Saturday, December 31, 2011

Apitherapy Conference in Turkey Feb. 22-26

The First Turkish Congress, Expo and Workshops on Honey and Honeybee Products with International Participation

22-26th February 2012
Kayseri, Turkey

Registration is open at:

*Early registration fees apply before 15 January 2012 (extended)*
*Deadline for abstract submission is 15 January 2012*

Dear Colleagues, Api friends,

For the second time, It is a great pleasure to announce *The First Turkish Congress, Expo and Workshops on Honey and Honeybee Products* scheduled to be held at the Erciyes University, in Kayseri, Turkey between 22th and 26th February 2012.

The congress will bring together international scientists interested in all aspects of honey bee products and apitherapy.

The Congress will feature internationally recognized invited speakers;* **Dr. Stephan STANGACIU* (President of Apitherapy Consulting &Trading
International), *Prof. Vassya BANKOVA (*Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry; Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) *Prof. Ahmed HEGAZ (*Microbiology and Immunology in the National Research Center, Egypt), *Prof. Osman KAFTANOLU (*Arizona State University)

Stands for advertising of products of companies in the honey and honey product sector shall be placed in the exhibition area throughout the congress. This would lead to new business and research opportunities between members of the honey sectors and researchers.

There will also be a poster competition at the congress to encourage scientific activity of young scientists. First, second, and third place will be awarded with a certificate and a cheque.

We have the pleasure to invite and welcome you to participate in our congress. Please take the opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones.

Let us meet in one of the beatiful cities in the country, Kayseri.

Best regards.

Assoc. Prof. Sibel SILICI

Congress Chair

Friday, December 30, 2011

'Bee Sting' Skincare Range Flies Off the Shelves

Georgia James, The Huffington Post UK, 12/28/2011

A new range of anti-ageing beauty creams containing bee stings has created quite a buzz in the beauty industry and is flying off the shelves.

Sales of the Manuka Doctor skincare range are up 3,000% since it launched in the UK just three weeks ago.

The creams, which contain more than 10,000 bee stings per pot, were developed in Korea following 12 years of research into the health benefits of the insect’s poisonous sting.

Scientists claim the venom, dubbed nature’s alternative to Botox, helps to prevent ageing by smoothing out wrinkles and stimulating collagen growth and cell renewal.

Stockists Holland & Barrett told the Daily Express: “We knew these products were special but sales have exceeded all expectations.”…

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Evidence Supports Use of Honey in Modern Wound Care

The Use of Honey in Modern Wound Care is Supported by Biological and Limited Clinical Evidence
Drugs & Therapy Perspectives, Volume 28, Number 2, 1 February 2012 , pp. 24-26(3)

Biological evidence supports the use of honey in modern wound care. Although the available clinical evidence also suggests that honey has beneficial effects in promoting wound healing, further research is needed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Propolis May Help Treat Asthma

The Immunoregulatory Effects of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester on the Cytokine Secretion of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells From Asthmatic Children
Pediatrics & Neonatology, Volume 52, Issue 6, December 2011, Pages 327-331


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways for which current treatments are mainly based on pharmacological interventions, such as glucocorticoid therapy. Our objective was to study the immunoregulatory effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE, a phytochemical synthesized from propolis) on cytokine secretion of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from asthmatic children.


PBMCs from asthmatic children (5.5 ± 3.3 years old, n = 28) and healthy children (5.6 ± 2.8 years old, n = 23) were co-cultured with CAPE in vitro with and without phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-ionomycin.


Our results show that predominant interleukin 4 (IL-4) and interferon-gamma secretion of cultured supernatant were detected in healthy donors compared with asthmatics. In the presence of phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-ionomycin, with or without CAPE treatment, the asthmatic children showed significantly decreased levels of IL-10 secretion compared with the healthy controls. However, CAPE significantly decreased IL-10 and interferon-gamma in healthy donors. There was a slight but not statistically significant reduction of IL-4 secretion in CAPE-treated PBMCs compared with untreated control PBMCs from the healthy children. Our data also shows that CAPE significantly enhanced transforming growth factor-beta 1 production from PBMCs from asthmatic children.


The immunoregulatory effects of CAPE on human PBMCs may be through the induction of regulatory T cells, as evidenced by the enhanced transforming growth factor-beta 1 production from PBMCs from asthmatic children in our study.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Moroccan Cancer Patients Use Honey as Complementary Medicine

Complementary Medicine Use Among Moroccan Patients with Cancer: A Descriptive Study
Pan Afr Med J, 2011;10:36

BACKGROUND: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. As cancer incidence rates and survival time increase, use of CAM will likely increase. However, little is known about the use of CAM in cancer patients, specifically in emerging countries.

METHODS: We conducted a study in the medical oncology department at the University Hospital of Fez on the use of complementary medicine among cancer patient. The aims of this study were to estimate and describe the reasons of use of complementary medicine (CM) in patients with a cancer treated in a Moroccan oncology department. A specially designed questionnaire was completed for patient during treatment or follow-up in the oncology department after formal consent was obtained. It was a descriptive study among 100 patients over a period of 6 months between September 2008 and February 2009.

RESULTS: A total of 100 patients participated in the study, 46 of them were identified as users of complementary medicine. The most substances used were plants 24%, pure honey 13% and water of Zem Zem (holy water from Mecca) 11%. Concerning techniques, religious practices 37%, special diets 22% and recourse to traditional healers 11% were most commonly used. No specific user profile was observed depending of different sociodemograhics and clinical parameters. The majority of the users of complementary medicine were not revealing their habits to their oncologist because the question was not raised in consultation.

CONCLUSION: It seems that medical doctors should ask patients about their use of complementary medicine when they obtain medical history and they need to know more about complementary medicine to offer better consultation. Complementary medicine must benefit, as well as conventional medicine, from scientific studies to evaluate potential benefits, toxicity and interactions with the conventional treatment to enable the oncologist better inform his patients.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Extract of Cuban Red Propolis Protects Against Liver Damage

Protective Effects of Propolis Extract on Allyl Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury in Mice
Phytomedicine, Volume 4, Issue 4, December 1997, Pages 309-314

Potential protective effects of ethanolic extract of Cuban red propolis against toxicity induced by allyl alcohol in mice was investigated.

Propolis at doses of 25, 50 and 100 mg/i.p. significantly decreased the activity of alanine amino transferase (EC in serum and the levels of mal-ondialdehyde in mouse liver after induction with a dose of 64 mg/kg of allyl alcohol. However, propolis did not increase the concentration of reduced glutathione in mouse liver which is depleted by allyl alcohol. Propolis also reduced liver damage induced by allyl alcohol in mice. This effect was observed by electron microscopy.

The hepatoprotective effects of propolis were dose-dependent and they were produced when propolis was administered 30 min before allyl alcohol administration.

It is indicated that the ethanolic extract of red propolis exerts potential hepatoprotective effects in this experimental model which is probably caused by antioxidative properties (e.g. scavenging action against oxygen radicals) of this extract.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Propolis May Boost Leishmanicidal Activity of Glucantime

Potential Utility of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Propolis in Enhancing the Leishmanicidal Activity of Glucantime
Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo, 2011 Dec;53(6):329-34

In this study we investigated the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy, alone or combined with the pentavalent antimonial glucantime on Leishmania amazonensis infection. In parallel, the effect of Brazilian red propolis gel (propain) alone or combined with glucantime on L. amazonensis infection was evaluated.

The inhibition of the infection in macrophages treated with glucantime in combination with HBO exposition was greater than that of macrophages treated with glucantime alone or HBO alone. The susceptible mouse strain BALB/c infected in the shaved rump with L. amazonensis treated with glucantime and exposed to HBO showed: time points in the course of the disease in which lesions were smaller than those of mice treated with glucantime alone and revascularization of the skin in the lesion site; interferon-gamma (IFN-g) levels were not elevated in lymph node cells from these animals.

Propain alone was not efficient against lesions, although less exudative lesions were observed in animals treated with propain alone or combined with glucantime. These results reveal the potential value of HBO and red propolis in combination with glucantime for treating cutaneous leishmaniasis and encourage further studies on the effect of more aggressive HBO, propolis and glucantime therapies on different mouse models of leishmaniasis.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Propolis Anti-Inflammatory Action Boosts Wound Healing

Effect of Propolis on Mast Cells in Wound Healing
Inflammopharmacology, 2011 Dec 17

Wound healing is divided into three phases: inflammatory, proliferative and remodeling. Mast cells participate in all these phases.

The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of propolis on the population of mast cells in oral surgical wounds in comparison to the results obtained with dexamethasone. This study was prospective, in vivo, randomized, semiexperimental, quantitative and comparative animal.

A circular surgical wound was made on the dorsum of the tongue of 90 hamsters divided into three experimental groups: topical application of 30% propolis alcoholic extract (Group 1); 0.1% dexamethasone in orabase cream (Group 2); and orabase cream alone (Group 3). Applications were performed every 12 h throughout the experiment. The postoperative times for killing of the animals were 1, 3, 7, 14 and 28 days. The Student's t test for independent samples was employed in the statistical analysis.

In the inflammatory phase of healing, propolis caused a greater reduction in the number of mast cells on the edge and in the central region of the surgical wound in comparison to dexamethasone. Moreover, the number of mast cells on day 1 was lower in the central region of the wounds treated with the orabase cream alone in comparison to dexamethasone.

In conclusion, the anti-inflammatory action of propolis mediated by mast cells was more effective than dexamethasone in the inflammatory phase of healing.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Royal Jelly Component Studied

Inhibition of Interferon-γ-Induced Nitric Oxide Production by 10-Hydroxy-Trans-2-Decenoic Acid Through Inhibition of Interferon Regulatory Factor-8 Induction
Cell Immunol, 2011 Dec 1

10-Hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid (10H2DA) is a major lipid component of royal jelly, a honey bee secretion used to nourish the queen bee and young larvae.

In this study, we examined the effect of 10H2DA on interferon (IFN)-γ-induced nitric oxide (NO) production. IFN-γ-induced NO production and activation of the inducible NO synthase promoter were significantly inhibited by 10H2DA. IFN-γ-induced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 was not affected by 10H2DA. In contrast, IFN-γ-induced tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α production and nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation were inhibited by 10H2DA. IFN-γ-mediated induction of interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-8, but not IRF-1, was also inhibited by 10H2DA. IFN-γ-induced TNF-α production followed by activation of NF-κB is known to be essential for NO production.

Together, 10H2DA inhibited IFN-γ-induced NO production by inhibiting IRF-8 induction and TNF-α production. 10H2DA might modulate IFN-γ-mediated cellular responses by inhibiting the induction of IRF-8 and IRF-8-dependent genes.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Early Man Used Honey as Super Food

Humans, the Honey Hunters
Smithsonian Magazine, December 19, 2011

Anthropologists have suggested early Homo was a meat-and-potatoes kind of hominid. Starting roughly 2.5 million years ago, early species of Homo were the first hominids to have brains bigger than an ape’s. But brains are expensive, metabolically speaking. To fuel their added brain power, these hominids probably introduced new energy-rich foods to their diet. Researchers have long pointed to meat as the critical food that allowed for this initial brain expansion; after all, stone tools useful for hunting and butchering appear in the archaeological record at this time. More recently, the significance of underground tubers has been highlighted. But another crucial food may have been honey. Alyssa Crittenden, a behavioral ecologist and nutritional anthropologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, makes the case for the sweet liquid’s importance in the journal Food and Foodways.

Honey has several qualities that make it a super food, Crittenden points out. It’s very energy dense, about 80 to 95 percent sugar, and it’s a good source of the glucose needed to nurture brain development. Wild honey also contains traces of bee larvae, adding fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. And on top of that, it’s easy to digest. The nutritional benefits of honey are clear, but there is no concrete evidence in the fossil record of hominids eating honey; honey consumption doesn’t leave behind the kind of scraps that can fossilize the way that hunting and butchering does. So Crittenden relies on some indirect clues to bolster her argument.

First, the significance of honey to human evolution may be inferred from the fact that the sugary liquid is an important dietary staple for people around the world. In Paraguay, for example, the Ache believe honey is the second most important food in their diet, after game meat; honey can provide an Ache with more than 1,100 calories per day. Honey can constitute 80 percent of the calories consumed by the Efe pygmy people of the Congo and 15 percent of the diet of the Hadza of Tanzania. Furthermore, people go to great lengths to get honey. The Hadza often follow honeyguide birds to hives of stinging bees. The honey hunters then burn brush near the entrance of the beehive to smoke out the bees, who become confused and disarmed by the smoke. In Nepal, honey collectors climb bamboo ladders positioned on cliff faces to access nests tucked away in crevices. Ancient art verifies that honey consumption is not a recent phenomenon. Rock art depicting honeycombs, swarms of bees and honey collecting date to as many as 40,000 years ago. Such art has been found in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia…

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

‘CycloPower’ Boosts Manuka Honey’s Medicinal Benefits

Backed by Science, Manuka Health Looks to Take on World
By Kate Beecroft, idealog, December 19, 2011

Manuka Health has announced its arrival as a serious biotech player with the potential for multi-million dollar exports with new product MGO Manuka Honey with CycloPower.

Manuka honey has been gaining traction as a powerful natural healer for some time. Renowned for its ability to limit the growth of bacteria, manuka honey has often been considered highly-effective, but not life-saving. Manuka Health, a global leader in natural healthcare, says this is all changing.

A discovery by Japanese scientists at Kobe University that a plant derivative, cyclodextrins, could aid the transportation of bio-actives into the body, is bolstering support for manuka honey to make serious inroads into stopping and preventing infections. Manuka Health has combined cyclodextrins (CycloPower) with highly bacteria-resistant manuka honey, which can kill some of the most virulent bacteria.

Researcher Dr Lynne Chepulis says the combination of MGO manuka honey with CycloPower is akin to putting a ball into a bucket. The active properties of the honey can be taken right down into the lower intestine to treat disorders where previously the bioactive molecules would have been destroyed by the body before the journey’s end. The molecules are also released slowly so all of the good stuff is made available to the body.

With virulent anti-biotic resistant bacteria causing havoc in hospitals throughout the world, MGO Manuka and CylcoPower can work as a natural way to stop infections and fill the gap where resistant strains have become highly dangerous.

Dr Chepulis has conducted a series of successful lab tests to prove that MGO Manuka enhanced with CycloPower can eradicate the bacterium that is responsible for causing life-threatening stomach cancers and ulcers, as well as strep throat and scarlet fever…

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Propolis May Help Treat Diabetes

Propolis and Its Direct and Indirect Hypoglycemic Effect
J Family Community Med, 2011 Sep;18(3):152-4

Propolis means a gum that is gathered by bees from various plants. It is strongly adhesive resinous substance, collected, transformed, and used by bees to seal holes in their honeycombs. Bees use it to seal holes in their honeycombs, smooth out internal walls, as well as to cover carcasses of intruders who died inside the hive in order to avoid their decomposition.

Propolis also protects the colony from diseases because of its antiseptic efficacy and antimicrobial properties. It also has been reported to possess various biological activities, namely anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and hypolipidemic.

The aim of this review is to evaluate the hypoglycemic effect of propolis since a little number of researches studied this effect when we compare with the huge number of papers that reported many other biological activities…

Monday, December 19, 2011

Video: Management of Corneal Bee Sting

Management of Corneal Bee Sting
Clin Ophthalmol, 2011;5:1697-700, Epub 2011 Dec 2.

Corneal bee sting is an uncommon environmental eye injury that can result in various ocular complications with an etiology of penetrating, immunologic, and toxic effects of the stinger and its injected venom.

In this study we present our experience in the management of a middle-aged male with a right-sided deep corneal bee sting.

On arrival, the patient was complaining of severe pain, blurry vision with acuity of 160/200, and tearing, which he had experienced soon after the injury. Firstly, we administered conventional drugs for eye injuries, including topical antibiotic, corticosteroid, and cycloplegic agents. After 2 days, corneal stromal infiltration and edema developed around the site of the sting, and visual acuity decreased to 100/200. These conditions led us to remove the stinger surgically.
Within 25 days of follow-up, the corneal infiltration decreased gradually, and visual acuity improved to 180/200.

We suggest a two-stage management approach for cases of corneal sting. For the first stage, if the stinger is readily accessible or primary dramatic reactions, including infiltration, especially on the visual axis, exist, manual or surgical removal would be indicated. Otherwise, we recommend conventional treatments for eye injuries. Given this situation, patients should be closely monitored for detection of any worsening. If the condition does not resolve or even deteriorates, for the second stage, surgical removal of the stinger under local or generalized anesthesia is indicated.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Propolis May Help Treat Leishmaniasis

The Effect of Propolis on CCL5 and IFN-γ Expression by Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Leishmaniasis Patients
J Pharm Pharmacol, 2012 Jan;64(1):154-60


Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis is associated with a strong Th1 immune response to Leishmania, which modulates chemokines and their receptors expression, affecting their migratory capacity. There are no antileishmanial vaccines available and chemotherapy still relies on the potentially toxic pentavalent antimonials.

Propolis is a bee product with immunomodulatory and antiparasite activities, and researchers have been attracted to its potential for the development of new drugs.

This work investigated the effects of propolis on CCL5 and IFN-γ expression by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in order to evaluate a possible immunomodulatory action of propolis in patients with leishmaniasis compared to healthy control subjects.


PBMC were incubated in the absence or presence of propolis and the evaluation of a possible cytotoxicity of propolis was carried out using MTT assay. The expression level of CCL5 and IFN-γ was determined by real-time PCR.

Key findings 

Our data indicated that propolis modulates the immune response of leishmaniasis patients in vitro, affecting CCL5 and IFN-γ expression by PBMC.


Data suggested that propolis drives an anti-inflammatory response depending on concentration. Although propolis is a potential source of new and selective drugs for the treatment of leishmaniasis, its usefulness in the therapeutics should be further investigated.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Medicinal Honey Plant Introduced in Italy

Perilla frutescens: Interesting New Medicinal and Melliferous Plant in Italy
Nat Prod Commun, 2011 Oct;6(10):1461-3

The goal of this study is to inform those potentially interested (researchers, farmers, industry and public bodies) in the medicinal and aromatic properties, and profitability of Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton (Lamiaceae). Perilla, a medicinal and edible plant of Asian origin, was recently introduced to the Piedmont Region in the north-west of Italy. P. frutescens is commonly known for its anti-allergic, anti-tumor, and anti-oxidant properties. It is also widely used as human food.

We collected a variety of data on Perilla crops in the Piedmont Region, including: agricultural practices, crop profitability, and its value as a bee plant. Our results suggest that ease of cultivation, approximate break-even economics, medicinal claims, and value for bees all contribute to make Perilla of economic interest in Italy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bee Venom May Help Treat Bladder Cancer

Bee Venom Induces Apoptosis Through Intracellular Ca(2+) -Modulated Intrinsic Death Pathway in Human Bladder Cancer Cells
Int J Urol, 2011 Dec 11

Objectives: To focus on bee venom-induced apoptosis in human bladder cancer TSGH-8301 cells and to investigate its signaling pathway to ascertain whether intracellular calcium iron (Ca(2+) ) is involved in this effect.

Methods: Bee venom-induced cytotoxic effects, productions of reactive oxygen species and Ca(2+) and the level of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) were analyzed by flow cytometry. Apoptosis-associated proteins were examined by Western blot analysis and confocal laser microscopy.

Results: Bee venom-induced cell morphological changes and decreased cell viability through the induction of apoptosis in TSGH-8301 cell were found. Bee venom promoted the protein levels of Bax, caspase-9, caspase-3 and endonuclease G. The enhancements of endoplasmic reticulum stress-related protein levels were shown in bee venom-provoked apoptosis of TSGH-8301 cells. Bee venom promoted the activities of caspase-3, caspase-8, and caspase-9, increased Ca(2+) release and decreased the level of ΔΨm. Co-localization of immunofluorescence analysis showed the releases of endonuclease G and apoptosis-inducing factor trafficking to nuclei for bee venom-mediated apoptosis. The images revealed evidence of nuclear condensation and formation of apoptotic bodies by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining and DNA gel electrophoresis showed the DNA fragmentation in TSGH-8301 cells.

Conclusions: Bee venom treatment induces both caspase-dependent and caspase-independent apoptotic death through intracellular Ca(2+) -modulated intrinsic death pathway in TSGH-8301 cells.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

‘Mad-Honey’ Aphrodisiac Leads to Heart Attacks

Mad-Honey Sexual Activity and Acute Inferior Myocardial Infarctions in a Married Couple
Tex Heart Inst J, 2011;38(5):577-580

Mad-honey poisoning can occur after the eating of honey that contains grayanotoxin. Mad honey is intentionally produced from the nectar of Rhododendron ponticum, which grows in Japan, Nepal, Brazil, parts of North America and Europe, and the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey. Low doses of grayanotoxin can cause dizziness, hypotension, and bradycardia, and high doses can cause impaired consciousness, syncope, atrioventricular block, and asystole due to vagal stimulation. Reports of acute coronary syndrome are very rare.

Herein, we present the case of a 50-year-old husband and 42-year-old wife who, to improve sexual performance, intentionally ate honey from the Black Sea area of Turkey for 1 week. Within 3 hours of consuming increased amounts of the honey, they presented at our emergency department with acute inferior myocardial infarctions. Coronary angiography revealed normal coronary arteries in both patients. Supportive treatment with atropine rapidly resolved the clinical symptoms and electrocardiographic irregularities.

Grayanotoxin-containing rhododendron pollen was detected in the honey.

In patients from geographic regions where mad honey can be obtained, mad-honey poisoning should be considered in the differential diagnosis of chest pain, particularly in the presence of unexplained bradyarrhythmia and hypotension. Sexual performance is a chief reason for the purchase of mad honey and self-treatment with it by persons of our patients' ages.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dr. Weil Recommends Raw Honey

Is Honey Healthier Than Sugar?
Dr. Weil’s Daily Tip, 12/12/2011

If you are trying to reduce your intake of refined sugar, honey is one alternative. Honey has some health benefits over sugar, as it:

•Is sweeter than refined sugar, so you can use less.
•Contains trace enzymes; minerals, including calcium, magnesium and potassium; amino acids; and vitamins, including a wide range of B vitamins such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine.

Raw honey may even help promote wound healing - research indicates it can be an excellent first aid measure when applied topically to burns, even very severe ones. (Don't treat a serious wound with the honey you get at the supermarket or health food store - you need a medicinal honey and someone with expertise to treat you.)...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brazilian Green Propolis Extract Effective Alternative Treatment for Fungal Infections

Antifungal Efficacy of Brazilian Green Propolis Extracts and Honey on Tinea capitis and Tinea versicolor
European Journal of Integrative Medicine, Volume 3, Issue 4, December 2011, Pages e275-e281

Aim of the study

This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Tinea capitis and Tinea versicolor, and evaluate the efficacy of bee products in management of skin disorders in Congolese school children.


Medical screening and care for skin disorders were carried out in five Congolese schools from November 2010 to April 2011. Hematological and mycological analyses were performed. Of the 2728 children, there were 305 patients with either Tinea capitis or Tinea versicolor. Of them, 242 eligible patients were randomly allocated to one of the following topical treatment arms: 2% Miconazole; 50 mg/ml Brazilian green propolis extracts (BPE); 100 mg/ml BPE; Acasia honey or Vaseline.

Oneway ANOVA test was performed to assess the significance of the difference between treatment groups at baseline (day 1), adjusting for age, gender and the severity score of skin symptoms. Unpaired t-test was performed to assess the difference between treatments in terms of skin symptoms improvement, WBC count, leukocytes and erythrocytes sedimentation rate (ESR) on day 28 of treatment.


This study showed that Miconazole, both BPE solutions and Acasia honey markedly improved erythema and desquamation (vs. Vaseline). In addition, 100 mg/ml BPE, 50 mg/ml BPE, Miconazole and Acasia honey also significantly relieved pruritus (vs. Vaseline). No major adverse effect was observed throughout the study.


Brazilian green propolis extracts improved skin lesions as efficiently as did Miconazole and may serve as an alternative treatment for Tinea mycosis.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bee Venom Antimicrobial Peptide Shows Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Consequences of Alteration in the Leucine Zipper Sequence of Melittin in its Neutralization of Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Pro-Inflammatory Response in Macrophage Cells and Interaction with Lipopolysaccharide
J Biol Chem, 2011 Nov 29

Bee venom antimicrobial peptide, melittin, besides showing versatile activity against microorganisms neutralizes lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced pro-inflammatory responses in macrophage cells.

However, how the amino acid sequence of melittin contributes in its anti-inflammatory properties is mostly unknown. To determine the importance of the leucine zipper sequence of melittin in its neutralization of LPS-induced inflammatory responses in macrophages and interaction with LPS, anti-inflammatory properties of melittin and its three analogues and their interactions with LPS were studied in detail.

Two of these analogues namely, melittin Mut-1 (MM-1) and melittin Mut-2 (MM-2) possess leucine to alanine substitutions in the single and double heptadic leucine residue(s) of melittin respectively while the third analogue is a scrambled peptide (Mel-SCR) which contains the amino acid composition of melittin with minor rearrangement in its leucine zipper sequence.

Though MM-1 partly inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in RAW 264.7 and rat primary macrophage cells in the presence of LPS, MM-2 and Mel-SCR were negligibly active. A progressive decrease in interaction of melittin with LPS, aggregation in LPS and dissociation of LPS aggregates with alteration in the leucine zipper sequence of melittin was observed.

Further, with alteration in the leucine zipper sequence of melittin, these analogues failed to exhibit cellular responses that are associated with neutralization of LPS-induced inflammatory responses in macrophage cells by melittin.

The data indicated a probable important role of the leucine zipper sequence of melittin in neutralizing LPS-induced pro-inflammatory responses in macrophage cells as well as in its interaction with LPS…

Though further studies are required in understanding the role of this motif in these molecules, the data probably indicate that one can design anti-LPS or LPS-binding molecule based on this structural element.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Turkish Propolis Extract May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer

Effect of Turkish Propolis Extracts on Proteome of Prostate Cancer Cell Line
Proteome Science 2011
, Published: 7 December 2011


Propolis is a natural, resinous hive product that has several pharmacological activities. Its composition varies depending on the vegetation, climate, season and environmental conditions of the area from where it was collected. Surface enhanced laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF MS) is a proteomic approach which has been used in cancer proteomics studies. Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in men. It has shown that nutritional supplements rich in polyphenolic compounds such as propolis play a significant role in prostate cancer chemoprevention. The aim of this study is to evaluate if protein expression profile in PC-3 prostate cancer cell lines could be differentiated when incubated with dimethyl sulfoxide and water extracts of Turkish propolis.


The antioxidant potentials of dimethyl sulfoxide and water extracts of propolis were found in correlation with the amount of total phenolic compounds of them. Dimethyl sulfoxide and water extracts of propolis of 20 ug/mL reduced the cell viability to 24.5% and 17.7 %, respectively. Statistically significant discriminatory peaks between control PC-3 cells and dimethyl sulfoxide extract of propolis-treated PC-3 cells were found to be the proteomic features at m/z 5143, 8703, 12661, 20184 and 32794, detected by CM10 ProteinChip, and the peak at m/z 3772, detected by Q10 ProteinChip. Between control PC-3 cells and water extract of propolis-treated PC-3 cells, statistically significant discriminatory peaks were found to be the proteomic features at m/z 15846, 16052 and 24658, detected by CM10 ProteinChip and the peaks at m/z 10348, 10899 and 11603, detected by Q10 ProteinChip.


It was concluded that dimethyl sulfoxide and water extracts of Turkish propolis may have anti-proliferative activity through differentiating protein expression profile in PC-3 prostate cancer cell lines along with their antioxidant capacity.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Menopausal Syndrome

Effectiveness of a Herbal Formula in Women with Menopausal Syndrome
Forsch Komplementmed
, 2011;18(5):264-8. Epub 2011 Oct 10

Background: Lady 4 is a combination of 4 natural components (evening primrose oil, damiana, ginseng, royal jelly) with a known history of traditional use for menopausal symptoms.

Objective: To study efficacy and safety of Lady 4 in women suffering from menopausal syndrome.

Methods: 120 women with menopausal symptoms were randomised into an experimental group treated with 2 capsules of Lady 4 daily and a control group treated with placebo. The outcome was measured by the Menopause Rating Scale II (MRS-II).

Results: There was a statistically significant improvement in the MRS-II score in both groups after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment, but the improvement was significantly better in the Lady 4 group. 86.7% in the Lady 4 group and 56.7% in the placebo group rated the therapy success as 'much improved' or 'very much improved'.

Conclusion: Lady 4 may be beneficial in the treatment of menopausal syndrome and can be used as a safe natural promoter of health and well-being in women during the menopausal transition.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Bee Venom’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties Studied

Consequences of Alteration in the Leucine Zipper Sequence of Melittin in its Neutralization of Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Pro-Inflammatory Response in Macrophage Cells and Interaction with Lipopolysaccharide
J Biol Chem, 2011 Nov 29

Bee venom antimicrobial peptide, melittin, besides showing versatile activity against microorganisms neutralizes lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced pro-inflammatory responses in macrophage cells. However, how the amino acid sequence of melittin contributes in its anti-inflammatory properties is mostly unknown.

To determine the importance of the leucine zipper sequence of melittin in its neutralization of LPS-induced inflammatory responses in macrophages and interaction with LPS, anti-inflammatory properties of melittin and its three analogues and their interactions with LPS were studied in detail. Two of these analogues namely, melittin Mut-1 (MM-1) and melittin Mut-2 (MM-2) possess leucine to alanine substitutions in the single and double heptadic leucine residue(s) of melittin respectively while the third analogue is a scrambled peptide (Mel-SCR) which contains the amino acid composition of melittin with minor rearrangement in its leucine zipper sequence.

Though MM-1 partly inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in RAW 264.7 and rat primary macrophage cells in the presence of LPS, MM-2 and Mel-SCR were negligibly active. A progressive decrease in interaction of melittin with LPS, aggregation in LPS and dissociation of LPS aggregates with alteration in the leucine zipper sequence of melittin was observed. Further, with alteration in the leucine zipper sequence of melittin, these analogues failed to exhibit cellular responses that are associated with neutralization of LPS-induced inflammatory responses in macrophage cells by melittin.

The data indicated a probable important role of the leucine zipper sequence of melittin in neutralizing LPS-induced pro-inflammatory responses in macrophage cells as well as in its interaction with LPS.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Mexican Honeys Show Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities

Quality Parameters and Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties of Some Mexican Honeys
J Food Sci, 2011 Dec 2

A total of 14 Mexican honeys were screened for quality parameters including color, moisture, proline, and acidity. Antioxidant properties of complete honey and its methanolic extracts were evaluated by the DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP assays. In addition, the antimicrobial activity of complete honeys against Bacillus cereus ATCC 10876, Listeria monocytogenes Scott A, Salmonella Typhimurium ATCC 14028, and Sthapylococcus aureus ATCC 6538 was determined.

Most of honeys analyzed showed values within quality parameters established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2001. Eucalyptus flower honey and orange blossom honey showed the highest phenolic contents and antioxidant capacity. Bell flower, orange blossom, and eucalyptus flower honeys inhibited the growth of the 4 evaluated microorganisms. The remaining honeys affected at least 1 of the estimated growth parameters (increased lag phase, decreased growth rate, and/or maximum population density). Microorganism sensitivity to the antimicrobial activity of honeys followed the order B. cereus > L. monocytogenes > Salmonella Typhimurium > S. aureus.

The monofloral honey samples from orange blossoms, and eucalyptus flowers demonstrated to be good sources of antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds. All the Mexican honey samples examined proved to be good sources of antioxidants and antimicrobial agents that might serve to maintain health and protect against several diseases.

Practical Application: The results of the study showed that Mexican honeys display good quality parameters and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Mexican honey can be used as an additive in the food industry to increase the nutraceutical value of products.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Treating Multiple Sclerosis with Bee Venom Therapy, 12/3/2011

Bee Venom therapy, sometimes called Bee Sting therapy, is a form of Apitherapy that may be a helpful treatment for those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is characterized by destruction of the myelin protective sheath that covers the spinal cord and nerves. While it is not clear why MS occurs, some believe it is an auto immune problem in which the immune system starts attacking the central nervous system. The tears, rips, and open spots in the covering of the nerves can “short circuit” the electrical signals that the brain and body use to communicate with one another.

Those who have MS suffer from symptoms that include hot flashes, dizziness, and incoordination. MS is a degenerative disease, meaning it progressively gets worse. There is currently no cure for MS. There are several medications that may help with some of the symptoms, but they have side effects. One of the treatments for MS, making a comeback from ancient Egyptian times, is bee venom therapy.

Why does bee venom help those with MS?

Bee venom therapy uses live honey bees for the benefits of their stingers. Some patients with MS who use bee venom therapy have noted decreased pain, increased coordination, and increased muscle strength.

So why would a bee sting help those with MS? Scientists believe it is because of two main ingredients in bee venom—adolapin and melittin. These compounds may reduce the pain and inflammation associated with MS. Bee venom therapy as a whole is thought to encourage the human body to release natural healing defenses to protect itself from the sting. These chemicals may heal other ailments in the body.

Pat Wagner, also known as “The Bee Lady” was diagnosed with MS at age 19. She claims on her website that bee venom therapy is the best treatment for MS. After receiving her initial bee stings, her hearing improved as well as her internal thermostat. She no longer felt chills, and she started moving around without her wheel chair. Her husband was so encouraged with her development that he bought a bee hive. She still uses bee venom therapy to this day…

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Honey Boosts Burn Healing by Hydrogel Sheets

Hydrogel Sheets of Chitosan, Honey and Gelatin as Burn Wound Dressings
Carbohydrate Polymers, In Press


A hydrogel sheet composed of chitosan, honey and gelatin (HS; 0.5:20:20 w/w) was developed as a burn wound dressing. HS showed powerful antibacterial efficacy up to 100% to S. aureus and E. coli, significantly superior to chitosan and honey used separately. A series of toxicological evaluations demonstrated that HS is not toxic and not irritatant to skin and body. An animal burn model was performed on the back of New Zealand rabbit, and treated respectively with HS, MEBO® ointment (Shantou MEBO pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., Guangdong, China) and sterile gauze. The macroscopic image and histopathology were examined.

The results showed that HS had a significant effect on wound contraction with the shortest treatment duration of 12 days compared to MEBO® ointment and no treatment. Histological examination revealed that HS-treated burn wound was repaired with intact epidermis on day 12, but the wound treated with MEBO did not completely heal. Therefore, HS demonstrated its potential as a treatment.


• Hydrogel sheets produced from chitosan, honey and gelatin in different ratios
• The swelling property, mechanical property, antibacterial activity and morphology of the hydrogels were characterized
• Wound treatment was carried out with the hydrogel sample HS, MEBO ointment and no treatment
• HS-treated wounds heal with intact epidermis whereas MEBO-treated ones do not heal completely

Monday, December 05, 2011

Propolis May Help Treat Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Propolis Can Potentialise the Anti-Adhesion Activity of proanthocyanidins on Uropathogenic Escherichia coli in the Prevention of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:522


Escherichia coli, the main bacteria found in recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI), is now frequently resistant to several currently used antibiotic treatments making new solutions essential. In this study, we evaluated the association of propolis and proanthocyanidins type A to reduce bacterial anti-adhesion activity of E. coli on urothelial cells.


This first double-blind, randomized, cross-over human trial included 5 volunteers that followed 6 different regimens with or without variable doses of cranberry and propolis with a washout period of at least 1 week between each regimen. Urine samples were collected at 0 h, 4-6 h, 12 h and 24 h after cranberry plus propolis or placebo capsule consumption. In vivo urinary bacterial anti-adhesion activity was assessed with a bioassay (a human T24 epithelial cell-line assay) and an in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans model. HPLC-PDA-MS was used to detect propolis and cranberry compounds in urine.

Bioassays indicated significant bacterial anti-adhesion activity in urine collected from volunteers who had consumed cranberry plus propolis powder compared to placebo (p < 0.001). This inhibition was clearly dose-dependent, increasing with the amount of PACs and propolis equivalents consumed in each regimen.

Results suggested that propolis had an additional effect with PACs and prevent a bacterial anti-adhesion effect over 1 day. An in vivo model showed that the E. coli strain presented a reduced ability to kill C. elegans after their growth in urine samples of patients who took cranberry plus propolis capsules. HPLC confirmed that propolis is excreted in urine.


This study presents an alternative to prevent recurrent UTI. Administration of PACs plus propolis once daily offers some protection against bacterial adhesion, bacterial multiplication and virulence in the urinary tract, representing an interesting new strategy to prevent recurrent UTI.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Review Looks at Use of Bee Venom in Cancer Therapy

Bee Venom in Cancer Therapy
Cancer Metastasis Rev, 2011 Nov 23

Bee venom (BV) (api-toxin) has been widely used in the treatment of some immune-related diseases, as well as in recent times in treatment of tumors. Several cancer cells, including renal, lung, liver, prostate, bladder, and mammary cancer cells as well as leukemia cells, can be targets of bee venom peptides such as melittin and phospholipase A2.

The cell cytotoxic effects through the activation of PLA2 by melittin have been suggested to be the critical mechanism for the anti-cancer activity of BV. The induction of apoptotic cell death through several cancer cell death mechanisms, including the activation of caspase and matrix metalloproteinases, is important for the melittin-induced anti-cancer effects.

The conjugation of cell lytic peptide (melittin) with hormone receptors and gene therapy carrying melittin can be useful as a novel targeted therapy for some types of cancer, such as prostate and breast cancer.

This review summarizes the current knowledge regarding potential of bee venom and its compounds such as melittin to induce cytotoxic, antitumor, immunomodulatory, and apoptotic effects in different tumor cells in vivo or in vitro.

The recent applications of melittin in various cancers and a molecular explanation for the antiproliferative properties of bee venom are discussed.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Royal Jelly May Help Treat colitis

The Effect of Royal Jelly on CD3+, CD5+, CD45+ T-Cell and CD68+ Cell Distribution in the Colon of Rats With Acetic Acid-Induced Colitis
Allergologia et Immunopathologia, In Press


Traditional medicines and health supplements have historically been used to treat many illnesses but most of them have not been evaluated objectively to prove their efficacy. We have been investigating the effects of royal jelly (RJ) supplements on acetic acid-induced colitis on the distribution of CD3+, CD5+, CD45+ T-cell and CD68+ cells in rats.


The rats were divided into four equal groups: control group, royal jelly-treated (RJ – 150 mg kg−1 body weight), acetic acid-treated (colitis) and acetic acid-treated (colitis) + royal jelly (CRJ – 150 mg kg−1 body weight). Colitis was induced by intracolonic instillation of 4% acetic acid; the control group received physiological saline (10 mL kg−1). Colon samples were obtained under deep anaesthesia from animals in four groups. Tissues were fixed in 10% formalin neutral buffer solution for 24 h and embedded in paraffin.


The proliferative response of CD3+ and CD45+ T cells stimulated with colitis was affected by colitis treated with RJ. No differences were found in CD5+ T cells and CD68+ macrophages in the colitis treated with RJ.


This study has shown that RJ has anti-inflammatory and cell regeneration effect in the colon of rats with acetic acid induced colitis.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Study: Manuka Honey Contains Unique High Molecular Weight Compounds

Compositional Analysis of Manuka Honeys by High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry: Identification of a Manuka-Enriched Archetypal Molecule
Food Chemistry, In Press, Accepted Manuscript

Manuka honey is used medicinally as a wound-healing dressing and possesses antibacterial bioactivities. It also possesses immunomodulating properties, comprising both anti-inflammatory and immune stimulating activities.

At present its active components have not been identified.

Given the importance of manuka honey as a therapeutic, we performed high-resolution Fourier-transform mass spectrometry analysis, in order to gain an insight into its complex make-up, as well as examining other honeys derived from different floral origins and storage conditions.

Our analyses show that manuka-derived honeys contain unique compounds, particularly in the high molecular weight range, compared to other honeys from other floral species. Storage conditions also directly impact on the molecular composition.

An archetypal mother molecule specific to manuka honey was identified that may serve as a precursor store for free 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoic acid and provide a means of fingerprinting manuka honeys.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Use Bee Venom Face Masks

Skin Saver: To Bee or Not to Bee?
By Marilyn Kalfus, The Orange County Register, 11/29/2011

What to make of reports that celebrities are using facial masks with bee venom to iron away wrinkles? We showed you one from the Daily Mail yesterday about Kate Middleton. And last year Duchess of Cornwall Camilla, 64, shown above, was said to have paid £55 ( about $86) for a facial at a bee-venom salon.

If so, the results probably didn't last for long.

Dr. Vince Afsahi, a dermatologist in Newport Beach and Tustin and a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at USC, says:

"Bee venom is the latest cosmetic fad which is trying to compete with the likes of Botox and fillers for wrinkle treatment. The research and scientific studies are non-existent or anecdotal at best. Some creams act like mild irritants to the skin, causing mild swelling and increased blood flow. This results in softening of creases and lines only temporarily…

Honey: Current Research and Clinical Applications

Editors: Juraj Majtan (Institute of Zoology SAS, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Book Description:

In the last few years, with increasing frequency, modern medicine directs attention to natural products with biological and therapeutic properties and their use in clinical practice. The major arguments for implementing natural products, such as honey, are low cost and the absence of antimicrobial resistance risk. This book presents original current research and clinical results on the leading edge of honey research. Topics discussed include the antimicrobial and anti-biofilm properties of honey; possible anticancer and anti-diabetic properties of honey; immunomodulatory effects of honey on cutenous and immune cells during wound healing process; topical applications of honey and the use of honey in the treatment of burns, non-healing wounds and eye diseases. (Imprint: Nova Biomedical)

Table of Contents:


Chapter 1. Selected topics on honey volatile organic compounds research
(Igor Jerković)

Chapter 2. Honey melanoidins: Emerging novel understanding on the mechanism of antioxidant and antibacterial action of honey
(Katrine Brudzinsky)

Chapter 3. Anticancer activity of honey and its phenolic components
(Saravana Kumar Jaganathan and Mahitosh Mandal)

Chapter 4. Honey and microbes
(Laïd Boukraâ and Yuva Bellik)

Chapter 5. Antibiofilm activity of honey
(Juraj Majtan, Jana Bohova, Miroslava Horniackova and Viktor Majtan)

Chapter 6. Effect of honey on immune and cutaneous cells
(Juraj Majtan)

Chapter 7. Possible anti-diabetic effects of honey
(Karsten Münstedt and Philipp Teichfischer)

Chapter 8. Honey and male reproductive health
(Mahaneem Mohamed)

Chapter 9. Topical application of honey
(Biswa M. Biswal and Rajan Sain)

Chapter 10. Honey in treatment of burn wounds
(Mutya Subrahmanyam)

Chapter 11. The efficacy of honey dressing on chronic wounds and ulcers
(Kamaruddin Mohd Yusoff, Zainabe Syed Akka, Anwar Suhaimi, Mohd Razif Mohd Ali and Mohd Yassim Mohd Yusoff)

Chapter 12. Honey for treating eye diseases
(Juraj Majtan, Martin Cernak, Nora Majtanova and Andrej Cernak)

Pub. Date: 2012 2nd Quarter

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Book on Medicinal Benefits of Honey

Doctors Discover an Ancient Solution to Modern Health Care Woes -- Honey

Middletown, MD (November 24, 2011) – The health care debate rages in the halls of congress and across the American dinner table as we struggle to rein in the cost of medical care. In her new book Two Million Blossoms: Discovering the Medicinal Benefits of Honey, Kirsten S. Traynor, M.S. details how doctors have rediscovered a timeless and cost-effective remedy used effectively since the Egyptian pharaoh’s physicians.

New scientific findings from around the world demonstrate honey heals chronic wounds, halts antibiotic-resistant superbugs, eliminates tissue scarring, reduces brain damage, improves memory and minimizes the harmful side-effects of cancer treatments. An easily assimilated antioxidant, honey proves more effective than over-the-counter cough medicines, acts as a natural laxative, stimulates good intestinal flora, and alleviates spring allergies.

As conventional therapies increasingly failed to clear infected wounds, doctors started applying honey dressings with astounding success. Chronic wounds that refused to mend for many years using standard medical care costing over $300,000 suddenly started healing when treated with 43¢ of honey and gauze honey, according to Dr. Jennifer Eddy, a family practitioner at Health’s Family Medicine Clinic in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

In 2007, the FDA approved medical honey for diabetic foot ulcers, leg ulcers, pressure ulcers,
1st and 2nd degree burns, donor sites, traumatic wounds and surgical wounds. Two Million Blossoms lets you discover the remarkable healing properties of honey.

“This delightful book Kirsten has written is the book I wanted to write myself twenty years ago,” world renowned honey researcher Dr. Peter Molan, Director of the Waikato Honey Research Unit in New Zealand writes in the foreword. Honey can “prevent people from suffering needlessly from ailments that detract from their quality of life.” Two Million Blossoms, a 272 page paperback, is divided into four sections that cover the history of honey, honey for human health, honey for wound healing and honey for pet care; it is available through Dadant and

Kirsten Traynor is currently pursuing a PhD in biology at Arizona State University. Much of the research in this book was gathered while she was a German Chancellor Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the Institute of Bee Research in Celle, Germany. Currently she is in Avignon, France on a Fulbright Fellowship to study how to improve honey bee health. If you would be interested in an interview, please contact her at

CONTACT: Kirsten S. Traynor (301) 371 8527,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Portuguese Bee Pollen Analyzed

Botanical, Nutritional and Microbiological Characterisation of Honeybee-Collected Pollen from Portugal
Food Chem Toxicol, 2011 Nov 15

Bee pollen is an important natural product, used in the folk medicine, clinical practices, food and pharmaceutical industries. This work intends to characterise, for the first time in Portugal, the palynological origin, nutritional value and microbiological security of bee pollen.

Moisture content, ash, a(w), pH, reducing sugars, carbohydrate, proteins, lipids, fatty acids and energy were the specific parameters analysed. Aerobic mesophiles, moulds and yeasts, fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella and sulphite-reducing clostridia were the microorganisms studied.

The most frequent plant families from a total of 10 taxa identified were Boraginaceae and Ericaceae. Portuguese bee pollens are nutritionally well-balanced and revealed high levels of moisture, proteins, fat, energy, ash, carbohydrates, reducing sugars, essential n-3 fatty acids and good ratios of PUFA/SFA. In fact, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) represent 66% of the total fatty acids.

Microbiologically, the commercial quality was good. All samples showed negative results for toxigenic species.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stop Wrinkles with a Bee Sting

Celebrities' Favourite 'Poison' Available on the High Street
By Tamara Cohen, Daily Mail (UK), 11/26/2011

Being stung by a bee to make you look younger?

It may not sound appealing, but the poison is being hailed as miracle anti-ageing treatment.

Scientists have discovered it can boost collagen - which gives skin its youthful elasticity and make it less susceptible to sun damage.

Face masks containing bee venom have been a celebrity fad for years available only in salons and spas.

Now the first skincare range containing it is to hit the high street after 12 years of research.

The new range has been devised by Korean scientist Dr Sang Mi Han for the New Zealand beauty company Manuka Doctor which will be stocked at Holland & Barrett shops from Monday.

The company claim it is ‘the next best alternative to botox – in a jar.’

It was revealed last year that Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall had a £55 bee venom facial treatment at a salon, and Dannii Minogue is also said to be a fan.

Previously only available as an exclusive salon treatment, the new range of five products starts at £16.99 for the facial moisturiser and foaming cleanser, £18.99 for skin treatment serum, £24.99 for repairing skin cream, and £49.99 for a rejuvenating face mask.

The products are said to have a ‘gentle tingling’ effect on the skin. They apparently fool the body into thinking it has been stung, which causes it to direct blood towards the affected area and stimulates the production of the naturally-occurring chemicals collagen and elastin which keep the skin taut.

Dr Han, a researcher at South Korea’s National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has published research suggesting it may also boost the number of cells called keratinocytes which act as a barrier against environmental factors such as bacteria, water loss and sun damage…

Bee venom has been used in medical applications since ancient times. It also contains a protein called Apamin which relaxes the muscles and is used in an arthritis treatment called apitherapy, and to relieve the symptoms of muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Honey Recommended as Sugar Substitute in Type 1 Diabetic Patients

Honey and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Source: Type 1 Diabetes - Complications, Pathogenesis, and Alternative Treatments
InTech, November 2011

Conclusions and recommendations

1. Honey has a lower glycemic and peak incremental indices compared to glucose and sucrose in both type 1 diabetic patients and non-diabetics. Therefore, we recommend using honey as a sugar substitute in type 1 diabetic patients.

2. In spite of its significantly lower glycemic and peak incremental indices, honey caused significant post-prandial rise of plasma C-peptide levels when compared to glucose and sucrose in non-diabetics; indicating that honey may have a direct stimulatory effect on the healthy beta cells of pancreas. On the other hand, C-peptide levels were not significantly elevated after honey ingestion when compared with either glucose or sucrose in type 1 diabetic patients. Whether or not ingestion of honey in larger doses or/and for an extended period of time would have a significant positive effect on the diseased beta cells, needs further studies.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Allergy Test, Medical History a Must Before Bee Sting Acupuncture

A Fatal Case of Intravascular Coagulation after Bee Sting
Allergy Asthma Immunol Res, 2011 November 18

Bee stings can cause severe adverse reactions, leading to anaphylaxis, cardiovascular collapse, and death. In some cases, bee venom also induces disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). However, to our knowledge, there has been no fatal case of intravascular coagulation accompanied by anaphylaxis caused by bee sting acupuncture. Here, we report a fatal case of a 65-year-old woman with DIC, following anaphylactic shock after bee sting acupuncture…

This case emphasizes that practitioners should consider anaphylaxis followed by coagulation abnormalities when a patient’s vital signs are unstable after bee sting acupuncture. Additionally, this case highlights the messages that bee sting acupuncture without taking a history, especially for bee venom allergies, and without skin tests for bee venom reactions can be very dangerous, and that bee stings for therapeutic purposes may cause DIC accompanied by anaphylaxis.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Propolis May Help Control Diabetes

Glycemic Control and Anti-Osteopathic Effect of Propolis in Diabetic Rats
Dovepress Journal, November 2011 Volume 2011:4 Pages 377 - 384

The aim of the study was to explore the possibility that propolis can control diabetes mellitus and prevent diabetic osteopathy in rats.

The study compared 60 streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats, with ten nondiabetic rats used as a negative control. The experimental design comprised seven groups (n = 10 rats per group): (1) nondiabetic, used as a negative control; (2) nontreated, used as a positive control; (3) treated with insulin alone; (4) treated with a single dose of propolis alone; (5) treated with a double dose of propolis; (6) treated with insulin and a single dose of propolis; and (7) treated with insulin and a double dose of propolis.

After 6 weeks of treatment, the rats were sacrificed. Ratios of femur ash to femur weight and of femur weight to body weight (FW/BW) were calculated and calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), and magnesium (Mg) concentrations in femur ash were estimated and analyzed. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), plasma insulin and glucagon, serum thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), plasma parathyroid hormone (PTH), and calcitonin levels were also estimated and analyzed.

There was significant reduction in FBG in all diabetic treated rats. Similarly, higher plasma insulin levels were observed in diabetic rats treated with propolis and insulin than in nontreated diabetic rats, although plasma insulin was not comparatively higher in diabetic rats treated with insulin alone. Serum TBARS was significantly lower in the propolis treated rats than the diabetic nontreated rats. No differences in PTH and calcitonin levels were observed among treatment groups. The FW/BW ratio was significantly higher in diabetic treated groups than in control groups. Furthermore, diabetic rats treated with propolis and insulin had significantly higher Ca, P, and Mg concentrations in femoral ash than nontreated diabetic rats and diabetic rats treated with insulin alone.

In conclusion, propolis has a remarkable effect on glucose homeostasis and bone mineralization.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Propolis Alleviates Oxidative Stress

Antioxidant Effect of Propolis Against Exposure to Chromium in Cyprinus carpio
Environ Toxicol, 2011 Nov 4

The aim of the present study was to investigate the ameliorative properties of propolis against the toxic effects of chromium (VI) by examining oxidative damage markers such as lipid peroxidation and the antioxidant defence system components in carp (Cyprinus carpio).

The fish were exposed to sublethal concentrations of chromium. Propolis was simultaneously administered to chromium-exposed fish. Treatment was continued for 28 days, and at the end of this period, blood and tissue (liver, kidney, spleen, and gill) samples were collected. Levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and reduced glutathione (GSH) as well as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities were determined in blood and tissues for measurement of oxidant-antioxidant status.

The levels of MDA, as an index of lipid peroxidation, increased in blood and tissues. Antioxidant enzyme activities in blood and tissues were modified in chromium groups compared to controls. Simultaneous administration of propolis ameliorated these parameters.

The present results suggest that administration of propolis might alleviate chromium-induced oxidative stress.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Royal Jelly Has Skin-Whitening, Therapeutic Properties

Royal Jelly Reduces Melanin Synthesis Through Down-Regulation of Tyrosinase Expression
Am J Chin Med, 2011;39(6):1253-60

For cosmetic reasons, the demand for effective and safe skin-whitening agents is high. Since the key enzyme in the melanin synthetic pathway is tyrosinase, many depigmenting agents in the treatment of hyperpigmentation act as tyrosinase inhibitors.

In this study, we have investigated the hypo-pigmentary mechanism of royal jelly in a mouse melanocyte cell line, B16F1. Treatment of B16F1 cells with royal jelly markedly inhibited melanin biosynthesis in a dose-dependent manner. Decreased melanin content occurred through the decrease of tyrosinase activity. The mRNA levels of tyrosinase were also reduced by royal jelly.

These results suggest that royal jelly reduces melanin synthesis by down-regulation of tyrosinase mRNA transcription and serves as a new candidate in the design of new skin-whitening or therapeutic agents.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Honey Protects Against Chromosomal Breakage in Fanconi Anemia Patients

Cytoprotective Effect of Honey Against Chromosomal Breakage in Fanconi Anemia Patients in vitro
Indian J Hum Genet, 2011;17(2):77-81


Natural honey is widely used all over the world as a complementary and alternative medicine in various disorders including Fanconi anemia (FA). FA is a rare genetic chromosomal instability syndrome caused by impairment of DNA repair and reactive oxygen species (ROS) imbalance. This disease is also related to bone marrow failure and cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cytoprotective effect of honey on mitomycin C (MMC-) induced chromosomal damage in peripheral lymphocytes from FA patients.

Materials and Methods:

Treatment of these complications with alkylation agents MMC may enhance chromosomal breakage. We have evaluated the effect of honey on MMC- induced chromosomal breakage in FA blood cells using chromosomal breakage assay. The basal chromosomal breakage count was higher among FA patients than healthy subjects.


The addition of MMC alone gave a significantly higher of chromosomal breakage in FA patients than control group (P < 0.0001). Pre- treatment with honey significantly inhibited breakage induced by MMC in FA patients by its antioxidant effect…

To our knowledge, this is the first study involving Honey as a cytoprotector for FA patients. We have shown that honey can prevent MMC- induced chromosomal breakage by its antioxidant effect.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Honey: The 'Bee Penicillin' That Could Even Beat MRSA

By Gloria Havenhand, Daily Mail (UK), 11/19/2011
It is often hailed as a natural, healthy sweetener – but in most cases, honey bought from supermarkets today is simply sugar syrup with no nutritional value at all. To reap the true benefits of what was dubbed ‘the food of the gods’ by the Ancient Greeks, you have to look for the raw variety.

Perfectly clear honey has usually undergone a process of ultrafiltration and pasteurisation, which involves heating and passing it through a fine mesh, to ensure it remains runny at any temperature. This strips away many of the unique chemicals and compounds that make it a nutritious and healing health food…

Raw honey is particularly high in polyphenols, an antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, lowering blood cholesterol and combating heart disease. The darkest varieties of honey include heather and hedgerow honey, which have a polyphenol content of 201mg per gram. In contrast, rapeseed oil honey, known in supermarkets as ‘blossom honey’, trails behind at just 71mg per gram.

The white ring of pollen on the top contains B vitamins, Vitamins C, D and E as well as minerals and 31 other antioxidants, although to get close to your recommended daily amounts of each nutrient you need a pollen supplement…

The University of Waikato in New Zealand found that when raw honey was applied to MRSA infected antibiotic-resistant wounds, they became sterile and healed so quickly that patients could leave hospital weeks earlier. Scarring was minimised because peeling back a dressing glazed in honey – as opposed to a dry bandage – did not disturb the new tissue underneath. If you suffer a minor wound or burn, glaze a bandage with raw honey and cover. Change the glazed bandage every 24 hours and any cuts or signs of infection should disappear within a week (if not, see a doctor).

While manuka honey – a variety produced using only nectar and pollen from the manuka bush in New Zealand – gets the majority of press for being antibacterial, a good-quality raw UK honey will also be powerfully antibacterial and can kill E.coli and MRSA…

Raw honey’s anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe chronic skin conditions. Cleopatra famously bathed in milk and honey because of their skin-softening qualities – honey is a natural emollient as it is humectant (it attracts water). Melting half a jar of raw honey into a warm bath will promote healing in patients suffering with skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, too. Mixed with olive oil, raw honey applied to the scalp is also a great tonic for those suffering with a seborrheic dermatitis (a flaky scalp condition).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Antibacterial Components of Honey

IUBMB Life, 2011 Nov 17

The antibacterial activity of honey has been known since the 19th century. Recently, the potent activity of honey against antibiotic-resistant bacteria has further increased the interest for application of honey, but incomplete knowledge of the antibacterial activity is a major obstacle for clinical applicability.

The high sugar concentration, hydrogen peroxide, and the low pH are well-known antibacterial factors in honey and more recently, methylglyoxal and the antimicrobial peptide bee defensin-1 were identified as important antibacterial compounds in honey.

The antibacterial activity of honey is highly complex due to the involvement of multiple compounds and due to the large variation in the concentrations of these compounds among honeys. The current review will elaborate on the antibacterial compounds in honey.

We discuss the activity of the individual compounds, their contribution to the complex antibacterial activity of honey, a novel approach to identify additional honey antibacterial compounds, and the implications of the novel developments for standardization of honey for medical applications.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Brazilian Brown Propolis May Help Treat Infections Caused by E. coli

Physico-Chemical Indicators and Antibacterial Activity of Brown Propolis Against Escherichia coli
Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec, vol.63 no.5 Belo Horizonte Oct. 2011

The activity of 23 samples of ethanolic brown propolis, from the State of Mato Grosso, was investigated against Escherichia coli ATCC 25922.

The values of physical and chemical parameters showed significant variation among samples. The percentage of dry extract ranged from 2.6 to 27.6%. The index of oxidation varied from 3 to 519 seconds. All samples showed the percentage of wax higher than the limit preconized by the legislation, with values varying from 3.4 to 74.6%.

The quantification of phenolic and flavonoid compounds, responsible for antimicrobial activity, ranged from 0.1 to 5.0 (w/w) and 0.02 to 0.66 (w/w), respectively, being that the higher the index of phenolic compounds the larger the zones of inhibition.

Antibacterial activity was observed in seven out of the 23 samples, demonstrating zones of inhibition ranging from 10 to 11.3mm. For these active samples, the minimum inhibitory concentration was determined, ranging from 125 to 1000mg/mL. The value of MIC in 42.9% of these samples was 250mg/mL.

These results contribute to the establishment of physical and chemical parameters for the regulation of brown propolis and indicate possible therapeutic applicability in the development of formulations for the treatment of infections caused by E. coli.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Basque Propolis Has Strong Dose-Dependent Activity Against Microbial Strains

The Antimicrobial Effects of Propolis Collected in Different Regions in the Basque Country (Northern Spain)
World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Online First

The antimicrobial activity of 19 propolis extracts prepared in different solvents (ethanol and propylene glycol) (EEP/PEP), was evaluated against some bacterial and fungal isolates using the agar-well diffusion method.

It was verified that all the samples tested showed antimicrobial activity, although results varied considerably between samples. Results revealed that both types of propolis extracts showed highly sensitive antimicrobial action against Gram-positive bacteria and fungi at a concentration of 20% (Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisae) with a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 mg/ml, with a moderate effect against Streptococcus pyogenes (MIC from 17 to 26 mg/ml).

To our knowledge, this is the first study showing elevated antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative bacteria [Salmonella enterica (MIC from 0.6 to 1.4 mg/ml)] and lesser activity against Helicobacter pylori (MIC from 6 to 14 mg/ml), while Escherichia coli was resistant.

This concluded that the Basque propolis had a strong and dose-dependent activity against most of the microbial strains tested, while database comparison revealed that phenolic substances were responsible for this inhibition, regardless of their geographical origin and the solvent employed for extraction. Statistical analysis showed no significant differences between EEP and PEP extracts.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bee Venom May Help Treat Parkinson's Disease

Bee Venom Protects SH-SY5Y Human Neuroblastoma Cells from 1-Methyl-4-Phenylpyridinium-Induced Apoptotic Cell Death
Brain Res, 2011 Oct 6

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Recently, bee venom was reported to protect dopaminergic neurons in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine induced mice PD model, however, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood.

The objective of the present study is to investigate the neuroprotective mechanism of bee venom against Parkinsonian toxin, 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridine (MPP(+)), in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells.

Our results revealed that bee venom pretreatment (1-100ng/ml) increased the cell viability and decreased apoptosis assessed by DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activity assays in MPP(+)-induced cytotoxicity in SH-SY5Y cells. Bee venom increased the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression and decreased the pro-apoptotic Bax, cleaved PARP expressions.

In addition, bee venom prevented the MPP(+)-induced suppression of Akt phosphorylation, and the neuroprotective effect of bee venom against MPP(+)-induced cytotoxicity was inhibited by a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, LY294002.

These results suggest that the anti-apoptotic effect of bee venom is mediated by the cell survival signaling, the PI3K/Akt pathway. These results provide new evidence for elucidating the mechanism of neuroprotection of bee venom against PD.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Increasing Doses of Propolis Decreased Severity of Radiation-Induced Mucositis

Dose-Dependent Profile of Ethanolic Extracts of Iranian Propolis on Radiation-Induced Mucositis in Rats
Saudi Medical Journal 2011; Vol. 32 (11): 1196-1198

Radiotherapy is a method commonly used in the treatment of head and neck malignancies. One of the most common side-effects of radiotherapy is oral mucositis, a toxic and dose and treatment limiting complication of radiotherapy, and the most significant cause of morbidity in patients undergoing chemoradiation for head and neck cancers. Studies have shown that Iranian propolis contains a significant amount of flavonoids and phenolic compounds. In a recent study, Iranian propolis, used to treat radiation-induced mucositis, was found to postpone the appearance of lesions and substantially reduce the severity of mucositis. The aim of this study was to evaluate different doses of propolis on radiation induced mucositis in rats and investigate the effective dose of Iranian propolis for reducing radiation-induced mucositis.

This study was conducted in the Faculty of Dentistry, Shahid Rajaee Hospital, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran. Thirty-five male Wistar rats, aged 7-11 weeks and weighing 160 ± 20 g were included in this study. This experiment was carried out according to the International Guidelines for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and its design was approved by the Research and Ethics Committee of Babol University of Medical Sciences.

Fresh propolis was acquired from the Agriculture Faculty, Mazandaran University and was stored at 4°C. A fresh ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) was made weekly using the magnetic stirring of 25 g of propolis in 100 ml of 10% (V/V) ethanol in a 250-ml closed-cap glass bottle at 420C for 2 hours. Then, the supernatant was paper-filtered at room temperature for 24 hours, and after EEP concentration measurement following centrifugation, different concentrations of propolis were prepared using 10% ethanol. The extracts were kept in a light-proof, closed containers in the refrigerator (2-80C) and placed in room to be warmed up at room temperature before injection. Rats were kept in metal cages under standard conditions (temperature, 22 ± 20C and dark/light cycle, 12/12 hours) with unlimited access to food and water. They were randomly divided into 5 groups: Group I received 10% (V/V) ethanol (control), Group II received 50 mg/kg propolis, Group III received 100 mg/kg propolis, Group IV received 200 mg/kg propolis, and Group V received 400 mg/kg propolis. The solutions were injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) into the rats 2 hours prior to radiotherapy and for the next 10 consecutive days. The rats were anesthetized with ketamine (100 mg/kg i.p.) before x-ray radiation and were immobilized on a metal shield. Then, they were irradiated by an x-ray apparatus (Siemens Co, Munich, Germany) at a 250 kV peak with a current of 12 mA and a dose of Gy15 for 9 minutes and 39 seconds.

The radiation tube was 3 × 3 cm2, and the rat’s nose and jaw were in the field. After irradiation, the lips and tongues of the rats were examined daily over 10 days for signs of mucositis, according to the Parkin’s scale. The person responsible for the rats’ daily examination was not aware of the groups’ distribution (single blind), and the first evaluation was performed 24 hours after irradiation. The injection and examination continued up to 10 days (based on previous research).3 For the histopathological study, specimens of lips and tongues were obtained on the tenth day after euthanizing the rats by CO2. Samples were separated, coded and fixed in 10% formaldehyde for 24 hours, and after routine procedures, they were embedded in paraffin. Four micrometer-thick slices were prepared and stained with hematoxylin and eosin for light microscopic examination. An expert oral pathologist evaluated the microscopic findings. The affected areas included 1) degeneration and vacuolar alteration of the basal layer, 2) congestion and inflammatory infiltrate in the submucosa, and 3) cell changes in the stratified squamous epithelium, such as hyperchromasia, pleomorphism, necrosis and binucleation. These areas were classified into 5 grades in terms of the percentage of involved cells, according to Ertekin’s scale.5

The severity of mucositis, the determination of the maximum effective dose, and the pathologic findings were all analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test, and a comparative analysis between the histological grades of each of the 2 groups was performed using the Mann-Whitney test. The results are described below. P values more than 0.05 were considered significant.

Mucositis was detected in the group receiving 400 mg/kg propolis after 7.14 ± 0.9 days (p=0.003), and the lesions were observed earlier with decreasing propolis doses (200 mg/kg [5.57 ± 1.4], 100 mg/kg [4.43 ± 1.5] (p<0.0012), 50 mg/kg [2.86 ± 0.9] (p=1) and control [2.43 ± 0.5]). There was a significant difference between the control and all groups, except for the 50 mg/kg propolis group (Table 1). Differences between the mucositis scales of all groups were significant for all days of the experiment except for the first, the ninth and the tenth days (Kruskal-Wallis test) (Table 1). No significant weight change was found between the groups with increasing propolis doses. Degeneration and vacuolar alteration of the basal layer showed a remarkable reduction with augmentation of the propolis doses (p=0.000). In addition, minimum congestion and inflammatory infiltrates in the submucosa and maximum alteration were observed in the 400 mg/kg propolis group and the control group, respectively (p=0.000). Fewer cellular changes were found in the stratified squamous epithelial layers with enhanced doses of propolis because there were no cases of pleomorphism or severe necrosis in our control group; in contrast, marked cellular changes were observed in a few sections in the 400 mg/kg propolis group. The Propolis used in our study had no side effects. In this study, we examined different doses of propolis to identify the most effective dose for reducing the severity of the lesions and for postponing the development of mucositis. The results of the present study showed delays in the lesion incidence and reductions in the lesion severity with increasing doses of propolis. The late onset of mucositis observed with higher doses of propolis indicated its effectiveness; this may be due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which plausibly lead to a delay in initiation of this phase by influencing the early (inflammatory) phase of mucositis. Histopathological findings showed reduced congestion and inflammatory infiltrate with increasing doses of propolis. This dose-dependent change was observed among different groups and is consistent with a previous study. Furthermore, alterations in basal and epithelial layers diminish with dosage increase, which could be attributed to the impact of propolis on the second (epithelial) phase of mucositis. Due to the presence of phenolic compounds, propolis possesses antioxidant properties. The following 2 factors are used to assess the antioxidant characteristic of propolis: DPPH (2, 2 diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and the reducing power of iron (III).

Based on the present findings, propolis caused increases in the latency of radiotherapy-induced mucositis in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, increasing doses of propolis lowered the severity of mucositis. Likewise, the histopathological effects of propolis were observed in a dose-dependent manner. According to these results, we suggest that higher propolis doses should be used in future studies in order to establish the most effective dose of propolis in human studies and evaluation of the mechanisms of its action.

Lack of groups receiving doses higher than 400 mg/kg of EEP which could provide the most effective dose, was the limitation of this study.

In conclusion, according to the results of this study, increasing dose of propolis will reduce the severity of mucositis, and it is suggested that higher propolis doses should be used in detecting the most effective dose in future studies.