for working spatial memory, reducing neurodegeneration and oxidative stress level and increasing the proliferation of new neurons in the hippocampus. Thus, RJ promotes beneficial effects on cognitive functions and exhibits a neuroprotective action in the STZ experimental model of SAD

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Honey Equal to Aspirin in Preventing Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), But Without Side Effects (Heart Disease, Mortality, Antiplatelet)


Antiplatelet Effectivity between Aspirin with Honey on Cardiovascular Disease Based on Bleeding Time Taken on Mice

Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2019 Oct 14;7(20):3416-3420

BACKGROUND:

The prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its mortality continues to increase. Various studies have shown aspirin can reduce CVD mortality but has adverse side effects. Research on a comparison between aspirin and honey has not been done, but both have antiplatelet effects.

AIM:

This study is aimed to prove the antiplatelet effects on honey and compare the antiplatelet effects of aspirin with honey based on the bleeding time in mice.

METHODS:

This study is a true experimental design with a post-test only control group using 32 male mice, Double Ditsch Webster, ± 3 months old, the weight of 20-30 g, divided into 4 groups. Consisting of a negative control group (placebo), aspirin and honey. The suspension has given orally for 12 days using the probe. The research was conducted at the Laboratory of Pharmacology Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics Faculty of Medicine, the University of North Sumatra in September until December 2015. The data collected was bleeding time in mice. Data analysed by Shapiro Wilk test, Kruskal Wallis and Mann Whitney.

RESULTS:

The mean bleeding time was a placebo (102.88 seconds), aspirin (369.38 seconds) and honey (304.63 seconds). Mann Whitney test showed significant results in the aspirin and honey groups against the control group (placebo) with p = 0.001. There were no significant differences in the aspirin group against honey (p = 0.172). Honey has an antiplatelet effect in mice. The mean bleeding time in mice given honey is longer or closer to the mean bleeding time in the aspirin group.

CONCLUSION:

The results could be used as a basis for further research to determine its use in humans with cardiovascular disease.