Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Honey Protects Against Liver Damage

Potential Protective Effect of Honey Against Paracetamol-Induced Hepatotoxicity
Paracetamol overdose causes severe hepatotoxicity that leads to liver failure in both humans and experimental animals. The present study investigates the protective effect of honey against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in Wistar albino rats. We have used silymarin as a standard reference hepatoprotective drug.
Hepatoprotective activity was assessed by measuring biochemical parameters such as the liver function enzymes, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Equally, comparative effects of honey on oxidative stress biomarkers such as malondialdyhyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were also evaluated in the rat liver homogenates.  We estimated the effect of honey on serum levels and hepatic content of interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) because the initial event in paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity has been shown to be a toxic-metabolic injury that leads to hepatocyte death, activation of the innate immune response and upregulation of inflammatory cytokines.
Paracetamol caused marked liver damage as noted by significant increased activities of serum AST and ALT as well as the level of Il-1β. Paracetamol also resulted in a significant decrease in liver GSH content and GPx activity which paralleled an increase in Il-1β and MDA levels. Pretreatment with honey and silymarin prior to the administration of paracetamol significantly prevented the increase in the serum levels of hepatic enzyme markers, and reduced both oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines. Histopathological evaluation of the livers also revealed that honey reduced the incidence of paracetamol-induced liver lesions.
Honey can be used as an effective hepatoprotective agent against paracetamol-induced liver damage.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Apimedica 2012: New Technique for Detecting Counterfeit Propolis

Development and Validation of HPLC Method for Determination of Salicin in Poplar Buds: Application for Screening of Counterfeit Propolis
Oct. 22-25, 2012 
Zhenjiang, China
The main plant origins of propolis are the populus species and their hybrids, both located in China. Poplar tree gum, the extract of populus buds, has been widely used as counterfeit propolis, but no effective method was known for detecting the counterfeit.
Salicin is a characteristic marker of the genus populus, which may be hydrolyzed by beta-glucosidase during propolis collection and processing. A simple, sensitive and specific reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method was developed and validated for the rapid assay of salicin, which was aimed at distinguishing poplar tree gum from propolis.
Following this method, salicin was detected in populus buds, leaves and 11 poplar tree gum samples, but not in any of the 40 propolis samples, which indicated that salicin was hydrolyzed in propolis collection and processing, but was stable in the production process of poplar tree gum.
The proposed method could be an effective technique for routine analysis of salicin and monitoring the quality of propolis.
For information, contact: HU Fu-Liang, College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China E-mail:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Photo: Pariticpants in the 2012 Apimondia Apimedica-Apiquality International Forum Held in Zhenjiang, China Oct. 22-25

Over the next few weeks, Apitherapy News will publish abstracts of the research papers presented at the 2012 Apimondia Apimedica-Apiquality International Forum in China.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Allergic Contact Cheilitis and Perioral Dermatitis Caused by Propolis: Case Report

Acta Dermatovenerol Croat, 2012 OKTOBER;20(3):187-190
We report a case of propolis allergy in an 18-year-old female patient. Medical history revealed self-prescribed topical use of propolis spray as a medication for gingival swelling caused by orthodontic molar bands. After 24 hours, the patient developed lip edema and erythema of the perioral skin accompanied by burning pain in her lips. Discrete erosions were present in the corners of her lips. Erythema of the right infraorbital region was also observed. The patient was prescribed betamethasone propionate cream two times daily. Complete recovery was observed after 10 days. Propolis allergy was confirmed by a patch test. We believe that the use of propolis for the treatment of oral diseases should be avoided due to sparse evidence of its efficacy and numerous cases of allergic reactions.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Propolis from Solomon Islands Has Applications as Ingredient in Food Additives, Pharmaceuticals

Solophenols B-D and Solomonin: New Prenylated Polyphenols Isolated from Propolis Collected from the Solomon Islands and Their Antibacterial Activity
J Agric Food Chem, 2012 Oct 15
Three new prenylated flavonoids, namely, solophenols B (1), C (2), and D (3), as well as a new prenylated stilbene, solomonin (4), were isolated from propolis collected from the Solomon Islands. In addition, 17 known compounds were identified. The structures of the new compounds were determined by a combination of methods, including mass spectrometry and NMR. These new compounds and several known compounds were tested for antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Most of them exhibited potent antibacterial activity.
These findings may indicate that propolis from the Solomon Islands has potential applications as an ingredient in food additives or pharmaceuticals.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Taste of Bee Pollen More Appealing to Men Than to Women

The Effect of Various Storage Methods on Organoleptic Quality of Bee Pollen Loads
Volume 56, Number 1 / June 2012
The aim of this research was to evaluate the effect of storing frozen pollen loads in controlled and/or air atmosphere, on organoleptic properties of the product. Collected pollen loads were cleared of mechanical impurities and preserved as follows: frozen and stored in air atmosphere; frozen and stored in an artificial atmosphere of a carbon dioxide and nitrogen mixture (30% CO2, 70% N2); frozen and stored in pure nitrogen (100% N2); frozen and stored using a vacuum system; dried out at ca. 40°C and stored in air atmosphere.
In an organoleptic study, all tested pollen samples, irrespective of their storage method, were evaluated positively. The studied storage factors did not affect the shape, specific identity or aroma of pollen loads. The average point scores obtained for these features were similar in all groups. Storage conditions did influence the color and flavor of stored pollen loads. The experiment revealed significant differences in the perception of taste and aroma of tested pollen samples depending in the sex of the testing person. The taste and aroma of pollen loads were more appealing to men than to women testers.