Friday, January 31, 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow Underwent Bee Sting Therapy

Star Pulse, 1/30/2014
Gwyneth Paltrow has taken her passion for unusual beauty treatments to a new level by undergoing a bizarre therapy involving bee stings.
The Iron Man star has revealed she used "bee venom therapy" to treat an injury, which involved being stung by a live insect, but Paltrow is convinced the odd procedure worked as her problem subsequently healed up…

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bee Venom Therapy for Arthritis

Can a Bee Sting Help Arthritis?
Healthline, 1/27/2014
If you have arthritis, you’re most likely using standard treatment methods to ease joint pain and stiffness. These may include traditional medicine and lifestyle changes.
But some research suggests that a surprising alternative treatment may help treat arthritis: bee venom.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bee’s Propolis Found to Combat Aluminum Toxicity and Much More

In an earlier Natural Society article I covered aluminum toxicity antidotes that are necessary in our toxic environment. It’s often argued that aluminum is ubiquitous within the earth’s composition, but it has been pointed out by UK scientist Chris Exley, Ph.D that there is little threat as long as aluminum remains there. But it is obvious that aluminum exposure has become an issue; luckily there are some solutions for handling this kind of exposure…

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

French Propolis Extracts May Help Treat Alzheimer's Disease, Diabetes and Atherosclerosis

Chemical composition, antioxidant and anti-AGEs activities of a French poplar type propolis
J Agric Food Chem, 2014 Jan 20
Accumulation in tissues and serum of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) plays an important role in pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease or, in the event of complications of diabetes, atherosclerosis or renal failure. Therefore there is a potential therapeutic interest in compounds able to lower intra and extracellular levels of AGEs. Among them, natural antioxidants (AO) with true anti-AGEs capabilities would represent good candidates for development.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the AO and anti-AGEs potential of a propolis batch, then to identify the main compounds responsible for these effects. In vivo, protein glycation and oxidative stress are closely related. Thus AO and antiglycation activities were respectively evaluated using both DPPH and ORAC assays as well as a newly developed automated anti-AGEs test.
Several propolis extracts exhibited very good AO and anti-AGEs activities and a bio-guided fractionation allowed us to identify pinobanksin-3-acetate as the most active component.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Royal Jelly Protects Against Liver Damage

Royal jelly attenuates azathioprine induced toxicity in rats
Environ Toxicol Pharmacol, 2013 Dec 31;37(1):431-437
In the present study, we investigated the potential protective effects of royal jelly against azathioprine-induced toxicity in rat. Intraperitoneal administration of azathioprine (50mg/kgB.W.) induced a significant decrease in RBCs count, Hb concentration, PCV%, WBCs count, differential count and platelet count, hepatic antioxidant enzymes (reduced glutathione and glutathione s-transferase) and increase of serum transaminases (alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase enzymes) activities, alkaline phosphatase and malondialdehyde formation. Azathioprine induced hepatotoxicity was reflected by marked pathological changes in the liver.
Oral administration of royal jelly (200mg/kgB.W.) was efficient in counteracting azathioprine toxicity whereas it altered the anemic condition, leucopenia and thrombocytopenia induced by azathioprine. Furthermore, royal jelly exerted significant protection against liver damage induced by azathioprine through reduction of the elevated activities of serum hepatic enzymes. Moreover, royal jelly blocked azathioprine-induced lipid peroxidation through decreasing the malondialdehyde formation. In conclusion, royal jelly possesses a capability to attenuate azathioprine-induced toxicity.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Propolis Component May Help Stem Cell Research

CAPE promotes the expansion of human umbilical cord blood-derived hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in vitro
Sci China Life Sci, 2014 Jan 22
Due to the low number of collectable stem cells from single umbilical cord blood (UCB) unit, their initial uses were limited to pediatric therapies. Clinical applications of UCB hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) would become feasible if there were a culture method that can effectively expand HSPCs while maintaining their self-renewal capacity. In recent years, numerous attempts have been made to expand human UCB HSPCs in vitro.
In this study, we report that caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a small molecule from honeybee extract, can promote in vitro expansion of HSPCs. Treatment with CAPE increased the percentage of HSPCs in cultured mononuclear cells. Importantly, culture of CD34+ HSPCs with CAPE resulted in a significant increase in total colony-forming units and high proliferative potential colony-forming units. Burst-forming unit-erythroid was the mostly affected colony type, which increased more than 3.7-fold in 1 μg mL-1 CAPE treatment group when compared to the controls. CAPE appears to induce HSPC expansion by upregulating the expression of SCF and HIF1-α.
Our data suggest that CAPE may become a potent medium supplement for in vitro HSPC expansion.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Honey Dressing Provides Better Wound Healing, Pain Relief for Cancer Patients’ Bedsores

The role of honey in healing of bedsores in cancer patients
South Asian J Cancer, 2012 Oct;1(2):66-71
Honey was used to treat infected wounds as long as 2000 years before bacteria were discovered. It has been reported to have inhibitory action to around 50 species of bacteria and fungi (aspergillus, penicillium). Usually, Metronidazole powder is used in our palliative clinic for wound healing due to low cost & effectivity. Honey is cheap, easily available ingredient with high astringent activity.
Objectives of the study were to find out the effectiveness of Honey in terms of rate of wound healing & pain control in bedsores of cancer patients.
40 cancer patients with bedsore wounds were randomly assigned (1:1 ratio i.e. 20 in each arm) for Study Arm (Honey plus Metronidazole powder) and Control Arm (only Metronidazole powder), attending Palliative clinic of our department in between July 2010 to September 2011.Washing of the wound with normal saline done daily before application of above medicaments. Change of posture & soft bed were encouraged in both groups. A pre designed interview proforma, standardised Bates Jensen Wound Assessment Tool and Visual Analogue Pain assessment scale were used to collect and assess data.
There was significant difference in wound healing status (F value = 6.523; Critical Difference =14.03, P > 0.05) from day 10 and pain reduction also (F value = 6.638 and Critical Difference = 1.667, P > 0.05) from day 7 in study arm.
Application of honey dressing provides a better wound healing, rapid pain relief in cancer patients with bedsores in palliative settings.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Manuka Honey Authentication Project in Works

Radio New Zealand, 1/22/2014
An organisation representing most of the country's manuka honey producers says it's got the backing of a major overseas customer for a project authenticating the highly-prized honey.
The Ministry for Primary Industries has begun working on a new guideline for New Zealand's most valuable honey, after concerns were raised in some overseas markets about false claims and labelling for manuka, which commands top prices for its anti-bacterial and healing qualities.
Meanwhile, the Unique Manuka Factor or Honey Association is collecting samples from around the country to establish a chemical profile of manuka.
It will fingerprint manuka and other types of honey to use as a reference point in honey testing…

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Propolis is Cryoprotective Agent in Fish Semen

Protective effects of propolis on cryopreservation of common carp (Cyprinuscarpio) sperm
Available online 16 January 2014
Cryopreservation of sperm is common procedures in aquaculture, particularly used for routine inartificial insemination. However, these application cause damages and adversely affected spermmotility, viability and consequently lower hatching rates. The objective of this study is to determine whether propolis has an effect on cryopreservation and fertilization ability and to investigate the potential protective effect of propolis on spermatozoa of Cyprinus Carpio. Many studies have been done in cryopreservation offish spermatozoa, but none of them contain propolis in extender composition. The extenders were prepared by using modified Kurokura Solution to which 10% Me2SO added with different levels of propolis (0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8 and 1 mg ml-1) and 10% egg yolk (as a control without propolis). The pooled semen samples diluted at the ratio of 1:9 by the extenders were subjected to cryopreservation. The percentage and duration of motility and fertlization tests of cryopreserved sperm samples have been done immediately after thawing and compared with control and fresh semen.
The extenders containing propolis exhibited higher percentage motility andmotility duration than control group (P < 0.05). Especially the group IV (0.8 mg ml-1 propolis) and the group V (1 mg ml-1 propolis) showed significant positive effects on both post thaw motility and hatching ability. The propolis maintained the integrity of the spermatozoa during the cryopreservation process. Evaluating with its contents, it has been shown that propolis is an appropriate cryoprotective agent in fish semen.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Propolis Extends Survival, Enhances Antitumor Activity

Addition of Propolis to Irinotecan Therapy Prolongs Survival in Ehrlich Ascites Tumor-Bearing Mice
Online Ahead of Print: January 2, 2014

We investigated possible synergistic action of anticancer drug Irinotecan (IRI) combined with ethanolic (EEP) and water-soluble (WSDP) derivate of propolis on Swiss albino mice injected with Ehrlich ascites tumor (EAT). For survival analysis mice were administered WSDP and EEP (100 mg/kg) daily for 3 consecutive days, beginning on 3rd day after EAT cell (1×106) injection. IRI was administered at a dose of 50 mg/kg on days 1, 13, and 19. We simultaneously studied peripheral white blood cell count, cell types washed from the peritoneal cavity, functional activity of macrophages from peritoneal cavity, and the level of primary DNA damage in leukocytes, kidney, and liver cells using the alkaline comet assay. Three out of 9 mice per group survived the entire duration of the experiment (90 days) in groups treated with IRI combined with WSDP and EEP. All test components increased survival of mice by 7.53% to 231.54%. Combined treatment with IRI and/or WSDP and EEP significantly decreased percentage of tumor cells in the peritoneal cavity as compared to nontreated EAT-injected mice. All treated animals had significantly higher percentage of neutrophils in the peritoneal cavity in comparison to nontreated EAT-injected mice. We observed significantly higher value of DNA damage in leukocytes of mice treated with IRI and combination of IRI and/or WSDP and EEP as compared to nontreated EAT-injected mice, while the same treatment decreased DNA damage in kidney.
Our results showed that addition of propolis to IRI treatment enhanced antitumor activity of IRI and prolongs survival in EAT-bearing mice, which definitely deserve further studies to clarify the possible mechanisms of antitumor actions of combined herb–drug treatments.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Brazilian Green Propolis May Help Treat Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and UV Skin Damage

The Effects of Brazilian Green Propolis against Excessive Light-Induced Cell Damage in Retina and Fibroblast Cells
We investigated the effects of Brazilian green propolis and its constituents against white light- or UVA-induced cell damage in mouse retinal cone-cell line 661W or human skin-derived fibroblast cells (NB1-RGB).
Methods. Cell damage was induced by 3,000lx white light for 24 h or 4/10 J/cm(2) UVA exposure. Cell viability was assessed by Hoechst33342 and propidium iodide staining or by tetrazolium salt (WST-8) cell viability assay. The radical scavenging activity of propolis induced by UVA irradiation in NB1-RGB cells was measured using a reactive-oxygen-species- (ROS-) sensitive probe CM-H2DCFDA. Moreover, the effects of propolis on the UVA-induced activation of p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) were examined by immunoblotting.
Results. Treatment with propolis and two dicaffeoylquinic acids significantly inhibited the decrease in cell viability induced by white light in 661W. Propolis and its constituents inhibited the decrease in cell viability induced by UVA in NB1-RGB. Moreover, propolis suppressed the intracellular ROS production by UVA irradiation. Propolis also inhibited the levels of phosphorylated-p38 and ERK by UVA irradiation.
Conclusion. Brazilian green propolis may become a major therapeutic candidate for the treatment of AMD and skin damage induced by UV irradiation.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Methylglyoxal Suppresses Hydrogen Peroxide Accumulation in Honey

Methylglyoxal May Affect Hydrogen Peroxide Accumulation in Manuka Honey Through the Inhibition of Glucose Oxidase

Although hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is one of the major antibacterial factors in most honeys, it does not accumulate in medical-grade manuka honey. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of artificially added methylglyoxal (MGO) on H2O2 accumulation in natural non-manuka honeys. H2O2 concentrations in the honey solutions were determined using a fluorimetric assay. Two, the most potent H2O2 producers honeydew honeys were mixed with MGO at final concentrations of 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg, and incubated for 4 days at 37°C. Subsequently, H2O2 concentrations were determined in 50% (wt/vol) MGO supplemented honey solutions. In vitro crosslinking of the enzyme glucose oxidase (GOX) after incubation with MGO was determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Tested honeys at a concentration of 50% (wt/vol) accumulated up to 495.8±9.1 μM H2O2 in 24 h. The most potent producers were the two honeydew honeys, whose 50% solutions accumulated 306.9±6.8 and 495.8±9.1 μM H2O2, respectively. Levels of H2O2 increased significantly over time in both honey solutions. Contrary to this, the MGO-treated honeys generated significantly lower amounts of H2O2 (P<.001), and this reduction was dose dependent. In addition, MGO-treated GOX formed high molecular weight adducts with increasing time of incubation accompanied by loss of its enzymatic activity. High levels of MGO in manuka honey, by modifying the enzyme GOX, might be responsible for suppressing H2O2 generation. These data highlight the detrimental effect of MGO on significant proteinaceous components of manuka honey.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Growing Evidence, Scientific Data Support Use of Honey in Patients with Diabetes

Honey and Cardiovascular Risk Factors, in Normal Individuals and in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus or Dyslipidemia

Diabetes mellitus, hypercholesteremia, hypertension (HTN), and obesity are well-known risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Various medications are currently in use for management of these comorbidities. Undesirable side effects are unavoidable and the ultimate and ideal goal is hardly achieved. Honey and other bee products are widely used in traditional medicine for management of many diseases. Others and the authors have found potent biological activities of these products. Honey is now reintroduced in modern medicine as part of wound and burn management. Honey has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities. More studies are exploring other aspects of honey activity such as its effect on blood sugar, body weight, lipid profile, C-reactive protein, nitric oxide, proinflammatory prostaglandins, and homocysteine. Growing evidence and scientific data support the use of honey in patients with diabetes, HTN, dyslipidemia, obesity, and CVD. This review discusses clinical and preclinical studies on potential influence of honey on diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular risk factors, and emphasizes the importance of conducting more clinical and controlled studies.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Stingless Bee Propolis Has Therapeutic Potential

Antimicrobial, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of propolis from Melipona orbignyi (Hymenoptera, Apidae)
Food Chem Toxicol, 2014 Jan 9. pii: S0278-6915(14)00011-8
Propolis from stingless bees is well known for its biologic properties; however, few studies have demonstrated these effects. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the chemical composition and antimicrobial, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of propolis from the stingless bee Melipona orbignyi, found in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The chemical composition of the ethanol extract of propolis (EEP) indicated the presence of aromatic acids, phenolic compounds, alcohols, terpenes and sugars. The EEP was active against the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus and the fungus Candida albicans. The EEP showed antioxidant activity by scavenging free radicals and inhibiting hemolysis and lipid peroxidation in human erythrocytes incubated with an oxidizing agent. Additionally, EEP promoted cytotoxic activity and primarily necrotic death in K562 erythroleukemia cells. Taken together, these results indicate that propolis from M. orbignyi has therapeutic potential for the treatment and/or prevention of diseases related to microorganism activity, oxidative stress and tumor cell proliferation.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Methylglyoxal-Augmented Manuka Honey May Help Treat Chronic Rhinosinusitis

Methylglyoxal-augmented manuka honey as a topical anti–Staphylococcus aureus biofilm agent: safety and efficacy in an in vivo model
Article first published online: 10 JAN 2014
Bacterial biofilms are thought to contribute to recalcitrance in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) patients. Manuka honey (MH) and its active component methylglyoxal (MGO) have demonstrated antibiofilm activity in vitro. This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of these agents in an in vivo model.
To assess safety, ovine frontal sinuses were flushed twice daily for 14 days. In each sheep, 1 sinus was flushed with a panel of MGO concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 7.2 mg/mL alone and flushed with a panel of with 16.5% wt/vol MH enriched with MGO at the same range of concentrations (0.5–7.2 mg/mL; designated MH/MGO). Contralateral sinuses were flushed with saline control. Tissue morphology was assessed histologically and with scanning electron microscopy. Efficacy was tested by developing Staphylococcus aureus biofilms in sheep sinuses. Twice-daily irrigation for 5 days was commenced with either saline, MGO (0.5–3.6 mg/mL) alone, or MH/MGO (with 0.5–3.6 mg/mL MGO). Biofilm biomass was compared between the groups (n = 4) using LIVE/DEAD BacLight staining and confocal scanning laser microscopy.
The results of the safety assessment, for normal sinuses treated with MGO alone or with MH/MGO (≤1.8 mg/mL) showed normal pseudostratified epithelium and cilia structure; however, higher concentrations caused cilia denudation and squamous metaplasia. As for efficacy, when compared to saline flush, treatment with MH/MGO at 0.9 mg/mL (0.608 ± 0.110 vs 0.316 ± 0.197 μm3/μm2, respectively; p = 0.015) and 1.8 mg/mL (0.676 ± 0.079 vs 0.114 ± 0.033 μm3/μm2, respectively; p = 0.001) significantly reduced biofilm biomass.
Sinus irrigation with MH/MGO at MGO concentrations between 0.9 and 1.8 mg/mL is both safe to mucosa and efficacious against S. aureus biofilm. MH/MGO irrigation could represent a viable treatment option for recalcitrant CRS.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Herbal Honey Cream May Help Treat Atopic Dermatitis

Water-soluble chitosan and herbal honey compound alleviates atopic dermatitis-like lesions in NC/Nga mice
Volume 20, Issue 2, 25 March 2014, Pages 499–504

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that was influenced by complex interactions via genetic, environmental, immunologic, and biochemical factors, though the cause of AD is still unknown. It characterized by elevated serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels, immunological abnormalities, and eosinophilia in the tissues and peripheral blood. In the present study, we applied an antimicrobial moisturizing cream containing low-molecular weight water-soluble chitosan and herbal honey (AMCH) to remedy AD-like lesions. 
The inhibiting effect of AMCH on NC/Nga mice, that AD-like lesion was induced by 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB), was evaluated by examining sensory evaluation scores, scratching behavior, immune cells in blood, serum IgE level, infiltration of mast cells, and skin histology. The total sensory evaluation scores, scratching behavior, the level of serum IgE, interlukin-4 (IL-4), and IL-12 in AD mouse model were significantly reduced by AMCH. Moreover, its suppressing effect resulted in decreased mast cell infiltration.
Our results suggest that AMCH might be beneficial as a potent agent for treatment of AD-like lesion.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cold and Flu Sufferers Warned Over Fake Manuka Honey

Independent, 1/14/2014
Consumers have been warned to watch out for fake products labelled as the natural cold and flu remedy manuka honey.
The genuine item is clearly marked as tested and verified by an independent certified laboratory, manufacturers say.
It comes as the price of manuka honey increases due to strong demand since the onset of winter. Prices for genuine manuka honey start at €9.99. Fake products are often sold at lower prices.
"Manuka honey has become an increasingly popular and expensive health food in recent years, for two goods reasons: it is renowned for exceptional health benefits and it is in very limited supply when compared to that demand," said Warren Peat of Watson & Son.
"So it's no coincidence that as demand increases, and supply can't match it, this leads to a growing number of honeys masquerading as the real thing. Consumers need to look for products that are labelled as tested and verified by an independent certified laboratory."…

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Propolis May Help Prevent Kidney Cancer

Amelioration of renal carcinogenesis by bee propolis: a chemo preventive approach
Toxicol Int, 2013 Sep;20(3):227-34
The present study was designed to investigate the chemo preventive efficacy of bee propolis (BP) against diethylnitrosamine (DEN) initiated and ferric nitrilotriacetate (Fe-NTA) promoted renal carcinogenesis in Wistar rats. Chronic treatment of Fe-NTA induced oxidative stress, inflammation and cellular proliferation in Wistar rats. BP is a resinous material collected by bees from various plants which has been used from centuries in folk medicine.
Renal cancer was initiated by single intraperitoneal injection of N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN 200 mg/kg body weight) and promoted by twice weekly administration of Fe-NTA 9 mg Fe/kg body weight for 16 weeks. The chemo preventive efficacy of BP was studied in terms of lipid peroxidation (LPO), renal anti-oxidant armory such as catalase, superoxide dismustase, glutathione S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and glutathione (GSH), serum toxicity markers, cell proliferation, tumor suppressor protein and inflammation markers.
Administration of Fe-NTA enhances renal LPO, with concomitant reduction in reduced GSH content and antioxidant enzymes. It induces serum toxicity markers, viz., blood urea nitrogen, creatinine and lactate dehydrogenase. Chemo preventive effects of BP were associated with upregulation of antioxidant armory and down regulation of serum toxicity markers. BP was also able to down regulate expression of proliferative cell nuclear antigen, cyclooxygenase-2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and upregulated p53 along with induction of apoptosis. Histopathological changes further confirmed the biochemical and immunohistochemical results.
These results provide a powerful evidence for the chemo preventive efficacy of BP against renal carcinogenesis possibly by modulation of multiple molecular pathways.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bee Venom, Chilli Extract Combine in New Joint Treatment

Voxy, 1/10/2014
A new 100% natural product combining New Zealand bee venom and capsaicin (chilli pepper extract) designed to give rapid relief to joints - Rubeeven - was launched today.
Worldwide, around one in three people suffer from joint stiffness or discomfort as a result of conditions such as arthritis. HoneyLab, the developers of the product, say the unique patent-pending blend of two powerful natural products targets joint stiffness safely and rapidly.
"For centuries, people have used bee venom for arthritis, and capsaicin is a proven treatment," says international complementary medicines expert and Rubeeven creator Professor Shaun Holt. 
"This is a completely new approach to joint relief, using the power of two natural products."
The dual-action cream works in two ways. Capsaicin warms the treated area, increasing blood flow, relieving pain and helping the bee venom penetrate the joints.
"Studies have shown that bee venom causes local release of the body’s own anti-inflammatory steroids, which is why bee venom has been described as ’nature’s cortisol shot’," says Professor Holt.
"We’re confident Rubeeven will make a difference to the lives of thousands of New Zealanders suffering from joint stiffness and discomfort."
The Wellington-based company behind onesay Rubeeven - HoneyLab Ltd - is dedicated to research and innovation of natural products…

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Honey, Pollen Stores Significantly Correlated with Propolis Production

Honey bee lines selected for high propolis production also have superior hygienic behavior and increased honey and pollen stores
Genet Mol Res, 2013 Dec 19;12(4):6931-8
Honey bees use propolis to defend against invaders and disease organisms. As some colonies produce much more propolis than others, we investigated whether propolis collecting is associated with disease resistance traits, including hygienic behavior and resistance to the parasitic bee mite, Varroa destructor. The three highest (HP) and three lowest propolis-producing (LP) colonies among 36 Africanized honey bee colonies were initially selected. 
Queens and drones from these colonies were crossed through artificial insemination to produce five colonies of each of the following crosses: HP X HP, LP X HP, HP X LP, and LP X LP. Colonies headed by HP X HP queens produced significantly more propolis than those with HP X LP and LP X HP queens and these in turn produced significantly more propolis than those headed by LP X LP queens. The brood cell uncapping rate of the high-propolis-producing colonies in the hygienic behavior test was significantly superior to that of the other groups. The LP X LP group was significantly less hygienic than the two HP X LP crosses, based on the evaluation of the rate of removal of pin-killed pupae. The HP X HP colonies were significantly more hygienic than the other crosses. No significant differences were found in mite infestation rates among the groups of colonies; although overall, colony infestation rates were quite low (1.0 to 3.2 mites per 100 brood cells), which could have masked such effects. 
Honey and pollen stores were significantly and positively correlated with propolis production.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wound Care in the Wilderness: Is There Evidence for Honey?

Wilderness Environ Med, 2014 Jan 3. pii: S1080-6032(13)00247-0
Honey is one of the most ancient remedies for wound care. Current research has shown promising results for its use in wound care. This review is intended to inform readers of the physiological properties of honey and the evidence that exists to support its clinical use.
When compared with evidence for current wound treatment, honey has proven to be a safe, effective, and sometimes superior treatment for various wounds. There are currently US Food and Drug Administration-approved medical-grade honey products available in the United States. Although there have been no clinical trials exploring the use of honey in wilderness environments, it may be a safe, improvisational wound treatment. More robust studies are needed for definitive conclusions of its efficacy and safety.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Antioxidants, Flavonoids Obtained by Sonication of Propolis Greater Than by Using Maceration

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2013;14(11):6991-5
Antioxidant and Anti-cancer Cell Proliferation Activity of Propolis Extracts from Two Extraction Methods
Antioxidant activity, total phenolic, total flavonoid compounds and cytotoxicity to cancer cell lines of propolis extracts from two extraction methods were investigated in this study. Propolis was collected from Phayao province and extracted with 70% ethanol using maceration and sonication techniques. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH assay. Total phenolic and flavonoid compounds were also determined. Moreover, the cytotoxicity of propolis was evaluated using MTT assay. 
The percentage propolis yield after extraction using maceration (18.1%) was higher than using sonication (15.7%). Nevertheless, antioxidant and flavonoid compounds of the sonication propolis extract were significant greater than using maceration. Propolis extract from sonication showed antioxidant activity by 3.30±0.15 mg gallic acid equivalents/g extract. Total phenolic compound was 18.3±3.30 mg gallic acid equivalents/g extract and flavonoid compound was 20.49±0.62 mg quercetin/g extract. Additionally, propolis extracts from two extraction methods demonstrated the inhibitory effect on proliferation of A549 and HeLa cancer cell lines at 24, 48 and 72 hours in a dose-dependent manner.
These results are of interest for the selection of the most appropriate method for preparation of propolis extracts as potential antioxidant and anticancer agents.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Propolis Boosts Drug’s Anticancer Activity, Prolongs Survival

Addition of Propolis to Irinotecan Therapy Prolongs Survival in Ehrlich Ascites Tumor-Bearing Mice
We investigated possible synergistic action of anticancer drug Irinotecan (IRI) combined with ethanolic (EEP) and water-soluble (WSDP) derivate of propolis on Swiss albino mice injected with Ehrlich ascites tumor (EAT). For survival analysis mice were administered WSDP and EEP (100 mg/kg) daily for 3 consecutive days, beginning on 3rd day after EAT cell (1×106) injection. IRI was administered at a dose of 50 mg/kg on days 1, 13, and 19. We simultaneously studied peripheral white blood cell count, cell types washed from the peritoneal cavity, functional activity of macrophages from peritoneal cavity, and the level of primary DNA damage in leukocytes, kidney, and liver cells using the alkaline comet assay. Three out of 9 mice per group survived the entire duration of the experiment (90 days) in groups treated with IRI combined with WSDP and EEP. 
All test components increased survival of mice by 7.53% to 231.54%. Combined treatment with IRI and/or WSDP and EEP significantly decreased percentage of tumor cells in the peritoneal cavity as compared to nontreated EAT-injected mice. All treated animals had significantly higher percentage of neutrophils in the peritoneal cavity in comparison to nontreated EAT-injected mice. We observed significantly higher value of DNA damage in leukocytes of mice treated with IRI and combination of IRI and/or WSDP and EEP as compared to nontreated EAT-injected mice, while the same treatment decreased DNA damage in kidney.
Our results showed that addition of propolis to IRI treatment enhanced antitumor activity of IRI and prolongs survival in EAT-bearing mice, which definitely deserve further studies to clarify the possible mechanisms of antitumor actions of combined herb-drug treatments.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Royal Jelly Protects Against Testicular Damage

Royal jelly protects from taxol-induced testicular damages via improvement of antioxidant status and up-regulation of E2f1
Syst Biol Reprod Med, 2013 Dec 31
This study was carried out to evaluate the protective effects of royal jelly (RJ) on taxol (TXL)-induced damage of the testis. Wistar rats were divided into control and test groups. The test group was divided into five subgroups; the first four groups along with TXL administration (7.5 mg/kg body weight (bw), weekly), received various doses of RJ (0, 50, 100, and 150 mg/kg bw). The last group received only RJ at 100 mg/kg. Royal jelly lowered the TXL-induced malondialdehyde and nitric oxide levels and enhanced the total thiol molecules in the testis. Remarkably RJ reduced the TXL-induced pathological injuries such as cellular shrinkage and seminiferous tubule depletion. Taxol-reduced sperm viability (27.5 ± 2.98 % vs. 85.0 ± 8.6% in the control group) was recovered by RJ administration as 80.5 ± 10.6% of the sperm were found alive in the group of animals which received 150 mg/kg RJ. The TXL-exposed and TXL plus RJ-administered animals showed a significant up-regulation of transcription factor E2f1 mRNA.
Our data suggest that the TXL-induced histopathological and biochemical alterations could be protected by the administration of RJ. The RJ protective effects might be attributed to its antioxidant capacity and its capability in the regulation of E2f1 expression.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Propolis: A Wonder Bees Product and Its Pharmacological Potentials

Adv Pharmacol Sci, 2013;2013:308249
Propolis is a natural resinous mixture produced by honey bees from substances collected from parts of plants, buds, and exudates. Due to its waxy nature and mechanical properties, bees use propolis in the construction and repair of their hives for sealing openings and cracks and smoothing out the internal walls and as a protective barrier against external invaders like snakes, lizards, and so forth, or against weathering threats like wind and rain. Bees gather propolis from different plants, in the temperate climate zone mainly from poplar.
Current antimicrobial applications of propolis include formulations for cold syndrome (upper respiratory tract infections, common cold, and flu-like infections), wound healing, treatment of burns, acne, herpes simplex and genitalis, and neurodermatitis. Worldwide propolis has a tremendous popularity, but in India the studies over propolis have just started, not extensively reported except few regions of India like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujrat, and Madhya Pradesh.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Can Honey Reduce Complications of Diabetes?

Honey Therapy in a Patient Volunteer with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Case Report
J Clin Trials, 3:148, Nov. 2013
We report a patient with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), hypertension and type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM) who volunteered to stop all conventional medications and use honey as an alternative therapy for almost 11 years.
In spite of persistent hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, unexpectedly his blood pressure was controlled, his CHD improved or at least stabilized, and he did not develop cerebral strokes. Moreover and unexpectedly he did not develop diabetic ketoacidosis or hyper-osmolar coma. However he developed micro-vascular complications in the form of peripheral neuritis and non proliferative retinopathy after 6 and 8 years, respectively.
Although a final conclusion could not be drawn from a single case, this case study highlighted important questions and observations that warrant well designed randomized controlled studies to evaluate whether intake of honey, as a complementary agent, concomitantly with anti-diabetic treatment has the potential to prevent or reduce both macro-and micro-vascular complications of diabetes.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

New Approach Can Enhance Anti-Cancer Effect of Bee Venom at Much Lower Concentration

Co-culture with NK-92MI cells enhanced the anti-cancer effect of bee venom on NSCLC cells by inactivation of NF-Κb
Arch Pharm Res, 2014 Jan 1
In the present study we experimented on a multimodal therapeutic approach, such as combining chemotherapy agent (Bee venom) with cellular (NK-92MI) immunotherapy. Previously bee venom has been found to show anti-cancer effect in various cancer cell lines. In lung cancer cells bee venom showed an IC50 value of 3 μg/ml in both cell lines. The co-culture of NK-92MI cell lines with lung cancer cells also show a decrease in viability upto 50 % at 48 h time point. Hence we used bee venom treated NK-92MI cells to co-culture with NSCLC cells and found that there is a further decrease in cell viability upto 70 and 75 % in A549 and NCI-H460 cell lines respectively.
We further investigated the expression of various apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins and found that Bax, cleaved caspase-3 and -8 were increasing where as Bcl-2 and cIAP-2 was decreasing. The expression of various death receptor proteins like DR3, DR6 and Fas was also increasing. Concomitantly the expression of various death receptor ligands (TNFalpha, Apo3L and FasL) was also increasing of NK-92MI cells after co-culture. Further the DNA binding activity and luciferase activity of NF-κB was also inhibited after co-culture with bee venom treated NK-92MI cell lines. The knock down of death receptors with si-RNA has reversed the decrease in cell viability and NF-κB activity after co-culture with bee venom treated NK-92MI cells.
Thus this new approach can enhance the anti-cancer effect of bee venom at a much lower concentration.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Romanian Manna, Sunflower and Polyfloral Honeys Show High Antibacterial Activity

Antibacterial activity of different natural honeys from Transylvania, Romania
J Environ Sci Health B, 2014;49(3):176-81
Honey is used in food industry and medicine due to its nutritive, therapeutic and dietetic qualities. The microbiological characteristics of 10 unpasteurized honey samples of known origin, collected from Transylvania beekeepers (Romania) were determined. The antibacterial activity of these types of honey against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella anatum, Salmonella choleraesuis, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis subsp. spizizenii and Listeria monocytogenes strains was studied.
The most sensitive to the antibacterial activity were the two staphylococus strains (the largest diameter of inhibition zone was 18 mm) and B. subtilis strains (13.5 mm). The strains of B. cereus, E. coli, L. monocytogenes and Salmonella spp. were found to present resistance to some of the honey samples. Manna, sunflower and polyfloral honeys presented high antibacterial activity while acacia and linden honeys had a lower activity in terms of the number of sensible strains. Statistical analysis shows that the type of strains and the type of honey have influence on the diameter of inhibition.

Friday, January 03, 2014

New ‘Turbo-Boosted’ Surgihoney Speeds Wound Healing, Fights Infections

Why 'super honey' is the bees knees for wounds and infections
The Guardian, 1/1/2014
Surgihoney is cost-effective and speeds healing of hard-to-treat injuries. Can it become the ultimate wound-care product? 
The healing powers of honey have been known about for thousands of years. But Surgihoney, whose natural antibacterial properties have been boosted, is proving highly effective at treating infected wounds and superbugs.
The honey is believed to work by killing the bugs, removing dead tissue and pus, and then providing a moisture barrier as well as local nutrition.
Honey contains vitamins, minerals, enzymes and sugars – all of which help in the healing of wounds. Manuka is generally regarded as the most potent honey, but it relies upon nectar from a particular tree in New Zealand, limiting its supply.
That's precisely the problem which has been solved by the developers of Surgihoney. They have created a product that can be made from organic honey from any floral source. They hope it will ultimately become a global wound-care product that will improve lives in poorer countries.
Lead researcher Dr Matthew Dryden, an NHS consultant microbiologist, is optimistic that the sterile, medical honey can revolutionise wound care around the world, reduce the use of antibiotics and provide an alternative to harsh chemical antiseptics.
Surgihoney speeds the healing of hard-to-treat leg and foot ulcers, pressure sores, trauma injuries and infected surgical wounds, according to the research. Potential benefits include less pain and fewer amputations.
Dryden says: "Surgihoney is active against all the bacteria we find in soft tissue wounds. The important extra is that it kills the bugs but doesn't damage the tissue. Honey is a fantastic natural medicine."
Surgihoney can even tackle wounds infected with strains of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, he says, including MRSA, E coli and pseudomonas. He describes honey as "turbo-boosted"…

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Structure and Antioxidant Activity of Polyphenols Derived from Propolis

Molecules 2014, 19(1), 78-101
Propolis is a potential source of natural antioxidants such as phenolic acids and flavonoids. Its wide biological effects have been known and used since antiquity. In the modern world natural substances are sought which would be able to counteract the effects of antioxidative stress, which underlies many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
This paper aims to present the antioxidative activity of phenolic acids and flavonoids present in Polish propolis and the relationship between their chemical structure and antioxidative activity influencing its medicinal properties. Data concerning the biological activity of propolis are summarized here, including its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antiatherogenic, estrogenic effects, as well as AIDS- counteracting and reparative-regenerative function.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Honey as a Potential Natural Anticancer Agent: A Review of Its Mechanisms

The main treatment for cancer is by using chemotherapy and radiotherapy which themselves are toxic to other viable cells of the body. Recently, there are many studies focusing on the use of natural products for cancer prevention and treatment. Of these natural products, honey has been extensively researched. The mechanism of the anti-cancer activity of honey as chemopreventive and therapeutic agent has not been completely understood. 
The possible mechanisms are due to its apoptotic, antiproliferative, antitumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF), antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, estrogenic and immunomodulatory activities. We collate the findings of several studies published in the literature in order to understand the mechanism of its action…
There are still many unanswered questions; why sugar is carcinogenic, while honey which is basically sugar has anticarcinogenic properties.