Monday, June 30, 2014

In Manuka Honey, Find Solution to Digestive Disorders

Indian Express, June 28, 2014
Honey is more than just a natural sweetener; it is known to have medicinal properties. In general, most honeys possess anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and prebiotic properties. Other benefits that have been attributed to honey include anti-tumour, anti-mutagenic and anti-viral properties depending on the nutritional composition of the honey consumed. It is well known for its wound healing properties and as a gastro-intestinal remedy. Several types of honeys are available, each with distinct properties.
The broad spectrum of anti-bacterial activity of honey is attributed to various factors including its high sugar concentration (80 per cent sugar) and hydrogen peroxide. Non-peroxide factors include methylglyoxal (MGO), and its low pH value. Hydrogen peroxide and its high osmolarity because of high sugar concentration are the well-characterised anti-bacterial factors.
Certain honeys from specific plants are more effective than others. Manuka honey that comes from New Zealand Manuka bush is one such example. It has been found to be an effective therapy for digestive complaints ranging from acid reflux, gastritis, diarrhoea, ulcers, H.pylori to fungal infections. It has been used in upper respiratory infections including chronic sinusitis, rhinitis and allergic symptoms…

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Can Bee Sting Venom Help Cure Parkinson’s Disease?

Honey bee venom is the “buzz” and it seems to help. Here’s a surprise scientific report.
At the 18th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, in Stockholm, Sweden (June 8-12, 2014), a very interesting paper was presented showing that a combination of acupuncture and bee venom improved symptoms of patients with Parkinson’s Disease.
It’s a bit of a surprise. Acupuncture has been used for years in Asia to relieve Parkinson’s symptoms—it seems to protect nerve cells like the ones the disease destroys—but it’s not like Western drug-bound science to even cast a glance in its direction. This is a milestone!
Bee venom (Apis mellifica) is another holistic remedy that’s been around for centuries. Homeopaths use it for pain and swellings (because bee venomcauses pain and swelling: like treats like, get it?)
Bee venom also eases inflammation in nerve cells; again, because it causes it. The venom was injected into acupuncture points.
This highly innovative study is one of the first studies ever to test whether acupuncture combined with a remedy like bee-venom can work therapeutically.
In the study, 35 patients with Parkinson’s disease who had been on a stable dose of medication for at least a month were randomly assigned to three groups. One group received only acupuncture, another received bee-venom acupuncture, and the third group received neither. The treatment was repeated twice a week for 8 weeks.
Symptoms improved in those who received bee-venom acupuncture or regular acupuncture. There were no serious side effects in either group. One person who received bee-venom acupuncture complained of itchiness. Those who received no treatment had no change in their symptoms…

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Honey, Propolis Component May Help Protect Kidneys from Diabetic Nepropathy (DN)

Chrysin, an anti-inflammatory molecule, abrogates renal dysfunction in type 2 diabetic rats
Volume 279, Issue 1, 15 August 2014, Pages 1–7
Diabetic nepropathy (DN) is considered as the leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) worldwide, but the current available treatments are limited. Recent experimental evidences support the role of chronic microinflammation in the development of DN. Therefore, the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) pathway has emerged as a new therapeutic target for the treatment of DN. We investigated the nephroprotective effects of chrysin (5, 7-dihydroxyflavone) in a high fat diet/streptozotocin (HFD/STZ)-induced type 2 diabetic Wistar albino rat model. Chrysin is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that is abundantly found in plant extracts, honey and bee propolis. The treatment with chrysin for 16 weeks post induction of diabetes significantly abrogated renal dysfunction and oxidative stress. Chrysin treatment considerably reduced renal TNF-α expression and inhibited the nuclear transcription factor-kappa B (NF-кB) activation. Furthermore, chrysin treatment improved renal pathology and suppressed transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), fibronectin and collagen-IV protein expressions in renal tissues. Chrysin also significantly reduced the serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and IL-6. Moreover, there were no appreciable differences in fasting blood glucose and serum insulin levels between the chrysin treated groups compared to the HFD/STZ-treated group. Hence, our results suggest that chrysin prevents the development of DN in HFD/STZ-induced type 2 diabetic rats through anti-inflammatory effects in the kidney by specifically targeting the TNF-α pathway.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Manuka Honey Offers New Hope in Fight Against Superbug

Manuka honey may offer new hope in the global search for ways to tackle life-threatening superbugs.
Recent research in New Zealand has shown that a manuka honey–based formulation with CycloPower™ inhibits the growth of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
Manuka honey expert Dr Lynne Chepulis, senior lecturer at Rotorua’s Waiariki Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Health, Education and Humanities, says the unique antibacterial activity of manuka honey has been known for many years.
“But what’s really exciting about this work is that combining manuka honey with CycloPower ™ has been shown in the lab to be even more effective in inhibiting the growth of MRSA,” she says.
Manuka Honey with CycloPower™ employs a novel delivery method in which the active antibacterial ingredient in manuka honey, methylglyoxal, is combined with beneficial natural fibre (cyclodextrins) to increase its activity.
Manuka honey with CycloPower ™ is a proprietary product developed by New Zealand biotechnology company Manuka Health, which commissioned the University of Auckland to conduct this research…

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What's the buzz about medical-grade honey?

Nursing: July 2014 - Volume 44 - Issue 7 - p 59
What's medical-grade honey? What are its uses?—L.L., FLA.
Kimberley Oropeza, BSN, RN, WCC, replies: Several civilizations used honey to treat wounds over the course of 4,000 years.1 It lost conventional popularity after the discovery of antibiotics in the 20th century, but practitioners are now giving this ancient remedy another look due to the need for effective and economical products that fight infection and limit antibiotic resistance.
Honey, a hyperosmolar substance produced by bees, is about 20% water and 80% sugar. It also contains enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and organic acids. The exact composition varies greatly depending on the location and type of plant from which the bees collected nectar.
Medical-grade honey has been standardized through gamma irradiation, filtration, and lab-controlled conditions, ensuring it's free from contaminants. The honey most commonly in use today comes from bees that collect pollen from tea trees in New Zealand and Australia. Also known as manuka honey, it has the highest level of antibacterial activity of all honey.
Honey is currently used to fight bacterial and fungal infections, promote autolytic debridement, and control malodorous wounds. It has many properties that contribute to wound healing. It kills Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens as well as some fungi and yeasts. This makes it useful against various organisms, including drug-resistant organisms such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus. Honey has been particularly successful in treating wounds resistant to traditional antibiotics. The acidic properties of honey keep the pH relatively low (3.5 to 6), which inhibits bacterial growth and promotes healing in alkaline wounds that are otherwise difficult to heal.
Honey is also an effective deodorizer of malodorous wounds through the bacteria's consumption of sugar. When bacteria in the wound metabolize amino acids, materials that cause foul odors, such as ammonia, amines, and sulfur, are created. Bacteria consume the glucose in the honey instead of the amino acids, decreasing the production of foul-smelling substances.
The osmotic property of honey draws fluid out of the wound, creating an anti-inflammatory response. Honey promotes autolytic debridement, which produces a moist healing environment, enabling healing…

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Honey: The Solution for Antibiotic Resistant “Super Bugs”?

Elizabeth Renter, Natural Society
May 28th, 2014
Antibiotic resistance is a true crisis, one that is growing and is even recognized by the federal government as a near-future crisis. An over-dependence on antibiotics and the sanitization of everything has helped bacterial evolve into unstoppable “super bugs”, or those that are capable of resisting conventional drugs designed to kill them. The solution is complex and involves reducing our use of antibiotics, but it may also include the use of something as beautifully simple as honey…

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bee-Venom Acupuncture Shows Promise in Parkinson's

WebMD, 6/18/2014
June 18, 2014 -- Both acupuncture and bee-venom acupuncture improved symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease, a small study shows.
Acupuncture has been used for years in Asia to relieve Parkinson’s symptoms. Early studies show it may help protect nerve cells like the ones the disease destroys. Researchers have also been looking into bee venom’s ability to ease inflammation in nerve cells. This is one of the first studies to test whether acupuncture and bee-venom acupuncture can help Parkinson’s…

Monday, June 23, 2014

Can Bee Propolis Be Sustainable?

Mother Earth News, 6/18/2014
It is often hard to explain to new customers why we do not have some of the typical beekeeper products on our farmer’s market tables. Our farm, Mockingbird Meadows, has 35 hives as of this writing and they sit prominently above our farm pond. That is surely enough hives that we have plenty of pollen, honey, propolis, comb and royal jelly to go around.
We raise our bees sustainably. To us this means that we focus our practices on the health of the bees, above all else. We want our bees to be self-sustaining and healthy without heroic intervention from us. Our strict practices carry the theme that the bee knows how to do “bee” business better than we do. We stay out of her way, provide an environment in which she can be successful and remove all stressors that we can control.
To this end, there are some bee products we simply will never carry on our farm in any significant quantity. Propolis is a product I see gaining momentum in natural health circles. While I do not refute the research that propolis is healthy for humans, I disagree with “farming” it per se…

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bee Venom Acupuncture Shows Promise in Parkinson's Disease

Medscape, 6/16/2014
Stockholm, Sweden — Both acupuncture and bee venom acupuncture showed promising results in improving symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease in a new small study.
The study was presented at the recent International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) 18th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.
Senor author of the study, Seong-Uk Park, MD, Stroke and Neurological Disorders Center, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Gangdong, Seoul, Korea, explained to Medscape Medical News that studies suggest acupuncture might be beneficial in Parkinson's disease by increasing the efflux and turnover of dopamine. It has also been suggested to enhance the benefits of L-dopa and alleviate the adverse effects.
Commenting on the results, Louis Tan, MD, National Neuroscience Institute in Singapore, who was not involved in the study, said, "The results showed significant improvement of movement outcomes with acupuncture and bee venom acupuncture. These results are important as it has been found that up to 70% of patients in some countries use complementary therapies for the management of Parkinson's disease."…

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ethiopian Propolis a Potential Sources of Natural Bio-Active Compounds

Characteristics and Chemical Compositions of Propolis from Ethiopia
Springerplus, 2014 May 20;3:253
Propolis is a sticky material mixed by honeybees to utilize it in protecting their hives from infection by bacteria and fungi. The therapeutic properties of propolis are due to its chemical composition with bio-active compounds; therefore, researchers are interested in studying its chemical constituents and biological properties. The main objective of this study is to determine the chemical compositions, characteristics and relative concentrations of organic compounds in the extractable organic matter of propolis samples collected from four different areas in Ethiopia.
The propolis samples were extracted with a mixture of dichloromethane and methanol and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).The results showed that the total extract yields ranged from 27.2% to 64.2% (46.7 ± 19.1%). The major compounds were triterpenoids (85.5 ± 15.0% of the total extracts, mainly α-, β-amyrins and amyryl acetates), n-alkanes (5.8 ± 7.5%), n-alkenes (6.2 ± 7.0%,), methyl n-alkanoates (0.4 ± 0.2%), and long chain wax esters (0.3 to 2.1%).
The chemical compositions of these propolis samples indicate that they are potential sources of natural bio-active compounds for biological and pharmacological applications.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Propolis Components May Help Prevent Cancer

Propolis cinnamic acid derivatives induce apoptosis through both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis signaling pathways and modulate of miRNA expression
Volume 21, Issues 8–9, July–August 2014, Pages 1070–1077
Propolis cinnamic acid derivatives have a number of biological activities including anti-oxidant and anti-cancer ones. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the mechanism of the anti-cancer activity of 3 representative propolis cinnamic acid derivatives, i.e., Artepilin C, Baccharin and Drupanin in human colon cancer cell lines. Our study demonstrated that these compounds had a potent apoptosis-inductive effect even on drug-resistant colon cancer cells. Combination treatment of human colon cancer DLD-1 cells with 2 of these compounds, each at its IC20 concentration, induced apoptosis by stimulating both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis signaling pathways. Especially, Baccharin plus Drupanin exhibited a synergistic growth-inhibitory effect by strengthening both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic signaling transduction through TRAIL/DR4/5 and/or FasL/Fas death-signaling loops and by increasing the expression level of miR-143, resulting in decreased expression levels of the target gene MAPK/Erk5 and its downstream target c-Myc.
These data suggest that the supplemental intake of these compounds found in propolis has enormous significance with respect to cancer prevention.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thyme Honey May Help Treat Prostate Cancer

A monoterpene, unique component of thyme honeys, induces apoptosis in prostate cancer cells via inhibition of NF-κB activity and IL-6 secretion
Phytomedicine, 2014 Jun 2. pii: S0944-7113(14)00216-5
We have previously demonstrated that Greek thyme honey inhibits significantly the cell viability of human prostate cancer cells. Herein, 15 thyme honey samples from several regions of Greece were submitted to phytochemical analysis for the isolation, identification and determination (through modern spectral means) of the unique thyme honey monoterpene, the compound trihydroxy ketone E-4-(1,2,4-trihydroxy-2,6,6-trimethylcyclohexyl)-but-3-en-2-one.
We investigated the anti-growth and apoptotic effects of the trihydroxy ketone on PC-3 human androgen independent prostate cancer cells using MTT assay and Annexin V-FITC respectively. The molecular pathways involved to such effects were further examined by evaluating its ability to inhibit (a) the NF-κB phosphorylation (S536), (b) JNK and Akt phosphorylation (Thr183/Tyr185 and S473 respectively) and (c) IL-6 production, using ELISA method. The anti-microbial effects of the trihydroxy ketone against a panel of nine pathogenic bacteria and three fungi were also assessed. The trihydroxy ketone exerted significant apoptotic activity in PC-3 prostate cancer cells at 100μM, while it inhibited NF-κB phosphorylation and IL-6 secretion at a concentration range 10-6-10-4M. Akt and JNK signaling were not found to participate in this process. The trihydroxy ketone exerted significant anti-microbial profile against many human pathogenic bacteria and fungi (MIC values ranged from 0.04 to 0.57mg/ml).
Conclusively, the Greek thyme honey-derived monoterpene exerted significant apoptotic activity in PC-3 cells, mediated, at least in part, through reduction of NF-κB activity and IL-6 secretion and may play a key role in the anti-growth effect of thyme honey on prostate cancer cells.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: Therapeutic Effects of Propolis Component CAPE

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester and Therapeutic Potentials
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 145342, 9 pages
Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a bioactive compound of propolis extract. The literature search elaborates that CAPE possesses antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cytotoxic properties. The principal objective of this review article is to sum up and critically assess the existing data about therapeutic effects of CAPE in different disorders.
The findings elaborate that CAPE is a versatile therapeutically active polyphenol and an effective adjuvant of chemotherapy for enhancing therapeutic efficacy and diminishing chemotherapy-induced toxicities.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Brazilian Red Propolis May Be Used as Food Additive to Protect Against Bacteria

Identification of the phenolic compounds contributing to antibacterial activity in ethanol extracts of Brazilian red propolis
Published online: 25 Mar 2014
The purpose of this study is to identify the quantity and antibacterial activity of the individual phenolic compounds in Brazilian red propolis. Quantitative analysis of the 12 phenolic compounds in Brazilian red propolis was carried out using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The main phenolic compounds in Brazilian red propolis were found to be (3S)-vestitol (1), (3S)-neovestitol (2) and (6aS,11aS)-medicarpin (4) with quantities of 72.9, 66.9 and 30.8 mg g of ethanol extracts− 1, respectively. Moreover, the antibacterial activities of each compound against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were evaluated by measuring the minimum inhibitory concentrations. In particular, compound 4 exhibited the most potent antibacterial activity among all the assayed compounds against selected bacteria, indicating that 4 is the most active compound in Brazilian red propolis extracts.
Thus, Brazilian red propolis may be used as food additives and pharmaceuticals to protect against bacteria.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Video: Bee Sting Therapy Can Help Common Health Problems

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pain relief without medication, but stings? 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on the unusual treatment and how it could be expanding.
We know about bees making honey and pollinating plants, and there’s something else. Bee sting therapy to help relieve pain.
“A big thing in my life was stay away from those bees,” said Pat Henry, a multiple sclerosis patient who no longer avoids them. For the past 16 years, bee sting therapy has been her only treatment. Every other day, two bee stings to the back of her neck and some more around her knees.
“In a couple of hours joint soreness goes away,” said Pat…

Sunday, June 15, 2014

11 Great Uses for Propolis

Most people are familiar with the gorgeous yellow and amber colors typical of honeycomb and beeswax. But another bee-produced substance exists and it doesn’t get discussed quite as much — propolis. Propolis is a resinous material that bees use to seal small cracks and gaps in the hive (beeswax seals the larger gaps). It’s made when bees collect resin from trees and other sources and mix it with a little bit of honey. Like its cousin, beeswax, propolis has been found to offer numerous health benefits, and many researchers are looking into its role for various therapeutic uses.
The Benefits and Uses for Propolis
In ancient cultures, propolis (or bee resin) was often used for abscesses and minor wounds. [1] [2] Bees, in an effort to close gaps in hives, use propolis as a precautionary measure to keep out dangerous microbes and fungi. [3] Recent findings have confirmed its potent action against many harmful pathogens and more research has established its enormous healing benefits. Here are some of the researched uses and health benefits of propolis.
Use #1: Discourage Infection…

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Surgihoney is an Effective Antimicrobial Dressing

The use of Surgihoney to prevent or eradicate bacterial colonisation in dressing oncology long vascular lines
J Wound Care, 2014 Jun;23(6):338-41

Objective: A pilot evaluation was performed to assess the effects of Surgihoney, an engineered honey with highly active antimicrobial activity, on bacterial colonisation in long lines in oncology patients.
Method: This prospective service evaluation was conducted at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) in England, UK, between 2012 and 2013. The study population consisted of oncology patients with central intravenous lines who were receiving outpatient chemotherapy. All patients were offered line dressing with or without Surgihoney, applied to the line exit site.
Results: The primary outcome measure of the study was the presence or absence of bacterial colonisation of the line site. There were 30 patients in each arm - with or without Surgihoney. In the Surgihoney arm, 2 patients with existing line site colonisation were cleared of bacterial colonisation and none acquired colonisation during the study period. In the non-treatment arm, 6 patients were colonised at the line site prior to screening or during the evaluation. Bacterial colonisation was maintained throughout the period.
Conclusion: Surgihoney is an effective antimicrobial line-site dressing, significantly reducing line site colonisation and eradicating existing colonisation. It was well tolerated by the patients.
Declaration of interest: Surgihoney supplies were donated by Healing Honey International (HHI) who also provided some funding to Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust for microbiological investigation. MD and JC have provided clinical advice in an advisory capacity to HHI.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Oral Mucositis in Cancer Patients

The Effect of Royal Jelly on Oral Mucositis in Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy
Holist Nurs Pract, 2014 July/August;28(4):242-246
This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of royal jelly on oral mucositis in patients undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The study population consisted of 103 patients undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Oral mucositis was graded according to the World Health Organization criteria, and patients were divided into 2 groups. All patients received mouthwash therapy with benzydamine hydrochloride and nystatin rinses. In addition, patients in the experimental group received royal jelly.
The mean resolution time of oral mucositis in the royal jelly group was significantly shorter than that of the control group. As a result, the study results demonstrate that royal jelly administrated by a certain procedure improved the signs and symptoms of oral mucositis and markedly shortened its healing time.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dark Honey Has Higher Phenolic Content Levels, Antioxidant Activity

Some qualitative properties of different monofloral honeys
Food Chem, 2014 Nov 15;163:212-8
In this study, physico-chemical properties of honeys samples obtained from different locations of Turkey were investigated. Moisture, diastase activity, Hydroxy Methyl Furfural (HMF), viscosity, acidity, total glucose+fructose, protein and ash contents of honey samples ranged from 17.1% to 20.0%, 10.9 to 17.9, 1.34 to 31.28mg/kg, 2.48 to 8.42Pas, 18.2 to 47.5meq/kg, 51.31% to 68.30%, 0.60% to 0.99% and 0.01% to 0.12%, respectively…
The magnesium was found at high level in all samples. Cornflower honey sample had the highest phenolic content (645.85mg/100g).
While antioxidant activity of cedar honey sample is found at the highest level, thorn honey sample showed the least antioxidant activity. In general, dark coloured honey samples had higher phenolic content levels and antioxidant activity than the light coloured honey samples.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Apiary Applauds New Manuka Honey Testing Method

Voxy, 6/10/2014
TE KOWHAI’S SummerGlow Apiaries has welcomed news from Hill Laboratories of a new manuka testing method which could save the honey industry millions of dollars a year.
The test checks for the "Manuka factor" are in the honey. This is an indicator of antibacterial activity, used to determine whether honey is pure manuka or a blend. Not all manuka honey has the unique activity and among those that do then the strength varies.
The tests used to cost $105 each, or $315 for all three, but "this new three-in-one can achieve it for only $70.
This initiative is an important step in the right direction. SummerGlow Apiaries applauds any scientific developments that focus the consumer on Manuka Honey's all important Non Peroxide Activity," says James Jeffrey of SummerGlow Apiaries…

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Using Honey to Treat an Anal Fistula

Honey is good when treating infection
By Megan Sheppard, Irish Examiner, 6/8/2014
* How do you cure an anal fistula when it becomes deep seated?
Is there any way that diet can improve healing, and what topical ointments can you use to keep away repeat infections without resorting to strong antibiotics?
>> Healing an anal fistula is a long and slow process, and what works well for one person may not work for another. It is important to feel at ease with your chosen health professional or, in some cases, team of health professionals. Ayurveda, homeopathy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine are all modalities worth considering...
As far as topical preparations go, I would suggest medicinal honey, which is particularly effective in treating infection associated with ulcers, cavities, depressions, fistulas, and abscesses. Active Manuka honey is more effective than hydrogen peroxide against the seven most common bacteria responsible for infection, including MRSA. Researchers at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff studied the effects of active manuka honey in treating MRSA present in leg ulcers and found it was completely eliminated from the wound, and the wound healed quickly…

Monday, June 09, 2014

Honey Prevents Growth of Single and Polymicrobial Pathogenic Cultures

Effects of natural honey on polymicrobial culture of various human pathogens
Arch Med Sci, 2014 May 12;10(2):246-50
Honey has a wide range of antimicrobial activity. All previous studies have considered honey's effect on a single microbe. The present study investigated activity of honey towards a high dose of single or polymicrobial culture.
10 µl specimens of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Streptococcus pyogenes (S. pyogenes), Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Candida albicans (C. albicans) were cultured in 10 ml of 10-100% (wt/v) honey diluted in broth. Six types of polymicrobial microbial cultures were prepared by culturing the isolates with each other onto broth (control) and broth containing various concentrations of honey (10-100% wt/v). Microbial growth was assessed on solid plate media after 24 h incubation.
Honey (30-70%) prevents growth of 10 µl specimens of all the isolates. Greater reduction in growth of E. coli was observed when cultured with S. aureus. Culturing of S. aureus with S. pyogenes, C. albicans, or E. coli increased its sensitivity to honey. S. aureus and S. pyogenes increased sensitivity of C. albicans to honey while E. coli and C. albicans decreased sensitivity of S. pyogenes.
It might be concluded that honey prevents and inhibits growth of single and polymicrobial pathogenic cultures. Polymicrobial culture affects growth of the isolates and increases their sensitivity to honey.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Manuka Honey Has Potent Anti-Viral Effect

Anti-influenza Viral Effects of Honey In Vitro: Potent High Activity of Manuka Honey
Available online 28 May 2014
Background and Aims
Influenza viruses are a serious threat to human health and cause thousands of deaths annually. Thus, there is an urgent requirement for the development of novel anti-influenza virus drugs. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-influenza viral activity of honey from various sources.
Antiviral activities of honey samples were evaluated using MDCK cells. To elucidate the possible mechanism of action of honey, plaque inhibition assays were used. Synergistic effects of honey with known anti-influenza virus drugs such as zanamivir or oseltamivir were tested.
Manuka honey efficiently inhibited influenza virus replication (IC50 = 3.6 ± 1.2 mg/mL; CC50 = 82.3 ± 2.2 mg/mL; selective index = 22.9), which is related to its virucidal effects. In the presence of 3.13 mg/mL manuka honey, the IC50 of zanamivir or oseltamivir was reduced to nearly 1/1000th of their single use.
Our results showed that honey, in general, and particularly manuka honey, has potent inhibitory activity against the influenza virus, demonstrating a potential medicinal value.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Malaysian Honeys are Rich Sources of Minerals with Trace Elements

Determination of Mineral, Trace Element, and Pesticide Levels in Honey Samples Originating from Different Regions of Malaysia Compared to Manuka Honey
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 359890, 10 pages
The present study was undertaken to determine the content of six minerals, five trace elements, and ten pesticide residues in honeys originating from different regions of Malaysia. Calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn) were analyzed by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS), while sodium (Na) and potassium (K) were analyzed by flame emission spectrometry (FAES). 
Trace elements such as arsenic (As), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), and cobalt (Co) were analyzed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) following the microwave digestion of honey. High mineral contents were observed in the investigated honeys with K, Na, Ca, and Fe being the most abundant elements (mean concentrations of 1349.34, 236.80, 183.67, and 162.31 mg/kg, resp.). The concentrations of the trace elements were within the recommended limits, indicating that the honeys were of good quality. Principal component analysis reveals good discrimination between the different honey samples. The pesticide analysis for the presence of organophosphorus and carbamates was performed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). No pesticide residues were detected in any of the investigated honey samples, indicating that the honeys were pure.
Our study reveals that Malaysian honeys are rich sources of minerals with trace elements present within permissible limits and that they are free from pesticide contamination.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Brazilian Green Propolis Exhibits Multiple Actions on Inflammation and Tissue Repair

Brazilian green propolis modulates inflammation, angiogenesis and fibrogenesis in intraperitoneal implant in mice
BMC Complement Altern Med, 2014 May 29;14(1):177
Chronic inflammatory processes in the peritoneal cavity develop as a result of ischemia, foreign body reaction, and trauma. Brazilian green propolis, a beeswax product, has been shown to exhibit multiple actions on inflammation and tissue repair. Our aim was to investigate the effects of this natural product on the inflammatory, angiogenic, and fibrogenic components of the peritoneal fibroproliferative tissue induced by a synthetic matrix.
Chronic inflammation was induced by placing polyether-polyurethane sponge discs in the abdominal cavity of anesthetized Swiss mice. Oral administration of propolis (500/mg/kg/day) by gavage started 24 hours after injury for four days. The effect of propolis on peritoneal permeability was evaluated through fluorescein diffusion rate 4 days post implantation. The effects of propolis on the inflammatory (myeloperoxidase and n-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase activities and TNF-alpha levels), angiogenic (hemoglobin content-Hb), and fibrogenic (TGF-beta1 and collagen deposition) components of the fibrovascular tissue in the implants were determined 5 days after the injury.
Propolis was able to decrease intraperitoneal permeability. The time taken for fluorescence to peak in the systemic circulation was 20 +/- 1 min in the treated group in contrast with 15 +/- 1 min in the control group. In addition, the treatment was shown to down-regulate angiogenesis (Hb content) and fibrosis by decreasing TGF-beta1 levels and collagen deposition in fibroproliferative tissue induced by the synthetic implants. Conversely, the treatment up-regulated inflammatory enzyme activities, TNF-alpha levels and gene expression of NOS2 and IFN-gamma (23 and 7 fold, respectively), and of FIZZ1 and YM1 (8 and 2 fold) when compared with the untreated group.
These observations show for the first time the effects of propolis modulating intraperitoneal inflammatory angiogenesis in mice and disclose important action mechanisms of the compound (downregulation of angiogenic components and activation of murine macrophage pathways).

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Royal Jelly May Help Boost Memory of Elderly

Long-term administration of Greek royal jelly improves spatial memory and influences the concentration of brain neurotransmitters in naturally aged wistar male rats
J Ethnopharmacol, 2014 May 29. pii: S0378-8741(14)00401-2
Royal Jelly (RJ) is a bee-derived product that has been traditionally used in the European and Asian systems of medicine for longevity. RJ has various pharmacological activities that may prevent aging e.g., anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-hypercholesterolemic and anti-hyperglycemic properties.
To evaluate the behavioral and neurochemical effects of long-term oral, previously chemically analyzed, Greek RJ administration to aged rats.
RJ powder was given to 18-month old male Wistar rats (50 and 100mg of powder/kg b.w./day) by gastric gavage for 2 months. The spatial memory was assessed in the water maze and next the level of neurotransmitters, their metabolites and utilization in the selected brain regions were estimated.
The improvement of memory in rats pretreated with the smaller dose of RJ was observed compared with controls. In biochemical examination mainly the depletion of dopamine and serotonin in the prefrontal cortex alongwith an increase in their metabolite concentration and turnover were seen.
Better cognitive performance in the old animals using a non-toxic, natural food product in the view of the process of the aging of human population is noteworthy. Our results contribute towards validation of the traditional use of RJ in promoting a better quality of life in old age.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Inhalation of Honey May Help Treat Chronic Asthma

Inhalation of honey reduces airway inflammation and histopathological changes in a rabbit model of ovalbumin-induced chronic asthma
BMC Complement Altern Med, 2014 May 29;14(1):176
Honey is widely used in folk medicine to treat cough, fever, and inflammation. In this study, the effect of aerosolised honey on airway tissues in a rabbit model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma was investigated. The ability of honey to act either as a rescuing agent in alleviating asthma-related symptoms or as a preventive agent to preclude the occurrence of asthma was also assessed.
Forty New Zealand white rabbits were sensitized twice with mixture of OVA and aluminium hydroxide on days 1 and 14. Honey treatments were given from day 23 to day 25 at two different doses (25% (v/v) and 50% (v/v) of honey diluted in sterile phosphate buffer saline. In the aerosolised honey as a rescue agent group, animals were euthanized on day 28; for the preventive group, animals were further exposed to aerosolised OVA for 3 days starting from day 28 and euthanized on day 31. The effects of honey on inflammatory cell response, airway inflammation, and goblet cell hyperplasia were assessed for each animal.
Histopathological analyses revealed that aerosolised honey resulted in structural changes of the epithelium, mucosa, and submucosal regions of the airway that caused by the induction with Ova. Treatment with aerosolised honey has reduced the number of airway inflammatory cells present in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and inhibited the goblet cell hyperplasia.
In this study, aerosolised honey was used to effectively treat and manage asthma in rabbits, and it could prove to be a promising treatment for asthma in humans. Future studies with a larger sample size and studies at the gene expression level are needed to better understand the mechanisms by which aerosolised honey reduces asthma symptoms.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Bee Venom Component May Boost Treatment of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ESCC)

Melittin radiosensitizes esophageal squamous cell carcinoma with induction of apoptosis in vitro and in vivo
Tumour Biol, 2014 May 29
Currently, unresectable esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is primarily treated by chemoradiotherapy. However, the outcome has not improved significantly because of radioresistance of cancer cells. This study aimed to determine the radiosensitizing effect of melittin, a novel component of bee venom, in ESCC. ESCC cell lines were irradiated with or without melittin. Cell proliferation was detected by Cell Counting Kit 8 assay. Radiosensitization was evaluated by clonogenic survival assay. Cell apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry.
Results show that melittin potently sensitized ESCC cells to radiation with a sensitization enhancement ratio of 1.15-1.42. Radiosensitization was accompanied with enhanced apoptosis and regulated by apoptosis proteins. The results were confirmed by in vivo studies on tumor-bearing xenografts. In summary, these results provide support that melittin may be a potentially promising radiosensitizer in ESCC radiation therapy.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Bee Venom Component May Help Treat Liver Disease

Protective effects of melittin on tumor necrosis factor-α induced hepatic damage through suppression of apoptotic pathway and nuclear factor-kappa B activation
Exp Biol Med (Maywood), 2014 May 28

Melittin, a major polypeptide in honeybee venom, have been used to treat inflammatory disease. Various studies have demonstrated the anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects of bee venom and melittin. However, the precise mechanism of melittin in liver disease is not yet known.
Apoptosis contributes to liver inflammation and fibrosis. Knowledge of the apoptotic mechanisms is important to develop new and effective therapies for treatment of cirrhosis. In the present study, we investigated the anti-apoptotic effect of melittin on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α/actinomycin (Act) D-induced apoptosis in hepatocytes. Our results show significant protection from DNA damage by melittin treatment compared with corresponding TNF-α/Act D-treated hepatocytes without melittin. Melittin inhibited TNF-α/Act D-induced activation of the caspase, bcl-2 family of proteins and poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP)-1.
Our results also indicate that melittin decreased nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) by degradation of phosphorylation of IκB kinase (p-IKK) and NF-κB DNA binding activity in TNF-α/Act D-treated hepatocytes. These results suggest that melittin possesses a potent suppressive effect on apoptotic responses in TNF-α/Act D-treated hepatocytes via the NF-κB pathway.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Honey Helps Boost Memory

Neurological Effects of Honey: Current and Future Prospects
Honey is the only insect-derived natural product with therapeutic, traditional, spiritual, nutritional, cosmetic, and industrial value. In addition to having excellent nutritional value, honey is a good source of physiologically active natural compounds, such as polyphenols. Unfortunately, there are very few current research projects investigating the nootropic and neuropharmacological effects of honey, and these are still in their early stages.
Raw honey possesses nootropic effects, such as memory-enhancing effects, as well as neuropharmacological activities, such as anxiolytic, antinociceptive, anticonvulsant, and antidepressant activities. Research suggests that the polyphenol constituents of honey can quench biological reactive oxygen species and counter oxidative stress while restoring the cellular antioxidant defense system. Honey polyphenols are also directly involved in apoptotic activities while attenuating microglia-induced neuroinflammation. Honey polyphenols are useful in improving memory deficits and can act at the molecular level.
Therefore, the ultimate biochemical impact of honey on specific neurodegenerative diseases, apoptosis, necrosis, neuroinflammation, synaptic plasticity, and behavior-modulating neural circuitry should be evaluated with appropriate mechanistic approaches using biochemical and molecular tools.