Sunday, February 28, 2010

Commentary: Possible Risks from Methylglyoxal in Manuka Honey

Methylglyoxal – a Potential Risk Factor of Manuka Honey in Healing of Diabetic Ulcers
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2/22/2010

Honey has been considered as a remedy in wound healing since ancient times. However, as yet, there are inadequate supportive robust randomized trials and experimental data to fully accept honey as an effective medical product in wound care. Manuka honey has been claimed to have therapeutic advantages over other honeys.

Recently, it has been documented that the pronounced antibacterial activity of manuka honey is due, at least in part, to reactive methylglyoxal (MG). The concentration of MG in manuka honeys is up to 100-fold higher than in conventional honeys. MG is a potent protein-glycating agent and an important precursor of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). MG and AGEs play a role in the pathogenesis of impaired diabetic wound healing and can modify the structure and function of target molecules.

This commentary describes the concern that MG in manuka honey may delay wound healing in diabetic patients. Further detailed research is needed to fully elucidate the participation of honey/derived MG in healing diabetic ulcers. We advocate randomized controlled trials to determine efficacy and safety of manuka honey in this population.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bee Venom Has Both Anti-Inflammatory, Inflammatory Properties

Study of the Molecular Mechanism of Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Bee Venom in Lipopolysaccharide Stimulated RAW 264.7 Macrophages
Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, February 2010; 9(1): 19-26

Purpose: Bee venom (BV) is traditionally used in many inflammatory chronic conditions but its mechanism of action at molecular level is not fully understood. This study was undertaken to elucidate the mechanism of action of bee venom at the molecular level

Methods: We used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation in Raw 264.7 macrophage (RM) cells and studied the effect of BV on cell proliferation, inflammation related protein expression by western blotting and RNA expression by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

Results: Bee venom was toxic to RM cells above10 µg/ml but reduced the production of nitric oxide (NO) at 2–10 µg/ml in LPS stimulated RM cells by inhibiting the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxigenase (COX)-2 via nuclear factor (NF)-κB. However, bee venom also induced the pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin (IL)-1β via p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) which is known to stimulate inflammatory activity.

Conclusion: It seems that NFκB and p38 MAPK signal pathways are involved in triggering the functional activation of LPS-stimulated macrophage. We suggest that some components of bee venom can cause inflammation by inducing IL-1β via p38 MAPK while others act as anti-inflammatory by suppressing iNOS and COX2 via NFκB.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Injured Penguin Treated with Honey

Back to the Wild After Hospital Stay
By Rebecca Fox, Otago Daily Times (New Zealand),2/20/2010

Watching an endangered yellow-eyed penguin dive into the sea and make its way back to its nest, gave no indication that three weeks ago its prognosis was not so good, after a leg injury...

Penguin Place staff member Glen Riley said the penguin was severely dehydrated and weak when it arrived at the hospital.

They treated the wound with manuka honey cream and kept the penguin in a small pen to give it time to heal.

Because other penguins treated with heavy doses of antibiotics had problems with their new feathers coming through during moulting, staff had delayed the dose for this penguin, instead letting the antibacterial properties of the honey do the work.

"It's healed really well. It's amazing.

"You can barely tell."...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Honey Bee College March 12-13 in Florida

Washington County News, 2/24/2010

On March 12-13, the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension lab will be offering the 3rd annual Bee College at UF Whitney Marine labs in St. Augustine, FL. The Bee College is Florida's largest educational honey bee/pollinator event, and is open to everyone. We have beginner and advanced tracks, as well as classes for those who don't even keep bees (gardening for bees, bumble bee biology, native pollinators of Fl, etc!)…

FDA Warns About Use of Beeswax 'Ear Candles'

Stick What in Your Ear?
By Lisa Wade McCormick,, 2/23/2010

Does sticking a burning candle in your ear sound like a good way to remove ear wax or cleanse your blood of impurities?

Many consumers are apparently trying this procedure -- often called "ear candling" -- because of claims that it can do everything from remove toxins in the ear canal to cure cancer. But federal health officials warn consumers not to use these products, saying they can cause burns and other serious injuries.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also said consumers shouldn't be swayed by claims that ear candling can improve hearing, relieve headaches, sinus and ear infections, purify blood, cure cancer, or improve brain functions.

"FDA has found no valid scientific evidence to support the safety or effectiveness of these devices for any medical claims or benefits," the agency said in a statement released on Saturday.

Ear candles are hollow cones about ten inches long made from a fabric tube soaked in beeswax, paraffin, or a mixture of the two. Companies that make these products claim that burning a candle in the ear creates a vacuum that draws wax and other debris from the ear canal.

But the FDA said consumers who have used ear candles have suffered burns and perforated eardrums that required outpatient surgery. These injuries happened even when consumers used the ear candles according to the manufacturer's direction, the FDA said…

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Zealand, U.S. Firms Complete Medicinal Honey Deal

Comvita Completes Licensing Deal with Derma

Feb. 24 (BusinessWire) – Comvita Ltd. the medicinal honey products developer whose shares have doubled in 12 months, said it completed a global licensing and manufacturing deal with Nasdaq-listed Derma Science Inc. for its Medihoney wound-care line.

…Under the agreement, Derma gets exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture and sell the Medihoney range, which uses `medical grade’ manuka honey, to the professional and medical market…

Derma chairman Ed Quilty said the deal will “leverage Comvita’s ample supply of manuka honey” to expand Derma’s Advanced Wound Care product line in coming years.

Derma will expand its global presence as a result and is bolstering its sales force and hiring a managing director for Europe.

Bees Collect Propolis from Tree Buds

Let's Talk About the Buds and the Bees
Times & Transcript (Canada), 2/20/2010

…Let's take a closer look at these little jewels gracing every tree branch out there now and sleuth into the secrets they seem to hold, some of which the bees are very aware of. Man has tried to learn some of these secrets from the buds and the bees.

There are some bird and mammal species that are very aware of the nutritional punch held by these packets called buds have, while getting their natural medicinal treatment of "propolis" at the same time…

Buds are surely very exposed to the elements whether that be rain, cold, ice, snow, bacteria or fungi, etc. They have little to worry about, however, no matter how cold it gets or even if a sleet storm covers them with ice. If you take a bud and cut it in half, it will surprise you just how soft the interior is. In fact, if the bud is cut, the interior will quite readily freeze and die.

The secret is thought to be the result of a special waxy resinous coating the buds are covered with. I suspect many have heard of this resin as a medication available as "bee propolis."

The actual chemical compound of propolis is exceptionally complex and still being unfolded by laboratories around the world. Mother Nature does like to keep some of her secret alchemy under wraps, leaving us to figure it out for ourselves.

However, the bee community knows exactly how powerful this resin coating of tree buds really is. It just happens to be one of the most important natural products to the success of bee housekeeping. The buds protect themselves from environmental hazards with the propolis they excrete. The bees protect their hives from the same kind of danger by collecting tree propolis. The bees mix the tree propolis with equal amounts of their salivary secretions and use the resultant "bee propolis" to coat the internal structure of their combs rendering the interior of the beehive one of the most sterile environments found in nature…

Propolis, which means "defender of the city" in Greek, can rightly be regarded as a great protector. Bee propolis is a much sought-after item.

Beekeepers use exacting size cells in their hives to have the bees manufacture and fill them with honey. They have found by using a smaller size cell, the bees will fill the "too small" cells with bee propolis.

Bee propolis is a dark brown sticky product at room temperature but, at lower temperatures, it becomes hard and brittle. By placing the beehive propolis cell in the cold, the product becomes hard and brittle and can be readily removed. From here, bee propolis is prepared into extracts, tinctures, ointments, capsules, tablets, lozenges, etc. that are used in human medicine. Dentistry research is also being done as there is evidence it is useful to protect against dental caries and other forms of oral disease.

The medicinal uses of bee propolis could fill a whole volume with lots of research to back up some surprising claims…

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bayer Pesticide Banned Over Threat to Honeybees

By Ethan A. Huff, 2/22/2010

(NaturalNews) A U.S. District Judge from Manhattan has banned the sale of spirotetramat, a pesticide produced by Bayer CropScience. Citing allegations by environmental groups and commercial beekeepers that the pesticide is toxic and is killing off the nation's honeybee population, Judge Denise Cote has declared that sales of spirotetramat must cease after January 15…

Variable Composition of Propolis Influences Medicinal Activity

Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial Profiles of Selected Compounds Found in South African Propolis
South African Journal of Science, vol.105 no.11-12 Pretoria Nov./Dec. 2009

Propolis is a complex resinous substance manufactured by honey bees to scaffold and protect the hive against pathogens. Although it has been widely used for its medicinal properties, it is unknown whether the activity depends on the concentrations of specific constituents or on potentiation between these.

This study describes (1) the individual topical anti-inflammatory activities of selected flavonoids commonly found in propolis, and (2) their antibacterial activities, alone or in combination with the non-flavonoid caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE).

For the anti-inflammatory activities, the reduction in croton oil-induced oedema in a mouse model, after topical application of quercetin and galangin for 3 h, was more than 50%, while after 6h of treatment the reduction was less than 50%. By contrast, the suppressive activity of luteolin was about 30% and 50%, for treatments of 3 h and 6 h, respectively.

The maximum inhibition of the growth of Staphylococcus aureus by each of CAPE, eriodictyol and quercetin was about 20%, while luteolin was inactive. When combined with CAPE, potentiation of the antibacterial effect was observed in the case of luteolin, but antagonism was observed when combined with either eriodictyol or quercetin.

The propolis flavonoids each appear to have significant anti-inflammatory activity while their antibacterial activities are somewhat weaker and significant only when luteolin was combined with CAPE…


Each of the propolis flavonoids tested exerted anti-inflammatory effects, but differed in their durations of the effect. In contrast, their weaker antibacterial activities appeared to be critically dependent on the constituent concerned, as well as on its combination with other constituents, and their concentrations. The highly variable composition of propolis may thus influence its medicinal activity. Hence, some types of propolis may be more active as anti-inflammatory agents than as antibacterial agents.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Honey Sterilization Possible at Lower Radiation Level

Microbial Decontamination of Honey of Indian Origin Using Gamma Radiation and Its Biochemical and Organoleptic Properties
Journal of Food Science, Volume 75, Number 1, January/February 2010, pp. M19-M27(1)

Gamma radiation is known to inactivate microorganisms in various foods and thus ensures their microbial safety. In the present study, process parameters were standardized for achieving microbial decontamination of honey of Indian origin. Study was also carried out to examine the effect of gamma radiation treatment on the biochemical, antioxidant, antibacterial, and organoleptic attributes of the honey.

A 15 kGy dose of gamma radiation was found to be sufficient for complete microbial decontamination of honey including spores, thus improving its microbial safety without affecting the quality attributes.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Propolis Has Immunomodulatory Effect

Immunomodulatory Action of Propolis: VII. A Comparative Study on Cinnamic and Caffeic Acid Lysine Derivatives
Comptes Rendus de l'Academíe Bulgare des Sciences
Ivanovska, N., Stefanova, Z., Valeva, V., Neychev, H.
Department of Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Lysine derivatives of two components of propolis, cinnamic acid and caffeic acid, were prepared (acid to lysine ratio 2:1), and their effects on residual alternative pathway (AP) and C3 activities were determined.

AP haemolysis was strongly inhibited by both compounds and C3 activity by the derivative of cinnamic acid, whereas that of caffeic acid had less effect. Further studies on the probable mechanisms involved, including in vivo tests using mice, are described.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Jersey Medical Center Treats Wounds with Honey

Hunterdon Medical Center Doctors Using Honey for Wound Care
By Hunterdon County Democrat, 2/15/2010

RARITAN TWP. — Honey isn’t just for sweetening tea anymore. Doctors at the Hunterdon Wound Healing Center are using it as part of their treatment program.

Honey was used as a first aid treatment more than 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Today, doctors are using a medical grade product called Leptospermum honey— native to New Zealand and Australia — as an effective agent in topical wound care. They say its is especially useful for treating non-healing diabetic wounds and in cases where antibiotic resistance, such as MRSA, is an issue.

Dr. Priti Gujar, who is Medical Director of the Hunterdon Wound Healing Center, said, “The medical grade honey helps to decrease bacteria and maintain moisture in the wound to allow it to heal. It also helps to remove tissue that is unhealthy, which can prolong the healing process, and stimulates new tissue growth.”

Michelle Allegro, RN, CNM, who is Clinical Manager at the wound center, said that with the product, a typical wound may take about eight to 16 weeks to heal. “Our goal is to heal a wound within 16 weeks,” she said. “With a combination of therapies…we have seen faster results.”…

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bee Venom Acupuncture Helps Relieve Shoulder Pain

Needle-Free Acupuncture Benefits Both Patients and Clinicians
Neurol Res, 2010 Feb;32 Suppl 1:22-6

Objective: This study examined whether a needle-free acupuncture can be an alternative to conventional needle injection acupuncture.

Methods: Patients (n=101) suffering myofascial shoulder pain were randomly assigned to either needle-free or conventional needle injection acupuncture group. Bee venom was administered into GB21 (Gyeonjeong) acupuncture point for both groups.

Results: Shoulder pain was significantly reduced by the treatment in both groups. Patients treated by needle-free acupuncture reported less anxiety, less discomfort and fewer adverse events. Clinicians reported that needle-free acupuncture was safe but not convenient due to the complexity of the device.

Discussion: With appropriate adjustments of the current device, needle-free acupuncture can become an alternative to the conventional needle injection method.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bermuda Spa Offers Honey Massages

Bermuda Spa Offers Up a Honey of a Treatment
By Janie Robinson, The Star (Canada), 2/13/2010

TUCKER'S POINT, BERMUDA–There are three things you need to know about Bermuda honey bees.

Dark, delicious Bermuda honey gets its distinctive flavour from the Mexican Pepper tree.

A Bermuda honey spa treatment makes skin silky smooth.

And a Bermuda honey bee sting hurts like hell.

Bermuda's Beekeeper No. 5 honey is a sticky ingredient on the spa menu at the island's new Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa.

And the honey is harvested from the hives of bad-tempered bees right on the grounds of the luxury resort's 80-hectare seaside property, but secreted away in a forest well away from the guests…

Locally harvested aloe and honey are used for the Tribe Road No. 1 Natural Aloe Massage, and Beekeeper No. 5 Honey and Cane Sugar Scrub.

"The Tucker's Point bees are our best producers, but they're also our most aggressive," warns Dejuan Seymour, swathed safe and sound in his beekeeper garb, smoker in hand to calm the bees buzzing busily around their hives.

I'd been warned, so can't really blame the bee for protecting its territory from some tourist who's bugged the beekeeper to tag along.

"A bee sting is said to treat ailments from cancer to multiple sclerosis," says Seymour, giving the stinger still stuck in my hand a quick swipe away, while explaining all about apitherapy – the medical use of honey bee products.

There is evidence that Egyptians used honey to treat wounds 5,000 years ago, and Aristotle later wrote of honey's healing properties.

In fact, honey was used to treat wounds up through World War II, and is still a treatment for various ailments in Africa, India and the Middle East…

Apitherapy Products are Profitable

Of Birds and Bees
Nidhi Nath Srinivas, Zikkir, 2/15/2010

…the real gravy is no more in honey. Other products of a bee’s miniature world are more valuable now that we have the technology to extract them. Protein-rich pollen clinging a bee’s legs is dusted off and collected. Bees create propolis, a natural resin, to build their hives that can ward of disease. Propolis extract is key in luxury cosmetics, and fetches Rs 1,000/kg abroad.

Royal jelly is the special food that bees feed their next queen. Royal jelly helps the queen bee become super fertile and live five times longer than other bees. Scientists believe royal jelly can cure everything from eczema and impotency to Parkinson’s disease. An entire system of alternative medicine – apitherapy – is centred on royal jelly.

Bee venom is another best-seller. It dilutes the blood, making it ideal for treating heart ailments. “10 gm venom is worth $1000. It’s more expensive than gold,” says Bandeep Singh of Kashmir Apiaries, India’s largest honey producer and exporter. Even bees wax has found new demand in cosmetics and preserving fruit…

Monday, February 15, 2010

Honey a Potential Treatment for Lupus, Cancer, AIDS

Report from the 2nd International Conference on the Medicinal Use of Honey, 13-15 January, 2010, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia

Contact: Professor Dr Nor Hayati Othman, e-mail:

The Health Campus of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) hosted the 2nd International Conference on the Medicinal Use of Honey from 13th to 15th January, 2010, in Kota Bharu, Malaysia, in joint collaboration with agencies from the Ministry of Agriculture; FAMA [Fedearal Authority Marketting Agency] and MARDI [Malaysian Agriculture Research & Development Institute].

About 300 researchers, medical specialists, bee keepers and related individuals from 17 countries attended the meeting. Fifty-seven research papers were presented related to basic and clinical research, including cancer biology, diabetic wound management, surgical wound care, radiation mucositis, and the role of honey in SLE and AIDS.

Dr Stefan Stangaciu of Romania, an expert apitherapist cum family medicine physician and founder of the German Apitherapy Society, presented the current practice and recent development of Honey and other bee products in various disease conditions. He emphasized the role of honey bee resulting in 16 products compared with other ‘food’ animals in the world. The products range from honey, propolis, royal jelly, bee larvae, bee wax, pollen, bee bread, bee sting, bee hive air, bee powder, bee venom, apilarnil, bee stinger etc.

Honey is ubiquitous in the nature, acidic, having numerous compounds and its constituents change as per the floral origin, way of processing and age of honey. Propolis, the wax present in the bee hives helps in healing, regeneration of diseased liver and infection control.

Honey bee stings, considered as potentially harmful, are now used as therapy in numerous immunological disorders and in improvement of circulation.

Honey is safe and can be administered topical, ophthalmic, intranasal, intra-aural, intratumoral and even he demonstrated administration of diluted honey intravenously. The above products could be useful in infertility, periodontal disease, vasculopathy, and burn wound dressing.

Jennifer Eddy, a renowned family medicine physician from University of Wisconsin, USA, worked on the role of honey in refractory non-healing diabetes; those failed conventional antibiotics due to drug resistance.

She stressed the need for evidence through research and publication to promote the healing effects of honey. In the current teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate medical student there is limited scope of complimentary therapy like honey. Perhaps with accumulation of further evidence, the beneficial effects of this simple treatment could be introduced to the students. She systematically analyzed published randomized controlled clinical trials on various clinical conditions.

Professor Rose Cooper, a honey researcher and microbiologist from Cambridge, UK, pointed out the role of medical grade honey in the treatment of MRSA wound infection. She and her honey research teams demonstrated the induction of cytokines (IL6, TNF-alfa) following administration of honey in the healing of wounds. She works closely with nurses those responsible for management of cancer and non-cancerous wounds in UK. She has published more than 17 research papers related to honey and is editing a specialty international journal of Apitherapy and ApiMedical scienses to popularize of Apitherapy in the world.

Minoru Takeuchi, A professor and research scientist of biotechnology from Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan demonstrated clearly the migration and scavenging properties of polymorphs in response to Jungle honey in experimental condition. He researched extensively on jungle honey derived from deep forests of Nigeria. His team of scientists also demonstrated the regression of an experimental tumors following intraperitoneal administration of jungle honey; a very new finding in honey research.

Perhaps the tumor regressed in response to jungle honey is mediated through production of reactive oxygen species and apoptosis. He is leading further research in the above fields in Japan.

Professor Kamaruddin Mohd Yusoff, a lead researcher from the honey research unit of University Malaya Medical Center, Kuala Lumpur, showed how they developed various tests to detect quality honey from plethora of honey available in the market and bee farms. His research teams have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects of honey using animal models. His study is an extension on his previous works on wound healing properties of honey, also in experimental animals. He and his team are currently collaborating with clinician for human trials

Prof Siti Amrah Sulaiman a pharmacologist in medical school, Universiti Sains Malaysia, led a team of researchers working on Tualang honey, a Malaysian jungle honey. They studied several types of honey samples compared to Manuka honey donated by FAMA.

Tualang honey has similar properties as well-studied Manuka honey in many aspects. Unlike Manuka honey, Tualang honey is shown to be rich in HMF and also has other compounds not shown in other honey studied previously.

HMF itself has been shown to have anti-microbial properties. Her team researched the role of honey as anti-diabetic properties and its effect on reproductive system in experimental animals.

Though honey is a sweetening agent, contradictory to common understanding of management of diabetes, experimental diabetic rats fed on titrated dosage of honey were shown to have improvement of the disease compared to controls. The serum glucose level declined in response to enteral administration of honey and delayed the progression of renal damage in diabetic animal model.

Honey also protects vaginal mucosa from atrophy and bone from loss of density in ovriectomised rats; an animal model for menopause state in women. Tualang honey also has been shown to have high anti-oxidant properties.

Experimental rats which was induced to develop mammary cancer was found to have smaller cancers and lower histological grading compared when fed on titrated dosage of honey compared to controls. There were also significant increase in numbers of inflammatory cells particularly eosinophils in these tumours, supporting the positive role of honey in promoting immune response of the host.

Randomized open label clinical trials comparing honey and HRT on postmenopausal women were conducted by Assoc Prof Nik Hazlina, an Ob-Gyn specialist. Her team has found out that administration of 20 g of honey daily to postmenopausal women for 4 months were well tolerated and did not give any adverse effect. A longer duration of study is required to show positive effects of honey in this group of women.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic immunological disorder affecting various organs such as skin, blood vessels and kidney. There is no cure for this crippling disease; however the symptoms could be palliated using immunosuppressive agents.

In a pilot randomized control trial, administration of Tualang honey in addition to existing immunosuppressive therapy resulted in reduction of disease activity (SLEDAI) score and an increase in both complements C3 and C4. Adjuvant Honey affects the percentages of circulating lymphocyte subsets as there were a significant increase in CD3(T – Lymphocyte) and CD16/56 (NK cells). “This is a remarkable observation” said Associate Professor Kamaliah Mohd Daud, a nephrologist at Universiti Sains Malaysia [USM]. Her team members are excited with the new findings, however she cautioned as the number of subjects were small and further studies should be conducted by other researchers to see whether similar results can be obtained.

AIDS is a group of symptoms secondary to HIV infections. AIDS is common in promiscuous sexual contacts, drug abusers and through feto-placental route. So far, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. The current standard of care is antiretrovirals and symptom management. Antiretrovirals have impact on reducing mortality and morbidity, prolonging live and quality of life of HIV/AIDS patients however they are associated with severe adverse effects and have limited response.

A group of researchers from Malaysia tried oral honey in asymptomatic HIV patients and monitored their CD4+ count, viral load and quality of life at regular interval. Though recruitment of subjects is slow, the early results are encouraging in terms of CD4+ counts and quality of life said Dr Wan Nazirah Wan Yusuf, a clinical pharmacologist from the same University who led the team on this research. The clinical benefits of honey on SLE and AIDS are probably due to anti-inflammatory effects of honey.

The use of natural products as potential anti-cancer agents is currently an intensive area of research. Although honey has been suggested to possess anti-cancer activities, the mechanism of how this occurs has not been previously reported.

Associate Professor Dr. Nik Soriani Yaacob, a cancer biologist, and her team showed that honey (even at relatively low doses) induced significant cancer cell death via apoptosis, brought about by a specific ‘signal transduction’ pathway.

Furthermore, honey was able to enhance and hasten the cytotoxic activity of low-dose tamoxifen in breast cancer cells in culture which may potentially help reduce the side-effects of this drug. This may be the first time that the anti-cancer property of honey is demonstrated in a well-designed molecular experiment. She emphasized however, that further in vitro as well as animal and human studies need to be carried out before honey could be used in complimentary therapy in breast cancer management.

Wound management is a challenge for the plastic and reconstructing surgeons. Recently many randomized trials and case studies demonstrated the benefit of simple topical therapies of honey above management.

Professor Ahmad Sukari Halim, a renowned plastic and reconstructing surgeon from Universiti Sains Malaysia is developing honey based dressings (Honey hydrogel) for the treatment of graft site and burn wounds.

The patients treated with honey dressings showed better granulation tissue development and healed better compared to controls. He is leading a team of researchers on various aspects of wound management.

Radiation mucositis is a world-wide problem among head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment. Conventional radiation therapy, brachytherapy and precision radiotherapy techniques induce significant symptomatic mucositis.

Mucositis is further enhanced by altered fractionations and concurrent chemo-radiotherapy protocols being used in the current treatment policies. There is no standard of care for this debilitating morbidity.

Honey is found to be a simple and cost effective treatment in above radiation side-effect.

Associate professor and clinical oncologist Biswa Mohan Biswal from Malaysia for the first time reported the mucoprotective and nutritional properties of honey in radiation mucositis compared to controls.

Subsequently, two more similar studies from Iran and Egypt showed similar benefits. At the moment there are 3-multi-center randomized trials involving topical natural honey ongoing for the management of radiation mucositis to prove its effectiveness among large group of patients.

With collaborative efforts, one day honey could be a standard of therapy in the common radiation side-effect, explained Dr Biswal.

Dr. Laid Boukraa from Algeria has highlighted the healing properties of Royal jelly. It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-tumor and immuno-modulatories activities. Royal jelly, when combined with starch, has shown to have promising antibacterial activities against organisms that are frequently found to be resistant towards common antibiotics.

There was a special symposium devoted to the use of honey in various cultures. Professor Osman Bakar, the Director of International Islamic Thought and Civilization, cited the specific surahs in the Quran where Allah [God], says ’in honey there is remedy for various ailments.” He also cited hadiths [the sayings of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] on the use honey in certain clinical conditions.

In the present days context the clinicians and researchers are trying to prove the age old description of therapy used by people of the past.

In Indian culture, Ayurveda; the science of life is very prominent and dates back to 5000 BC. Ayurveda is based on the three major principles of Vaata, Pita, and Kapha, and that all human beings are different according to the combination or overlapping of above major characteristics.

The speaker, Dr M Rajen, a pharmacologist by training articulated the importance of 5-types of honey bees making different types of honey.

Honey is also good as a vehicle for the administration of other drugs and agents said Dr M. Rajen, who is now a holistic medicine practitioner.

The Chinese culture too enjoyed the benefits of honey in the traditional Chinese medicine. Dr Yong Kian Fui, a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, said in Chinese medicine, honey could be given in fresh or in ‘cooked’ form.

Despite many pitfalls in the earlier researches on the role of apitherapy, the 2nd International Conference on the Medicinal Use of Honey demonstrated numerous scientific evidence for the judicious use of honey in specific disease conditions.

The Chairman of the conference, Professor Dr Nor Hayati Othman, dean for clinical science research, Universiti Sains Malaysia, a pathologist by profession expressed her satisfaction on the progress of honey research since last 4 years, after hosting the last honey conference in 2006.

The clinical gadgets that could be developed by researchers of Honey and Honey bee products could range from a simple gadget such as nasal drip applicator to development of nano-tubes to deliver bee products to the diseased sites.

Prof Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, the vice-Chancellor of USM expressed his heart-felt support for the honey related research. Universiti Sains Malaysia is encouraging application of products of biodiversity in line with the Apex status awarded to the University which champion the term ‘sustainability’ referring to all facets of the current and future generations. Honey indeed is almost a complete food for sustainable health. On the basis of research presentations and publications, Dr Stefan Stangaciu of Romania and Dr Jennifer Eddy of Wisconsin, USA, commended Universiti Sains Malaysia for not only pioneering honey conference but also currently the most active and focused research works on honey for medicinal purposes.

The abstracts of the conference were published in Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science and American Medical Journal offered to publish full papers of the papers presented in this conference.

Apitherapy: The True Medicine of Bees

HealthMad, 2/14/2010

Since the dawn of the century people have marveled at bees for their magnificent design and their capability. Scientists have proved again and again how essential that capability is to the human body. Apitherapy the true medicine of bees helps to keep your body at a natural state.

Honey, royal jelly, propolis, pollen, beeswax, are real rejuvenation extracts and are concentrated energy. Drugs or natural antibiotics, bees bring the full force of nature for our health.

Based on traditional knowledge developed since ancient times, apitherapy belongs to all of medicine called “natural” by the use of bee products (honey, propolis, royal jelly, pollen, wax), or that are not associated with essential oils of plants for medicinal purposes...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bee Product Business Booms in China

Local Specialties Get New Chance Online
By Liu Donghui, China Radio International, 2/11/2010

Yin Na can finally begin her Spring Festival holiday on Wednesday of this week, as she has finished all the delivery work of honey products to online shoppers.

With the festival for reunion approaching, the orders of Yin's homemade treats came in great numbers. Each day of the past month, she had to send out up to 500 packages from her hometown - Shaoxing city in east China's Zhejiang province, to buyers across the country.

"Trading volume in the past 30 days reached 300-thousand yuan, 30% higher than previous months," she estimated, confessing that she has had no time to do the account work yet.

The 29-year-old started her online business in March last year on, China's largest online auction site, when the self-made honey food faced difficulty in export sales, trying to find a new distribution channel for the family business that has lasted for more than 40 years.

The Yin family has a total of 19 bee-raising farms which are scattered across the local Simingshan Mountain and other provinces as well.

"We usually go to northwest China's Shaanxi province to collect the nectar of flos sophorae, and to the northeast of China for linden flowers," Yin said this is to ensure that they can get the best nectar of a specific species of flower. The nectar will then be made into honey, pollen, and propolis products at the family's own factory.

Now nearly 60 kinds of products are being displayed at Yin's online shop, with more than 60,000 items sold in less than one year.

Among them is one specialty by Yin's mother. It is a pickle product made with rose petals and honey, usually called the "rose sauce". In the past, the treat was only served to family members but now it has sold 2,600 bottles online in just one month.

Wang Chong, one of the rose sauce fans in Hangzhou, bought 12 items within three months. "I usually consume one bottle a month. It is good for digestion. So I bought several more for my parents and friends."...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rhododendron Honey Shows Antioxidant, Antimicrobial Activity

Total Phenolic Content, Antiradical, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities of Rhododendron Honeys
Food Chemistry, Volume 121, Issue 1, 1 July 2010, Pages 238-243

Fifty Rhododendron honey samples obtained from Black Sea Region of Turkey were screened for total phenolic content by the modified Folin–Ciocalteu method, for potential antioxidant activity using phosphomolybdenum assay and by the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) method for antiradical activity. The antimicrobial activity was studied by the agar diffusion method, using eleven bacteria and two yeasts.

Total phenolic content of honeys ranged from 0.24 to 141.83 mg GAE/100 g honey. Antioxidant activity of honeys was between 12.76 and 80.80 mg AAE/g honey. Radical scavenging activities of the honey samples were varied between 2.30% and 90.73%. Correlation between the parameters analysed were found to be statistically significant (P < 0.01).

The honey samples showed highest antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus mirabilis.

The results revealed that the Rhododendron honeys studied proved to be a good source of antioxidant and antimicrobial agent that might serve to protect human health.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Royal Jelly Component May Help Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

10-Hydroxy-2-Decenoic Acid from Royal Jelly: A Potential Medicine for RA
J Ethnopharmacol, 2010 Feb 3

AIM OF THE STUDY: Rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts (RASF) are known to produce matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and cause joint destruction. The purpose of this study is to develop a potential medicine for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: To this end, first, the MMPs inhibition factor was purified from an alkali-solubilized fraction of RJ (Apis mellifera) by C18 reverse-phase column chromatography and identified as 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10H2DA) by LTQ XL analysis. Next, examination was made of why 10H2DA could inhibit the activity of MMPs: With RASFs isolated from Rheumatoid tissues by enzymatic digestion, cultures in monolayers were treated with 10H2DA (0. 5, 1, 2mM) or PBS for 2h followed by stimulation with TNF-alpha (10ng/ml) for 2h, mRNA. Protein levels of MMP-1, MMP-3 were measured by real-time PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay(ELISA), the DNA binding activity of activator protein-1(AP-1) and nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) by electrophoretic mobility shift assay(EMSA), and the protein kinase activity of p38, ERK and JNK by kinase assay.

RESULTS: The molecular investigation revealed that the 10H2DA-mediated suppression was likely to occur through blocking p38 kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase -AP-1 signaling pathways. In contrast, 10H2DA had no effect on extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity, NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity and IkappaBalpha degradation.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that 10H2DA may be of potential therapeutic value in inhibiting joint destruction in RA.

Residency Granted for Australian Propolis Producer

Permanent Residency Granted
Steve Green, Young Witness (Australia), 2/12/2010

'JIM' Jing Bang Zou, owner of Jim’s Honey in Young, has been granted permanent residency in Australia.

It is a decision that will allow him to continue producing propolis, a honey by-product worth millions of dollars per year in the Asian marketplace alone.

There is also strong demand for Australian propolis in the USA, Canada and the European Union...

Biologist Discovers 'Stop' Signal in Honey Bee Communication

ScienceDaily (Feb. 11, 2010) — A biologist at UC San Diego has discovered that honey bees warn their nest mates about dangers they encounter while feeding with a special signal that's akin to a "stop" sign for bees.

The discovery, detailed in a paper in the February 23 issue of the journal Current Biology, which appears online February 11, resulted from a series of experiments on honey bees foraging for food that were attacked by competitors from nearby colonies fighting for food at an experimental feeder. The bees that were attacked then produced a specific signal to stop nest mates who were recruiting others for this dangerous location. Honey bees use a waggle dance to communicate the location of food and other resources. Attacked bees directed "stop" signals at nest mates waggle dancing for the dangerous location…

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bee Venom Therapy Recommended for Arthritis

When the Bee Stings…

...The first place we visited during our February trip, however, was the workshop of a beekeeper in the village of Neuf-Berquin, half-way between Lille and Dunkirk. Besides the actual beekeeping activity, Mr. Lucas and his wife have a small museum where you can learn everything there is to know about bees: the way they live, the different substances they produce (there is more to it than just honey) and the way these product and by-products are obtained and treated.

The reason why I’m posting about this today is because yesterday, while going through my medicine cabinet to find an ointment or gel to put on my sore knee (tendonitis!), I came across two products that I had bought at Mr. Lucas’s shop last year. The first was a bottle of Propolis syrup. Propolis is the substance that the bees use to insulate the hive. It is applied on the inside walls like some kind of plaster. The propolis is recognized for its medicinal virtues, and is frequently used in homeopathic treatment. I remember drinking some of the syrup last year when I had a sore throat and was surprised by the almost instant relieve it gave.

The other item I found was an ointment containing small quantities of bee’s venom. It has scientifically been proven that bee stings are beneficial for people who suffer from arthritis and rheumatism (as long as they are NOT allergic to them, of course). The bee’s venom relieves the pain and reduces the symptoms. It is even injected on people who suffer from multiples sclerosis.

During our visit Mrs. Lucas explained how the venom was collected. A tiny electrical cord is put across the entrance of the hive. When the bees make their way in, the cord releases a very weak electrical shock inciting the bees to sting the linen cloth that’s lying beneath it. Rest assured, this does not kill the bee! This releases a small quantity of venom that is absorbed by the fabric. When the cloth is saturated with venom, it is put in alcohol which is left to evaporate. What remains is a very poisonous white powder … the bee’s venom! It is then used to produce the injection liquid or – in very tiny quantities – added to the ointment, which also contains herbal extracts that are known for their rheumatic pain relieving qualities.

I applied some of the ointment on my sore knee, and immediately experienced a tingling feeling; as if I had been stung by a baby bee! And the pain partially ebbed away...

How to Reduce Arthritic Pain With Bee Venom

By eHow Health Editor

Step 1: Ask your doctor if he or she would be willing to administer the bee venom to you. Most traditional medical practitioners are leery of new, untested natural treatments. If your doctor declines, tell your doctor that you will find someone else to treat your arthritis and keep in touch with the results.

Step 2: Request an allergy test before you begin any bee venom therapy. You may not have had a bee sting bad enough to trigger a dormant allergy. One in ten people are allergic to bees and an injection could be deadly.

Step 3: Prepare yourself for the burning pain associated with bee stings. The venom will cause redness, itching and burning. You will need daily injections at first according to anecdotal reports from doctors who are administering the treatment. You can taper off the shots after a few weeks.

Step 4: Try a balm or cream that contains bee venom before attempting the more drastic injections. The venom will seep through the skin to the sore joint and offer relief. Like other slaves, this treatment may not provide the kind of dramatic relief you are seeking. But if you get some mild relief, then you may decide to try injections if the venom works in your favor.

Tips & Warnings

Do not try bee venom therapies (stings or creams) for arthritis if you are allergic to bees.

Video: Home Acne Treatment - Manuka Honey

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Greek Propolis Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth

Antiproliferative Activity of Greek Propolis
Journal of Medicinal Food, February 4, 2010

The butanolic extract and the isolated chemical constituents, mainly diterpenes and flavonoids, from Greek propolis have been tested for their cytostatic activities against human malignant and normal cell strains.

The extract and the diterpenes were found to be the most active against HT-29 human colon adenocarcinoma cells, without affecting normal human cells. Manool, a diterpene isolated for the first time from Greek propolis, was the most active compound, arresting the cancer cells at the G2/M phase of the cell cycle.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Malaysian Honey Retards Cancer Growth, Inhibits Bacteria and Fungi

Health Benefits of Tualang Honey on Par with Imported Ones

Feb 7 (Bernama) -- Honey in its natural state, is a veritable store house of health benefits, containing sugars like fructose and glucose, minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chloride, sulphur, iron and phosphates as well as vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3.

Not surprisingly, it is an important ingredient for traditional medicines used by various civilisations throughout centuries. Prior to 1996, the Tualang Honey collectors in the districts of Padang Terap, Ulu Muda, Sik, Baling, Jerai and Kubang Pasu in Kedah were selling their honey, packed in simple bottles, at makeshift roadside stalls and village markets…

According to Prof Dr Nor Hayati Othman, Dean of Clinical Science Research at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Kelantan, results from a total of 48 studies indicated that Tualang Honey, either taken orally or applied as a dressing to superficial cuts and burns, provides an array of medicinal benefits.

"Although still at its early stages, the encouraging results prove that Tualang Honey has anti-bacterial as well as antioxidant properties that can retard the growth of certain cancer cells and inhibits a broad spectrum of bacterial and fungal species, apart from being a good source of instant energy for the body," she said. Honey is an effective treatment for stomach problems, as it encourages healthy functioning of the intestine and kidneys.

Anyone can digest honey easily, because its sugar molecules convert into other, simpler sugars. Therefore, it does not irritate the digestive tract lining, and is soothing for the stomach. Nor Hayati said that honey is one of nature’s wonders.

"It is a complete food in itself. Being a regular user for the past 25 years myself, I am a firm believer in the health benefits of Tualang Honey," she added. "Tualang Honey even contains some positive elements that are not present in imported honey," she said…

Bees Can Commit Smells to Memory

Sugar Gives Bee Brains a Buzz
ABC, 2/8/2010

Trained bees may be part of the future of horticulture.

A study by the Brain Institute at the University of Queensland has found the honey bee's brain works by committing important smells to memory, and forgetting the rest.

Senior research fellow Judith Reinhard says that new information could allow them to train bees to focus on pollinating certain crops only.

She says, if it works, it could be a much more effective way of using bees in horticulture, and save farmers time.

"Honey bees are like little children, they'll do anything for a bit of sweet," she says.

"Now if we put this odour together with sugar water in the hive, when they fly out and they smell the avocado, or the almond aroma, they will go for for them and pollinate these flowers."

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This phenomenon was discovered decades ago in Russia.]

UK Firm Sells Off Medicinal Honey Brand

William Ransom Divests Manuka Gold Brand for £560,000
Proactive Investors UK, 2/5/2010

Hertfordshire headquartered natural healthcare company William Ransom agreed the disposal of its honey-based Manuka Gold health supplements to Honey New Zealand International for £560,000. Ransom said it intends to use the proceeds to reduce debt…

The Manuka Gold brand is composed of various manuka honey based products, which are believed to be effective against a wide range of bacteria, particularly the helicobacter pylori, which is associated with stomach ulcers, the group said.

The product’s primary ingredient is imported from New Zealand. The Manuka Gold brand generated annual sales of approximately £300,000 in the year ended March 2009. However Ransom said that the brand's margins are being significantly eroded due to changing distribution channels…

Monday, February 08, 2010

Indian Honey Used to Treat Wounds, Sore Throats, Acne

Medicinal Value of Indian Honey is on a Par with the World's Best
Jyoti Shelar, DNA, 2/8/2010

Mumbai: Indian honey has equal medicinal properties as the Manuka honey of New Zealand, believed to be of the best quality in the world.

Doctors from Nair Hospital tested the Indian honey on 226 patients and found that it had incredible healing properties. The findings were recently presented in the Second International Honey Conference in Malaysia.

Dr Sunita Deshpande of the hospital’s microbiology department and her six doctorate students tested nine types of Indian honeys. “We found all Indian honeys have almost equal properties as the New Zealand’s Manuka honey,” said Deshpande, who presented the research paper in the conference.

According to Deshpande, the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of Jambhul honey were similar to those in Manuka honey. Therefore, they chose it to study its effect on patients. The study included patients with severe wounds including burns, cuts, diabetic foot, and those with sore throat and acne.

The wounds of patients were treated with dressing of sterilised Jambhul honey, sore throat patients were given small tubes filled with honey for intake and those with acne were asked to put the honey on the skin with medical gauze on it.

“Wounds of patients showed 90% healing within a week. Even deep injuries of those with diabetic foot healed within 15 days,” Deshpande said, adding that the patients experienced less pain and irritation as compared to the regular dressings.

Similarly, acne disappeared and there was no relapse recorded in 80% patients even after six months. Likewise, those with a sore throat experienced relief within a week, said Deshpande who has tested more than 15 types of Indian honeys in the past nine years…

Could Propolis Help Treat HIV/AIDS?

Apiarists Hope to Breed a Better Bee
Rob Rogers, The Contra Costa Times, 2/6/2010

Beekeepers are also doing away with an unhealthy tradition. Until recently, many beekeepers tried to keep their hives clear of propolis - a sticky substance made from tree resin with which bees coat the inside of their hives.

"It's very, very annoying for a beekeeper to go into a hive and have it all stuck together," McNeil-Draper said. "You have to pry everything apart with a hive tool. So over the last 150 years, breeders have selected bees that don't propolize heavily."

Yet new research suggests that propolis acts as a barrier against bacteria, mold and viruses, and may act to support the immune system of the hive.

"Bees don't produce antibodies," Spivak said. "Instead, each individual bee acts like a cell within a body, creating a colony-wide immune system. Bees with propolis don't have to invest as much energy in that immune response."

A few studies have shown that propolis may improve the human immune response as well, and Spivak hopes scientists will eventually explore whether its chemical compounds could be useful in attacking HIV, the virus believed to cause AIDS

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Cuban Propolis Inhibits Growth of Breast Cancer Cells

Antiproliferative Activity of Brown Cuban Propolis Extract on Human Breast Cancer Cells
Nat Prod Commun, 2009 Dec;4(12):1711-6

Brown Cuban propolis (BCP) is the major type of propolis in Cuba; its chemical composition is exclusive and the principal component is nemorosone. In this study we investigated the antiproliferative activity of the ethanol extract of BCP on human breast cancer cell lines.

The MTT assay showed a significant antiproliferative activity (P<0.005)>0.01) inhibition of cell growth in the G1 phase of cell cycle, which was mechanism dose- and time-dependent. 17-beta Estradiol (10 nM) administration to MCF-7 caused a significant (P<0.001), but not total reduction of BCP antiproliferative activity at concentrations of 1, 5 and 10 microg/mL, but not at the highest concentration (25 microg/mL).

The coadministration of ICI 182,780 (100 nM), an antagonist of ER, on MCF-7 totally reduced the effect of BCP at 24 h, and showed a significant (P<0.001) reduction of BCP antiproliferative activity at 48 h. Thus it was hypothesized that BCP possesses an estrogen-like activity.

It is to be noted, however, that BCP application to MDA-MB 23 1 at 48 h also induced increased cell mortality. Thus, it cannot be ruled out that BCP could not only interact with the ER, but also have an ER-independent activity.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

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Bee Venom Therapy Popular in Gaza

Blockade Forces Gaza to Turn from Modern Medicine to Bee Stings
Erin Cunningham, The National (UAE), 2/5/2010

GAZA CITY // …With a health system crippled by the Israeli economic blockade, which the United Nations says causes unnecessary delays for the import of vital medical equipment, the residents of Gaza are increasingly turning to cheaper, more accessible methods of alternative medicine to cure their ailments.

A local beekeeper who runs a clinic using bee stings as a treatment in Gaza City said because of the blockade, he now sees upwards of a hundred patients each day. Also in the city, a pharmacist self-trained in traditional Chinese medicine said his business is growing in the wake of last year’s war, in which health facilities here sustained considerable damage.

“When we’re faced with the situation we have today with the healthcare system, where medicine and equipment are in short supply, and people don’t have access, it’s only logical they will turn towards alternative medical practices in order to get better,” said the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) national health officer in Gaza, Mahmoud Daher…

At the home of Ratib Ibrahim Samour, this local beekeeper and his wife, Umm Ibrahim, move from patient to patient, gripping plastic jars swarming with honeybees. Mr Samour pinches one of the bees, squirming and wings flapping furiously, with a pair of tweezers, and stings a young girl wearing a hearing aid on the back of her ear.

“I treat people for deafness, eyesight, sinus infections, pain,” said Mr Samour, who opened the clinic in 2003 and has since trained his wife and two oldest children to treat people with the bees. “The venom of the bee activates the natural cortisone in the body, and this can help with many things, many sicknesses.”

Kamal Ruka, from the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis, needs a spinal operation in the coming months. But he cannot afford both the operation and the pain relief medication he needs while he waits for the surgery. Mr Ruka comes in every four to six weeks, he said, to be stung 15 times to alleviate the pain. It costs him just 10 shekels per session, while prescription drugs cost him 50 shekels per week, he said.

“I started coming to the clinic about a year ago, and I feel 100 per cent better,” Mr Ruka said. “The pain from the bee is nothing compared to the pain I have.”

Mr Samour said he often turns patients away, however, because his bee-sting method is no substitute for modern medicine. He always asks patients what their real doctor’s diagnosis is first.

But because conventional drugs are often too expensive or in short supply, people are faced with no other choice but to seek out alternative healers…

Friday, February 05, 2010

Honey, Royal Jelly Boost Health Benefits of Valentine's Day Gift

BeeAlive Offers Heart-Healthy Dark Chocolate Truffles

VALLEY COTTAGE, N.Y., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- With Valentine's Day approaching, many consumers are challenged to find a creative and romantic gift.

BeeAlive offers the perfect solution – rich dark chocolate (64% cacao solids) dietary supplements with a creamy filling composed of the company's exclusive B-12, B-6, Folic Acid (B-9) formula, blended with honey and Royal Jelly. Only 45 calories per piece, the delicious heart-healthy truffles – called Chocolate B-12 Plus – are guilt-free, with no trans or hydrogenated fats.

Scientific research has shown that B vitamins, when taken regularly, may help to promote a healthy heart, while also supporting a healthy immune and nervous system. Researchers have also found that dark chocolate is an important source of potent antioxidants. With BeeAlive's unique Chocolate B-12 Plus dietary supplements, consumers receive the combination of great taste, antioxidants and heart-healthy benefits.

BeeAlive's Chocolate B-12 Plus is available in an elegant 30-piece box. The truffles are ideal for consumers seeking a satisfying and healthy treat. BeeAlive also offers convenient B-12 Plus Twist-Its, which are portable and perfect for anyone's busy lifestyle. BeeAlive offers, then, two smart strategies to support a healthy cardiovascular system, while helping to fight the negative effects of stress…

Honey a Throat Soother, Energy Booster and Moisturizer

The Many Benefits of Honey
The Reno-Gazette Journal, 2/5/2010

The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey.
In addition to being a great natural sweetener, honey has a multitude of benefits. Honey has been proven to be a natural throat soother and its unique blend of natural sweeteners gives it the ability to provide quick energy in any circumstance.

Honey is used in everything from hand lotions and moisturizers to bar soaps and bubble bath. It is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture, and that makes honey a natural fit in a variety of moisturizing products, including cleaners, creams, shampoos and conditioners. Honey also acts as an anti-irritant, making it suitable for sensitive skin and baby care products. Look for honey in store-bought beauty products or simply add a squeeze of honey to your moisturizer, shampoo or soap at home...

Honey Laundering Threatens New Zealand Trade with U.S.

NZPA, 2/5/2010

Beekeepers are warning the country's growing honey trade with the United States will suffer if Australian honey products are allowed into New Zealand.

The National Beekeepers' Association of New Zealand (NBA) said tonight that Australian honey was being mixed with international honey and exported as an Australian product.

"If Australian honey imports are allowed into New Zealand, New Zealand risks becoming a 'honey laundering' hub, a situation that would severely damage our honey exporters," NBA joint chief executive Gemma Collier said…

Thursday, February 04, 2010

New Zealand Apitherapy Firm Appoints R&D Manager

Scientist-Author to Head R&D at Manuka Health New Zealand
Business to Business, 2/4/2010

Food scientist and author Dr Lynne Chepulis has been appointed Research and Development Manager at honey health science company Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd.

Announcing the appointment, Chief Executive Kerry Paul said Manuka Health is expanding R&D to advance its position in the $100 million manuka honey export industry.

“We need more in-house capability to exploit scientific advances in the uses for bee products,” he said. “Dr Chepulis is the ideal person to lead that.”

Manuka Health is the only company to certify the level of the active ingredient methylglyoxal responsible for the antibacterial activity of its MGO™ manuka honey products. It also markets non-honey bee products such as Bio30™ propolis which international researchers are investigating for its cancer-blocking properties...

Her Phd at the University of Waikato’s honey research unit was a joint project with Fonterra to investigate the health advantages of honey over other sugars.

She is the author of a book “Healing Honey: A Natural Remedy for Health and Wellness” and numerous peer-reviewed publications…

Royal Jelly Component Shows Anti-Bacterial Activity

Expression of Acc-Royalisin Gene from Royal Jelly of Chinese Honeybee in Escherichia coli and Its Antibacterial Activity
J. Agric. Food Chem, Article ASAP

Royalisin is an antibacterial peptide found in Royal Jelly.

Two gene fragments of Chinese honeybee (Apis cerana cerana) head, 280 bp cDNA encoding pre-pro-Acc-royalisin (PPAR) of 95 amino acid residues, and 165 bp cDNA encoding mature Acc-royalisin (MAR) of 51 amino acid residues were cloned into the pGEX-4T-2 vector. They were then transformed individually into Escherichia coli for expression.

Two expressed fusion proteins, glutathione S-transferase (GST)-PPAR of 36 kDa and GST-MAR of 32 kDa were obtained, which were cross reacted with GST antibody accounting for up to 16.3% and 15.4% of bacterial protein, respectively. In addition, 41% of GST-PPAR and nearly 100% of GST-MAR were soluble proteins.

Both lysates of the two purified fusion proteins displayed antibacterial activities, similar to that of nisin against Gram-positive bacteria strains, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis and Micrococcus luteus. MAR peptide released from the thrombin-cleaved GST-MAR fusion protein has a stronger antibacterial activity than that of GST-MAR fusion protein.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Royal Jelly Helps Treat Infertility, Impotence

Effect of Royal Jelly on Sexual Efficiency in Adult Male Rats
Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Sciences, Vol. 23, Supplement II, 2009 (155-160)

The study was designed to investigate the efficacy of treating the adult male rats with royal jelly (1g/kg B. Wt. orally) for one month with or without hydrogen peroxide (0.5%) in drinking water on sexual efficiency, glutathione and malondialdehyde tissue testis levels.

The current study demonstrated that male rats receiving hydrogen peroxide caused a significant decrease (P<0.05) in the sperm count, percentage of live sperm and glutathione level, accompanied with a significant increase (P<0.05) in the malondialdehyde level and percentage of abnormal sperm deformity compared with control group. No significant difference was found in the weight of testis, epididymus, prostate, seminal vesicles, testosterone hormone level and body weight compared with control group.

The treatment of adult male rats with royal jelly concomitantly with hydrogen peroxide caused a significant increase (P<0.05) in testicular weight and the body of epididymus, sperm count, testosterone hormone and glutathione level, and decrease in sperm deformity percentage, while no significant differences in the prostate weight, seminal vesicles, the percentage of live sperm, malondialdehyde level and body weight compared with hydrogen peroxide group.

The treatment of adult male rats with royal jelly alone produced a significant increase (P<0.05) in the weights of testis and body of epididymus, sperm count, testosterone hormone, the percentage of live sperm, and glutathione level and retuned to control value, accompanied with a significant decrease (P<0.05) in malondialdehyde level and the percentage of sperm abnormality.

It could be concluded from this study that royal jelly is a beneficial treatment of male adult rats receiving hydrogen peroxide (to induced oxidative stress) specially on sperm count, testosterone hormone level, the percentage of live sperm, and improvement of glutathione and malondialdehyde tissue testis…

Royal jelly is known as sexual tonic and used for treatment of impotence infertility, and significantly increase leutinizing hormone (LH) levels; this effect could be attributed to central effect of royal jelly…

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

New Clinical Trial of Bee Venom Treatment for Arthritis

Osteoarthritis Knee Pain

Could a bee's sting help take the sting out of arthritis knee pain? We're doing research to find out!

Radiant Research is conducting a clinical research study of an investigational medication for arthritis made from bee venom. To qualify for this study you must have arthritis of the knee and take a prescription or over-the-counter pain medication. Qualified participants will receive all study-related care and investigational medication at no cost and may be compensated up to $200 for their time and travel.

Call Mon-Fri for more information,
8527 Village Dr., Suite 207-E, San Antonio, TX

Monday, February 01, 2010

Greek Propolis Rich in Anti-Microbial Compounds

GC-MS Profiling of Diterpene Compounds in Mediterranean Propolis from Greece
J. Agric. Food Chem, January 29, 2010

The objective of this work is to analyze and identify the diterpene compounds in Mediterranean propolis samples from different Greek regions by GC-MS.

The chemical composition of six propolis samples was established using previously isolated diterpenes from Cretan propolis as authentic standards for identification, based on mass spectral fragmentation of the TMS derivatives and retention index.

More than 30 diterpenes, among which were new propolis constituents, were identified and characterized by means of authentic standards and interpretation of MS fragmentation as well. This is the first detailed profiling of a new type of propolis, rich in diterpenes.

The chromatographic and mass- spectral characteristics of the diterpenes identified could be very useful for rapid GC-MS profiling of this propolis type and for revealing its plant sources.