Friday, September 30, 2011

Malaysian Honey Extract May Help Treat Keloids

Antiproliferative Effect of Methanolic Extraction of Tualang Honey on Human Keloid Fibroblasts
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011


Keloid is a type of scar which extends beyond the boundaries of the original wound. It can spread to the surrounding skin by invasion. The use of Tualang honey is a possible approach for keloid treatment. The objective of this study was to determine the antiproliferative effect of methanolic extraction of Tualang honey to primary human keloid fibroblasts and to identify the volatile compounds in methanol extraction of Tualang honey.


Crude Tualang honey was extracted with methanol and then dried using rota vapor to remove remaining methanol from honey. Normal and keloid fibroblasts were verified and treated with the extracted honey. Cell proliferation was tested with [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yi)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt] (MTS) assay. Extraction of Tualang honey using methanol was carried out and the extracted samples were analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The result was analysed using SPSS and tested with Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests.


Methanolic extraction of honey has positive anti proliferative effect on keloid fibroblasts in a dose-dependent manner. The presence of fatty acids such as palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid and octadecanoic acid may contribute to the anti-proliferative effect in keloid fibroblasts. 


The methanolic honey extraction has an antiproliferative effect on keloid fibroblasts and a range of volatile compounds has been identified from Tualang honey. The antiproliferative effect of keloid fibroblasts towards Tualang honey may involve cell signaling pathway. Identifying other volatile compounds from different organic solvents should be carried out in future.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Manuka Honey Shows Potential for Radiation-Induced Dermatitis

Medical News Today, 9/27/2011

New findings point to a possible role for manuka honey in the prevention of clinically significant radiation-induced dermatitis in breast cancer patients.

The results, from a phase 2 study reported at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress (EMCC), show that the product may also decrease the duration of dermatitis episodes.

Nichola Naidoo, MD, Waikato District Health Board, Hamilton, New Zealand, and colleagues randomised 81 patients to either standard aqueous cream or manuka honey in a non-blinded fashion using a range of radiation schedules...

Radiation dermatitis is a common side effect in patients undergoing irradiation of the breast and/or chest wall, with the incidence of early grade 2 reactions reported in 30 to 50% of patients.

Dermatitis is due, in part, to an acute inflammatory response, with the release of cytokines, serotonin, and histamine as well as elevated levels of reactive oxidative species.

Many topical agents are used in clinical practice however no single agent has been proven to prevent radiation dermatitis.

Manuka honey, which is a monofloral honey made by bees in New Zealand that frequent the manuka bush known as Leptospermum scoparium, has demonstrated wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties, possibly related to its significant levels of antioxidants. The product has also been shown to be useful for healing moist desquamation and for radiation-induced mucositis.

The primary study endpoint was the incidence of radiation dermatitis ≥ grade 2.

Results revealed a lower incidence of grade ≥ 2 dermatitis in the honey-treated group compared to the group using aqueous cream (37.2% versus 57.8%, P=0.08). There was a trend towards a lower incidence of grade ≥ 2 dermatitis lasting longer than 1 week in patients treated with honey compared to aqueous cream (14.0% versus 28.9%, P=0.1)…

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Synthetic Counterpart of Royal Jelly Fatty Acid Helps Treat Dry Skin

Effects of Hydroxydecine (10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid) on Skin Barrier Structure and Function in vitro and Clinical Efficacy in the Treatment of UV-Induced Xerosis
Eur J Dermatol, 2011 Sep 22

10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, a natural fatty acid only found in royal jelly, may be of value in correcting skin barrier dysfunction. We evaluated the activity of Hydroxydecine, its synthetic counterpart, in vitro on the regulation of epidermal differentiation markers, ex vivo on the inflammatory response and restoration of skin barrier function, and in vivo on UV-induced xerosis in healthy human volunteers.

In cultured normal human keratinocytes, Hydroxydecine induced involucrin, transglutaminase-1 and filaggrin protein production. In topically Hydroxydecine-treated skin equivalents, immunohistochemical analysis revealed an increase in involucrin, transglutaminase-1 and filaggrin staining.

In a model of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP)-induced inflamed epidermis, a Hydroxydecine-containing emulsion inhibited TSLP release. In a model of inflammation and barrier impairment involving human skin explants maintained alive, Hydroxydecine balm restored stratum corneum cohesion and significantly increased filaggrin expression, as shown by immunohistochemistry. It also decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13).

In healthy volunteers with UV-induced xerosis, the hydration index increased by +28.8% and +60.4% after 7 and 21 days of treatment with Hydroxydecine cream, respectively.

Hydroxydecine thus proved its efficacy in activating keratinocyte differentiation processes in vitro, restoring skin barrier function and reducing inflammation ex vivo, and hydrating dry skin in vivo.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Honey-Based Hydrogel Dressing Accelerates Burn Wound Healing

Gelam (Melaleuca spp.) Honey-Based Hydrogel as Burn Wound Dressing
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2011 Sep 19

A novel cross-linked honey hydrogel dressing was developed by incorporating Malaysian honey into hydrogel dressing formulation, cross-linked and sterilized using electron beam irradiation (25 kGy).

In this study, the physical properties of the prepared honey hydrogel and its wound healing efficacy on deep partial thickness burn wounds in rats were assessed. Skin samples were taken at 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after burn for histopathological and molecular evaluations.

Application of honey hydrogel dressings significantly enhanced wound closure and accelerated the rate of re-epithelialization as compared to control hydrogel and OpSite film dressing. A significant decrease in inflammatory response was observed in honey hydrogel treated wounds as early as 7 days after burn. Semiquantitative analysis using RT-PCR revealed that treatment with honey hydrogel significantly suppressed the expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1α, IL-1β, and IL-6).

The present study substantiates the potential efficacy of honey hydrogel dressings in accelerating burn wound healing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brazilian Green Propolis Components May Help Treat Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer

Isolation, Identification, and Biological Evaluation of HIF-1-Modulating Compounds from Brazilian Green Propolis
Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Volume 19, Issue 18, 15 September 2011, Pages 5392-5401

The tumor microenvironment is characterized by hypoxia, low-nutrient levels, and acidosis. A natural product chemistry-based approach was used to discover small molecules that modulate adaptive responses to a hypoxic microenvironment through the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1 signaling pathways.

Five compounds, such as baccharin (3), beturetol (4), kaempferide (5), isosakuranetin (6), and drupanin (9), that modulate HIF-1-dependent luciferase activity were identified from Brazilian green propolis using reporter assay. Compounds 3, 9 and 5 reduced HIF-1-dependent luciferase activity. The cinnamic acid derivatives 3 and 9 significantly inhibited expression of the HIF-1α protein and HIF-1 downstream target genes such as glucose transporter 1, hexokinase 2, and vascular endothelial growth factor A. They also exhibited significant anti-angiogenic effects in the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay at doses of 300 ng/CAM. On the other hand, flavonoids 4 and 6 induced HIF-1-dependent luciferase activity and expression of HIF-1 target genes under hypoxia. The contents (g/100 g extract) of the HIF-1-modulating compounds in whole propolis ethanol extracts were also determined based on liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization mass spectrometry as 1.6 (3), 14.2 (4), 4.0 (5), 0.7 (6), and 0.7 (9), respectively.

These small molecules screened from Brazilian green propolis may be useful as lead compounds for the development of novel therapies against ischemic cardiovascular disease and cancer based on their ability to induce or inhibit HIF-1 activity, respectively.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Horse Wounds Treated with Manuka Honey Remained Significantly Smaller

A Preliminary Study on the Effect of Manuka Honey on Second-Intention Healing of Contaminated Wounds on the Distal Aspect of the Forelimbs of Horses
Veterinary Surgery, Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)


To determine the effect of manuka honey on second-intention healing of contaminated, full-thickness skin wounds in horses.


One wound was created on the dorsomedial aspect of the third metacarpus in both forelimbs, contaminated with feces, and bandaged for 24 hours. Bandages were removed and wounds rinsed with isotonic saline solution. Wounds on 1 limb had manuka honey applied daily (n = 8) whereas wounds on the contralateral limb received no treatment (n = 8). Bandages were replaced and changed daily for 12 days, after which treatment stopped, bandages were removed, leaving wounds open to heal. Wound area was measured 24 hours after wound creation (day 1), then weekly for 8 weeks. Overall time for healing was recorded. Wound area and rate of healing of treated and control wounds were compared statistically.


Treatment with manuka honey decreased wound retraction and treated wounds remained significantly smaller than control wounds until day 42; however, there was no difference in overall healing time between treatment and control wounds.


Treatment with manuka honey reduced wound area by reducing retraction but did not affect overall healing time of full-thickness distal limb wounds using this wound-healing model.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bee Venom Provides ‘Collective Immunity’ for Hive

Beyond the Antipredatory Defence: Honey Bee Venom Function as a Component of Social Immunity
Toxicon, 2011 Sep 10

The honey bee colonies, with the relevant number of immature brood and adults, and stable, high levels of humidity and temperatures of their nests, result in suitable environments for the development of microorganisms including pathogens.

In response, honey bees evolved several adaptations to face the increased risks of epidemic diseases. As the antimicrobial venom peptides of Apismellifera are present both on the cuticle of adult bees and on the nest wax it has been recently suggested that these substances act as a social antiseptic device.

Since the use of venom by honey bees in the context of social immunity needs to be more deeply investigated, we extended the study of this potential role of the venom to different species of the genus Apis (A. mellifera, Apisdorsata, Apiscerana and Apisandreniformis) using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry techniques.

In particular we investigated whether (similarly to A. mellifera) the venom is spread over the body cuticle and on the comb wax of these three Asian species. Our results confirm the idea that the venom functions are well beyond the classical stereotype of defence against predators, and suggest that the different nesting biology of these species may be related to the use of the venom in a social immunity context.

The presence of antimicrobial peptides on the comb wax of the cavity-dwelling species and on the cuticle of workers of all the studied species represents a good example of "collective immunity" and a component of the "social immunity" respectively.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Honey Effective in Management of Chronic Pressure Ulcers

Use of Medihoney as a Non-Surgical Therapy for Chronic Pressure Ulcers in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal Cord, 2011 Sep 20

Study design: Prospective, observational study of 20 spinal cord-injured (SCI) patients with chronic pressure ulcers (PUs) using Medihoney. 

Objectives: To determine the effects of Medihoney by bacterial growth, wound size and stage of healing in PUs.

Methods: We treated 20 SCI adult patients with chronic PUs using Medihoney. In all, 7 patients (35%) were female, and 13 (65%) were male. The average patient age was 48.7 years (30-79). In all, 6 patients (30%) were tetraplegic and 14 (70%) were paraplegic. Also, 5 patients (25%) had grade IV ulcers and 15 patients (75%) had grade III ulcers according to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel.

Results: After 1 week of treatment with Medihoney, all swabs were void of bacterial growth. Overall 18 patients (90%) showed complete wound healing after a period of 4 weeks, and the resulting scars were soft and elastic. No negative effects were noted from the treatment using Medihoney. No blood sugar level derailment was documented.

Conclusion: The medical-honey approach to wound care must be part of a comprehensive conservative surgical wound-care concept. Our study indicates the highly valuable efficacy of honey in wound management and infection control as measured by bacterial growth, wound size and healing stage.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Practical Uses for Bee Venom

Strand Arcade Pharmacy, 9/15/2011

It's a well recognised observation in the bee keeping community, that beekeepers rarely have muscular or joint problems. They rarely suffer from arthritis and attribute this to the fact that they frequently receive bee stings. It is now known that Bee Venom has anti-inflammatory properties in addition to its obvious pain causing chemicals.

Bee venom or apitoxin as it is also known contains a number of interesting compounds. One component is melittin which is a strong anti-inflammatory that stimulates the production of cortisol in the body. Cortisol reduces inflammation. Adolapin, also found in bee venom blocks the cyclo-oxygenase pathway reducing inflammation in the body.

Bee Venom may be administered, directly as a sting – inconvenient unless you happen to be a beekeeper or to the skin as a balm. It may also be taken orally along with glucosamine supplements…

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Malaysian Honey Boosts Memory in Postmenopausal Women

Improvement in Immediate Memory After 16 Weeks of Tualang Honey (Agro Mas) Supplement in Healthy Postmenopausal Women
Menopause, 2011 Sep 15

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the verbal learning and memory performance of postmenopausal women who received tualang honey (Agro Mas) in comparison with women receiving estrogen plus progestin therapy and untreated controls.

METHODS: A total of 102 postmenopausal women were recruited and randomly assigned to three groups: tualang honey (20 mg/d), estrogen plus progestin therapy (Femoston 1/5), and untreated control. Their verbal learning and memory performances were assessed using the Malay version of the Auditory Verbal Learning Test before and after 16 weeks of intervention. Data were analyzed using the repeated-measures analysis of variance, and a P value of less than 0.05 was considered significant.

RESULTS: There were significant differences in the mean scores of total learning as well as the mean scores of trials A1, A5, A6, and A7 between the three groups. There were also significant differences in the overall mean scores of total learning and trials A1 and A5 between both estrogen plus progestin therapy and tualang honey groups when compared with the untreated control group. However, significant differences in the mean score for trials A6 and A7 were only observed between the estrogen plus progestin therapy and untreated control groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Postmenopausal women who received tualang honey showed improvement in their immediate memory but not in immediate memory after the interference and delayed recall. This is comparable with the improvement seen in women receiving estrogen plus progestin therapy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Study Looks at Biochemical Method to Synthesize Propolis Component

Effect of Ionic Liquids on Enzymatic Synthesis of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester
Bioprocess Biosyst Eng, 2011 Sep 10

Although caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), an active flavonoid, plays an important role in the antioxidant activity of honeybee propolis, the isolation of CAPE from honeybee propolis is time-consuming due to wide variety of impurities present. Therefore, biochemical method to synthesize CAPE was investigated in this study.

Since ionic liquids (ILs) possess some unique characteristics as appreciated alternatives to conventional solvents for certain biotransformation, the effect of ILs as reaction media for enzymatic synthesis of CAPE was assessed. Several factors including substrate molar ratio, and reaction temperature affecting the conversion yield of lipase-catalyzed CAPE synthesis were also investigated.

Reaction yields were significantly higher in hydrophobic ILs than in hydrophilic ILs (almost zero). Among nine hydrophobic ILs tested, the highest conversion of synthetic reaction was obtained in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis[(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl]imide ([Emim][Tf(2)N]). A reaction temperature of 70 °C was found to give high conversion. In addition, optimal substrate molar ratio between phenethyl alcohol and caffeic acid (CA) was decreased significantly from 92:1 to 30:1 when ILs were used instead of isooctane.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Alzheimer`s Disease

Improve Cognitive Function and Memory with Royal Jelly
Apitherapy Review, Issue #7, August 2011

Royal jelly is one of the most nutritionally complex foods on the planet with the ability to shore up many nutritional deficiencies and may help people overcome conditions they may have been dealing with for years. Royal jelly is also highly regarded for its brain-boosting capabilities. Whether you are a young student looking for an edge on an exam, a CEO with tremendous demands on your time, or have received the devastating diagnosis of Alzheimer`s disease, royal jelly may be able to deliver remarkable results.

Royal Jelly and the Acetylcholine Connection

Royal jelly is a creamy substance produced by the common worker bee; one of the purposes is of developing and nourishing the queen bee. On this diet of royal jelly, the queen bee will typically grow to be 40 percent larger and can live up to 40 times longer than the worker bee. Royal jelly isn`t just food for the queen bee, it`s her longevity strategy.

Royal jelly`s structure and composition has not, so far been replicated by man in any lab. The only lab capable of producing such a substance is the bee hive. This superfood is rich in protein, loaded with B vitamins, and contains many other minerals and nutrients. One of the key ingredients in royal jelly that may have profound implications for improving memory and invigorating mental acuity is acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine was the first neurotransmitter discovered. It is found in the brain, spinal cord, and throughout areas of the nervous system. It regulates memory and is needed to transmit nerve messages from cell to cell. Interestingly, royal jelly is the only natural source of pure acetylcholine. Optimal levels of acetylcholine in the brain are associated with improved memory, fluidity of thought, and enhanced cognitive function.

Implications for Alzheimer`s Disease

…Most traditional treatments pursued by Western medicine try to increase levels of acetylcholine in the brain of the Alzheimer`s patient. These drugs attempt to raise the levels of acetylcholine by inhibiting the enzymes that lead to the breakdown or degradation of acetylcholine. Royal jelly, however, can raise levels of acetylcholine without the side effects often associated with the use of medications, such as nausea and liver toxicity…

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Heaven Bee Venom Mask - Reviewed and Recommended, 9/13/2011

Perhaps it was all the media hype, the appeal of a British Royal, or the masochist in all of us, but when Sarah came across a face mask with bee venom, the Truth In Aging community was positively buzzing with excitement. I must admit that I caught the bug myself and couldn’t resist trying the Bee Venom Face Mask ($89 for 50ml) by British boutique brand, Heaven.

I love it. The Bee Venom Mask is left on for about 20 minutes and I have been using it for nearly a month on my face and neck about three times a week. Aftr rinsing, I follow with my normal regimen, but sometimes my skin looks so glowing and refreshed that I’ve left it that (apart from eye cream and anything else that I’ve been specifically testing) for the rest of the day…

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Labs to Test for Methylglyoxal as Measurement of Manuka Honey Activity

Manuka Honey Pioneers Welcome Ratification of Testing Method
Press Release: Manuka Health, 9/13/2011

Global leaders in the production of therapeutic grade manuka honey, Manuka Health, have welcomed the announcement that the leading testing laboratories in Singapore, New Zealand government-owned AsureQuality, will now be testing for methylglyoxal as their measurement of activity in manuka honey.

Manuka Health developed what has become the gold standard for the manuka honey industry in 2008, believing that consumers around the world deserved to be able to have total faith in the active potential of the manuka honey products they were buying.

CEO Kerry Paul is pleased to see some further progress toward the standard being adopted worldwide. “We’ve said for a long time that a methylglyoxyal-based scale would be the standard against which all manuka honey would be measured in the future. Many within the industry have tried to promote very outdated and unreliable testing in the past. We’ve got a way to go, but this is great first step.”

Manuka Health has worked with several leading laboratories Hills and AsureQuality to get consistency in methylglyoxal testing. There is a need to have several laboratories capable of providing a repeatable scientific test as the scientific body of evidence supporting methylglyoxyal as the primary factor contributing to the unparalleled antibacterial properties of New Zealand manuka honey continues to mount up….

Friday, September 16, 2011

Apitherapy Research Center to be Established in U.K.

Study of Bees May be Medicinal Honeypot
By Greg Wright, Yorkshire Post, 9/13/2011

The next time you feel tempted to swat a bee, consider this fact:

You are attacking a flying pharmacy.

Mankind has mistreated bees for centuries, and our ignorance means we’ve lost the chance to eradicate a host of lethal diseases.

With help from a team of Yorkshire-based bee lovers, we could be about to get a second chance.

Entrepreneur James Fearnley plans to establish a centre in the North York Moors which will study how bees can improve our health.

Mr Fearnley predicts that the centre will create 10 jobs in the heart of the National Park, at a time when the public sector spending squeeze is making life harder for rural communities.

Mr Fearnley, who is the founder of Whitby-based Nature’s Laboratory, believes it would be the height of folly to take bees for granted. His company is behind the BeeVital brand, which develops products derived from bees.

The long term survival of the honey bee is in question while researchers are discovering some “astounding medicinal properties for products produced by honey”, according to Mr Fearnley.

”Everyone now knows about the antibiotic properties of honey, but we have discovered that bees are collecting a chemical antidote to Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) but only in areas where sleeping sickness is found,’’ he said.

“In tropical areas, where bees are seriously challenged by micro bacteria, they are collecting material that is highly effective against MRSA.”

If Mr Fearnley’s initiative succeeds, Yorkshire could become a global centre for the study of bees.

He said yesterday: “Our vision is to develop an international focus for the better understanding of the medicinal values of bee products, or apiceuticals as we call them…

James Fearnley, the founder of the healthcare brand, BeeVital, has been involved in natural medicine since the early 1970s.

In 1992 he co-founded a company specialising in bee products.

He was one of the first people in the UK to commission scientific studies into propolis…

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Royal Jelly Protects Kidneys, Liver from Damage by Anti-Cancer Drug

Royal Jelly Modulates Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis in Liver and Kidneys of Rats Treated with Cisplatin
Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2011 Aug 1

Cisplatin (CDDP) is one of the most active cytotoxic agents in the treatment of cancer and has adverse side effects such as nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity. The present study was designed to determine the effects of royal jelly (RJ) against oxidative stress caused by CDDP injury of the kidneys and liver, by measuring tissue biochemical and antioxidant parameters and investigating apoptosis immunohistochemically.

Twenty-four Sprague Dawley rats were divided into four groups, group C: control group received 0.9% saline; group CDDP: injected i.p. with cisplatin (CDDP, 7 mg kg(-1) body weight i.p., single dose); group RJ: treated for 15 consecutive days by gavage with RJ (300 mg/kg/day); group RJ + CDDP: treated by gavage with RJ 15 days following a single injection of CDDP. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) levels, glutathione S-transferase (GST), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were determined in liver and kidney homogenates, and the liver and kidney were also histologically examined.

RJ elicited a significant protective effect towards liver and kidney by decreasing the level of lipid peroxidation (MDA), elevating the level of GSH, and increasing the activities of GST, GSH-Px, and SOD. In the immunohistochemical examinations were observed significantly enhanced apoptotic cell numbers and degenerative changes by cisplatin, but these histological changes were lower in the liver and kidney tissues of RJ + CDDP group. Besides, treatment with RJ lead to an increase in antiapoptotic activity hepatocytes and tubular epithelium.

In conclusion, RJ may be used in combination with cisplatin in chemotherapy to improve cisplatin-induced oxidative stress parameters and apoptotic activity.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bee Venom May Help Treat Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and ALS

Effects of Bee Venom on Glutamate-Induced Toxicity in Neuronal and Glial Cells
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2011 Aug 28

Bee venom (BV), which is extracted from honeybees, is used in traditional Korean medical therapy.

Several groups have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effects of BV in osteoarthritis both in vivo and in vitro. Glutamate is the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). Changes in glutamate release and uptake due to alterations in the activity of glutamate transporters have been reported in many neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

To assess if BV can prevent glutamate-mediated neurotoxicity, we examined cell viability and signal transduction in glutamate-treated neuronal and microglial cells in the presence and absence of BV.

We induced glutamatergic toxicity in neuronal cells and microglial cells and found that BV protected against cell death. Furthermore, BV significantly inhibited the cellular toxicity of glutamate, and pretreatment with BV altered MAP kinase activation (e.g., JNK, ERK, and p38) following exposure to glutamate.

These findings suggest that treatment with BV may be helpful in reducing glutamatergic cell toxicity in neurodegenerative diseases.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Study Examines Biochemical Method to Synthesize Propolis Component

Effect of Ionic Liquids on Enzymatic Synthesis of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester
Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, Online First

Although caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), an active flavonoid, plays an important role in the antioxidant activity of honeybee propolis, the isolation of CAPE from honeybee propolis is time-consuming due to wide variety of impurities present. Therefore, biochemical method to synthesize CAPE was investigated in this study.

Since ionic liquids (ILs) possess some unique characteristics as appreciated alternatives to conventional solvents for certain biotransformation, the effect of ILs as reaction media for enzymatic synthesis of CAPE was assessed. Several factors including substrate molar ratio, and reaction temperature affecting the conversion yield of lipase-catalyzed CAPE synthesis were also investigated.

Reaction yields were significantly higher in hydrophobic ILs than in hydrophilic ILs (almost zero). Among nine hydrophobic ILs tested, the highest conversion of synthetic reaction was obtained in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis[(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl]imide ([Emim][Tf2N]). A reaction temperature of 70 °C was found to give high conversion.

In addition, optimal substrate molar ratio between phenethyl alcohol and caffeic acid (CA) was decreased significantly from 92:1 to 30:1 when ILs were used instead of isooctane.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Study Indicates Additional Antibacterial Components in Manuka Honey

Manuka Honey Inhibits Cell Division in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
J Antimicrob Chemother, 2011 Sep 7

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of manuka honey, artificial honey and an antibacterial component (methylglyoxal) on cell division in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Methods: Viability of epidemic MRSA-15 NCTC 13142 incubated with manuka honey, artificial honey and methylglyoxal was determined, and structural effects monitored by electron microscopy. Activity of murein hydrolase (a peptidoglycan-degrading enzyme implicated in cell separation, encoded by atl) was estimated by cell wall hydrolysis and zymography; expression of atl was quantified by real-time PCR.

Results: Growth of MRSA was inhibited by 5%, 10% and 20% (w/v) manuka honey and 10% (w/v) artificial honey containing methylglyoxal, but not 10% (w/v) artificial honey. Statistically significantly increased numbers of cells containing septa and increased cell diameter were found in MRSA exposed to 5%, 10% or 20% (w/v) manuka honey, but not 10% (w/v) artificial honey with and without methylglyoxal. Intracellular activity of murein hydrolase was elevated in MRSA grown in 10% (w/v) artificial honey and at undetectable levels in MRSA treated with 10% (w/v) manuka honey. Increased atl expression was found in MRSA treated with 10% (w/v) manuka honey and 10% artificial honey containing methylglyoxal.

Conclusions: Enlarged cells containing septa were observed in MRSA exposed to inhibitory concentrations of manuka honey, suggesting that cell division was interrupted. These changes were not caused by either the sugars or methylglyoxal in honey and indicate the presence of additional antibacterial components in manuka honey.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Brazilian Green Propolis Production Related to Parasite

Interaction between Apis mellifera L. and Baccharis dracunculifolia DC, that favours green propolis production in Minas Gerais
Interação entre Apis mellifera L. e Baccharis dracunculifolia DC que favorecem a produção de própolis verde no estado de Minas Gerais
Braz. J. Biol, vol.71 no.3 São Carlos Aug. 2011

In Minas Gerais, green propolis is produced from the collection of resinous substance found in shoot apices of Baccharis dracunculifolia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the biological parameters associated with the interaction Apis mellifera x Baccharis dracunculifolia, to elucidate the supply of resin for green propolis production in Minas Gerais.

We selected male and female individuals of two populations of Baccharis dracunculifolia located on São Judas Tadeu Farm – FSJT, in the municipality of Betim, MG and the Experimental Garden of the Ezequiel Dias Foundation – HORTO, located in an urban area in Belo Horizonte, MG. We made weekly observations, from June 2007 to June 2008, and evaluated in both populations: richness and abundance of insect visitors; resin collecting visits of Apis mellifera; presence of Baccharopelma dracunculifoliae galls; growth of individuals and phenological phases. Statistical analyses were made using R software. The rainy season showed the highest number of visitors. A. mellifera collected resin in shoot apices of Baccharis dracunculifolia from August to April, only in the FSJT population, where galls of B. dracunculifoliae were also present. Ovoposition of gall inductor on host plants occurs during the rainy season, when there is a peak of visitants and resin collecting visits of honeybees. This fact stimulates plant defense strategies against parasitoids and predators, which includes the production of several secondary metabolites, and ultimately reduces competition for food by inhibiting the attack of other phytophagous insects, not adapted to the chemical environment of plant tissues.

Green propolis production in Minas Gerais is related to the abundant supply of resin by Baccharis dracunculifolia, when they are parasitised by B. dracunculifoliae galls. They induce plant production of defense exudates, which attract Apis mellifera bees to collect resin and consequently favour the production of green propolis.


A própolis verde é produzida pelas abelhas Apis mellifera no estado de Minas Gerais, Brasil, a partir da coleta de substância resinosa dos ápices vegetativos de Baccharis dracunculifolia. O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar os parâmetros biológicos associados à interação Apis mellifera x Baccharis dracunculifolia, visando elucidar o fornecimento de resina da espécie para a produção de própolis verde em Minas Gerais. Foram selecionados indivíduos masculinos e femininos em duas populações de Baccharis dracunculifolia localizadas na Fazenda São Judas Tadeu – FSJT, município de Betim, MG, e no Horto Experimental da Fundação Ezequiel Dias – HORTO, em área urbana no município de Belo Horizonte, MG. Foram observados semanalmente, entre junho de 2007 e junho de 2008, a riqueza e abundância de insetos visitantes; visitação de Apis mellifera para coleta de resina; presença de galhas de Baccharopelma dracunculifoliae; crescimento dos indivíduos de Baccharis dracunculifolia e fenofases. Para análise estatística utilizou-se o software R. Em ambas as populações, a estação chuvosa foi a que apresentou maior número de visitantes. As abelhas Apis mellifera, coletaram resina nos ápices vegetativos de Baccharis dracunculifolia entre agosto e abril, e somente na população FSJT, onde ocorreram galhas de B. dracunculifoliae. Neste período a planta é ovopositada pelo indutor da galha que estimula a produção de diversos metabólitos secundários, como proteção ao ataque de parasitoides e predadores, e reduz a competição por alimento ao inibir o ataque de outros insetos fitófagos. A produção de própolis verde em Minas Gerais está relacionada à oferta abundante de resina pela planta Baccharis dracunculifolia, parasitadas por essas galhas. A atração das abelhas Apis mellifera para coleta de resina e produção de própolis verde se dá pela produção de exsudatos de defesa pela planta induzida pela presença da galha.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Honey Effective in Treating Children’s Coughs

Therapeutic Options for Acute Cough Due to Upper Respiratory Infections in Children
Lung, Online First

Cough due to upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) is one of the most frequent complaints encountered by pediatric health-care providers, and one of the most disruptive symptoms for children and families. Despite the frequency of URIs, there is limited evidence to support the few therapeutic agents currently available in the United States (US) to treat acute cough due to URI.

Published, well-designed, contemporary research supporting the efficacy of narcotics (codeine, hydrocodone) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved over-the-counter (OTC) oral antitussives and expectorants (dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine, chlophedianol, and guaifenesin) is absent for URI-associated pediatric cough.

Alternatively, honey and topically applied vapor rubs may be effective antitussives.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

20 Uses for Honey You Never Thought Of

Anna Brones, Ecosalon, 9/5/2011

It was brought to my attention last week that September is in fact National Honey Month. Honey gets an entire month all to itself? Why yes, it certainly does.

Turns out that Americans consume 1.5 pounds of honey per person annually, and there are more than 300 types of honey in the United States alone. That’s impressive, and we figured that if honey gets to be honored all month long, the least we could do is give you 20 different uses for it. Enjoy!

1. Put it on your lips

Did you know that making your own lip balm is as easy as tracking down some almond oil, beeswax and honey? Sure is. Makes you feel a little guilty about that $10 version you picked up at the health food store yesterday, doesn’t it?

2. Make your own honey moisturizer

If you’ve got a handful of sweet smelling herbs – think lavender - laying around and ready to be used, why not use them for your own homemade honey lotion? Warm honey over a saucepan until it gets to a liquid consistency. Pour honey over herbs and cap tightly; the ratio you want to use is 1 tablespoon of herbs per 8 ounces of honey. Let sit for a week and then mix 1 teaspoon of liquid into an 8 ounce bottle of unscented lotion…

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Video: Lecture on Propolis by Expert James Fearnley

At the First UK Natural Beekeeping Conference held from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th August, 2011.

Watch the video.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Bee Venom Component Promotes Blood Clotting

Characterization of In Vitro Hemostatic Peptide Effects by Thromboelastography
Clin Appl Thromb Hemost, 2011 Aug 25

In this study, we validated a thromboelastography (TEG) method to evaluate the hemostatic effects of 3 peptides.

The first peptide is an ideal amphipathic peptide composed of 22 leucine and lysine in a ratio of 2:1. At a very low concentration, the peptide had a procoagulant effect shown by decreases in reaction time (R) and coagulation time (K) but was impaired by a decrease in maximum amplitude (MA). At higher concentrations, the peptide had an anticoagulant effect. The α angle was minimally affected by the peptide.

The second peptide is melittin derived from bee venom. Melittin showed procoagulant effects reflected by a decrease in clotting time but led to lower MA.

The third peptide derived from fibrinogen γ chain promoted hemostasis only at an optimal concentration and became anticoagulant at a higher concentration. The hemostatic mechanisms of each peptide were discussed.

Our study would facilitate further development of peptides for either hemorrhage control or thrombosis treatment.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Royal Jelly Can Help Treat, Prevent Periodontal Diseases

Osteoinductive and Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Royal Jelly on Periodontal Ligament Cells
Biomed Res, 2011;32(4):285-91

Royal jelly (RJ) has been reported to possess several physiological and pharmacological properties such as the ability to prevent osteoporosis in rats and anti-inflammatory effects. We hypothesized that RJ could have beneficial effects on the prevention or treatment of periodontal diseases, which are chronic inflammatory diseases caused by bacterial infection that result in resorption of the tooth-supporting bone.

We assessed the effect of RJ on mineralization in mouse periodontal ligament cell clone 22 (MPDL22 cells), which are of an osteogenic and cementogenic lineage. The mRNA expression of osteopontin, osteocalcin and osterix, and mineralized nodule formation were significantly enhanced in RJ-treated MPDL22 cells.

In addition, we investigated the effects of RJ on the production of inflammatory cytokines from MPDL22 cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Porphyromonas gingivalis, a periodontopathic bacterium. RJ suppressed LPSinduced interleukin-6 and CXC chemokine ligand 10 production from MPDL22 cells. Furthermore, RJ suppressed the expression of CD54 in MPDL22 cells: CD54 is the adhesion molecule involved in the accumulation of leukocytes in periodontal lesions.

These findings suggest that the osteoinductive and anti-inflammatory effects of RJ can provide benefits for the treatment and prevention of periodontal diseases.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Mexican Propolis Components Show Anti-Cancer Effect

Two New Cytotoxic Phenylallylflavanones from Mexican Propolis
Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo), 2011;59(9):1194-6

Two new phenylallylflavanones, (2R,3R)-6-[1-(4'-hydroxy-3'-methoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-yl]pinobanksin (1) and (2R,3R)-6-[1-(4'-hydroxy-3'-methoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-yl]pinobanksin 3-acetate (2) were isolated from a methanolic extract of Mexican propolis. Their structures were elucidated with spectroscopic analysis.

Both compounds (1, 2) exhibited preferential cytotoxic activity against PANC-1 human pancreatic cancer cells in a nutrient-deprived medium with the concentration at which 50% cells died preferentially in NDM (PC(50)) values of 17.9 μM and 9.1 μM, respectively.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Propolis Protects Liver From Damage Caused by Diabetes

Protective Effects of Chinese and Brazilian Propolis Treatment Against Hepatorenal Lesion in Diabetic RatsHum Exp Toxicol, September 2011 vol. 30 no. 9 1246-1255

Diabetes mellitus promoted an overproduction of free radicals and an increased incidence of both diabetic nephropathy and liver disease.

In this report, we evaluated the effects of Chinese and Brazilian propolis on streptozotocin-induced hepatorenal injury in rats. The results demonstrated that Chinese propolis-treated rats had a 7.4% reduction in the glycated hemoglobin (HbAlc) level compared with untreated diabetic rats. Additionally, Chinese propolis induced an increase in the serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) level significantly while Brazilian propolis raised serum SOD and reduced level of malonaldehyde (MDA) and nitric synthetase (NOS).

Of the measurable decrease in serum alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST) and microalbuminuria demonstrated the propolis-mediated improvement of hepatorenal function, which was further confirmed by histological examination. We also observed that Chinese and Brazilian propolis increased hepatorenal glutathione peroxidase (GSH-px) level and inhibited MDA production significantly.

These results suggested that propolis may prevent hepatorenal injury by inhibiting lipid peroxidation and enhancing the activities of antioxidant enzymes.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Brazilian Propolis Component Shows Anti-Influenza Viral Activity

3,4-Dicaffeoylquinic Acid, a Major Constituent of Brazilian Propolis, Increases TRAIL Expression and Extends the Lifetimes of Mice Infected with the Influenza A Virus 

Brazilian green propolis water extract (PWE) and its chemical components, caffeoylquinic acids, such as 3,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid (3,4-diCQA), act against the influenza A virus (IAV) without influencing the viral components. Here, we evaluated the anti-IAV activities of these compounds in vivo.

PWE or PEE (Brazilian green propolis ethanol extract) at a dose of 200 mg/kg was orally administered to Balb/c mice that had been inoculated with IAV strain A/WSN/33. The lifetimes of the PWE-treated mice were significantly extended compared to the untreated mice. Moreover, oral administration of 3,4-diCQA, a constituent of PWE, at a dose of 50 mg/kg had a stronger effect than PWE itself. We found that the amount of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) mRNA in the mice that were administered 3,4-diCQA was significantly increased compared to the control group, while H1N1 hemagglutinin (HA) mRNA was slightly decreased.

These data indicate that PWE, PEE or 3,4-diCQA possesses a novel and unique mechanism of anti-influenza viral activity, that is, enhancing viral clearance by increasing TRAIL.