Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Apitherapy Gains Popularity in Oman

Oman Observer, 12/28/2014

Have you ever wondered how many products the honeybee provides and what wonderful benefits they hold out for humans? Honey is just one of the many products the honeybees produce. Dr Hassan Talib al Lawati, who was the first in the Sultanate to do research on bee products, says all bee products including honey, pollen, royal jelly (also called bee saliva, spit or milk), propolis, venom, beeswax, beehive smell (as nebuliser), bee larvae and even bee sound are used as medicine. Honey, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly are in maximum use.

honeybee_genehansonAfter studying apitherapy (bee therapy) in Germany, Russia and Portugal, he opened a Bee Products Healing Centre in 2009. Five years of success of this clinic show that bee products have great healing powers and apitherapy, which involves the use of bee products as medicine, has been growing in popularity in Oman.

He uses all bee products in the form of cream, soaps, syrups and bee sting for healing a host of conditions related to muscle, nerve, skin, hair falling, cough, throat, eye infection, flue, and sinuses. Honeybee products are also used for multiple sclerosis, arthritis, wounds, pain, gout, shingles, burns, tendonitis, and infections.

Located in Al Khuwair at Al Amal Medical and Health Centre (7th floor), the Bee Products Healing Centre provides a perfect platform to see apitherapy in action and all bee products which are used for various healing purposes. It is also a chance to speak to others who may have already benefited from this therapy…

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Propolis May Help Treat Dermatitis

Suppression of skin inflammation in keratinocytes and acute/chronic disease models by caffeic acid phenethyl ester
Archives of Dermatological Research
December 2014

Skin inflammation plays a central role in the pathophysiology and symptoms of diverse chronic skin diseases including atopic dermatitis (AD). In this study, we examined if caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a skin-permeable bioactive compound from propolis, was protective against skin inflammation using in vitro cell system and in vivo animal disease models. CAPE suppressed TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation and expression of inflammatory cytokines in human keratinocytes (HaCaT).

The potency and efficacy of CAPE were superior to those of a non-phenethyl derivative, caffeic acid. Consistently, topical treatment of CAPE (0.5 %) attenuated 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate(TPA)-induced skin inflammation on mouse ear as CAPE reduced ear swelling and histologic inflammation scores. CAPE suppressed increased expression of pro-inflammatory molecules such as TNF-α, cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible NO synthase in TPA-stimulated skin. TPA-induced phosphorylation of IκB and ERK was blocked by CAPE suggesting that protective effects of CAPE on skin inflammation is attributed to inhibition of NF-κB activation. Most importantly, in an oxazolone-induced chronic dermatitis model, topical application of CAPE (0.5 and 1 %) was effective in alleviating AD-like symptoms such as increases of trans-epidermal water loss, skin thickening and serum IgE as well as histologic inflammation assessment.

Collectively, our results propose CAPE as a promising candidate for a novel topical drug for skin inflammatory diseases.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Malaysian Tualang Honey Reduces Ovarian Toxicity

Potential protective effect of Tualang honey on BPA-induced ovarian toxicity in prepubertal rat
To investigate the potential protective effects of Tualang honey against the toxicity effects induced by Bisphenol A (BPA) on pubertal development of ovaries.
This study was conducted on pre-pubertal female Sprague Dawley rats. Animals were divided into four groups (n = 8 in each group). Group I was administered with vehicle 0.2 ml of corn oil (Sigma-Aldrich, USA) using oral gavage daily for six weeks; these animals served as negative control (CO group), Group II was administered with BPA suspended in corn oil at 10 mg/kg body weight and served as positive control (PC group), Group III was administered with 200 mg/kg body weight of Tualang honey 30 min before the administration of BPA at 10 mg/kg (TH group) while Group IV was administered with 200 mg/kg body weight of Tualang honey 30 min before the administration of corn oil (THC group). Body weight of all animals were monitored weekly.
The BPA-exposed animals exhibited disruption of their estrus cycle, while those animals treated with BPA together with Tualang honey, exhibited an improvement in percentage of normal estrous cycle. Their ovaries had lower numbers of atretic follicles compared to the PC group but higher than the CO group.
Tualang honey has a potential role in reducing BPA-induced ovarian toxicity by reducing the morphological abnormalities of the ovarian follicles and improving the normal estrous cycle.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Have you heard about the bee venom facial?

TNN | Dec 26, 2014
Bee venom facials are slowly catching up as a beauty treatment around the world. Used by Catherine Middleton and a number of Hollywood stars, this trend is known to make the skin dewy and fresh.
How does it work?
Bee venom facials and face masks act as cleansing, tightening, softening and nourishing agents for the skin. Hollywood celebrities like Victoria Beckham and Gywenth Paltrow are known to swear by this quirky beauty treatment. Besides making the skin glow, this facial also helps as an anti-aging formula...

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Royal Jelly Effective in Reducing Mucositis Induced by Chemoradiotherapy

The effect of topical application of royal jelly on chemoradiotherapy-induced mucositis in head and neck cancer: a preliminary study
Int J Otolaryngol. 2014;2014:974967
Purpose. One of the common side effects experienced by head and neck cancer patients on chemoradiotherapy is mucositis. Severe mucositis may be controllable by limiting cancer therapy, but it has resulted in decreasing the completion rate of chemoradiotherapy. The efficacy of royal jelly (RJ) as prophylaxis against chemoradiotherapy-induced mucositis was evaluated through clinical scoring of oral and pharyngeal mucositis.
Methods. In this randomized, single-blind (physician-blind), clinical trial, 13 patients with head and neck cancer requiring chemoradiation were randomly assigned to two groups. Seven patients assigned to the study group received RJ, and 6 patients were assigned to the control group. RJ group patients took RJ three times per day during treatment. The patients in both groups were evaluated twice a week for the development of mucositis using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0.
Results. A significant reduction in mucositis was seen among RJ-treated patients compared with controls (P < 0.001).
Conclusion. This study demonstrated that prophylactic use of RJ was effective in reducing mucositis induced by chemoradiotherapy in head and neck cancer patients. However, further studies are needed because of the small sample size and the absence of double blinding.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Aged and Fresh Propolis Have Similar Qualitative Composition

A Comparison between Characterization and Biological Properties of Brazilian Fresh and Aged Propolis
Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:257617
Objective. As propolis is a highly valued bee product, we aimed to verify the quality of aged propolis, investigating their phenolic and flavonoid composition, levels of toxic metals, radical scavenging and antimicrobial activities. Material and Methods. Samples of fresh and aged propolis of six different beekeepers, from the same geographical location, were investigated in terms of their phenolic and flavonoid composition and levels of Pb, Cd, and Cr, as well as radical scavenging and antimicrobial activities. Results. The two groups of propolis had similar qualitative composition by HPLC-PDA and ESI(-)-MS. Fresh propolis and aged propolis show no differences when average values of extraction yield, flavonoids, EC50, or MIC were compared and both types of propolis showed good antimicrobial activity at low concentrations. Only levels of phenolic compounds were higher in fresh propolis.
Conclusion. The propolis samples considered in this study, aged or fresh, had similar qualitative composition, although they were collected in different periods. Samples only differed in their levels of total phenolic content. Moreover, aged propolis conserves significant radical scavenging and antimicrobial properties. We suggest that aged propolis should not be discarded but explored for alternative applications.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Bangladeshi Sundarban Honey Helps Protect Liver and Kidneys

Protective Effect of Sundarban Honey against Acetaminophen-Induced Acute Hepatonephrotoxicity in Rats
Honey, a supersaturated natural product of honey bees, contains complex compounds with antioxidant properties and therefore has a wide a range of applications in both traditional and modern medicine.
In the present study, the protective effects of Sundarban honey from Bangladesh against acetaminophen- (APAP-) induced hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity in experimental rats were investigated. Adult male Wistar rats were pretreated with honey (5 g/kg) for 4 weeks, followed by the induction of hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity via the oral administration of a single dose of APAP (2 g/kg). Organ damage was confirmed by measuring the elevation of serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), total protein (TP), total bilirubin (TB), urea, creatinine, and malondialdehyde (MDA). Histopathological alterations observed in the livers and the kidneys further confirmed oxidative damage to these tissues.
Animals pretreated with Sundarban honey showed significantly markedly reduced levels of all of the investigated parameters. In addition, Sundarban honey ameliorated the altered hepatic and renal morphology in APAP-treated rats. Overall, our findings indicate that Sundarban honey protects against APAP-induced acute hepatic and renal damage, which could be attributed to the honey's antioxidant properties.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Propolis Component Has Antidepressant Effect

Novel Antidepressant-Like Activity of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester is Mediated by Enhanced Glucocorticoid Receptor Function in the Hippocampus
Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an active component of propolis that has a variety of potential pharmacological effects. Although we previously demonstrated that propolis has antidepressant-like activity, the effect of CAPE on this activity remains unknown. The present study assessed whether treatment with CAPE (5, 10, and 20 µmol/kg for 21 days) has an antidepressant-like effect in mice subjected to chronic unpredictable stress via tail suspension (TST) and forced swim (FST) tests.
CAPE administration induced behaviors consistent with an antidepressant effect, evidenced by decreased immobility in the TST and FST independent of any effect on serum corticosterone secretion. Western blots, conducted subsequent to behavioral assessment, revealed that CAPE significantly decreased glucocorticoid receptor phosphorylation at S234 (pGR(S234)), resulting in an increased pGR(S220/S234) ratio. We also observed negative correlations between pGR(S220)/(S234) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) phosphorylation, which was decreased by CAPE treatment. These findings suggest that CAPE treatment exerts an antidepressant-like effect via downregulation of p38MAPK phosphorylation, thereby contributing to enhanced GR function.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Black Seed (Nigella Sativa) Honey Shows Anti-HIV Activity

Anti-HIV-1 Activity of Eight Monofloral Iranian Honey Types
PLoS One. 2014; 9(10): e108195
Monofloral Iranian honeys from eight floral sources were analyzed to determine their anti-HIV-1 activities as well as their effects on lymphocyte proliferation. The Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) used in this study were prepared from five healthy volunteers who were seronegative for HIV, HCV, HBV and TB.
The anti-HIV-1 activity of eight different honeys was performed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and high pure viral nucleic acid kit. The results demonstrated that monofloral honeys from Petro selinum sativum, Nigella sativa, Citrus sinensis, Zataria multiflora, Citrus aurantium and Zizyphus mauritiana flowers had potent anti-HIV-1 activity with half maximal effective concentration (EC50) values of 37.5, 88, 70, 88, 105 and 5 µg/ml respectively. However, monofloral Iranian honeys from Astragalus gummifer and Chamaemelum nobile flowers had weak anti-HIV-1 activity. The frequency and intensity of CD4 expression on PBMCs increased in the presence of all honey types. CD19 marker were also increased after the treatment with monofloral honeys from Z.multiflora and N. sativa.
The anti-HIV-1 agent in monofloral honeys from P.sativum, N. sativa, Z. multiflora and Z. mauritiana flowers was detected by spectroscopic analysis as methylglyoxal. Time of drug addition studies demonstrated that the inhibitory effect of methylglyoxal is higher on the late stage of HIV-1 infection. The result demonstrated that methylglyoxal isolated from monofloral honey types is a good candidate for preclinical evaluation of anti-HIV-1 therapies.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Croatian Pet Medications Use Propolis, Bee Pollen

Dogs Treated with Natural Remedies Made from Bees
SWNS, 12/19/2014
Sick dogs are being treated for the first time with medicines made by BEES.
Natural remedies including pollen and honey have been given to humans for thousands of years.
But the benefits of the powerful remedy for man’s best friend had not been fully explored. 
Now a Croatian firm has managed for the first time to make medicines containing honey and pollen from bees that are effective.
Hedera has developed a unique product line for dogs called Apipet. It is an organic treatment based on bee products propolis and pollen.
A spokesman said: ‘Apipet are the only bee products in the world produced on completely natural and holistic principle.
‘The products are the result of years of research on the impact of bee products on health. Uniqueness of Apipet is that every product is made completely without any chemical method (extraction, synthesis, dissolving in alcohol, etc.), any additives (flavours, colors, bulking or anti caking agents.), which are commonly used in production of supplements.’
Apipet line is made of five products intended for special purposes and different body system in dogs: immunity, digestion, skin and hair, cartilage and joints, strength and vitality…

Sunday, December 21, 2014

UK Researcher Looks at Using Honey to Treat Wounds in Horses

VET’S DIARY: Wound treatment not such a sweet solution
In the equine department, we have seen an increase in the number of wounds and injuries over the last few weeks, writes Edward Chinn.
Longer nights and less grass in the field results in some horses becoming bored and spending more time standing around the gate waiting for feed time. This can lead to a kick or a leg caught in a gate as they are bustling for the best position.
It was perfect timing to have an evening lecture from an equine specialist updating local vets on the latest in equine wound management.
Patrick Pollock, from Glasgow University, had some fascinating research into the latest dressings available. His department has been conducting research into the types of protein found in equine wounds and how these compare in healthy, healing wounds compared to non-healing wounds. This exciting, ground-breaking research has produced a scientific method to monitor whether a topical treatment or dressing is genuinely aiding wound healing or hindering it.
This is more difficult to monitor than you might imagine as the body will do all it can to heal a wound even in an adverse healing environment. Often wounds would be far better simply flushed with water from a hosepipe or saline solution rather than being hindered by products such as ‘wound powder’ or ‘purple spray’. It would be very interesting to use this new procedure to evaluate the claims of the many ‘miracle cures’ for healing wounds found on an internet search!
Patrick has also been conducting research into the use of honey on wounds.
The use of honey as a topical treatment for wounds has been well publicised but will any honey from the supermarket do? It is quite alarming the range and quantity of bacteria which he cultured from honey obtained from food outlets.
He seriously questions if you would want to put them on your toast, let alone on a wound. So you do need to use sterile medical-grade honey.
Manuka honey is honey made from the nectar of the manuka tree found in New Zealand and Australia.
Manuka honey from supermarkets may only contain a small amount of manuka honey blended with other honeys and is not sterile. It should be noted that pure Scottish heather honey had similar antibacterial properties to manuka honey. The Kiwis always have been very good at marketing!
It is also proposed that honey is considerably more useful in the initial stages of healing and not later on…

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Propolis Extract May Help Treat Dengue Fever

The effect of a unique propolis compound (Propoelix™) on clinical outcomes in patients with dengue hemorrhagic fever
Infect Drug Resist. 2014; 7: 323–329.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne virus belonging to the family Flaviviridae. It is an old virus that has re-emerged globally over the past 20 years and now causes a global burden of 50 million infections per year across approximately 100 countries. Despite this, there is no safe vaccine available, and therapy is largely supportive. Its pathogenesis is multifaceted and currently still poorly understood, leading to a lack of disease-specific therapy. Propolis is a natural antiviral and anti-inflammatory product derived from the saps of plants and mixed with the saliva of honeybees. Propoelix™ is a uniquely potent and water-soluble extract of propolis containing high concentrations of anti-inflammatory compounds like caffeic acid phenethyl ester.
The primary objective is to determine the effectiveness of a unique propolis extract (Propoelix™) on the clinical course of patients with dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). The secondary objective is to examine the effect of Propoelix™ on tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels in patients with DHF.
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at the Department of Internal Medicine, Gatot Soebroto Central Army Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, from May 2012 to July 2013. Sixty-three patients who met the inclusion criteria were enrolled in the trial. Patients were randomized to receive either two capsules of Propoelix™ 200 mg three times a day or placebo daily for 7 days. Clinical and laboratory variables of both groups, including the anti-inflammatory marker TNF-α, were investigated. Patients were deemed technically fit for discharge if their platelet counts had recovered and exceeded 100,000/μL but were all observed as inpatients for 7 days.
There were 31 patients in the Propoelix™ treatment group and 32 patients in the placebo group. Platelet counts in the Propoelix™-treated group showed a trend toward a faster recovery by day 3 of admission and became statistically significant by day 6 (101.42±48.79 vs 80.78±43.35 [103/mL], P=0.042) and day 7 (146.67±64.68 vs 107.84±57.22 [103/mL], P=0.006). Patients treated with Propoelix™ had a significantly greater decline in TNF-α levels on day 7 of therapy compared with patients in the placebo group (P=0.018). They also had a significantly shorter length of hospitalization compared with those in the placebo group (4.69±0.78 days vs 5.46±1.16 days, P=0.012).
Propoelix™ appears to hasten the improvement in platelet counts and TNF-α levels and shortens the duration of hospitalization in patients with DHF.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Diabetic 'Health Honey' a Reality Thanks to Nanotechnology and Stevia

By RJ Whitehead, 09-Dec-2014
A new hybridised pollen, developed by a former Nasa scientist, can be fed to bees to create a new species of “designer honey” for use by diabetics.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bee Venom Boosts Effectiveness of Anti-Cancer Drug

Combined antitumor effects of bee venom and cisplatin on human cervical and laryngeal carcinoma cells and their drug resistant sublines
J Appl Toxicol. 2014 Dec;34(12):1332-41
In the present study, we investigated the possible combined anticancer ability of bee venom (BV) and cisplatin towards two pairs of tumour cell lines: parental cervical carcinoma HeLa cells and their cisplatin-resistant HeLa CK subline,as well as laryngeal carcinoma HEp-2 cells and their cisplatin-resistant CK2 subline.
Additionally, we identified several peptides of BV in the BV sample used in the course of the study and determined the exact concentration of MEL. BV applied alone in concentrations of 30 to 60 μg ml(–1) displayed dose-dependent cytotoxicity against all cell lines tested. Cisplatin-resistant cervical carcinoma cells were more sensitive to BV than their parental cell lines (IC(50) values were 52.50 μg ml(–1) for HeLa vs.47.64 μg ml(–1) for HeLa CK cells), whereas opposite results were obtained for cisplatin-resistant laryngeal carcinoma cells (IC(50) values were 51.98 μg ml(–1) for HEp-2 vs. > 60.00 μg ml(–1) for CK2 cells).
Treatment with BV alone induced a necrotic type of cell death, as shown by characteristic morphological features, fast staining with ethidium-bromide and a lack of cleavage of apoptotic marker poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) on Western blot. Combined treatment of BV and cisplatin induced an additive and/or weak synergistic effect towards tested cell lines, suggesting that BV could enhance the killing effect of selected cells when combined with cisplatin. Therefore, a greater anticancer effect could be triggered if BV was used in the course of chemotherapy.
Our results suggest that combined treatment with BV could be useful from the point of minimizing the cisplatin concentration during chemotherapy, consequently reducing and/or postponing the development of cisplatin resistance.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How can bee colony algorithm serve medicine?

World J Plast Surg. 2014 Jul;3(2):87-92
Healthcare professionals usually should make complex decisions with far reaching consequences and associated risks in health care fields. As it was demonstrated in other industries, the ability to drill down into pertinent data to explore knowledge behind the data can greatly facilitate superior, informed decisions to ensue the facts. Nature has always inspired researchers to develop models of solving the problems. Bee colony algorithm (BCA), based on the self-organized behavior of social insects is one of the most popular member of the family of population oriented, nature inspired meta-heuristic swarm intelligence method which has been proved its superiority over some other nature inspired algorithms. The objective of this model was to identify valid novel, potentially useful, and understandable correlations and patterns in existing data. This review employs a thematic analysis of online series of academic papers to outline BCA in medical hive, reducing the response and computational time and optimizing the problems. To illustrate the benefits of this model, the cases of disease diagnose system are presented.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

5 Reasons Why Bee Products Revitalize Your Health

Care2, 12/8/2014
I wasn’t always a honeybee lover. But, after directing the documentary film Vanishing of the Bees, narrated by Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page, I became an advocate for countless reasons. This fuzzy insect is one of endless surprise and delight.
For starters, honeybees are a female society, 95 percent of the hive are made up female workers, sisters to each other, and daughters of the Queen. They are considered to be ancient messengers as well as teachers when it comes to things such as cooperation, industriousness and adaptability.
They are selfless and work together with swarm intelligence for the greater good of the hive. They do amazing things like beat their wings at 250 times a second, twisting them for maximum lift.
And yet honeybees, who also pollinate one out of three every bites of the food we eat (everything from avocados to zucchinis), are disappearing all over the world, thanks in large part to nicotine-based pesticides called neonicotinoids. This past year marks the highest losses of honeybee populations in the country.
At very low doses, these systemic pesticides negatively impact the immune system of the bee, interfere with their nervous systems and impact their navigational capabilities, causing tremors, paralysis and eventually death. These pesticides, which were first registered for use in the mid-1990s, are also poisoning our food supply, negatively impacting other pollinators, and have now made their way into American rivers. They also impair developing (human) brains.
Unfortunately, pesticides are still being used in the U.S., even though the European Commission recently proposed a two-year ban on three of these systemic insecticides to give researchers time to determine the actual effects. This is called the Precautionary Principle. In the U.S., we just pump pesticides out into the environment and blindly trust the studies that have been conducted by the actual makers of these poisons. That’s right, the Environmental Protection Agency does not do any independent research.
With that said, I do believe that progress is being made and that the honeybee is on the forefront of our consciousness more than ever before. It is up to us to continue to spread the buzz about bees.
Michael Pollan says, “vote with your fork.” We cannot afford to lose these sacred creatures. They are the reason why we have nutritious food to eat, and, to top it all off, so many substances they create are medicinal and magical.
Here are five reasons why bee goods revitalize your health.
1. Raw Honey: Nectar of the Gods
In her six-week life span, a honeybee will only produce a quarter of a teaspoon of honey. Think of the cooperation that is required to accomplish this the next time you come across a jar of honey. The ancient Greeks referred to honey as the “nectar of the gods” and the benefits of raw honey are numerous. Honeybees from a typical hive visit approximately 225,000 flowers per day.
Honey, which is literally bee vomit, is both antibacterial and antifungal – so much so that it’s the only food that never spoils. This liquid gold is so potent that it’s been shown to even kill the deadly bacteria MSRA! Honey is also loaded with minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. Honey can be used against coughs, to treat burns, to build up your immune system, as wound dressing and even as a face mask…

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Propolis Can Help Prevent Cavities

Propolis - based chitosan varnish: drug delivery, controlled release and antimicrobial activity against oral pathogen bacteria
Dental caries is the most prevalent oral disease in several Asian and Latin American countries. It is an infectious disease and different types of bacteria are involved in the process.
Synthetic antimicrobials are used against this disease; however, many of these substances cause unwarranted undesirable effects like vomiting, diarrhea and tooth staining. Propolis, a resinous substance collected by honeybees, has been used to control the oral microbiota.
So, the objective of this study was to develop and characterize sustained-release propolis-based chitosan varnish useful on dental cariogenic biofilm prevention, besides the in vitro antimicrobial activity.
Methods: Three formulations of propolis - based chitosan varnish (PCV) containing different concentrations (5%, 10% and 15%) were produced by dissolution of propolis with chitosan on hydro-alcoholic vehicle. Bovine teeth were used for testing adhesion of coatings and to observe the controlled release of propolis associated with varnish.
It was characterized by infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, casting time, diffusion test in vitro antimicrobial activity and controlled release. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) were tested for the main microorganisms involved in the cariogenic biofilm through the microdilution test in 96-well plates.
Results: The formulations presented a tooth surface adherence and were able to form films very fast on bovine tooth surface.
Also, propolis-based chitosan varnishes have shown antimicrobial activity similar to or better than chlorhexidine varnish against all oral pathogen bacteria. All microorganisms were sensitive to propolis varnish and chitosan.
MIC and MBC for microorganisms of cariogenic biofilme showed better results than chlorhexidine. Propolis active components were released for more than one week.
Conclusion: All developed formulations turn them, 5%, 10% and 15% propolis content varnish, into products suitable for clinical application on dental caries prevention field, deserving clinical studies to confirm its in vivo activity.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Honey Bees Used to Detect Diabetes

Let’s Explore Diabetes With Honeybees (Seriously — It Could Work In Urban Slums)
WBUR, August 21, 2014
The latest book by humorist David Sedaris is implausibly titled “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.” But as we all know, life is stranger than literature: Now, an imaginative team of social entrepreneurs has devised a way to explore diabetes with bees — that is, to train honeybees to diagnose hidden cases of diabetes…

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Bee Pollen Diet

Bee Pollen is a Superfood
Newsletter of the American Apitherapy Society, December 2014
By Dr. Patrick Fratellone, MD RH (AHG) FIM
There are many DIETS on the market. There must be at least 300 – including and not limited to Atkins, South Beach, God Makers Diet, etc, etc. Most are all derivatives of the Robert Atkins LOW CARB lifestyle, all different in the amount and source of fat and protein. But I found a diet that is NOT derived from Atkins, It is the Bee Pollen Diet.
Why bee pollen?
Pollen is considered an energy and nutritive tonic in Chinese medicine. Cultures throughout the world use it in a surprising number of applications: for improving endurance and vitality, extending longevity, aiding recovery from chronic illness, adding weight during convalescence, reducing cravings and addictions, regulating the intestines, building new blood, preventing infectious diseases such as the cold and the flu (it has antibiotic type properties), and helping to overcome retardation and other developmental problems in children. It is thought to protect against radiation and to have anti-cancer qualities.
Nutrient deficiencies and all the health problems they cause are recognized worldwide as a growing problem. Because bee pollen contains all the nutrients needed to sustain life, it is being used on an ever larger scale for human nourishment and health. Science teaches that bee pollen contains many substances that combine to make it a healthy, nutritious, complete food. There are numerous reports from medical experience that conclusively show that the benefits of bee pollen exceed that of a simple food item, and the bees do most of the work.
Bee-gathered pollens are rich in proteins, free amino acids, vitamins, including Bcomplex, and folic acid.
This data was presented by Antonio Couto from Portugal- Apitherapist, Beekeeper, Researcher and Inventor at the 2014 American Apitherapy Society meeting in Chicago May 1- 4th. He started the lifestyle with initial blood testing based on research from the previous Soviet Union which is now Georgia from the Longevity Institute under Nicolai Vasilleuch. The book he suggested can be useful but difficult to obtain is,”The Healing Powers of Pollen” by Patrice Percie du Sert published in 2006. Antonio used pollen from the Cistus plant ( Rock rose) which is easily accessible in that region of his country.
On a daily basis after some bulking, Antonio took the following:
1. 20 g of pollen
2. 1 tablespoon of honey
3. 1 tablespoon of bee bread
4. 10 drops of tincture of propolis
5. some odd fruit
There were no animal products...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bee Venom Acupunture a Promising Neuroprotective Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

Neuroprotective effects of bee venom acupuncture therapy against rotenone-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis
Neurochem Int. 2014 Dec 3. pii: S0197-0186(14)00247-2
Parkinson disease (PD), the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder, is characterized by dopaminergic neurodegeneration, mitochondrial impairment, and oxidative stress. Exposure of animals to rotenone induces a range of responses characteristics of PD, including reactive oxygen species production and dopaminergic cell death. Although l-dopa is the drug of choice for improving core symptoms of PD, it is associated with involuntary movements. The current study was directed to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of bee venom acupuncture therapy (BVA) against rotenone-induced oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and apoptosis in PD mouse model. Forty male Swiss mice were divided into four groups; (1): received saline solution orally and served as normal control, (2): received rotenone (1.5 mg/kg, s.c, everyother day for 6 doses), (3): received rotenone concomitantly with l-dopa (25 mg/kg, daily, p.o, for 6 days), and finally (4): received rotenone concomitantly with BVA (0.02 ml once every 3 days for two weeks). Rotenone-treated mice showed impairment in locomotor behavior and a significant reduction in brain dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, GSH levels, and paraoxonase activity. Whereas a significant increase was observed in brain malondialdehyde, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-β levels besides DNA damage, and over-expression of caspase-3, Bax, and Bcl-2 genes. Significant improvement of the aforementioned parameters was demonstrated after BVA compared to l-dopa therapy. In conclusion, bee venom normalized all the neuroinflammatory and apoptotic markers and restored brain neurochemistry after rotenone injury. Therefore, BVA is a promising neuroprotective therapy for PD.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

First Comprehensive Royal Jelly Phosphorylation Atlas

In-Depth Phosphoproteomic Analysis of Royal Jelly Derived from Western and Eastern Honeybee Species
J. Proteome Res., 2014, 13 (12), pp 5928–5943
The proteins in royal jelly (RJ) play a pivotal role in the nutrition, immune defense, and cast determination of honeybee larvae and have a wide range of pharmacological and health-promoting functions for humans as well. Although the importance of post-translational modifications (PTMs) in protein function is known, investigation of protein phosphorylation of RJ proteins is still very limited.
To this end, two complementary phosphopeptide enrichment materials (Ti4+-IMAC and TiO2) and high-sensitivity mass spectrometry were applied to establish a detailed phosphoproteome map and to qualitatively and quantitatively compare the phosphoproteomes of RJ produced by Apis mellifera ligustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc). In total, 16 phosphoproteins carrying 67 phosphorylation sites were identified in RJ derived from western bees, and nine proteins phosphorylated on 71 sites were found in RJ produced by eastern honeybees. Of which, eight phosphorylated proteins were common to both RJ samples, and the same motif ([S-x-E]) was extracted, suggesting that the function of major RJ proteins as nutrients and immune agents is evolutionary preserved in both of these honeybee species. All eight overlapping phosphoproteins showed significantly higher abundance in Acc-RJ than in Aml-RJ, and the phosphorylation of Jelleine-II (an antimicrobial peptide, TPFKLSLHL) at S6 in Acc-RJ had stronger antimicrobial properties than that at T1 in Aml-RJ even though the overall antimicrobial activity of Jelleine-II was found to decrease after phosphorylation. The differences in phosphosites, peptide abundance, and antimicrobial activity of the phosphorylated RJ proteins indicate that the two major honeybee species employ distinct phosphorylation strategies that align with their different biological characteristics shaped by evolution. The phosphorylation of RJ proteins are potentially driven by the activity of extracellular serine/threonine protein kinase FAM20C-like protein (FAM20C-like) through the [S-x-E] motif, which is supported by evidence that mRNA and protein expression of FAM20C-like protein kinase are both found in the highest level in the hypopharyngeal gland of nurse bees.
Our data represent the first comprehensive RJ phosphorylation atlas, recording patterns of phosphorylated RJ protein abundance and antibacterial activity of some RJ proteins in two major managed honeybee species. These data constitute a firm basis for future research to better understand the biological roles of each RJ protein for honeybee biology and human health care.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Bee Venom Acupuncture May Help Treat Peripheral Neuropathy

Serotonergic mechanism of the relieving effect of bee venom acupuncture on oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic cold allodynia in rats
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Dec 6;14(1):471
Oxaliplatin, an important chemotherapy drug for advanced colorectal cancer, often induces peripheral neuropathy, especially cold allodynia. Our previous study showed that bee venom acupuncture (BVA), which has been traditionally used in Korea to treat various pain symptoms, potently relieves oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia in rats. However, the mechanism for this anti-allodynic effect of BVA remains poorly understood. We investigated whether and how the central serotonergic system, a well-known pathway for acupuncture analgesia, mediates the relieving effect of BVA on cold allodynia in oxaliplatin-injected rats.
The behavioral signs of cold allodynia in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were induced by a single injection of oxaliplatin (6 mg/kg, i.p.). Before and after BVA treatment, the cold allodynia signs were evaluated by immersing the rat's tail into cold water (4[degree sign]C) and measuring the withdrawal latency. For BVA treatment, a diluted BV (0.25 mg/kg) was subcutaneously administered into Yaoyangguan (GV3) acupoint, which is located between the spinous processes of the fourth and the fifth lumbar vertebra. Serotonin was depleted by a daily injection of DL-p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA, 150 mg/kg, i.p.) for 3 days. The amount of serotonin in the spinal cord was measured by ELISA. Serotonergic receptor antagonists were administered intraperitoneally or intrathecally before BVA treatment.
The serotonin levels in the spinal cord were significantly increased by BVA treatment and such increase was significantly reduced by PCPA. This PCPA pretreatment abolished the relieving effect of BVA on oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia. Either of methysergide (mixed 5-HT1/5-HT2 receptor antagonist, 1 mg/kg, i.p.) or MDL-72222 (5-HT3 receptor antagonist, 1 mg/kg, i.p) blocked the anti-allodynic effect of BVA. Further, an intrathecal injection of MDL-72222 (12 mug) completely blocked the BVA-induced anti-allodynic action, whereas NAN-190 (5-HT1A receptor antagonist, 15 mug, i.t.) or ketanserin (5-HT2A receptor antagonist, 30 mug, i.t.) did not.
These results suggest that BVA treatment alleviates oxaliplatin-induced acute cold allodynia in rats via activation of the serotonergic system, especially spinal 5-HT3 receptors. Thus, our findings may provide a clinically useful evidence for the application of BVA as an alternative therapeutic option for the management of peripheral neuropathy, a dose-limiting side effect that occurs after an administration of oxaliplatin.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Bee Venom Component Protects Against Liver Damage

Bee Venom Phospholipase A2 Protects against Acetaminophen-Induced Acute Liver Injury by Modulating Regulatory T Cells and IL-10 in Mice
Published: PLOS One, December 05, 2014
The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) from bee venom against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity through CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells (Treg) in mice. Acetaminophen (APAP) is a widely used antipyretic and analgesic, but an acute or cumulative overdose of acetaminophen can cause severe hepatic failure. Tregs have been reported to possess protective effects in various liver diseases and kidney toxicity. We previously found that bee venom strongly increased the Treg population in splenocytes and subsequently suppressed immune disorders. More recently, we found that the effective component of bee venom is PLA2. Thus, we hypothesized that PLA2 could protect against liver injury induced by acetaminophen. To evaluate the hepatoprotective effects of PLA2, C57BL/6 mice or interleukin-10-deficient (IL-10−/−) mice were injected with PLA2 once a day for five days and sacrificed 24 h (h) after acetaminophen injection. The blood sera were collected 0, 6, and 24 h after acetaminophen injection for the analysis of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). PLA2-injected mice showed reduced levels of serum AST, ALT, proinflammatory cytokines, and nitric oxide (NO) compared with the PBS-injected control mice. However, IL-10 was significantly increased in the PLA2-injected mice. These hepatic protective effects were abolished in Treg-depleted mice by antibody treatment and in IL-10−/− mice. Based on these findings, it can be concluded that the protective effects of PLA2 against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity can be mediated by modulating the Treg and IL-10 production.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Intake of Brazilian Propolis May Protect Against Cancer

Histone deacetylase inhibitory effect of Brazilian propolis and its association with the antitumor effect in Neuro2a cells
Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Sep;2(5):565-570
Propolis is a resinous product produced by honey bees and is known to have antitumor functions. On the other hand, histone deacetylase (Hdac) inhibitors have recently attracted attention for their antitumor effects. In this study, we examined whether Brazilian green propolis has an Hdac inhibitory activity and its contribution on antitumor effects. By in vitro Hdac activity assay, Brazilian propolis extract (BPE) significantly inhibited the enzyme activity. Actually, BPE treatment increased the intracellular histone acetylation in Neuro2a cells. Regarding antitumor effect in Neuro2a cells, BPE treatment significantly decreased cell viability. An Hdac activator theophylline significantly attenuated the effect. Then, we analyzed whether the decreasing effect on cell number was caused by cell death or growth retardation. By live/dead cell staining, BPE treatment significantly increased the dead cell number. By cell cycle analysis, BPE treatment retarded cell cycle at the M-phase. Both of these cellular effects were suppressed by addition of theophylline. These data indicate that BPE induced both cell death and growth retardation via Hdac inhibitory activity. We demonstrated that Brazilian propolis bears regulatory functions on histone acetylation via Hdac inhibition, and the effect contributes antitumor functions. Our data suggest that intake of Brazilian propolis shows preventing effects against cancer.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Bee Pollen Improves Muscle Mass, Metabolism

Bee Pollen Improves Muscle Protein and Energy Metabolism in Malnourished Old Rats through Interfering with the Mtor Signaling Pathway and Mitochondrial Activity
Nutrients. 2014 Dec 1;6(12):5500-16
Although the management of malnutrition is a priority in older people, this population shows a resistance to refeeding. Fresh bee pollen contains nutritional substances of interest for malnourished people. The aim was to evaluate the effect of fresh bee pollen supplementation on refeeding efficiency in old malnourished rats.
Male 22-month-old Wistar rats were undernourished by reducing food intake for 12 weeks. The animals were then renourished for three weeks with the same diet supplemented with 0%, 5% or 10% of fresh monofloral bee pollen. Due to changes in both lean mass and fat mass, body weight decreased during malnutrition and increased after refeeding with no between-group differences (p < 0.0001).
Rats refed with the fresh bee pollen-enriched diets showed a significant increase in muscle mass compared to restricted rats (p < 0.05). The malnutrition period reduced the muscle protein synthesis rate and mTOR/p70S6kinase/4eBP1 activation, and only the 10%-pollen diet was able to restore these parameters. Mitochondrial activity was depressed with food restriction and was only improved by refeeding with the fresh bee pollen-containing diets.
In conclusion, refeeding diets that contain fresh monofloral bee pollen improve muscle mass and metabolism in old, undernourished rats.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Propolis From Nevada, Texas and California Display High Activity Against Pathogens

Regional variation in composition and antimicrobial activity of US propolis against Paenibacillus larvae and Ascosphaera apis
J Invertebr Pathol. 2014 Oct 24;124C:44-50
Propolis is a substance derived from antimicrobial plant resins that honey bees use in the construction of their nests. Propolis use in the hive is an important component of honey bee social immunity and confers a number of positive physiological benefits to bees. The benefits that bees derive from resins are mostly due to their antimicrobial properties, but it is unknown how the diversity of antimicrobial activities among resins might impact bee health. In our previous work, we found that resins from different North American Populus spp. differed in their ability to inhibit in vitro growth of the bee bacterial pathogen Paenibacillus larvae. The goal of our current work was to characterize the antimicrobial activity of propolis from 12 climatically diverse regions across the US against the bee pathogens P. larvae and Ascosphaeraapis and compare the metabolite profiles among those samples using LC-MS-based metabolomic methods. Samples differed greatly in their ability to inhibit both bacterial and fungal growth in vitro, but propolis from Nevada, Texas, and California displayed high activity against both pathogens. Interestingly, propolis from Georgia, New York, Louisiana, and Minnesota were active against A. apis, but not very active against P. larvae. Metabolomic analysis of regional propolis samples revealed that each sample was compositionally distinct, and LC-FTMS profiles from each sample contained a unique number of shared and exclusive peaks. Propolis from Aspen, CO, Tuscon, AZ, and Raleigh, NC, contained relatively large numbers of exclusive peaks, which may indicate that these samples originated from relatively unique botanical sources. This is the first study to characterize how the diversity of bee preferred resinous plants in the US may affect bee health, and could guide future studies on the therapeutic potential of propolis for bees.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Honey Part of Topical Antimicrobial Toolkit for Wound Infection

Surg Technol Int. 2014 Nov;25:45-52
Increased bacterial burden and formation of biofilm has been recognized as one of the key factors contributing to delayed wound healing. There is a toolbox of topical antimicrobial wound dressings that incorporate silver, iodine, polyhexamethylene biguanide, methylene blue/gentian violet, and honey. This article reviews a diverse range of evidence to discuss the advantages and disadvantage of topical antimicrobial dressings. Discussion will provide guidance on when and how to use topical antimicrobial dressings to achieve optimal outcomes and cost-effective wound care. Chronic wounds do not follow a predictable and expected healing trajectory, and they may persist for months or years due to underlying disease processes, recurrent injury, and comorbidities.1 With an aging population and increased prevalence of chronic diseases, the majority of wounds are refractory to healing, placing a significant burden on the health system and individual patients. Bacterial burden and biofilm have been recognized as key factors contributing to persistent inflammation, tissue destruction, delayed wound healing, and other serious complications (especially in individuals who are frail and immune-compromised).2 It has been demonstrated that when bacterial growth reaches a critical threshold of 105 bacteria per gram of tissue, bacterial toxins can cause tissue damage in the superficial wound compartment, delaying healing.2 In the literature, this phenomenon is referred to as critical colonization, increased bacterial burden, superficial infection, or localized infection. According to a recent review, over 50% of chronic wounds exhibit signs and symptoms that are consistent with localized infection.3.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Gelam Honey Possesses Highest Antibacterial Effect Among Tested Malaysian Honey Samples

In-vitro screening of Malaysian honey from different floral sources for antibacterial activity on human pathogenic bacteria
Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jan 28;11(2):315-8
Different researches on therapeutic effects of honey have been conducted in different regions; however the study on the potential antibacterial activity of Malaysian honey is still limited. In this study, antibacterial activities of different monofloral honey samples were tested against several common human pathogenic bacteria.
The well-diffusion method, minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) techniques were employed to investigate the putative antibacterial activity of Malaysian monofloral honey from Koompassia excelsa (Becc.) Taub (Tualang), Melaleuca cajuputi Powell (Gelam) and Durio zibethinus Murr. (Durian). Honey samples were tested against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6518 and ATCC25923, Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC12228, Enterococcus faecium LMG16192, Enterococcus faecalis LMG16216 and ATCC29212, Escherichia coli ATCC25922, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium ATCC14028 and Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC13883.
Marked variations were observed in the antibacterial activity of these honey samples. Durian honey failed to produce substantial antibacterial activity, whereas Tualang and Gelam honey showed a spectrum of antibacterial activity with their growth inhibitory effects against all of the tested bacterial species including vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE).
Present findings suggested Gelam honey possesses highest antibacterial effect among the tested Malaysian honey samples.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Brazilian Propolis Stimulates Hair Growth

Stimulatory Effect of Brazilian Propolis on Hair Growth through Proliferation of Keratinocytes in Mice
J. Agric. Food Chem., Article ASAP
Propolis is a natural honeybee hive product with the potential for use in the treatment of dermatological conditions, such as cutaneous abrasions, burns, and acne. In this study, we investigated whether propolis stimulates hair growth in mice.
Ethanol-extracted propolis, which contains various physiologically active substances such as caffeic acid and kaempferol, stimulated anagen induction in shaved back skin. Anagen induction occurred without any detectable abnormalities in the shape of the hair follicles (HFs), hair stem cells in the bulge, proliferating hair matrix keratinocytes in the hair bulb, or localization of versican in the dermal papilla. Propolis treatment also stimulated migration of hair matrix keratinocytes into the hair shaft in HFs during late anagen in the depilated back skin.
Organotypic culture of skin containing anagen stage HFs revealed significant stimulation of hair matrix keratinocyte proliferation by propolis. Furthermore, propolis facilitated the proliferation of epidermal keratinocytes. These results indicate that propolis stimulates hair growth by inducing hair keratinocyte proliferation.