Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Honey Recommended for Children’s Cough

Coughing? Here’s a Honey of a Cure
Fort Wayne Daily News, 8/29/2010

Coughing seems to be the current complaint. Everyone seems to have a cough. They may blame it on allergies, “hay fever,” bronchitis, sinus drainage, a cold, or any number of other problems. But the common symptom is a cough.

For adults, there are lots of medicines to be purchased over-the-counter or by prescription that will help to quell that cough. However, for little children, the cold and cough medicines have become much harder to find because of FDA restrictions and product recalls.

So, you might ask, “What can we give to our kids who keep us up all night coughing?”

I have struggled with this problem quite a bit. So I was very interested when I received an advertisement for a product that is alleged to safely and effectively suppress coughs and sooth throats in children as young as 12 months old. At the same time, it is said to contain no harmful drugs.

The ad said, “ZarBee’s Children’s Cough Syrup is the world’s first and only all natural OTC cough suppressant that is truly safe and effective for children under the age of four.”

It was created by a pediatrician named Dr. Zak Zarbock and is made of dark honey (the active ingredient), vitamins and other all natural ingredients. It even comes in lemon and cherry flavors.

Of course, you can order ZarBee’s Children’s Cough Syrup online at zarbees.com for $9.99, or you can purchase it at most major food and drug retailers. The question is: Why should you spend that kind of money on honey?...

If you want to try honey more cheaply, you can try one of the following popular cough remedies…

•Mix equal parts of lime juice and honey.

•Combine a cup of grape juice and a teaspoon of honey. Mix well.

•Mix one teaspoonful of raw onion juice with one teaspoonful of honey. Allow it to sit for three to four hours before drinking.

If you like, you can even add color and/or flavor to any one of these remedies…

Monday, August 30, 2010

Beeswax Used to Improve Quality of Edible Films

Development of Soybean Protein-Isolate Edible Films Incorporated with Beeswax, Span 20, and Glycerol
J Food Sci, 2010 Aug 1;75(6):C493-7

The effect of the beeswax, Span 20, and glycerol content on qualities of soybean-protein-isolate edible films was evaluated. Beeswax and Span 20 were selected to improve qualities of soybean-protein-isolate films from 11 emulsifiers. The content of beeswax, Span 20, and glycerol was further optimized by response surface analysis.

The optimal composite emulsifier was beeswax (1.87% of soybean protein-isolate), Span 20 (10.25% of soybean protein-isolate), and glycerol (29.12% of soybean protein-isolate) with tensile strength of 908 MPa, percentage elongation at break of 25.8%, water vapor permeability of 19.2 g/m.d.MPa, and oxygen permeability of 0 cm(3)/m.d.MPa. The quality of soybean-protein-isolate films incorporated with the optimal composite emulsifier was 2.34 times higher than that of the control.

Furthermore, the disulfide bond content of soybean-protein-isolate films showed a positive correlation with their quality, which provided a simple and rapid way to rank quality of soybean-protein-isolate films.

Therefore, our result will not only give an instruction to soybean-protein-isolate-film production, but also give a simple and rapid way to rank film qualities…

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Honey Consumption Boosts Overall Health

Honey, Health and Longevity
Curr Aging Sci, 2010 Jul 5

Honey is a broad spectrum antimicrobial agent which can enhance wound healing. A beneficial effect in cancer has been shown in cell cultures and in animal studies and a number of further nutritional and physiological effects of relevance to health and function have been shown for honey.

A representative sub-sample of 665 men within the Caerphilly Cohort kept a weighed dietary record for seven days. Risk factors for vascular and other diseases in 41 men who recorded eating honey suggest that these men were on the whole healthier than the 624 men who had not recorded honey consumption.

All-cause mortality during 25 years of follow-up was considerably lower in the men who had consumed honey, the hazard ratio, adjusted for a number of possible confounding factors, being 0.44. Because of the small number of subjects and of deaths in this study, further data from other large cohorts will be required before any effect upon mortality and other health effects of honey consumption can be adequately evaluated.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

China Drug Watchdog Slams Propolis Claims on Blood Sugar

China's Drug Watchdog Exposes Misleading Health Advertisements

BEIJING, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's drug watchdog Friday published the names of six health products that allegedly used deceptive or exaggerated advertising.

All the products, capsules with ingredients such as propolis, ginseng and other herbs, misleadingly claimed to lower the blood sugar levels, said the State Food and Drug Administration.

The products were Houde Propolis Capsule, Lvhai Compound Propolis Capsule, Nuoer Yangzhengtang Capsule, Baibang Propolis and Ginseng Capsule, Zhongbao Pingtang Capsule and Jinxiong Cangxiong Capsule.

A circular from the SFDA said the advertisements lied about or exaggerated the efficacy of the products and used fictional consumers in promotions…

Friday, August 27, 2010

Microemulsion Used to Deliver Propolis Topical Applications

Development of a New Propolis Microemulsion System for Topical Applications
Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia, 2010, vol.20, n.3, pp. 368-375

Microemulsion systems (MES) offer advantages as drug delivery systems, among them favour drug absorption, being in most case more efficient than other methods in delivering of drug.

In this work a new MES was obtained in order to be applied as a pressurized aerosol formulation containing bee propolis ethanolic extract (PEE). For that, pseudoternary phase diagrams were used to characterize the microemulsions boundaries and also to define the Winsor IV microemulsion region of the PEE-MES system containing Tween 80 as surfactant and the cosurfactant ethyl alcohol in small percentage.

The obtained results indicated that the best MES was composed by Tween 80 and ethyl alcohol with C/S (cosurfactant/surfactant) ratio equal to 1.0, since it provided a large boundaries in the obtained O/W microemulsion region. This PEE-MES formulation, in which bee propolis consisting as oil phase, is herein designed for topical uses (PEE-MES spraying) in order to treat mouth and throat inflammatory infections.

Considering the very large uses of bee propolis in conventional vehicles, MES type of delivery system has to be compatible with achieving the highest drug aim loadings, determined substantially by the specific MES application (drug solubilization in water systems) improving in this case, propolis farmacological aplications. Additionally, PEE-MES antibacterial effect was evidenced and the microemulsion system PEE-

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Peptide Discovered in Bee Venom

Characterization of Honeybee Venom by MALDI-TOF and nanoESI-qTOF Mass Spectrometry
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, Article in Press

The aim of the study was to comprehensively characterize different honeybee venom samples applying two complementary mass spectrometry methods.

41 honeybee venom samples of different bee strains, country of origin (Poland, Georgia, and Estonia), year and season of the venom collection were analyzed using MALDI-TOF and nanoESI-qTOF-MS.

It was possible to obtain semi-quantitative data for 12 different components in selected honeybee venom samples using MALDI-TOF method without further sophisticated and time consuming sample pretreatment. Statistical analysis (ANOVA) has shown that there are qualitative and quantitative differences in the composition between honeybee venom samples collected over different years. It has also been demonstrated that MALDI-TOF spectra can be used as a “protein fingerprint” of honeybee venom in order to confirm the identity of the product.

NanoESI-qTOF-MS was applied especially for identification purposes.

Using this technique 16 peptide sequences were identified, including melittin (12 different breakdown products and precursors), apamine, mast cell degranulating peptide and secapin.

Moreover, the significant achievement of this study is the fact that the new peptide (HTGAVLAGV + Amidated (C-term), Mr = 822.53 Da) has been discovered in bee venom for the first time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bee Venom Therapy Can Help Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Killer Animals, Live-Saving Cures: Why Venom Is Good For You
By Kat Meduski, FoxNews.com, 8/23/2010

You wouldn't want a deathstalker scorpion in your boot. But it could save your life. Tarantula venom may seem frightful. But medically speaking, it's awesome. And gila monster spit? Great stuff, if you have diabetes.

They're just a few examples of a fascinating area of research using the venom from the most dangerous creatures around. Step on one and it could kill you, but synthesize those toxins in the lab, and they could be used to save your life.

The University of Washington recently announced the latest breakthrough in this field, explaining how scorpion venom can be useful in treating brain cancer. Researchers found that chlorotoxin, an amino acid found in deathstalker scorpions, can slow the cancer's spread by blocking narrow channels in the brain through which malignant, shape-shifting cells can migrate.

But it's only the latest in a long line of scientific studies:

* Apitherapy -- the use of honey bee products -- has been used in treating multiple sclerosis patients. Controlled stinging around the spine brought back sensation and immune response, where numbing and desensitization had previously been crippling...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Whole Bee Venom Capable of Inducing DNA Alterations

Increased Frequency of Sister Chromatid Exchanges and Decrease in Cell Viability and Proliferation Kinetics in Human Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes After in vitro exposure to Whole Bee Venom
Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, Volume 45, Issue 12 October 2010, pages 1654 - 1659

The present study was aimed to investigate the impact of bee venom on frequency of sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) and viability in human peripheral blood lymphocytes in vitro. In addition, the proportion of lymphocytes that undergo one, two or three cell divisions as well as proliferative rate index (PRI) have been determined.

Aqueous solution of whole bee venom was added to whole blood samples in concentrations ranging from 0.1 μg/mL to 20 μg/mL in different lengths of time. Results showed that whole bee venom inhibited cell viability, resulting in a 22.86 ± 1.14% and 51.21 ± 0.58% reduction of viable cells at 1 hour and 6 hours, respectively. The mean SCE per cell in all the exposed samples was significantly higher than in the corresponding controls.

In addition, the percentage of high frequency cells (HFC) for each sample was estimated using the pooled distribution of all SCE measurements. This parameter was also significantly higher compared to the control. Inhibition of proliferation was statistically significant for both exposure times and concentrations and was time and dose dependent.

These data indicate that whole bee venom inhibited cell proliferation, resulting in a 36.87 ± 5.89% and 38.43 ± 1.96% reduction of proliferation at 1 hour and 6 hours, respectively.

In conclusion, this report demonstrated that whole bee venom is capable of inducing DNA alterations by virtue of increasing sister chromatid exchanges in addition to the cell viability decrease and inhibition of proliferation kinetics in human peripheral blood lymphocytes in vitro.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bee Venom Works Better Than Botox

The A-List’s Secret Beauty Weapon
By Claire O'Boyle, The Mirror, 8/18/2010

As more and more A-listers turn their backs on Botox and invasive beauty treatments, one woman is credited with leading the trend toward natural facial work.

Debbie Mitchell has made such an impression, she’s even convinced Botox fan Dannii Minogue to ditch the jabs – and the X Factor judge now raves about her natural facials...

And she claims her bee venom treatment works even better than Botox. “Like Botox, bee venom makes the skin relax,” says Debbie, who runs Heaven Health and Beauty.

“This is partly what makes it look younger. But unlike Botox, bee venom stimulates the blood supply coming into the skin, improving its condition. Long-term, bee venom will improve the skin, while Botox will damage it. To maintain the look, people have to use Botox over and over again.”...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nerve Cells Highly Sensitive to Bee Venom Toxin Apamin

Allosteric Block of KCa2 Channels by Apamin
The Journal of Biological Chemistry, August 27, 2010

Activation of small conductance calcium-activated potassium (KCa2) channels can regulate neuronal firing and synaptic plasticity. They are characterized by their high sensitivity to the bee venom toxin apamin, but the mechanism of block is not understood.

For example, apamin binds to both KCa2.2 and KCa2.3 with the same high affinity (KD ∼ 5 pm for both subtypes) but requires significantly higher concentrations to block functional current (IC50 values of ∼100 pm and ∼5 nm, respectively). This suggests that steps beyond binding are needed for channel block to occur.

We have combined patch clamp and binding experiments on cell lines with molecular modeling and mutagenesis to gain more insight into the mechanism of action of the toxin. An outer pore histidine residue common to both subtypes was found to be critical for both binding and block by the toxin but not for block by tetraethylammonium (TEA) ions.

These data indicated that apamin blocks KCa2 channels by binding to a site distinct from that used by TEA, supported by a finding that the onset of block by apamin was not affected by the presence of TEA.

Structural modeling of ligand-channel interaction indicated that TEA binds deep within the channel pore, which contrasted with apamin being modeled to interact with the channel outer pore by utilizing the outer pore histidine residue.

This multidisciplinary approach suggested that apamin does not behave as a classical pore blocker but blocks using an allosteric mechanism that is consistent with observed differences between binding affinity and potency of block.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Honey May Offer Sweet Relief From Coughs

By Cathy Wong, Alternative Medicine Guide, 8/18/2010

Honey may soothe coughs more effectively than over-the-counter medications, a new study shows. The study involved 139 children (ages two to five), all of whom were dealing with coughs caused by upper respiratory infections.

For the study, participants received honey, dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), diphenhydramine (an antihistamine), or no medication. After about 24 hours, scientists tested all participants for the frequency and severity of their coughs. Study results showed that the 2.5-ml dose of honey provided greater cough relief, compared to both medications and the control treatment…

Friday, August 20, 2010

Honey May Help Treat Inflammatory Conditions

The Inhibitory Effects of Gelam Honey and Its Extracts on Nitric Oxide and Prostaglandin E(2) in Inflammatory Tissues
Fitoterapia, 2010 Aug 11

We investigated the effects of honey and its methanol and ethyl acetate extracts on inflammation in animal models.

Rats' paws were induced with carrageenan in the non-immune inflammatory and nociceptive model, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the immune inflammatory model.

Honey and its extracts were able to inhibit edema and pain in inflammatory tissues as well as showing potent inhibitory activities against NO and PGE(2) in both models. The decrease in edema and pain correlates with the inhibition of NO and PGE(2). Phenolic compounds have been implicated in the inhibitory activities.

Honey is potentially useful in the treatment of inflammatory conditions.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Apitherapy Firm Founder Credits Bee Products for Long Life

At 100, the Comvita Man Says His Health Products Work
By CLAIRE McENTEE, Business Day, 8/18/2010

The founder of Comvita will turn 100 today and, from his Te Puke rest home, he lists his daily health regimen of – mainly – Comvita products: bee pollen, manuka honey, olive leaf extract, multi-vitamins and Omega 3 capsules.

And don't forget the Comvita elixir for treating coughs and sore throats, he says…

Propolis Recommended for Treating Infertility

Mike Walden, American Chronicle, August 18, 2010

...Most parents when teaching their kids about sex education give the example of birds and bees, but most parents do not know that bees do a lot more than just gather honey for us. The fact is, bees are responsible for gathering a resinous substance that is known as Propolis and this they do from barks of trees, from buds and from the leaves too. The bees know that Propolis is very useful to protect their hives against destruction and disease.

Now medical studies have revealed that the same Propolis might be very useful for infertility treatment as well, particularly in the early stages of endometriosis in ladies. However frankly, we do not yet know how Propolis manages to do this but one thing we surely know and this is that, Propolis can cause many pharmacological actions like it can stop the functioning of the enzyme Aromatase which works majorly in estrogen metabolism. Several studies have been carried out on Propolis and its benefits, particularly with infertility and endometriosis, and these studies have showed us that just 500 mg of Propolis taken two times a day can improve the chances of a woman becoming pregnant by as much as 60% - while with conventional medicines this is just about 20%. This is thus what is referred to as the propolis infertility effect.

And not only that, the bee Propolis has also been seen to have given good results in defective sperm repair, which is a major cause of male infertility. This is why Propolis is also often used in centrifugation, which is a sperm preparation technique that is applied before IVF or In Vitro Fertilization (an assisted reproduction technology). Centrifugation can generate ROS or Reactive Oxygen Species and Propolis is very helpful in this. At least this was the result of a study in which Chilean Propolis was used on sperm in IVF with exogenous ROS and Benzo(a)pyrene.

There are other observations about Propolis too. It can be said that Propolis is a natural drug and it can protect genomic DNA against Benzo(a)pyrene induces damage, and also from a combination of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), 5 di-phosphate (ADP) and ferrous sulfate (FeSO4). Propolis is able to reduce intercellular oxidants significantly. Extracts from Propolis are also able to protect the membrane of the sperm from harmful oxidative aggression and it can also reduce the thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and release LDH. Propolis thus according to the study is able to upkeep male fertility and because of its antioxidant features and it can successfully repair the male sperm as well...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jamaican Beekeepers Urged to Produce Apitherapy Products

Bee-Keeping By-Products are Relatively Untapped
Jamaica Gleaner, 8/16/2010

With the bee-keeping industry valued in excess of $1.3 billion and currently experiencing growth of 40 per cent, the Ministry of Agriculture says there is room to diversify the relatively untouched by-products and value-added markets.

The production, harvesting and marketing of other products of the beehive such as bee pollen, beeswax, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, queen bees and packaged bees (the latter for overseas targeted markets) are only marginally addressed by 1.2 per cent of the island's 1,202 bee-keepers.

At present, by-products and linkages generated locally and available on the domestic market include personal-care items such as soaps, ointments, shampoos, hair wax and candles from beeswax, jams and jellies, wines and infused flavoured honey...

Peddy said the value-added component of the apiculture industry has been relatively untapped because of the fact that financing for such ventures are often unavailable or too costly for individuals to undertake. The situation is also made difficult because farmers are required to source and secure their own markets…

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Propolis Used to Treat Pancreatic Cancer

Press Release, 8/16/2010

A specialist New Zealand bee product being used in on-going international cancer treatment trials has been hailed by a South Korean man as the main factor in his mother’s recovery from pancreatic cancer.

Jae-woo Choi emailed staff at Te Awamutu-based honey health science company Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd thanking them for supplying him with BIO30™ Propolis.

Mr Choi gave his mother daily doses of BIO30™ soon after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A tumor had metastasized to her liver and lymph glands and her family had been told she had three to six months to live.

However, after chemotherapy treatment and a regime which involved large doses of BIO30™, a strict vegetarian diet and multiple supplements, her secondary cancers have now gone and the main tumour has shrunk.

"I don't think propolis is the only reason for her recovery," Jae-woo said in an email to Manuka Health, "but my family and I believe propolis is the main factor."…

Monday, August 16, 2010

Video: Tucson Doctors Use Honey to Heal Wounds

Fox 11, 8/13/2010 - We all know honey as a sweet syrupy treat often used in baking or maybe added to oatmeal. But some Tucson doctors think it can cure wounds.

About 15 years ago Pauline Acamo got a spider bite on her ankle that turned into what seemed like an incurable wound, "We had tried everything we could, different procedures, new ones."

The pain would sometimes get so severe, Pauline often had to skip work. Sometimes for as long as six months, "Because of the infections the pain would surge all the way up the leg. Its very painful, you can't really stand it sometimes."

Last year Pauline met doctor mark Vietti at the st. Mary's wound healing center. He introduced Pauline to a sweet solution that would heal her age old spider bite, "It's always important to keep an open mind in medicine."

"Honey has been available for more than 2,000 years and actually there's references in ancient Greek literature about honey being used for its benefits in treating skin conditions," says Dr. Vietti.

It's called "Medi-Honey" and it comes from a plant all the way in New Zealand that's especially good at inhibiting bacterial growth.

"The honey really inhibits bacterial growth. It tends to create just the right kind of moisture environment within a wound," explains Dr. Vietti.

Every week Pauline visits Dr. Vietti so he can check out her wound and put a little bit of honey on it.

She also applies some Medi-Honey every night, "Its just been brilliant, I mean the pain level has just receded greatly. "

Pauline's wound still has a bit of healing to do, but she's thankful something as simple and sweet as honey could help cure her bite while adding a little bit of flavor back into her life, "Being a country girl I eat it a little, but not tremendous amounts, but I think I might start eating more of it."

Dr. Vietti says Medi-Honey can also be applied to wounds on burn victims and for treating athletes foot.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Propolis Recommended for Yeast Infections

Most Common Questions About Candida albicans
By Suzy Cohen, Tulsa World, 8/14/2010

Dear Readers: This column is the third (and final) in the series on yeast overgrowth (Candida albicans), which can cause many diseases. Thousands of you have written, and although there were many good queries, here are the two most frequently asked questions.

What are Candida die-off symptoms, and how can I minimize the discomfort?

Candida die-off is also known as the Herxheimer reaction. As large amounts of yeast die, the organism dumps its toxic contents into your system. One of the most comprehensive formulas I have found is Dr. Ohhira's Propolis Plus, which contains Brazilian propolis along with flax oil, prebiotics, probiotics, vitamin E and a powerful body-cleanser called astaxanthin…

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Expression of Recombinant Protein from Royal Jelly of Chinese Honeybee in Pichia pastoris and Its Proliferation Activity in an Insect Cell Line

J. Agric. Food Chem, July 23, 2010

Major royal jelly protein 1 (MRJP1) is the most abundant member of the major royal jelly protein (MRJP) family of honeybee.

Mature MRJP1 cDNA of the Chinese honeybee (Apis cerana cerana MRJP1, or AccMRJP1) was expressed in Pichia pastoris. SDS-PAGE showed that recombinant AccMRJP1 was identical in molecular weight to the glycosylated AmMRJP1 from the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera).

Western blots probed with anti-AccMRJP1 antibody demonstrated that recombinant AccMRJP1 and soluble protein of the Western honeybee RJ (AmSPRJ) contained immunoreactive MRJP1.

The 57 kDa protein in AmSPRJ contained an N-terminal amino sequence of N-I-L-R-G-E, which is identical to that previously characterized in AmMRJP1. The molecular weight of recombinant AccMRJP1 was decreased from 57 to 48 kDa after deglycosylation, indicating that AccMRJP1 was glycosylated.

The recombinant AccMRJP1 significantly stimulated Tn-5B-4 cell growth, similar to AmSPRJ and fetal bovine serum, and affected cell shape and adhesion to the substrate.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Antibacterial Activity of Royal Jelly Against Wound Bacteria Analyzed

Antibacterial Activity of Royal Jelly Against Bacteria Capable of Infecting Cutaneous Wounds
Journal of ApiProduct & ApiMedical Science, Vol. 2 (3) pp. 93 - 99

The antibacterial activity of two royal jelly (RJ) samples against Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Micrococcus luteus, Streptococcus uberis, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella pneumoniae was tested using the well diffusion method.

The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) were determined by broth dilution tests. Raw RJ sample A did not inhibit the growth of K. pneumoniae and S. uberis, while raw RJ sample B did not inhibit the growth of K. pneumoniae. MIC values of RJ sample A were in the concentration range between 3.3 and 10.3 mg/mL, while that of RJ sample B were in the concentration range between 7.1 and 14.5 mg/mL.

MBC concentration ranges were between 125 and 250 mg/mL, and between 63 and 250 mg/mL, for RJ samples A and B, respectively. The differences observed in MIC and MBC values may be related to components of RJ associated with their geographical provenance or with genetic variability between bee colonies.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Honey Has Dermoprotective, Gastroprotective Effects

Profile of Nitric Oxide (NO) Metabolites (nitrate, nitrite and N-nitroso groups) in Honeys of Different Botanical Origins: Nitrate Accumulation as Index of Origin, Quality and of Therapeutic Opportunities
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, Volume 53, Issue 3, 2 November 2010, Pages 343-349

Besides dermoprotective activity, honey also has a strong gastroprotective effect, from salivary reduction of nitrate (NO3−) to nitrite (NO2−) and intragastric formation of nitric oxide (NO), this lastly involved in the preservation of the gastric mucosa capillaries and in boosting mucous production.

Aim of this work is to profile the distribution of NO metabolites (NO3−, NO2− and total N-nitroso-groups, N-NO) in a set of honeys (n = 54) of different botanical origins, using a chemiluminescence based technique (NO-analyzer, NOA).

All the honeys contained appreciable amounts of NO3− (from 1.63 ± 0.04 to 482.98 ± 5.34 mg/kg), the highest in honeydew honeys (10–40 times than in nectar honeys). Low levels of NO2− were found in all samples (0.01 ± 0.00 to 0.56 ± 0.01 mg/kg). N-NO groups, at trace levels in some nectar honeys, were higher in honeydew samples (from 0.01 ± 0.00 to 0.29 ± 0.01 mg/kg).

Total phenol content (TP) and total protein (TProt) were comparable to those in literature.

Multivariate analysis indicated that N-NO groups were significantly associated with NO2− and TP thus to suggest an in situ environmental nitrosation of specific nitrosable substrates (lysine, proline) favored by high reducing conditions. The bee-smoking process can be an alternative or complementary explanation for N-NO contamination.

Hence NO3− rich honeys intake may exert beneficial effects against NSAIDs-induced gastric injury. Finally NO3− is a potential reliable marker of a honey's origin and quality.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bee Products May Help Identify Lead Compounds

Honey, Pollen, and Propolis Extracts Show Potent Inhibitory Activity Against the Zinc Metalloenzyme Carbonic Anhydrase
J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem, 2010 Aug 5

Three different honey extracts from the endemic plant in the Black Sea region Rhododendron ponticum, were investigated for their inhibitory effects against the metalloenzyme carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC, more precisely the human (h) isoforms hCA I and hCA II.

Hexane, methanol, ethanol, and water solid-phase extractions (SPEs) showed inhibitory activity towards the two CA isozymes which were related to the total phenolic content. The highest inhibitory effects (0.036-0.039 mg/mL) were those of propolis methanolic extract. Among the three different samples investigated here, the aqueous extracts showed lower inhibitory effects compared to the organic solvent SPE extracts (in the range of 1.150- 5.144 mg/ mL).

The studied honey extracts constitute an interesting source of phenolic derivatives that might serve to identify lead compounds, targeting the physiologically relevant enzymes CA I and CA II.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bee Venom and Myeloma: A Case Study

Health Blogs, 8/9/2010

This morning, while taking a break to read a recent Science Daily article on bee venom tested as a “smart bomb” to target cancer cells, I was reminded of a post I wrote, three years ago!!!, about an Iranian multiple myeloma patient who was treated, successfully it seemed (seems?), with bee stings. Here is the link to that post: http://tinyurl.com/2urbc5j

Well, at the time I didn’t have access to the full study. After checking online this morning, though, I found it…yes, the whole kit and caboodle: http://tinyurl.com/368nxoa. It is a short, easy and intriguing text, so I highly recommend that you go have a look at it...

Monday, August 09, 2010

Propolis May be Useful in Treatment of Cavities

Antimicrobial Activity of Propolis Against Streptococcus mutans
African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 9(31), pp. 4966-4969, 2 August, 2010

The ethanol extract of propolis (EEP) obtained from beehives of honeybee (Apis mellifera) was
investigated for its antimicrobial activities against Streptococcus mutans isolated from dental caries.

Agar well diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) determinations were the methods used in this study. The carious tooth was swabbed with a sterile cotton wool and immediately streaked on tryptic soy agar, incubated at 37°C for 48 - 72 h. S. mutans was characterized by standard cultural, morphological and biochemical methods. Several dilutions of EEP were made (0.5 - 32 μg/ml), while water and ethanol were used as controls. The EEP at concentrations of 4, 8, 16 and 32 μg/ml showed strong antimicrobial activity against S. mutans with inhibition zones of 10 ± 4, 12 ± 4, 20 ± 2 and 24 ± 2 mm, respectively. There were medium to maximum growth of S. mutans in the controls of ethanol and water.

The results demonstrate that the ethanol extract of propolis has a strong antimicrobial activity and suggest that it may be useful in the treatment of dental caries caused majorly by S. mutans.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Honeybees 'Cleverer in the Morning'

By Victoria Gill, BBC News, 8/7/2010

Bees may have evolved to be "cleverer" in the mornings to help them forage The earliest rising bee catches the best flower and ultimately the best meal, according to research.

A study has found that bees are better at learning new odours in the morning.

This early brain power may have evolved to help the insects sniff out flowering plants and forage for nectar more efficiently…

Honey Works Better than Drugs for Herpes

By Dr. Mercola, Food Consumer, 8/7/2010

Mainstream physicians usually prescribe Acyclovir ointment or other topical medications to treat herpes outbreaks. But new research shows that nature has a better solution. This remedy works faster than any of the mainstream treatments, and with fewer side effects.

When a researcher treated patients with Acyclovir for one herpes outbreak and honey for another, overall healing time with honey was 43 percent better than with Acyclovir for sores on the lips and 59 percent better for genital sores…

Propolis Toothpaste Promotes Healing

High Functional Tooth Paste Made From Nanoemulsion Gel [Article in Hungarian]
Fogorv Sz, 2010 Jun;103(2):39-41

The authors report their experience connected with the introduction of "functional toothpaste" in Hungary. This cream (gel), propered by means of nanotechnological methods, contains vitamins C and E, propolis and various herb extracts. It is manufactured in South Korea and is commercially available in the USA, among others. It protects the gingiva, and its use is recommended in cases of diseases of the oral mucosa.

The experience in Hungary indicates that it is well applicable after surgery in the oral cavity (it promotes wound healing), in cases involving processes in the oral cavity that heal with difficulty, and during the healing of burn wounds (e.g. after laser surgery). In view of the favourable experience, its distribution in Hungary can be recommended.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Beeswax Ear Candling Gains in Popularity, Despite Warnings

Traditional Treatment Called Ear Candling Gains Popularity Despite Warnings
By Charity Brown, The Washington Post, 8/2/2010

Brenda Thompson gets a treatment called ear candling from Schyla Poyndexter-Moore at the Secrets of Nature restaurant and health-food store in the District.

A hollow candle, or a piece of fabric soaked in beeswax or paraffin, is placed in the ear canal with a paper plate resting on the head to prevent burns from the wax. Then, the candle or fabric is lit. According to its supporters, the practice is a remedy for removing earwax and cures ailments such as ear infections, sinusitis, migraines, postnasal drip and cancer, and improves general health.

The origin of this technique is unknown, but some say it can be traced to the era before Christ, to ancient Egypt and/or India. Within the past decade, its popularity has increased. Beauty salons and spas offer candling, also known as ear coning and thermal auricular therapy, and kits are available at health-food stores and flea markets.

Medical research, however, holds that the practice is both ineffective and dangerous. It showed up in February on the Food and Drug Administration's equivalent of the FBI's most-wanted list…

Friday, August 06, 2010

Buzz Surrounds Bee Venom in Cancer Research

The Day, 8/5/10

Bee venom might be just what the doctor ordered to fight cancer.

Research published in the FASEB Journal's current issue demonstrates that a key ingredient in the toxic venom released during bee stings, when modified, can be used as a "transporter agent" to more effectively deliver drugs or diagnostic dyes to identify and fight tumors…

Bee Venom as an Alternative to Botox

Is bee venom the latest beauty essentials must-have?
By Gemma Francis, Avon

From spray tans to face masks, ladies love their different beauty essentials to ensure they are always looking their best and the latest treatment to hit the market is sure to be embraced with the same enthusiasm.

According to Total Beauty, bee venom, which is extracted from the stings of honey bees, is all the rage and even The Duchess of Cornwall has benefitted from this latest creation, which is being dubbed as an alternative to Botox…

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Arizona Hospital Begins Using Honey to Treat Wounds

St. Mary's Using Honey to Treat Wounds

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) – The Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital Wound Healing Center started using a specialized medical grade honey product called Medihoney to treat wounds, according to Carondelet spokeswoman Lisa Contreras.

The honey was approved by the FDA for chronic and acute wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers and pressure ulcers.

The wound dressings contain active leptospermum honey, a unique honey from New Zealand and Australia. Recent tests show that honey contains antibacterial agents, and leptospermum honey yields more antibacterial activity than honey from outer sources.

"Dressings made from leptospermum honey offer a two-fold benefit in wound healing: they help decrease bacteria and keep the wound moist to promote healing while also aiding our ability to remove unhealthy tissue around the wound," said Dr. Rhonda Quick, M.D., a vascular surgeon who serves as the Medical Director for St. Mary's Hospital Wound Healing Center.

The effects of the dressing can last up to a week, reducing the need for more frequent visits to the hospital...

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Sidr Honey and Black Seed Oil Combo Impacts Parasite

Ultrastructure Alterations of Adult Male Schistosoma mansoni Harbored in Albino Mice Treated with Sidr Honey and/or Nigella Sativa Oil
Journal of King Saud University – Science, Volume 22, Issue 3, July 2010, Pages 111-121

In this investigation, the effects of Sidr honey, Nigella sativa oil (black-seed oil) and Sidr honey and black-seed oil together on the ultrastructure of tegument, gastrodermis and testes of adult male Schistosoma mansoni harbored in albino mice were studied.

The tegument of adult male S. mansoni recovered from mice treated with various types of treatments revealed apparent damages which were severely clear in male worms harbored in mice treated with Sidr honey and black-seed oil together. On the other hand, the gastrodermis and testes of adult male S. mansoni obtained from mice treated with Sidr honey only or black-seed only revealed no apparent damage, while the gastrodermis and testes of worms recovered from mice treated with Sidr honey and black-seed oil together showed severe disorganization.

Therefore, these treatments may represent a promising alternative treatment for the control of schistosomiasis mansoni, especially in endemic areas and where drug-resistant strains are found.

These natural products may be recommended as useful, pleasant and popular accepted elements of food and drinks in such cases.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

News Compounds Isolated from Kenyan Propolis Show Antibacterial, Antiradical Activity

New Biologically Active Compounds from Kenyan Propolis
Fitoterapia, Volume 81, Issue 6, September 2010, Pages 509-514

From propolis samples from Kenya, two new arylnaphtalene lignans were isolated, tetrahydrojusticidin B 1 and 6-methoxydiphyllin 2, along with four known phenolic compounds 5–8, found for the first time in propolis. The structures of the compounds were elucidated based on their spectral properties.

The geranylstilbenes 7 and 8 demonstrated antibacterial activity against S. aureus, and the geranylflavon macarangin 6 possessed antiradical activity against DPPH radicals.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Propolis Can Fight Multi-Drug Resistant Hospital Bugs

By Tiasa Adhya, Down to Earth, 8/15/2010

A life-threatening bacterium has been spreading quietly for some time and mutating.

Resistant to almost all antibiotics, the Methicillin Resistant Staphylo-coccus aureus, or MRSA, has infected millions worldwide. Doctors are worried, because the bacterium usually rifles through hospitals, takes hold of open wounds, respiratory and urinary tracts and causes difficult- to-treat infections. Almost 20 per cent of people who contract the disease succumb to it.

“It spreads easily through direct contact with patients, hospital staff or via contaminated surfaces,” said Kelly Abshire, microbiologist at Miami University in USA. More people in the US die of MRSA than HIV/AIDS. In India, over 30 per cent hospitals are rife with the bacteria.

As of now, the only way to contain it are sanitation measures and safe disposal of biological waste. Just as all potent drugs in the antibiotic arsenal are rendered ineffective by the bacterium, scientists at University of Strathclyde in the UK said bees hold hope.

While working with Natures Laboratory, a bee glue research centre in the UK, as part of an initiative to develop antibiotics from natural sources, the scientists found bee glue, or propolis, has the anti-bacterial property to fight the notorious MRSA.

“We investigated propolis because bees use it as an antiseptic glue to seal gaps between honeycombs and preserve their hives from microbial contamination. Though several scientific journals report its use as an antimicrobial agent, very few have dealt with its anti-MRSA activity,” said lead researcher Veronique Seidel…