Saturday, August 31, 2013

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Mild Cognitive Impairment

Effect of Memo®, a natural formula combination, on Mini-Mental State Examination scores in patients with mild cognitive impairment
Clin Interv Aging, 2013;8:975-81
Mild cognitive impairment encompasses the clinical continuum between physiologic age-related cognitive changes and dementia. A variety of medications, including herbal preparations (in particular Ginkgo biloba and Panax ginseng), have been advocated as treatments for cognitive impairment in the elderly. In this study, we investigated the effect of an already marketed dietary supplement (Memo®) combining 750 mg of lyophilized royal jelly with standardized extracts of G. biloba 120 mg and P. ginseng 150 mg on Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores in patients with mild cognitive impairment.
Sixty-six subjects presenting with forgetfulness and satisfying the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) clinical criteria for mild cognitive impairment were randomly divided into an experimental group treated with one Memo capsule before breakfast daily for 4 weeks and a control group who took placebo. The mean change in MMSE score from baseline and reported adverse effects were compared between the two groups.
The mean change in MMSE score in the group treated with Memo for 4 weeks was significantly greater than in the control group (+2.07 versus +0.13, respectively) by the Student's t-test (t = 6.485, P < 0.0001). This was also true after adjusting for age as a covariate and educational level as a factor nested within the treatment groups in a general linear model (analysis of covariance, F = 9.675 [corrected model], P < 0.0001).
This combined triple formula may be beneficial in treating the cognitive decline that occurs during the aging process as well as in the early phases of pathologic cognitive impairment typical of insidious-onset vascular dementia and in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Larger-sized studies with longer treatment durations are needed to confirm this.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Brazilian Propolis Values Found Were Different From Values Claimed

Development of a multivariate calibration model for the determination of dry extract content in Brazilian commercial bee propolis extracts through UV-Vis spectroscopy
This study had the objective of determining the content of dry extract of commercial alcoholic extracts of bee propolis through Partial Least Squares (PLS) multivariate calibration and electronic spectroscopy.
The PLS model provided a good prediction of dry extract content in commercial alcoholic extracts of bee propolis in the range of 2.7 a 16.8% (m/v), presenting the advantage of being less laborious and faster than the traditional gravimetric methodology. The PLS model was optimized with outlier detection tests according to the ASTM E 1655-05. In this study it was possible to verify that a centrifugation stage is extremely important in order to avoid the presence of waxes, resulting in a more accurate model.
Around 50% of the analyzed samples presented content of dry extract lower than the value established by Brazilian legislation, in most cases, the values found were different from the values claimed in the product's label.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Britain Warns Against Fake NZ Manuka Honey

By Agencies, 8/25/2013              
Britain's Food Standards Agency has issued a nationwide warning about misleading and illegal claims on the labels of New Zealand honey, after tests revealed many manuka honey products have none of the claimed active properties, Radio New Zealand reported on Sunday.
Some of the companies selling mislabelled honey are New Zealand producers and some are foreign. But even the most reputable New Zealand honey producers now face heightened surveillance in Britain.
The honey industry is estimated to be worth 120 million NZ dollars (96 million US dollars) a year in New Zealand.
But tests by reputable British, Chinese and Singaporean laboratories reveal many manuka honey products have none of the claimed active properties - some of the honey is not even manuka - prompting industry leaders to demand a crackdown on "potentially huge fraud".
The New Zealand Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association, which represents New Zealand manuka honey processing companies, said it is well known that New Zealand sells more manuka honey than it produces, but the industry has failed to deal with that…

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bees' Honey Protects the Liver of Male Rats against Melamine Toxicity

Biomed Res Int, 2013;2013:786051

The protective effect of natural bees' honey to the liver of male albino rats against melamine toxicity was studied. Melamine supplementation at a dose of 20000 ppm in the diet for 28 days induced adverse effects on the liver, decreased serum total protein and increased liver enzyme: alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase. Histological changes of the melamine supplemented group showed necrosis in the hepatic tissues around the central veins of the liver and precipitation of melamine crystals. Treating the male albino rats (that were presupplemented regularly with 20000 ppm melamine) with natural bees' honey at a dose of 2.5 g/kg body weight for 28 days improved both liver functions and increased serum protein. In addition, a positive impact on the shape of the cells after treatment with honey compared to the positive melamine supplemented group was observed. In conclusion, the results of this study revealed that the use of natural bees' honey has the ability to protect the liver of rats against the toxic effects of melamine.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tualang Honey More Effective Against Gram-Negative Bacteria Than Manuka

Review of the Medicinal Effects of Tualang Honey and a Comparison with Manuka Honey
Malays J Med Sci, 2013 May;20(3):6-13.
Tualang honey (TH) is a Malaysian multifloral jungle honey. In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of studies published in medical databases regarding its potential health benefits. The honey is produced by the rock bee (Apis dorsata), which builds hives on branches of tall Tualang trees located mainly in the north-western region of Peninsular Malaysia.
This review collates the results of the various studies of TH that range from research on tissue culture to randomised control clinical trials. Findings thus far show that, TH has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimutagenic, antitumor, and antidiabetic properties, in addition to wound-healing attributes. Some of its properties are similar to the well-researched Manuka honey (New Zealand and/or Australian monofloral honey). Distinct differences include higher phenolics, flavonoids, and 5-(hydroxymethyl) furfural (HMF). Compared with Manuka honey, TH is also more effective against some gram-negative bacterial strains in burn wounds.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Honey+Coffee Beats Prednisolone in Treating Post-Infectious Cough

Honey Plus Coffee Versus Systemic Steroid in the Treatment of Persistent Post-Infectious Cough: A Randomised Controlled Trial
Prim Care Respir J, 2013 Aug 21. pii: pcrj-2013-03-0039-R1
Persistent post-infectious cough (PPC) is a cough that remains after a common cold or an upper respiratory tract infection for more than three weeks or perhaps for many months. Two of the suggested treatments for PPC are systemic steroid and honey plus coffee.
The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare scientifically the therapeutic effects of these two regimens.
A double-blind randomised controlled trial was conducted from 2008 to 2011 at the Baqiyatallah University Hospital, Tehran, Iran. Included in the study were 97 adults who had experienced PPC for more than three weeks. Patients with other causes of chronic cough, systemic disease, or abnormal routine laboratory tests were excluded. The participants were distributed into three groups. A jamlike paste was prepared which consisted of honey plus coffee for the first group ('HC'), prednisolone for the second group (steroid, 'S'), and guaifenesin for the third group (control, 'C'). The participants were told to dissolve a specified amount of their product in warm water and to drink the solution every eight hours for one week. All the participants were evaluated before treatment and one week after completion of treatment to measure the severity of their cough. The main outcome measure was the mean cough frequency before and after one week's treatment calculated by a validated visual analogue cough questionnaire score.
There were 97 adult patients (55 men) enrolled in this study with the mean of age of 40.1 years old. The mean (+/- SD) cough scores pre- and post-treatment were: HC group 2.9 (0.3) pre-treatment and 0.2 (0.5) post-treatment (p < 0.001); steroid ('S') group 3.0 (0.0) pre-treatment and 2.4 (0.6) post-treatment (p < 0.05); control ('C') group 2.8 (0.4) pre-treatment and 2.7 (0.5) post-treatment (p > 0.05). Analysis of variance showed a significant difference between the mean cough frequency before and after treatment in the HC group versus the S group (p < 0.001). Honey plus coffee was found to be the most effective treatment modality for PPC.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

UK Celeb Millie Mackintosh Uses Apitherapy Products

Millie Mackintosh Thinks Products are the Bee's Knees
Express, 8/23/2013
IT WAS the Duchesses of Cambridge and Cornwall who first drew our attention to "natural botox" bee venom products.
Kylie Minogue and Victoria Beckham followed hot on their heels and last year Made In Chelsea's Millie Mackintosh, 24, pictured, said she'd been using Manuka Doctor products to heal her acne.
Now we hear she has been using the company's lip enhancer to plump up her pout ahead of her wedding to rapper Professor Green…

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Scottish Heather Honey Inhibited Growth of 10 Bacterial Isolates

The Antimicrobial Activity of Honey Against Common Equine Wound Bacterial Isolates
Vet J, 2013 Aug 17. pii: S1090-0233(13)00326-2
Delayed healing associated with distal limb wounds is a particular problem in equine clinical practice. Recent studies in human beings and other species have demonstrated the beneficial wound healing properties of honey, and medical grade honey dressings are available commercially in equine practice. Equine clinicians are reported to source other non-medical grade honeys for the same purpose.
This study aimed to assess the antimicrobial activity of a number of honey types against common equine wound bacterial pathogens. Twenty-nine honey products were sourced, including gamma-irradiated and non-irradiated commercial medical grade honeys, supermarket honeys, and honeys from local beekeepers.
To exclude contaminated honeys from the project, all honeys were cultured aerobically for evidence of bacterial contamination. Aerobic bacteria or fungi were recovered from 18 products. The antimicrobial activity of the remaining 11 products was assessed against 10 wound bacteria, recovered from the wounds of horses, including methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Eight products were effective against all 10 bacterial isolates at concentrations varying from < 2% to 16% (v/v). Overall, the Scottish Heather Honey was the best performing product, and inhibited the growth of all 10 bacterial isolates at concentrations ranging from < 2% to 6% (v/v). Although Manuka has been the most studied honey to date, other sources may have valuable antimicrobial properties. Since some honeys were found to be contaminated with aerobic bacteria or fungi, non-sterile honeys may not be suitable for wound treatment. Further assessment of gamma-irradiated honeys from the best performing honeys would be useful.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bee Venom May Help Promote Cell Regeneration, Wound Healing

Effects of honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom on keratinocyte migration in vitro
Pharmacogn Mag, 2013 Jul;9(35):220-6
Since the ancient times the skin aging application of honeybee venom (BV) is practiced and persisted until nowadays. The present study evaluated the effect of the honeybee venom (BV) on keratinocyte migration in wound healing model in vitro.
To access BV further as a cosmetic ingredient and a potential external application for topical uses, we performed studies to investigate the biologic effect of BV treatment on keratinocyte proliferation and migration in vitro.
BV cytotoxicity was assessed by using a 3-[4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay over 24 h. To assess BV genotoxicity, damage to human epidermal keratinocyte (HEK) was evaluated using the Comet assay. HEK migration was evaluated using a commercial wound healing kit. The skin pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-8 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were examined to evaluate the pro-inflammatory response to BV.
It was found that BV was not cytotoxic and stimulated more HEK proliferation and migration compared to negative control, and did not induce DNA damage. There were also decreases in IL-8 and TNF-α expression levels in HEK at all time points.
These findings highlight the potential of topical application of BV for promoting cell regeneration and wound treatment.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Malaysian Sourwood and Longan Honey a Good Source of Antioxidants Compared to Manuka Honey

Evaluation of physicochemical and antioxidant properties of sourwood and other Malaysian honeys: a comparison with manuka honey
Chem Cent J, 2013 Aug 12;7(1):138
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the physical, biochemical and antioxidant properties of four Malaysian monofloral types of honey (gelam, longan, rubber tree and sourwood honeys) compared to manuka honey.Several physical parameters of honey, such as pH, moisture content, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), color intensity, total sugar and sucrose content, were measured. A number of biochemical and antioxidant tests were performed to determine the antioxidant properties of the honey samples. Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) levels were determined using high performance liquid chromatography.
The mean pH, moisture content, EC and TDS of Malaysian honey were 3.90 +/- 0.12, 17.01 +/- 3.07%, 0.59 +/- 0.17 mS/cm and 294.87 +/- 81.96 ppm, respectively. The mean color and HMF level was 102.07 +/- 41.77 mm Pfund and 49.51 +/- 0.12 mg/kg, respectively. Sourwood honey contained the highest contents of phenolics (580.03 +/- 0.38 mggalic acid/kg) and flavonoids (156.82 +/- 0.47 mgcatechin/kg) with high DPPH radical scavenging activity (59.26 +/- 3.77%) as well as ferric reducing power [648.25 +/- 0.90 muM Fe (II)/100 g]. Sourwood honey also exhibited the highest color intensity. Several strong positive correlations were observed amongst the different antioxidant parameters and the various antioxidant tests.
This is the first time that the antioxidant potential of both sourwood and rubber tree honeys have been reported. Our results indicated that Malaysian honey (specifically sourwood honey and longan honey) is a good source of antioxidants compared to Manuka honey.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Canadian Organic Company Buzzing Over Bee Venom Possibility

Bee venom is like gold for an Island beekeeper.
Apotoxin, the substance that causes a bee sting to swell is the latest thing in anti-aging creams.
It's more valuable, gram-forgram than gold, and is said to be as effective as botox for erasing wrinkles and lines.
Parksville entrepreneurs Alex Fras and Kelly Forrest developed a proprietary system to produce a superior product, fetching a higher price.
The product should not to be used by anyone with an allergy to bee stings.
Their company, Bee U Organics, sells their product online around the world, for the princely sum of $400 a gram.
"It's 10 times more valuable than gold," said Fras.
Apotoxin is extracted then put with other ingredients to make a facial cream. A jar of the cream sells online for $89. Adherents say they feel their facial skin tightening when they apply a mask, and this reduces the aging effects of lines and wrinkles…

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Growing Number of People Turn to Medicinal Honey

Health nuts high on healing power of honey - but does it really work?
By HAILEY EBER, NY Post, 8/14/2013
Earlier this year, Laurel Carroll was diagnosed with H. pylori, a type of bacteria that infects the stomach. Her doctor broke out his prescription pad, but Carroll had her own remedy in mind: honey, specifically manuka honey.
“The doctor said I could do a really hard-core course of antibiotics. I was like, ‘There’s no way,’ ” recalls the 39-year-old acupuncturist, who lives in Windsor Terrace. “I was determined to cure it naturally.”
Carroll is one of a growing number of people, in New York and elsewhere, looking to manuka honey to treat everything from acne to ulcers. Imported from New Zealand and long popular there and in Great Britain, manuka honey is thought to have unique healing properties thanks to a high concentration of methylglyoxal, an antibacterial agent, in the nectar of manuka bush flowers…

Monday, August 19, 2013

Canadian Apitherapy Conference October 12, 2013

Learn About Apitherapy from International Experts
This unique Apitherapy Conference features world-class apitherapy experts who will share their knowledge and experience in honeybee related therapies.
Apitherapy is the practice of using honeybee products to treat human and animal maladies, such as:
  • Bee Sting Therapy  to treat auto-immune illnesses
  • Natural Honey  to treat wounds and to prevent infection
  • Bee Pollen  to treat allergies
  • Bee Pollen and  Royal Jelly  as dietary supplements
  • Propolis  to treat head colds and influenza

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Surgihoney May Revolutionize Wound Care

Doctors Discover 'Super Honey' With Amazing Power to Treat Soldiers' Wounds and Kill Superbug Infections
By VALERIE ELLIOTT, The Daily Mail, 8/10/2013
'Super honey': A know honey has produced amazing results treating wounds and infections
'Super honey': A new type of honey has produced amazing results treating wounds and infections
A new honey has been produced that has had ‘amazing’ results treating wounds and infections.
The bio-engineered product Surgihoney was tested on babies, new mothers, cancer patients and the elderly for over a year in Hampshire hospitals.
Wounds and ulcers, including those infected with the superbug MRSA, healed within days, while the number of women who suffered infections after giving birth by caesarean section has halved.
It has also healed the wounds of soldiers returning from Afghanistan, and been used to treat acne and to protect the skin of cancer patients fitted with a catheter for chemotherapy.
Dr Matthew Dryden, consultant microbiologist at the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘It will revolutionise wound care around the world.’…

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bee Sting Therapy Causing a Buzz in China

AFP, 8/13/2013
BEIJING, Aug 13 — Patients in China are swarming to acupuncture clinics to be given bee stings to treat or ward off life-threatening illness, practitioners say.
More than 27,000 people have undergone the painful technique—each session can involve dozens of punctures—at Wang Menglin’s clinic in Beijing, says the bee acupuncturist who makes his living from believers in the concept…

Friday, August 16, 2013

Beauty Trend: Bee Venom

The beauty industry is buzzing about the benefits of bee venom, but does it work? The experts weigh in
FourSeasons Magazine, August 8, 2013
From 24-carat gold and pearl extracts to caviar and chocolate, unusual and decadent materials have always been a feature of indulgent spa treatments. But a recent luxury beauty trend promises that a surprising (and somewhat less decadent) ingredient—bee venom—can moisturize skin and solve a variety of ailments.
Bee venom is used in serums, cleansers, moisturizers and masks. Products from companies such as Heaven by Deborah Michael, Skin Chemists, Rodial and Nature’s Beauty boast miracle skin solutions containing the ingredient. But what is all the buzz about?
According to New York-based beauty consultant Jessica Crescenzi, bee venom products mimic the sting of a bee. “Your body thinks it has been stung, so blood rushes to the area, which helps to stimulate collagen production,” she says. “Unlike a lot of other beauty products, with bee venom you see the results straight away.” Crescenzi says that due to its potency, bee venom products are best suited for older women who are looking to smooth out wrinkles and lines. “It works best on fifty-plus, menopausal women,” she says...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Royal Jelly is Little-Known Superfood

Eat Like a Queen – Live Longer
Guardian Express, 8/11/2013
What does a queen eat?  One would assume high quality, specially prepared foods spread out in several courses served up with care on fine silver platters with attendants clearing away unwanted fare only to bring the next delicious item.  In the case of bees, however, the queen eats a white amazingly nutritious substance known as Royal Jelly which lengthens her life span exponentially compared to regular ‘worker bees.’  You too can eat like the queen bee and live longer.
Perhaps the least known and understood superfood on the planet is the queen bee’s royal jelly.  The origin of the queen bee is fascinating, as she is absolutely identical until ingesting the magical jelly.  She then eats the royal food for the first three days after hatching, forever changing her.  Only the bee chosen to be the queen feeds on royal jelly and eats it for the duration her life.  The rest of the bees eat honey and pollen.  A queen bee lives anywhere from 3-5 years where regular worker bees live only about 3 months…

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Australian Medicinal Bee Products Firm Ships First Products to Myanmar

Lifetime Health Australia Celebrates First Export to Myanmar, Thanks to New International Trade Conditions

Sydney, NSW (PRWEB) August 12, 2013
Lifetime Health Australia, a leader in Australian bee health supplements, was first approached by Bee Health Myanmar Co. Ltd., shortly after Australian trade sanctions to Myanmar were removed in July 2012.
After almost one year of negotiation and planning, a product - Natural Life Propolis Liquid - has been developed, produced and delivered for the growing South-East Asian nation.
The transaction is a significant achievement for a small business such as Lifetime Health Australia, as Myanmar remains a relatively high-risk place to do business...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Commercial Royal Jellies Compared to Royal Jellies Produced Through Artificial Feeding

Physicochemical characterisation of French royal jelly: Comparison with commercial royal jellies and royal jellies produced through artificial bee-feeding
Volume 29, Issue 2, March 2013, Pages 126–133
A reliable database is established from the analysis of 500 French royal jellies (RJ). Diversity of geographical origins, harvesting seasons, and forage sources were taken into account. Authenticity intervals for numerous physicochemical parameters have been established from French RJs, obtained without bee-feeding with artificial sugars or proteins.
RJs from Italy and non-European countries, derived from feeding experiments, were analysed and compared with the database. Differences in 10-HDA, δ13C and sugars (sucrose, erlose, maltose, maltotriose) contents were observed. Sucrose and erlose contents in French RJs were less than 1.8 and 0.4%, respectively, whereas they attained 3.9 and 2.0% in some commercial samples and 7.7 and 1.7% in RJs produced by sugarcane feeding. Maltose and maltotriose contents were less than 1.0 and 0.2% in French RJs, and they can attain levels of 2.6 and 0.4% in commercial samples; they can be as high as 5.5 and 1.7% in RJs obtained by bee-feeding with starch hydrolysate syrups.
RJs obtained with and without feeding exhibit δ13C values ranging from −26.45 to −23.73‰, and from −26.05 to −14.65‰, respectively. This study could be used to discriminate different production methods and provide a useful tool for identifying unknown commercial RJs.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Royal Jelly Improves Ram Sperm Kinetics, Plasma Membrane Functionality

Royal Jelly improves the sperm parameters of ram semen during liquid storage and serves as an antioxidant source
Volume 113, Issues 2–3, July 2013, Pages 346–352
The current study was carried out to investigate the protective effects of the Royal Jelly (RJ) supplementation on the sperm kinematics, plasma membrane functionality, the level of produced nitric oxide (NO) and total antioxidant capacity during the liquid storage of ram semen at 4 °C, for various periods of time (0, 24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 h).
Semen samples were collected from four rams and pooled, diluted with Tris–egg yolk extender without RJ (control) or supplemented with different concentrations of RJ (0, 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2%), at a final concentration of 200 × 106 sperm/mL. Sperm viability, kinematics and membrane functionality were determined by nigrosin–eosin staining, computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA), and by using the hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOST), respectively. Additionally, the oxidative and nitrosative status were evaluated after the RJ supplementation. The RJ supplementation resulted in a significant (P < 0.05) increase of sperm viability with the highest increase at 1% RJ concentration for 120 h. A significant protective effect of RJ on sperm membrane functionality was obtained at lower concentrations (0.5 and 1%) and in all incubated time points. The most prominent protective effect of RJ on sperm motility parameters was found on the progressive velocity (VSL) as after 72 h storage, no significant reduction was found in comparison to the 50% reduction in the control group. The produced NO level during storage time was reduced by addition of RJ at low concentrations (0.5 and 1%).
Our data suggest that the RJ supplementation at lower concentrations (0.5 and 1%) improves the ram sperm kinetics and plasma membrane functionality during the liquid and cold storage. Moreover, the protective effect of RJ might be attributed to its antioxidative/antinitrosative capacities.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Czech Ethanol-Free Propolis Extract Displays Inhibitory Activity against a Broad Spectrum of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens

J Food Sci, 2013 Aug 5
Propolis acts primarily as a biocide against invasive bacteria and fungi in the hive, suggesting its potential for industrial applications. In food application, propolis is considered as a chemical preservative in meat products, extending shelf life of frozen meat and other food. The mechanism of action is still unclear due to the synergy of multiple compounds contained in propolis and due to parallel targeting of multiple pathways within each affected organism. Here, we examined the antimicrobial properties of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) Czech propolis extract. Until recently, DMSO was only rarely used in the propolis studies, although the other solvents tested (mostly ethanol) may significantly affect the observed inhibitory effects, notwithstanding the antimicrobial effects of ethanol itself. Here, we provide results of zone inhibition tests against Aspergillus fumigatus, Microsporum gypseum, Microsporum canis, Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Enterococcus faecalis.
Although we determined inhibitory effects against all the microorganisms tested, the dose-dependent response curves were not similar to each other. While inhibitory effects against C. albicans or S. aureus were strictly dose-dependent, responses of M. gypseum and E. faecalis displayed plateau across the broad range of concentrations tested. Interestingly, response of E. coli revealed the double-peak dose-dependent curve, and responses of M. canis and L. monocytogenes decreased at the highest concentrations tested. Suggested is evaluation of DMSO propolis extracts in experimental treatment of human and veterinary infections, preferably in multitherapy with antibiotics.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bee Venom Component Has Protective Role Against Acute Pancreatitis

Apamin Attenuated Cerulein-Induced Acute Pancreatitis by Inhibition of JNK Pathway in Mice
Dig Dis Sci, 2013 Aug 6
We have previously reported that bee venom (BV) has a protective role against acute pancreatitis (AP). However, the effects of apamin, the major compound of BV, on AP have not been determined. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of apamin on cerulein-induced AP.
AP was induced via intraperitoneal injection of supramaximal concentrations of the stable cholecystokinin analogue cerulein (50 μg/kg) every hour for 6 times. In the apamin treatment group, apamin was administered subcutaneously (10, 50, or 100 μg/kg) at both 18 and 1 h before the first cerulein injection. The mice were sacrificed at 6 h after the final cerulein injection. Blood samples were obtained to determine serum amylase and lipase levels, as well as cytokine production. The pancreas and lung were rapidly removed for morphologic and histological examination, myeloperoxidase (MPO) assay, and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Furthermore, we isolated the pancreatic acinar cells to specify the role of apamin in AP.
Pre-treatment with apamin inhibited histological damage, pancreatic weight/body weight ratio, serum level of amylase and lipase, MPO activity, and cytokine production. In addition, apamin treatment significantly inhibited cerulein-induced pancreatic acinar cell death. Furthermore, apamin treatment inhibited the cerulein-induced activation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinases (JNK).
These results could suggest that apamin could protect against AP by inhibition of JNK activation.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Mad Honey Poisoning Mimicking Acute Myocardial Infarction

Hong Kong Med J, 2013 Aug;19(4):354-6

We report a case of acute poisoning in a 48-year-old man who presented with chest pain, abdominal pain, dizziness, sweatiness, blurred vision, and severe hypotension after ingestion of honey. His electrocardiogram showed sinus bradycardia and transient ST elevation. He made a good recovery after treatment with atropine and close monitoring.
Grayanotoxin was detected in his urine and the honey he ingested, which confirmed a diagnosis of mad honey poisoning. This is a condition prevalent in the Black Sea region around Turkey but rarely seen locally. Although mad honey poisoning is life-threatening, early use of atropine is life-saving. Such poisoning may present with ST elevation in the electrocardiogram and symptoms mimicking acute myocardial infarction.

It is therefore essential for clinicians to recognise this unusual form of poisoning and avoid the disastrous use of thrombolytic therapy.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Feasibility Study: Honey for Treatment of Cough in Children

Pediatr Rep, 2013 Jun 20;5(2):31-4

Respiratory tract infections are an important health problem because of high incidence and economic costs. The World Health Organization identifies honey as a potential demulcent treatment for cough. The aim of this study is to determine: i) patient public perceptions towards a proposed randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing the effects of honey to placebo for treatment of cough in children; ii) potential participation rates for proposed trial; iii) whether age and gender of parent or child impacts on proposed cough assessment tools. 
Forty adult participants with children age 1-6 years presenting with an upper respiratory tract infection were enrolled. They underwent a structured interview regarding the proposed trial and assessed their child's cough using two validated questionnaires. Eighty-eight percent of those recruited were willing to participate in the proposed trial. The two independently validated cough scores correlated well. A relationship between age and gender of child or parent with cough assessment score was not found. 
We conclude that a RCT to determine the effects of honey versus placebo is feasible. The public find the outcome measures and trial design acceptable.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Secrets of Bee Honeycombs Revealed, Jul 25, 2013
…Now research from Cardiff University's School of Engineering, published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, has found that the cells in a natural honeybee comb have a circular shape at "birth" but quickly transform into the familiar rounded hexagonal shape while the comb is being built.
The research led by Professor Bhushan Karihaloo, Cardiff School of Engineering with co-authors
from Beijing Institute of Technology and Peking University also shows how this transformation takes place.
"People have always speculated how bees have formed these honeycombs," said Professor Karihaloo "There have been some incredible, esoteric, even bizarre explanations; they believed the bees had an uncanny ability to measure angles. But it's actually much more straight-forward."
The answer, according to a new study, is that the cells do not start out as hexagons but as circles. Darwin in fact had suggested this but he had no supporting evidence.
They gradually form into hexagons by a flow of the wax, which is turned semi-molten by the heat from specialist "heater" worker bees. At approx 45°C, the wax starts to flow slowly as an elastic liquid. The wax, softened by the heat, then gets pulled into hexagonal cells by surface tension at the junctions where three walls meet…

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Hydrogen Peroxide Activity of Honey is Integrated Action of Constituents, Both Phenolics and Non-Phenolics

Comparative analysis of antioxidant activity of honey of different floral sources using recently developed polarographic and various spectrophotometric assays
Volume 30, Issue 1, May 2013, Pages 13–18
Hydrogen peroxide scavenging (HPS) activity of honey of different floral sources and its constituents such as predominant honey flavonoids, phenolic acids, amino and organic acids, and carbohydrates have been assessed by direct current (DC) polarographic assay. The assay was based on decrease of anodic current of hydrogen peroxide complex, formed in alkaline solution, at the potential of mercury dissolution. High correlations between honey HPS activity, its total phenolic content (FC-GAE), antioxidant activity measured by four standard methods (DPPH, TEAC, FRAP and ORAC), and also the relative antioxidant capacity index, were obtained. Statistical evaluation by ANOVA and F-test further confirmed the assay validity.
The results for individual compounds showed that HPS activity of honey reflects an integrated action of a wide range of constituents, both phenolics and non-phenolics.
The polarographic assay applied is a fast, reliable and low cost alternative to spectrophotometric antioxidant assays commonly applied in analysis of honey and can serve as an indicator of honey quality.

Monday, August 05, 2013

New Method Developed to Determine Royal Jelly Amino Acids and Authenticity
Development of a simple analytical method using capillary electrophoresis-tandem mass spectrometry for product identification and simultaneous determination of free amino acids in dietary supplements containing royal jelly
Volume 30, Issue 1, May 2013, Pages 47–51
A simple capillary electrophoresis-tandem mass spectrometry (CE-MS/MS) method was developed for the analysis of free amino acids in commercial royal jelly (RJ) products containing various kinds of matrices. This method required no concentration step for sample preparation, and all 16 amino acids were determined without derivatization. The CE separation was achieved in an uncoated fused-silica capillary using a 1 M formic acid solution (pH 1.8) as the electrolyte, followed by MS/MS detection after mixing with a sheath liquid comprising 50% (v/v) methanol. The limits of detection (LODs) ranged from 0.61 to 10.5 μg (dry weight)/g for each amino acid. The recoveries for tablets, liquid drinks, and raw materials ranged from 88.3 to 108.6%, and the relative standard deviations (RSDs) were within 10%. The method was applied to 17 commercial RJ products, and the results were compared to those for honey. The relative proportions of free amino acids were specific for each RJ product, and the method was found to be useful in distinguishing not only among the different RJ products but also between RJ and honey.
CE-MS/MS method developed for RJ products to determine amino acids and authenticity. This method required no concentration step to prepare the samples. All 16 amino acids were determined without derivatization. The method was useful for distinguishing between RJ and honey.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

New Processing Methods Produces Higher Antioxidant Honey

High Pressure Processing (HPP) of Honey for the Improvement of Nutritional Value
The present study was undertaken to assess the effect of high pressure processing (HPP) on total phenolic content (TPC) in manuka honey. Manuka honey is known for its amazing antimicrobial action and antioxidant properties. The effect of HPP (200, 400 and 600 MPa) at ambient and moderate temperatures (53.41 ± 0.30 °C, 65.29 ± 1.77 °C, 71.92 ± 1.63 °C) and their combination for different processing time (5, 10 and 15 min) was investigated. Conventional thermal processing (51.74 ± 0.03 °C, 61.90 ± 0.10 °C and 71.58 ± 0.04 °C) was also carried out as comparison to HPP. Operating HPP at 600 MPa (26.80 ± 0.95 °C–30.18 ± 2.14 °C) for 10 min was found to be the most effective process with 47.16% increment in TPC as compared to unprocessed honey, whereas no significant increase (p < 0.05) was observed in thermal processing as well as in combined HPP–thermal processing. Therefore, HPP at ambient temperatures could be an appropriate method to produce tastier and more nutritive manuka honey.
Industrial relevance
The preservation of total phenolic content (TPC) as a main phytochemical component in honey is very important with direct impact on nutritional value and antioxidant activity. A significant increase in the TPC was obtained by processing. Results demonstrated the HPP capability to increase TPC in manuka honey by 47%. From a nutritional perspective, this result is associated with the production of a higher antioxidant honey, known to prevent certain diseases such as cancer. The study generates a new approach in honey processing which can guarantee the high nutritional quality of honey and its original natural freshness.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

MS Patient Finds Relief With Bee Venom Therapy

Barbara Arnold estimates she has been stung by bees at least 24,000 times.
She did so willingly.
Article Tab: Christie Clingenpeel applies 30 bee stings on Barbara Arnold's back. For the past 12 years Barbara Arnold uses bee venom to treat her multiple sclerosis. Her treatment consists of 30 bee stings twice a week, and about 2,880 bee stings for the year. Arnold says she doesn't feel the bee stings on her back.
Arnold lives with multiple sclerosis, or MS as it is commonly called, a debilitating and incurable disease that affects a person's central nervous system.
The bee stings, she believes, slow the progress of her disease.
The 73-year-old Irvine resident is among a small number of patients living with MS or other ailments who practice bee venom therapy, a controversial alternative treatment that is dismissed by mainstream doctors…

Friday, August 02, 2013

Honey in Modern Wound Care: A Systematic Review

Burns, 2013 Jul 26. pii: S0305-4179(13)00197-6
Honey, known for centuries as a topical treatment for a wide range of wounds, has recently known a revival in modern wound care. The objective of this systematic review is to evaluate the available evidence and the role of honey in contemporary wound care.
The search strategy was developed in the databases PubMed and ISI Web of Science. Fifty-five studies of any design, evaluating the use of honey in human burns, ulcers and other wounds, written in English, French, German or Dutch were eligible for inclusion.
In all three wound categories honey seems to be a dressing with wound healing stimulating properties. In burns there is also evidence for its antibacterial capacity. In general, honey is also been mentioned to have deodorizing, debridement, anti-inflammatory and wound pain reducing properties, although the evidence for these properties is rather limited. Many of the included studies have methodological problems, and the quality of certain studies is low, making it difficult to formulate conclusive guidelines.
This review reveals several gaps in the research of honey in modern wound care, and recommendations are suggested for future research.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Propolis Component May Help Treat Hyperpigmentation Disorders

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Inhibits Alpha-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone-Induced Melanin Synthesis through Suppressing Transactivation Activity of Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor
J Nat Prod, 2013 Jul 22
Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (1), a natural compound found in various plants and propolis, is a well-known anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytotoxic agent. The present study aimed to investigate the molecular events underlying the antimelanogenic activity of 1 in alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-stimulated B16-F10 melanoma cells.
In this investigation, 1 effectively reduced α-MSH-stimulated melanin synthesis by suppressing expression of melanogenic enzymes such as tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1), and tyrosinase-related protein-2 (TRP-2), although this compound did not directly inhibit tyrosinase enzyme activity. On the other hand, the expression and nuclear translocation of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) as a key transcription factor for tyrosinase expression regulating melanogenesis were not affected by treatment with 1. The upstream signaling pathways including cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), and Akt for activation and expression of MITF were also not influenced by 1. Interestingly, 1 inhibited transcriptional activity of a tyrosinase promoter by suppressing the interaction of MITF protein with an M-box containing a CATGTG motif on the tyrosinase promoter.
Given the important role of MITF in melanogenesis, suppression of 1 on the function of MITF to transactivate tyrosinase promoter may present a novel therapeutic approach to treat hyperpigmentation disorders.