Monday, November 30, 2009

Overview of Methods to Determine Phenols, Antioxidants in Honey

Methodological Aspects About Determination of Phenolic Compounds and In Vitro Evaluation of Antioxidant Capacity in the Honey: A Review
Current Analytical Chemistry, Volume 5, Number 4, October 2009 , pp. 293-302(10)

The antioxidant activity of honey varies greatly depending on the honey's floral source. There is little knowledge about the profiles of antioxidant substances in honey from different floral sources. The variation in these profiles might be responsible for the widely varying ability of honey to protect against oxidative reactions.

Honey is rich in polyphenol compounds, which act as natural antioxidants, and are becoming increasingly popular because of their potential role in contributing to human health. These compounds can also be used as indicators in studies about the floral and geographical origin of the honey.

Therefore, we overviewed the current analytical methods for measuring polyphenols and antioxidant capacity in honey. The analytical procedure to determine individual phenolic compounds involves their extraction from the sample, analytical separation and quantification.

The analytical separation techniques widely employed are gas chromatography, high-pressure liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis. The techniques to evaluate the antioxidant capacity are based on colorimetric assays such as DPPH, FRAP, TEAC (ABTS) and microplate fluorescence reader like ORAC assay.

Outbreak of Deadly Bee Mite 'Inevitable' in Australia

Ben Cubby, The Age (Australia), 11/29/09

There is a very good reason why the honey produced by Australia's bees is considered to be among the world's cleanest and most delicious.

The country is one of the last in the world to resist the insidious encroachment of the Varroa mite, a pinhead-sized insect that has devastated bee populations around the world in the past 30 years.

Australia's sea border and some original quarantine methods have kept the deadly mite at arm's length.

The nation's apiarists manage their hives without the armoury of chemical sprays that keep bees in Europe, North America and most other places alive. Honey in Australia is still the product of bees doing what they do, with a minimum of human interference.

But the latest report from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, reflecting mainstream opinion on the topic, says an outbreak of Varroa mites here is ''almost inevitable''…

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beneficial Effects of Honey Dressings in Wound Management

Nurs Stand, 2009 Oct 21-27;24(7):66-8, 70, 72 passim.

Honey was commonly used to treat wounds until the introduction of antibiotics. However, increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria mean that alternative treatment options, such as honey, are receiving renewed interest. This article provides an overview of the use of honey in wound management and reviews the evidence to support its effectiveness.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Study: Diabetics May Use Honey as Sugar Substitute

The Glycemic and Peak Incremental Indices of Honey, Sucrose and Glucose in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: Effects on C-Peptide Level - A Pilot Study
Acta Diabetol. 2009 Nov 26
Abdulrhman M, El-Hefnawy M, Hussein R, El-Goud AA.
Department of Pediatrics, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt,

Our study was a case-control cross-sectional study that was conducted on 20 children and adolescents suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus and ten healthy non-diabetic children and adolescents serving as controls. The mean age of patients was 10.95 years. Oral sugar tolerance tests using glucose, sucrose and honey and measurement of fasting and postprandial serum C-peptide levels were done for all subjects in three separate sittings. The glycemic index (GI) and the peak incremental index (PII) were then calculated for each subject.

Honey, compared to sucrose, had lower GI and PII in both patients and control groups. In the patients group, the increase in the level of C-peptide after using honey was not significant when compared with using either glucose or sucrose. However, in the control group, honey produced a significant higher C-peptide level, when compared with either glucose or sucrose.

In conclusion, honey, because of its lower GI and PII when compared with sucrose, may be used as a sugar substitute in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Friday, November 27, 2009

UK Legal Case Deals with Use of Honey as Alternative Medicine

Healer Who Refused Traditional Medicine Died After Treating Infection with Honey
A former nurse who turned to the world of alternative medicine was accused at the High Court of being responsible for the death of her ''soulmate'' partner.
Telegraph (UK), 11/27/09

A judge heard both Cherie Cameron and Russell Jenkins - a healing therapist - believed in regularly checking with their ''inner being'' on how to live their lives.

They were living and working together at Mr Jenkins's home in Lorne Road, Southsea, Hampshire.

He ran the Quiet Mind Centre, which offered complementary medicine.

But the ''inner guidance'' Russell received was against seeking conventional medical help when a minor injury became infected with gangrene, the judge was told. He died, aged 52, in April 2007. Instead he used honey and magnesium sulphate.

At London's High Court his parents, Donald and Eileen Jenkins, accused Ms Cameron of failing in the duty of care she owed to their son.

Their lawyers argued she was an experienced theatre nurse who ought to have known that death was inevitable if a patient with gangrene did not receive antibiotics…

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Honey and Honey-Product Allergies

Allergies au miel et aux produits de la ruche
Revue Française d'Allergologie, Volume 49, Supplement 1, October 2009, Pages S16-S22

Abstract: Honey products include a large number of allergens from the bodies of bees and the products they gather (pollens, nectar, propolis) and produce (honey, royal jelly). Although the IgE of serum from patients allergic to bees are capable of fixing a large number of honey proteins, the prevalence of honey allergy is low in those allergic to hymenoptera and in beekeepers. However, allergy to pollens, particularly of the Compositae family (artemisia, chamomilla, dandelion) are a risk factor for allergy to honey and royal jelly. Avoidance of these products is the only defense. However, honey and pollens, and to a lesser degree royal jelly, are often masked in food products, dietetic products, and high-energy products. One must also be careful of the unlabeled compositions from herbalists. Surveillance of incidents involving an allergy to honey, royal jelly, and propolis is indispensable.

Résumé: Les produits de la ruche comportent un grand nombre d’allergènes provenant du corps des abeilles et des produits qu’elles récoltent (pollens, nectar, propolis) et fabriquent (miel, gelée royale). Si les IgE du sérum des allergiques aux abeilles sont capables de fixer un grand nombre de protéines du miel, la prévalence de l’allergie au miel est faible chez les allergiques aux hyménoptères ou chez les apiculteurs. En revanche, l’allergie aux pollens en particulier de Composées (armoise, camomille, pissenlit) constitue un facteur de risque d’allergie au miel et à la gelée royale. L’éviction des produits en cause est la seule parade. Toutefois, le miel et les pollens, à un degré moindre la gelée royale, sont souvent masqués dans les produits alimentaires, diététiques et énergétiques. Il faut aussi se méfier des compositions d’herboristerie non étiquetées. Une surveillance des accidents allergiques au miel, à la gelée royale et à la propolis est indispensable.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Propolis Kills Cancer Cells

In vitro Cytotoxic Effect of Brazilian Green Propolis on Human Laryngeal Epidermoid Carcinoma (HEp-2) Cells
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 6, Number 4 Pp. 483-487

Propolis is a sticky dark-colored material showing a very complex chemical composition that honeybees collect from plants. It has been used in folk medicine since ancient times, due to several biological properties, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunomodulatory activities, among others. Its antitumor action in vivo and in vitro has also been reported, using propolis extracts or its isolated compounds.

The goal of this work was to evaluate propolis's cytotoxic action in vitro on human laryngeal epidermoid carcinoma (Hep-2) cells.

These cells were incubated with different concentrations of this bee product for different time periods, and morphology and the number of viable HEp-2 cells analyzed. Data showed that propolis exhibited a cytotoxic effect in vitro against HEp-2 cells, in a dose- and time-dependent way. Propolis solvent had no effects on morphology and number of viable cells, proving that the cytotoxic effects were exclusively due to propolis components.

Since humans have been using propolis for a long time, further assays will provide a better comprehension of propolis's antitumor action.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Antioxidants Found in Honey

New Antioxidant Compounds Have Been Identified in Foods Such as Olive Oil, Honey and Nuts Using Two Analytical Techniques
Medical News Today, 11/20/2009

Scientists at the University of Granada have identified and characterized for the first time different antioxidant compounds from foods such as olive oil, honey, walnuts and a medicinal herb called Teucrium polium. They have used two new techniques, capillary electrophoresis and high resolution liquid chromatography, that have enabled them to identify and quantify a great part of the phenolic compounds contained in these foods.

Functional foods such as olive oil, honey, walnuts and a medicinal herb called Teucrium polium are able to provide different health benefits, so their study and characterization is of great interest. Among the compounds that give such functional characteristics to these foods are phenolic compounds that have generated great interest due to their antioxidant capacity, which endows them with a chemopreventive effect in humans and causes them to have a great influence on the stability of oxidation present in food. Therefore, according to UGR researchers, the "identification and quantification [of these compounds] is a good means for the characterization of foods that contain them."…

Honey Products Promoted in India

Honey Popularization Drive Held
Times of India, 11/23/2009

CHANDIGARH: Khadi and Village Industries Corporation (KVIC) organised a honey popularisation drive at Sukhna Lake on Sunday. Hundreds of locals and tourists tasted honey and enquired about various products made of it. People were told about the different ways it could be used in daily diet.

The KVIC has been celebrating this week as Honey Week. A number of talent competitions were being held at various city schools, colleges and women clubs. Winners of these contests would be awarded on Monday during the concluding function of Honey Week at Shivalik school, Sector 41, said NS Tomar, state director, KVIC, Chandigarh and Punjab region. The event is being supported by Honey Hut Cafe, Sector 22, Kashmir Apiary Doraha and Regional Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (RCED), here. The KVIC is a statutory body created by an Act of Parliament and associated with ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, government of India. Its objective is to create sustainable eco-friendly employment opportunities in rural India. Bee-keeping is one of its major programmes which is being implemented at national level.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Propolis May Help Treat Ear Infection in Dogs

Antimicrobial Activity of Propolis Extract Against Staphylococcus coagulase Positive and Malassezia pachydermatis of Canine Otitis
Veterinary Microbiology, Article in Press

The aims of this study were to evaluate the antimicrobial potential of propolis extract by determining the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) for coagulase-positive Staphylococcus isolates (Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus intermedius) and the minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) for Malassezia pachydermatis isolates.

The microorganisms were assayed using broth microdilution techniques. The MBC(90) was 21mgmL(-1), and the MFC(90) was 5.3mgmL(-1).

The propolis extract was found to exhibit antimicrobial activity against both pathogens.

Australia to Export Propolis to Korea

Million Dollar Deal Signed in Young
Young Witness, 11/23/2009

MR Jing Bang Zou, proprietor of Jim’s Honey in Young, has signed an agreement in the boardroom of Lambing Flat Enterprises with representatives of Korean company, Kim Jeong Moon Aloe Co. Ltd. on Friday morning.

The deal will see Mr Zou export Propolis (a honey extract) to Korea, in a deal that he said will be worth about one million dollars a year.

“I would expect to be exporting one tonne of Propolis every month,” said Mr Zou.

“The Koreans want our product because it is so pure, ours is the best in the world…

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Honeydew Honey Conference to be Held in Greece April 7-10

International Symposium on Authenticity and Quality of Bee Products and the 2nd World Symposium on Honeydew Honey

Apimondia International Honey Commission

April 7-10th , 2010
Mediterranean Agronomic Institute
Chania, Crete, Greece

Dear honey scientists, dear beekeepers:

The Apimondia International Honey Commission is glad to invite you to the Symposium on the Authenticity and Quality of Bee Products. This Symposium will also host the 2nd World Symposium on honeydew honey which will be the continuation of the 1st Symposium, held in Tzarevo, Bulgaria in Agust 2008…

The Symposium is going to take place in the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute, Chania, Crete (MAIC) on April 7 -9th of 2010.

The goal of the Symposium is to reintegrate our knowledge on honeydew honeys, to enrich our understanding on insect producing honeydews and to justify the quality and authenticity of bee products. Communications are welcome in all aspects of honeydew honeys, on insect producing honeydews and on current work on the authenticity and quality of bee products. Papers are welcome on:

Botanical and geographical denominations
Properties and composition
Honeydew sources and harvest
Insect producing honeydews
Nutritional aspects
Prognosis of secretions
Bee manipulations for better production, etc.

All communications will be in English.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Propolis Eliminates Bacteria in Root Canals

Effectiveness of Propolis and Calcium Hydroxide as a Short-Term Intracanal Medicament Against Enterococcus faecalis: A Laboratory Study
Australian Endodontic Journal, Volume 35, Number 2, August 2009 , pp. 52-58(7)

The aim of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial activity of propolis-based intracanal medicament against Enterococcus faecalis using infected dentine models, and to compare its antimicrobial efficacy with that of the non-setting calcium hydroxide paste when used as a short-term medication for 1 and 2 days…

Results showed that propolis was significantly more effective than non-setting calcium hydroxide against E. faecalis after short-term application, which made comparison from this prospect unlevelled. The most effective microbiological sampling technique was abrading the lumen with headstrom file.

Propolis is very effective as intracanal medicament in rapidly eliminating E. faecalis ex vivo.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Russian Conference on Apiculture and Apitherapy, May 17-20, 2010

“Apiculture in the 21st Century” - Apiculture, Apitherapy and the Quality of Life

May 17-20, 2010, Moscow, Russia
International Industrial Academy

Unique products of apiculture, containing all the essential nutrients, are widely used for the prophylaxis and treatment of many diseases. Established in 1992 at the initiative of the Research Institute for Apiculture and Ryazan State Medical University, the Apitherapists’ Society promotes the development of this field of science in Russia by uniting creative potentials of medicine and apiculture. Fourteen All-Russian theoretical and practical conferences have been held so far, the proceedings published in the “Apitherapy Today” collected articles.

We hope that this International Conference, being at the same time the 15th All-Russian anniversary conference, will contribute to a more effective introduction of the apiculture products as an element of nutrition, thus improving people’s health and the quality of life.

On the Agenda:

• Current state of the world output of beekeeping products;
• Apiculture in Russia and around the world;
• Technologies for breeding and keeping of the bee colonies;
• Selection of the bee lines specialized in the production of certain kinds of products;
• Innovative technologies for the production and processing of beekeeping products;
• Modern methods of quality and safety control of the beekeeping products;
• Standardization in beekeeping;
• Research of the composition, nutritional value and biological activity of the beekeeping products;
• Development of technologies and remedies for apitherapy;
• Effective means of using the products of beekeeping in medical practice;
• Achievements of apitherapy in improving the quality of life.

For more information, contact:

Tel/Fax: +7 (495) 235-4281

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bee Products May Help Treat Cancer, Eye Damage Caused by Diabetes

Bee Products Prevent VEGF-Induced Angiogenesis in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 17 November 2009

Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key regulator of pathogenic angiogenesis in diseases such as cancer and diabetic retinopathy. Bee products [royal jelly (RJ), bee pollen, and Chinese red propolis] from the honeybee, Apis mellifera, have been used as traditional health foods for centuries. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-angiogenic effects of bee products using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs).

Methods: In an in vitro tube formation assay, HUVECs and fibroblast cells were incubated for 14 days with VEGF and various concentrations of bee products [RJ, ethanol extract of bee pollen, ethanol extract of Chinese red propolis and its constituent, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE)]. To clarify the mechanism of in vitro angiogenesis, HUVEC proliferation and migration were induced by VEGF with or without various concentrations of RJ, bee pollen, Chinese red propolis, and CAPE.

Results: RJ, bee pollen, Chinese red propolis, and CAPE significantly suppressed VEGF-induced in vitro tube formation in the descending order: CAPE > Chinese red propolis >> bee pollen > RJ. RJ and Chinese red propolis suppressed both VEGF-induced HUVEC proliferation and migration. In contrast, bee pollen and CAPE suppressed only the proliferation.

Conclusions: Among the bee products, Chinese red propolis and CAPE in particular showed strong suppressive effects against VEGF-induced angiogenesis. These findings indicate that Chinese red propolis and CAPE may have potential as preventive and therapeutic agents against angiogenesis-related human diseases.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Propolis May Help Treat Bone Diseases

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester, an Active Component of Honeybee Propolis Attenuates Osteoclastogenesis and Bone Resorption via the Suppression of RANKL-Induced NF-kappaB and NFAT Activity
J Cell Physiol, 2009 Dec;221(3):642-9

Receptor activator NF-kappaB ligand (RANKL)-activated signaling is essential for osteoclast differentiation, activation and survival. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a natural NF-kappaB inhibitor from honeybee propolis has been shown to have anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties.

In this study, we investigated the effect of CAPE on the regulation of RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis, bone resorption and signaling pathways…

Taken together, our findings demonstrate that inhibition of NF-kappaB and NFAT activation by CAPE results in the attenuation of osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption, implying that CAPE is a potential treatment for osteolytic bone diseases.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Video: Siege Turns Gazans to Bee Venom Therapy

Gazans Turn to Bee Venom Therapy

Bees Provide Pain Relief in Beleaguered Gaza

GAZA CITY (AFP, 11/14/09) - In a clinic in the beleaguered Gaza Strip, Ratib Samur makes his way from one patient to the next armed with little more than a small box filled with enraged bees.

He uses the bees to sting those who have come to him for help -- and amid the territory's deepening isolation, his clinic has been transformed into a hive of activity.

Since Hamas seized power in Gaza in 2007 the coastal enclave has been sealed off from all but vital aid by both Israel and Egypt, limiting the ability of Gazans to seek medical care abroad.

It has meant growing demand for Samur's bee venom treatment.

"The bee stings are really great," says Mohammed al-Dayya, paralyzed from the waist down because of muscular atrophy.

The 25-year-old used to be treated in Egypt, but has had to resort to the bees because of the closures. Confined to Gaza, he wheels himself into Samur's clinic each week to get stung, which he says has stabilized his condition.

"I no longer have this pain that used to keep me from sleeping," he said during a recent session. "This treatment made my condition stable and now it won't get worse before I am able to travel."

Most claims of apitherapy, the medical use of bee venom, are anecdotal and have not been proved to the satisfaction of scientists, although believers say it help relieve pain from multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis and certain other ailments.

Bee stings however also entail risks of serious allergic reactions, and of course the process of getting stung is not one most people would enjoy, at Samur's clinic, patients often get four to six stings a time.

Samur admits his treatment is no substitute for advanced medical care.

"I cannot help him walk again, but my treatment basically focuses on easing the pain and preventing his condition from deteriorating further," said Samur, who studied agricultural engineering in Egypt.

When the 53-year-old opened the clinic in 2003 after testing out bee venom treatments on his family and friends, he was greeted with skepticism.

"It became more acceptable when I got brilliant results from the treatment with a number of patients, and it increased even more after the Israeli siege," he said.

Israel generally allows people to leave Gaza for emergencies but grants only a limited number of permits for medical treatment abroad.

The lack of medical options and the economic crisis gripping the territory has sent hundreds of men, women and children flocking to Samur's clinic, where he pricks them with bees raised in dozens of backyard hives.

A course of three injections costs just $2.50 dollars.

Many of his patients suffer from wounds inflicted during Israel's assault on Gaza at the turn of the year aimed at halting Palestinian rocket attacks. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed before the fighting ended on January 18…

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bee Venom Therapy Used in India

Apitherapy Now in Madurai
By Zubeda Hamid, The New Indian Express, 11/14/2009

MADURAI: The next time someone you know complains of joint pain, hot water bottles and medication need not be the only solution.

Bee venom therapy or apitherapy has just made its entry in the city and a few stings from a bee, it is believed, helps relieve pain in the joints.

Apitherapy, which is the use of beehive products including honey, pollen, royal jelly and bee venom, has been practiced for centuries in several countries.

Bee venom has been used to treat arthritis, joint pain, multiple sclerosis and other rheumatic conditions. The venom is usually put in doses at the site of pain or acupuncture sites in the body. While in some cases live bees are used, there are also creams, ointments and injectable forms of the venom used by practitioners.

Akbar Omar, the man behind the therapy in the city, has been a bee aficionado since his young days. “There has been a lot of research and documentation about the beneficial effects of bee venom for a number of ills. In fact, there is a practitioner in Mumbai who claims it helps cure up to 500 ailments,’’ he said.

Omar, who has undergone training at the Central Bee Research Institute, Pune, is launching the service free of cost, under the auspices of the Rotary Club of Madurai Meenakshi.

Therapy will soon start, once the verifications of the procedure and all formalities are completed, said V M Jose, president of the Rotary Club, adding that it was going to be a year-long community service project.

Omar who cultivated bee hives for several years and has access to bees as and when he needs them, sees no problem in acquiring them depending on the demand.

“For the therapy, I will first test the patient to make sure he is not allergic to the venom. Around two percent of people in general are allergic so this has to be ruled out. After that, I will use live bees to sting in the affected area. Treatment varies from case to case and it may take a number of sessions for beneficial effects. Right now, I want to create some awareness about the existence of such a therapy,’’ he said…

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Unusual Compounds Found in Portuguese Propolis

Phenolic Characterization of Northeast Portuguese Propolis: Usual and Unusual Compounds
Anal Bioanal Chem, 2009 Nov 10

In this study, an ethanolic extract from Portuguese propolis was prepared, fractionated by high-performance liquid chromatography, and the identification of the phenolic compounds was done by electrospray mass spectrometry in the negative mode.

This technical approach allowed the identification of 37 phenolic compounds, which included not only the typical phenolic acids and flavonoids found in propolis from temperate zones but also several compounds in which its occurrence have never been referred to in the literature.

Four of the novel phenolic compounds were methylated and/or esterified or hydroxylated derivatives of common poplar flavonoids, although six peculiar derivatives of pinocembrin/pinobanksin, containing a phenylpropanoic acid derivative moiety in their structure, were also identified.

Furthermore, the Portuguese propolis sample was shown to contain a p-coumaric ester derivative dimer.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Data Compiled on Propolis Components

Recent Development of Chemical Components in Propolis
Journal Frontiers of Biology in China, Issue Volume 4, Number 4 / December, 2009

Propolis is a resinous substance collected by honeybees from various plant sources. On account of its chemical composition, propolis possesses several biological and pharmacological properties.

In recent years, many papers have provided information concerning its composition. This review compiles data from most studies of propolis, focusing on the chemical composition of ethanol extracts of propolis (EEP), water extracts of propolis (WEP), and volatile oils from propolis (VOP).

The characteristic compounds of EEP are polyphenols including flavonoids and related phenolic acids, and flavonoids are the most abundant and effective parts. They are considered to contribute more to the antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant effects than the other constituents. The main flavonoids in EEP are pinocembrin, galangin, chrysin, quercetin, kaempferol, and naringenin. The constituents reported to be in WEP include phenolic acids, caffeoylquinic acid, 3-mono-O-caffeoylquinic acid, caffeic acid, flavonoids, etc.

The propolis volatile compounds are benzyl alcohol, benzyl acetate, cinnamic alcohol, vanillin, eudensmol, cyclohexyl benzoate, and benzyl benzoate, which are responsible for several biological properties.

As a natural mixture, propolis is widely used in medicine and cosmetics, as well as being a constituent of health foods. Since propolis has been used extensively, information on its composition is not only of interest to the academic field, but also to propolis users.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Honeys and Royal Jelly: Origin, Nature, Composition and Recognized Properties

Miels et gelée royale: leur origine, leur nature, leur composition et leurs propriétés reconnues
Journal Phytothérapie, Issue Volume 7, Number 2 / April, 2009

Les propriétés du miel sont confirmées dans bien des domaines: énergie, croissance, respiration, digestion, action cicatrisante et antibactérienne. La gelée royale possède une activité antivirale notoire. Ces propriétés sont associées à des terroirs, des méthodes de récolte et de conditionnement qui préservent les qualités de ces produits fragiles.


Honey properties have been confirmed in several areas: energy, growth, respiratory system, digestion, wound-healing and antibacterial action. Royal jelly has a well-recognized antiviral action. Such properties are associated with specific territories, harvesting and packaging methods, which preserve the qualities of these fragile products.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Propolis May Help Treat Allergies

Inhibitory Activity of Brazilian Green Propolis Components and their Derivatives on the Release of Cys-Leukotrienes
Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Article in Press

The effects of Brazilian green propolis ethanol extract on Cry j1-induced cys-leukotrienes and histamine release from peripheral leukocytes of patients with allergic rhinitis were investigated.

One of the key mechanisms for the anti-allergic properties of the extract was revealed to be the suppression of cys-LTs release. Furthermore, a series of propolis components and their phenethyl esters were synthesized and evaluated as inhibitors of cys-LTs release.

Artepillin C, baccharin and kaempferide were the major active components of the ethanol extract. The inhibitory activity of artepillin C phenethyl ester was comparable to that of existing LT synthesis inhibitors.

UK Hospitals Use Honey Used to Beat Superbugs

When Antibiotics Fail, Nurses Turn to Maggots and Manuka Honey to Beat Superbugs
By David Gutierrez, Natural News, 11/12/2009

(NaturalNews) Faced with a growing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, hospitals in the United Kingdom are adopting traditional medicinal techniques to fight infection, such as maggots and honey.

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other drug-resistant infections kill or hasten the death of 8,000 British patients per year, while MRSA now kills more people in the United States annually than AIDS.

At the Royal United Hospital in Bath, England, many wounds are now being disinfected with Manuka honey rather than pharmaceutical antibiotics.

"Honey has been used in healing for centuries, but now new products have overcome the problems associated with using conventional honey and bring it into a modern healthcare setting," said the hospital's Kate Purser.

Honey is one of the oldest forms of medicine known, and was employed both as food and antibiotic by the ancient Egyptians and, more recently, by German doctors during World War I. Its high sugar content means that the water in honey is almost chemically inert, making it unavailable for the growth of bacteria, fungi or viruses. A naturally occurring enzyme known as glucose oxidase also makes honey acidic enough to create a hostile environment for most bacteria.

The honey used by Royal United Hospital is not the same as the honey found on supermarket shelves, however. The honey is a variety known as Manuka honey, which is produced from the manuka plant, native to New Zealand. This honey is then irradiated to kill any trace bacterial spores...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Video: Blockade Turns Gazans to Bee Venom Therapy

Anti-Bacterial Activity of Chestnut Honey Related to Aqueous Phase

Inhibition by Chestnut Honey of N-Acyl-l-homoserine Lactones and Biofilm Formation in Erwinia carotovora, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Aeromonas hydrophila
J. Agric. Food Chem, November 10, 2009

Bacteria are able to communicate and coordinate certain processes using small secreted signaling molecules called autoinducers. This phenomenon, known as “quorum sensing” (QS), may be essential for the synchronization of virulence factors as well as biofilm development.

The interruption of bacterial QS is acknowledged to attenuate virulence and considered to be a potential new therapy to treat infections caused by pathogenic bacteria. N-Acyl-l-homoserine lactones (AHLs) have been identified as the main bacterial signaling molecules in Gram-negative bacteria.

This study evaluates the capacity of chestnut honey and its aqueous and methanolic extracts to inhibit bacterial AHL-controlled processes in Erwinia carotovora, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Aeromonas hydrophila.

This study is the first in applying liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry to determine the QS inhibitory activity of honey against pathogenic bacteria…

The effect of chestnut honey and its aqueous and methanolic extracts (0.2 g/mL) on AHL concentration and biofilm formation in bacterial cultures was determined. The obtained results revealed their potential use as QS inhibitors or regulators of the degradation of QS signals, with the methanolic extract showing less inhibitory capacity.

Thus, the QS inhibitory activity of chestnut honey seems to be related to the aqueous phase, suggesting that the carbohydrate fraction contains an antipathogenic substance responsible for the inhibitory activity.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meet the White House Honey Bees

A Bountiful Buzz
By Elisabeth Goodridge, The New York Times, 11/4/2009

A new type of visitor came to the National Mall this year, flitting past monuments and museums in favor of trees, flowers and plants. But this wasn’t just some horticultural tour; no, this was work. Each day they were abuzz, gathering and pollinating before returning home to modest quarters with tremendous security near Lafayette Park.

Meet the White House honeybee…

Monday, November 09, 2009

Propolis Boosts Prostate Cancer Cell Death

Ethanolic Extract of Propolis Augments TRAIL-Induced Apoptotic Death in Prostate Cancer Cells
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2009 Nov 5

Prostate cancer is a commonly diagnosed cancer in men. The ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) and its phenolic compounds possess immunomodulatory, chemopreventive and antitumor effects.

Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL/APO2L) is a naturally occurring anticancer agent that preferentially induces apoptosis in cancer cells and is not toxic to normal cells.

We examined the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of EEP and phenolic compounds isolated from propolis in combination with TRAIL on two prostate cancer cell lines, hormone-sensitivity LNCaP and hormone-refractory DU145…

Our study demonstrated that EEP and its components significantly sensitize to TRAIL-induced death in prostate cancer cells…

The strongest cytotoxic effect on LNCaP cells was exhibited by apigenin, kaempferid, galangin and caffeic acid phenylethyl ester (CAPE) in combination with TRAIL (53.51 +/- 0.68 - 66.06 +/- 0.62% death cells).

In this work, we showed that EEP markedly augmented TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in prostate cancer cells and suggested the significant role of propolis in chemoprevention of prostate cancer.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Flavonoid, Phenolic Acid Content of Egyptian Honeys Analysed

Determination of Flavonoid and Phenolic Acid Contents of Clover, Cotton and Citrus Floral Honeys
J Egypt Public Health Assoc, 2009;84(3-4):245-59

Authentic samples of clover, cotton and citrus honeys were selected and extracted from their hives placed in clover, citrus, and cotton farms. Their botanical origin was assured then they were extracted and analyzed for flavonoids and phenolic acids content.

Results showed that the lowest percentage of authentic samples was found in cotton honey. Moreover, 93.00% +/- 3.00 of pollen grains found in clover honey samples were for clover, 16.25% +/- 3.18 of pollen grains found in cotton honey samples were for cotton and 32.50 % +/- 10.60 of pollen grains found in citrus honey samples were for citrus species.

In addition, the flavonone hesperetin was found only in citrus honey samples with a mean content of 1.08 +/- 0.36 mg/100 g honey whereas, the flavanol quercetin was found in the three floral honeys. The phenolic acids (cinnamic acid and p-hydroxy benzoic acid) were detected in the three floral honeys with different quantities.

It is recommended to use honey as a healthy alternative to sugar; also, to use hesperetin as a floral marker of citrus honey.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Royal Jelly Recommended for Stress

Stress and Sex
The Philippine Star, 11/5/2009

MANILA, Philippines - Too much dedication toward one’s work can bring too much stress. And too much stress can greatly affect one’s health.

Some of the common problems experienced by people under stress include depression, hair loss, irritability, and obesity. It can also affect the immune system, thus people with high stress levels are more prone to diseases such as diabetes.

Aside from these, stress can also lower one’s libido. Since chronic stress affects the function of hormones (cortisol and epinephrine), it can also affect hormones involved in one’s sexual response…

Supplements with royal jelly and ginseng can also improve one’s ability for sexual intimacy. Energin 300, for instance, provides a high dose of royal jelly and ginseng.

It is now being prescribed by many local doctors who have seen remarkable improvement in their patients. A lot of doctors have already considered Energin 300 as a natural enhancer of health and wellness.

Manufactured by NOW Foods, one of the leading manufacturers of vitamins and food supplements in the United States, Energin 300 has the highest amount of ginseng among similar brands that help improve one’s overall performance if taken regularly. Trianon International distributes it locally.

The beneficial effect of Energin 300 was recently shown in a pre-launch trial among office personnel and employees, public transport drivers, call center agents, and students who reported improved virility and sexual potency after taking Energin 300, according to Trianon marketing manager Charles Cultura.

Majority of the subjects also reported overall improvement in physical and mental performance, and ability to fight stress, he said…

Friday, November 06, 2009

Water Extract of Propolis Shows Higher Antimicrobial, Anti-Cancer Activity

Trigona laeviceps Propolis from Thailand: Antimicrobial, Antiproliferative and Cytotoxic Activities
The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 2009;37(5):855-865

Propolis is one of the natural bee products which has long been used as a crude preventative and prophylactic medicine, and has been reported to possess antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and anticancer properties.

Propolis of the stingless bee, Trigona laeviceps, was extracted by water or methanol at 35% (w/v) yielding a crude water or a methanolic extract at 60 and 80 mg/ml, respectively, which is 17.1 and 22.9% (w/w) of the total propolis, respectively.

The antimicrobial activity of both crude extracts was assayed on four selected pathogenic microbes by using the agar well diffusion method. The results suggested that both water and methanolic crude extracts have some antimicrobial activities, water extract has greater antimicrobial activity than methanolic extract…

Antiproliferative and cytotoxic affects were tested on the colon carcinoma cell line, SW620, using the three parameters: (1) MTT assay; (2) cell morphology; and (3) the fragmentation of genomic DNA.

The water extract of propolis showed a higher antiproliferative activity than that of methanolic extract to SW620 cells, additionally both appeared to cause cell death by necrosis.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Honey Blamed for UK Baby’s Botulism Paralysis

Honey On a Dummy Could Have Killed Tot
By Myra Philp, The Sun (UK), 11/4/2009

The baby fighting for his life with botulism could have caught it from sucking a dummy which had been dipped in honey, it emerged last night.

Little Logan Douglas was left paralysed by a potentially deadly toxin - one of the most poisonous known to man.

It can be caught from food including honey - often used to soothe kids - which has carried a health warning since 1978 saying it should not be given to tots under a year old.

Last night Logan was on a ventilator in Edinburgh Sick Kids hospital where he was taken after being admitted to hospital in Kirkcaldy six weeks ago…

Botulism is extremely rare and medics at first failed to spot the reason for Logan's paralysis…

It can be contracted in food and in wounds or it can form and release a toxin in the gut of babies.

Infant botulism was discovered in 1976. There have been just six cases in the UK - one where a baby was fed honey in water - but none in Scotland until now.

The Health Protection Agency Scotland said there have been no food cases since their records started in 1983 and only one where a wound was involved.

The last recorded case of infant botulism in the UK was in England in 2001.

A baby girl, aged just four months, contracted the disease on holiday in Spain. It took over a month for her to be taken off a ventilator.

Since 1976, over 1,000 cases of infant botulism have been reported worldwide, most of them in America…

Testing for Propolis Allergy Recommended

The Importance of Propolis in Patch Testing - A Multicentre Survey
Contact Dermatitis, 2009 Nov;61(5):287-90

Background: Propolis is widely used in 'natural' cosmetics, remedies, and over-the-counter products. The incidence of propolis allergy is increasing, and cross-reaction with fragrance mix I (FMII), colophonium, and Myroxylon pereirae can occur.

Objectives: To find out the prevalence and clinical relevance of positive patch tests to propolis and assess cross-reactions with Myroxylon pereirae, colophonium, FMI, and beeswax…

Results: The prevalence of propolis allergy was 1.9% (55/2828). Out of these 55 subjects, only 4 (7.2%) were allergic to beeswax, 22 (40%) to Myroxylon pereirae, 15 (27.2%) to colophonium, and 6 (10.9%) to FMI. Additional data for 41 propolis allergic subjects were collected by questionnaire. Hands were the most common sites of involvement, and cosmetics were the most common source of contact. Eight out of 12 subjects reported improvement in eczema following avoidance of propolis.

Conclusions: Propolis is an important allergen of increasing frequency and its inclusion in BCDS baseline series is appropriate. Cross-sensitivity to beeswax is rare.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Video: Oregon Volunteers Get Bee Beards

Volunteers from the Portland area offered their services, wearing a beard of live honeybees at OMSI, while Canadian honeybee expert John Gibeau talked about what makes bees special during his visit to Portland on Saturday, 10/31/09. Gibeau works with honeybees in the film industry using his expertise on films like 'Wicker Man' starring Nicolas Cage. Video by Tim Brown,

Honey Better Than Medication for Children’s Coughs

Do OTC remedies relieve cough in acute upper respiratory infections?
J Fam Pract, 2009 Oct;58(10):559a-c

Dextromethorphan (DM) for adults and honey for children provide some relief. DM may modestly decrease cough in adults compared with placebo. The data supporting zinc for the common cold are mixed. Antihistamines, antihistamine-decongestant combinations, and guaifenesin do not provide greater relief than placebo in adults. In children, antihistamines, decongestants, DM, or combinations of them do not relieve cough better than placebo.

Honey may modestly decrease frequency and severity of cough compared with DM or no treatment.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Propolis Relieves Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

Effect of Brazilian propolis on Sneezing and Nasal Rubbing in Experimental Allergic Rhinitis of Mice
Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol, 2009;31(4):688-93

We studied the effect of Brazilian propolis on sneezing and nasal rubbing in experimental allergic rhinitis of mice.

A single administration of propolis caused no significant effect on both antigen-induced nasal rubbing and sneezing at a dose of 1000 mg/kg, but a significant inhibition was observed after repeated administration for 2 weeks at this dose.

Propolis caused no significant inhibitory effect on the production of total IgE level after repeated administration of 1000 mg/kg. The drug also caused no significant inhibition of histamine-induced nasal rubbing and sneezing at a dose of 1000 mg/kg.

On the other hand, propolis significantly inhibited histamine release from rat mast cells induced by antigen and compound 48/80 at a concentration of more than 10 microg/ml.

These results clearly demonstrated that propolis may be effective in the relief of symptoms of allergic rhinitis through inhibition of histamine release.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Darker Honeys Have Higher Antioxidant Activity

Profiling of alpha-Dicarbonyl Content of Commercial Honeys from Different Botanical Origins: Identification of 3,4-Dideoxyglucoson-3-ene (3,4-DGE) and Related Compounds
J Agric Food Chem, 2009 Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print]

The alpha-dicarbonyl contents of commercial honey samples from different botanical origins were analyzed as their quinoxaline derivatives using HPLC-DAD, HPLC-MS, HPLC-MS/MS, and HPLC-TOF-MS.

A total of nine such compounds were detected, of which five were previously reported in honey (glucosone, 3-deoxyglucosone, glyoxal, methylglyoxal, and 2,3-butanedione) and three were reported only from sources other than honey [3-deoxypentulose, 1,4-dideoxyhexulose, and 3,4-dideoxyglucoson-3-ene (3,4-DGE)].

An unknown alpha-dicarbonyl compound was also tentatively identified as an oxidation product of 3,4-DGE and was termed 3,4-dideoxyglucosone-3,5-diene (3,4-DGD). Only glyoxal (0.3-1.3 mg/kg), methylglyoxal (0.8-33 mg/kg), and 2,3-butanedione (0-4.3 mg/kg) were quantified in all honey samples.

Furthermore, analysis of the alpha-dicarbonyl profile of various honey samples indicated that certain alpha-dicarbonyl compounds are found in specific honey samples in much higher proportions relative to the average amounts.

The free radical scavenging activity as measured by DPPH method has also indicated that the darker honey samples such as buckwheat, manuka, blueberry, and eucalyptus had higher antioxidant properties compared to lighter-colored samples.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Royal Jelly Prevents Kidney Damage

Protective Effect of Royal Jelly and Green Tea Extracts Effect Against Cisplatin-Induced Nephrotoxicity in Mice: A Comparative Study
J Med Food, 2009 Oct;12(5):1136-1142

The aim of the present study was to investigate the protective role of royal jelly (RJ) and green tea (GT) extracts on cisplatin (cDDP)-induced nephrotoxicity in adult albino mice…

The results indicated that no significant differences in MDA, GSH, BUN, and creatinine levels were observed among the control group and groups treated with RJ alone and GT alone. However, there was a significant increase in BUN and creatinine parameters after cDDP application in Groups II, V, and VI…

In conclusion, 100 mg/kg of body weight doses of RJ and GT provided protection against cDDP-induced nephrotoxicity, and both products can act as protector agents against cDDP-induced kidney damages.