Saturday, June 30, 2012

Video: Beauty Industry Buzzing Over Bee Venom

Known as "natural botox," New Zealand bee venom has show-business celebrities and royalty clamoring for a sting. But the product doesn't come cheap, as Lucy Craymer details on Lunch Break.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Researcher to Study Wound Healing Properties of Native Australian Bee Propolis

Native Bees in for Heal of a Time
James Clifton, Noosa News, 27th June, 2012
Bees and trees could hold the answer to wound healing problems if a University of the Sunshine Coast PhD student's research into Australian native bees proves a connection.
Biomedical Science researcher Karina Hamilton, 21, received a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council to conduct Australian studies into whether native Australian (trigona carbonaria) bees or Australia's natural flora give bee propolis wound healing, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
"The big picture is wound healing," Ms Hamilton said.
"We want to see if the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that we may or may not find contribute to the accelerated wound-healing process."
Her research project will focus on two major factors: to discover the role the bees and the environment play in the properties of bee propolis, and to isolate the compounds that are responsible for the healing qualities.
Ms Hamilton said propolis was more a plant product than a bee product and she believed a combination of the natural habitat, the fauna and flora as well as the native bee and the trees and resins the bees collected made Australian propolis unique.
Propolis is a complex substance and varies depending on what trees the bees are foraging on, while the season and climate make it quite a variable substance…
Her research will look at whether the resin from the corymbia torelliana (known as the cadagi gum) is similar in medicinal properties to stingless bee propolis…

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Study Deciphers Why Royal Jelly Benefits Human Health

Towards Posttranslational Modification Proteome of Royal Jelly
J Proteomics, 2012 Jun 20
Royal jelly (RJ) is a secretory protein from the hypopharyngeal glands of nurse honeybee workers, which contains a variety of proteins of which major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) are some of the most important. It plays important roles both for honeybee and human.
Each family of MRJP 1-5 displays a string of modified protein spots in the RJ proteome profile, which may be caused by posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of MRJPs. However, information on the RJ PTMs is still limited. Therefore, the PTM status of RJ was identified by using complementary proteome strategies of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE), shotgun analysis in combination with high performance liquid chromatography-chip/electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight/tandem mass spectrometry and bioinformatics. Phosphorylation was characterized in MRJP 1, MRJP 2 and apolipophorin-III-like protein for the first time and a new site was localized in venom protein 2 precursor. Methylation and deamidation were also identified in most of the MRJPs.
The results indicate that methylation is the most important PTM of MRJPs that triggers the polymorphism of MRJP 1-5 in the RJ proteome. Our data provide a comprehensive catalog of several important PTMs in RJ and add valuable information towards assessing both the biological roles of these PTMs and deciphering the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of RJ for human health.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cheap, Fast Way to Fast Determine Freshness of Royal Jelly

Fast Determination of Royal Jelly Freshness by a Chromogenic Reaction
J Food Sci, 2012 Jun;77(6):S247-S252
Royal jelly is one of the most important products of honeybees. Given its role in development of bee brood into fertile individuals of the royal caste it is also used in health products for human consumption.
Royal jelly spoils and loses its health-promoting properties depending on storage duration and conditions. To ensure product quality before selling, it is therefore necessary to assess royal jelly freshness.
Many indexes of freshness have been suggested, but they all lack reliability or require complex and time-consuming analyses. Here we describe a method to detect royal jelly freshness based on a chromogenic reaction between royal jelly and HCl. We demonstrate that analyses based on color parameters allow for the discrimination of royal jelly samples based on the duration of their storage.
Color parameters of royal jelly stored at -18 and 4 °C for 28 d remained comparable to that of fresh samples, which supports the reliability of the method. The method of freshness determination described is practical, cheap, and fast and can thus be used in real-time when trading royal jelly. Practical Application: 
The method developed can be used to assess royal jelly freshness. It is practical, cheap, and fast and can thus be used in real-time when trading royal jelly.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Manuka Honey Potential Topical Treatment for Wounds Containing S. pyogenes

Manuka Honey Inhibits the Development of Streptococcus pyogenes Biofilms and Causes Reduced Expression of Two Fibronectin Binding Proteins
Microbiology, 2012 Mar;158(Pt 3):781-90
Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus; GAS) is always of clinical significance in wounds where it can initiate infection, destroy skin grafts and persist as a biofilm.
Manuka honey has broad spectrum antimicrobial activity and its use in the clinical setting is beginning to gain acceptance with the continuing emergence of antibiotic resistance and the inadequacy of established systemic therapies; novel inhibitors may affect clinical practice.
In this study, the effect of manuka honey on S. pyogenes (M28) was investigated in vitro with planktonic and biofilm cultures using MIC, MBC, microscopy and aggregation efficiency.
Bactericidal effects were found in both planktonic cultures and biofilms, although higher concentrations of manuka honey were needed to inhibit biofilms. Abrogation of adherence and intercellular aggregation was observed. Manuka honey permeated 24 h established biofilms of S. pyogenes, resulting in significant cell death and dissociation of cells from the biofilm. Sublethal concentrations of manuka honey effectively prevented the binding of S. pyogenes to the human tissue protein fibronectin, but did not inhibit binding to fibrinogen. The observed inhibition of fibronectin binding was confirmed by a reduction in the expression of genes encoding two major fibronectin-binding streptococcal surface proteins, Sof and SfbI.
These findings indicate that manuka honey has potential in the topical treatment of wounds containing S. pyogenes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Propolis Has Anti-Cancer Components

The Immunomodulatory and Anticancer Properties of Propolis
Propolis, a waxy substance produced by the honeybee, has been adopted as a form of folk medicine since ancient times. It has a wide spectrum of alleged applications including potential anti-infection and anticancer effects. Many of the therapeutic effects can be attributed to its immunomodulatory functions. 
The composition of propolis can vary according to the geographic locations from where the bees obtained the ingredients. Two main immunopotent chemicals have been identified as caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) and artepillin C. Propolis, CAPE, and artepillin C have been shown to exert summative immunosuppressive function on T lymphocyte subsets but paradoxically activate macrophage function. On the other hand, they also have potential antitumor properties by different postulated mechanisms such as suppressing cancer cells proliferation via its anti-inflammatory effects; decreasing the cancer stem cell populations; blocking specific oncogene signaling pathways; exerting antiangiogenic effects; and modulating the tumor microenvironment.
The good bioavailability by the oral route and good historical safety profile makes propolis an ideal adjuvant agent for future immunomodulatory or anticancer regimens. However, standardized quality controls and good design clinical trials are essential before either propolis or its active ingredients can be adopted routinely in our future therapeutic armamentarium.