Sunday, January 31, 2016

Antimicrobial Effect of Manuka Honey Enhanced by Light Exposure

Preliminary evaluation of photodynamic activity of manuka honey

Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. 2016 Jan 25


•The phototoxic effect of manuka honey on Pseudomonas aeruginosa was screened.
•In vitro results suggest that antimicrobial effect of manuka honey can be enhanced by light exposure.
•A light dependent reduction of bacteria population was observed.
•A combination of honey and PDT may be an effective treatment for wound infections.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bee Venom Acupuncture May Help Treat Dermatitis

Bee venom acupuncture alleviates trimellitic anhydride-induced atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in mice

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Published: 29 January 2016


Bee venom acupuncture (BVA), a novel type of acupuncture therapy in which purified bee venom is injected into the specific acupuncture point on the diseased part of the body, is used primarily for relieving pain and other musculoskeletal symptoms. In the present study, therapeutic potential of BVA to improve atopic dermatitis, a representative allergic dysfunction, was evaluated in the mouse model of trimellitic anhydride (TMA)-induced skin impairment.


Mice were treated with 5 % TMA on the dorsal flank for sensitization and subsequently treated with 2 % TMA on the dorsum of both ears for an additional 12 days after a 3-day interval. From the 7th day of 2 % TMA treatment, bilateral subcutaneous injection of BV (BV, 0.3 mg/kg) was performed daily at BL40 acupuncture points (located behind the knee) 1 h before 2 % TMA treatment for 5 days.


BVA treatment markedly inhibited the expression levels of both T helper cell type 1 (Th1) and Th2 cytokines in ear skin and lymph nodes of TMA-treated mice. Clinical features of AD-like symptoms such as ear skin symptom severity and thickness, inflammation, and lymph node weight were significantly alleviated by BV treatment. BV treatment also inhibited the proliferation and infiltration of T cells, the production of Th1 and Th2 cytokines, and the synthesis of interleukin (IL)-4 and immunoglobulin E (IgE)—typical allergic Th2 responses in blood. The inhibitory effect of BVA was more pronounced at BL40 acupoint than non-acupuncture point located at the base of the tail.


These results indicate that BV injection at specific acupuncture points effectively alleviates AD-like skin lesions by inhibiting inflammatory and allergic responses in a TMA-induced contact hypersensitivity mouse model.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Oman Clinic Offers Apitherapy Treatments

Bee Therapy and Medicinal Honey in Muscat

Times of Oman, 1/28/2016

Did you know that the honeybee has been around for million years and are the only insect that produce food for humans? And did you know that every single thing a bee produces has tremendous medicinal properties? I was unaware of these facts and many other bee-related facts until I met Dr Hassan Talib Al Lawati last month.

I got acquainted with Dr Hassan at the 5th Annual Honey Market. He holds a PhD in Bee Science and works for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. I was fascinated by his knowledge and enthusiasm about all things related to bees and beekeeping, so I was thrilled when he invited me to his Bee Products Healing Centre to learn more about Apitherapy, an alternate medicinal treatment popular in Europe, UK, Brazil, Italy, Germany, and France, that uses honey and other bee products to heal diseases. Contrary to the popular misconception, apitherapy uses all hive products including, honey, propolis, pollen, royal jelly, and bee wax for healing, not only bee venom, for a wide range of ailments and it has been increasingly gaining popularity and credibility in Oman since its inception in 2009.

Dr Hassan’s Apitherapy Clinic in Al Khuwair exclusively uses bee products to heal various diseases and illnesses. Located on the 7th floor of the Al Amal hospital building, BPHC, it wasn’t difficult to find it as the honey aroma was so strong that I was able to follow the scent from the elevator to the clinic’s doorstep. I stepped over the threshold into a bee wonderland filled with yellow and black striped combinations, bee soft toys, bee wall hanging, animated charts on walls, and a showcase cupboard full of bright coloured syrups, lotions, and cream bottles, capsule strips, soaps, and shampoos. In addition to the standard bee products, like honey and bee wax, he offers therapies that use smell of honey for healing sinus, flu, lung infections, and asthma; bee sound to stimulate the ear drum and improve hearing; and honey massages on the face, back, and feet for cosmetic benefits. A “bee cocktail” mixes all the natural bee products and byproducts to cure weakness and insomnia among other illnesses...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Manuka Honey Boosts Healing of Horse Wounds

Effect of Manuka honey gel on the transforming growth factor β1 and β3 concentrations, bacterial counts and histomorphology of contaminated full-thickness skin wounds in equine distal limbs

Aust Vet J. 2016 Jan;94(1-2):27-34


To investigate the effect of 66% Manuka honey gel on the concentrations of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and TGF-β3, bacterial counts and histomorphology during healing of contaminated equine distal limb wounds.


In this experimental study of 10 Standardbred horses, five full-thickness skin wounds (2 × 1.5 cm) were created on one metacarpus and six similar wounds were created on the contralateral metacarpus. Wounds were assigned to three groups: non-contaminated control wounds; contaminated control wounds; contaminated wounds treated daily with 1 mL Manuka honey gel topically for 10 days. For the contaminated wounds, faeces were applied for 24 h after wound creation. In five horses wounds were bandaged and in the other five horses wounds were left without a bandage. Biopsies were taken on days 1, 2, 7 and 10 after wounding to evaluate the effects of Manuka honey gel, wound contamination and bandaging on TGF-β1 and TGF-β3 concentrations, aerobic and anaerobic bacterial counts, and histomorphology.


Manuka honey gel had no significant effect on TGF-β1 and TGF-β3 concentrations or wound bacterial counts. Manuka honey gel decreased wound inflammation (days 7, 10), increased angiogenesis (days 2, 7, 10), increased fibrosis and collagen organisation (day 7) and increased epithelial hyperplasia (days 7, 10).


Treatment with Manuka honey gel resulted in a more organised granulation tissue bed early in wound repair, which may contribute to enhanced healing of equine distal limb wounds.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Honey May Help Prevent Colon Cancer

Honey and its Phytochemicals: Plausible Agents in Combating Colon Cancer through its Diversified Actions

Journal of Food Biochemistry

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Among them, colorectal cancer is linked with diet as the epithelial cells of colon and rectum come in direct contact with diet. Diets rich in phenolic constituents are associated in eradicating various noncommunicable diseases including cancer. This work illustrates antiproliferative effects of honey and its phytochemicals against colorectal cancer to limelight. Honey and its phytochemicals are found to inhibit the cancer growth. Changes like activation of caspase-3, caspase-8, polyadenosine diphosphate-ribose polymerase cleavage, boost in ROS level activating mitochondrial pathway, lipid layer breakage, DNA fragmentation, increase of G0/G1 phase cells, up-regulation of Bax regulators and p53 dependent apoptosis are significant. It is high time for scientists to initiate more trails using honey and its phytochemicals against some immune-deficient animal models of colon cancer and in low- and high-risk human individuals to validate honey as a mighty sword against colon cancer. This review promulgates honey and its phytochemicals as candidates in colon cancer prevention.

Practical Application

Colon cancer is the third largest cause of cancer death worldwide. The standard chemotherapeutic agents are usually noneffective in the latter stages of cancer. As colorectal cancer is more prone to the diet consumed, scientists have explored many dietary compounds to treat this particular type of cancer. In our review, we highlight the effect of honey and its phenolic constituents against the colon cancer cells. Various, in vitro experiments done are enlisted. This review also emphasis the need of numerous studies that are needed to be initiated to explore the anticancer effect of crude honey specifically. As honey is one of the ingredients used in daily life, honey can also be used in chemoprevention against colon cancer.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Malaysian Tualang Boosts Healing of Bowel Wounds

Effect of Tualang honey on the anastomotic wound healing in large bowel anastomosis in rats-A randomized controlled trial

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 Jan 23;16(1):28


Honey has long been used for the treatment of number of ailments and diseases including surgical wounds. Current study evaluates the effectiveness of Tualang honey (TH) for large bowel anastomotic healing in Wistar rats.


Thirty male Wistar rats were given a 3 centimeter infra-umbilical laparotomy wound, in`flicted on their abdomen. The colonic transection was performed at 5 cm distal to caecum, with end to end anastomosis of colon segment. They were divided into two groups. Group I was fed with standard rat chow and water. Meanwhile, Group II apart from standard feed, was also given TH 1.0 g/kg every morning until day seven post operatively. Afterwards, anastomotic bursting pressures were measured and histopathological examination on the anastomosis line was performed with light microscopes. The data from two groups were analyzed by Independent paired t test for continuous variables.


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Oral treatment with TH enhances anastomotic wound healing by increasing the number of fibroblasts and by decreasing inflammatory cells leading towards increased wound strength.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Propolis Paste Boosts Wound Healing

Effect of Propolis on Experimental Cutaneous Wound Healing in Dogs

Vet Med Int. 2015;2015:672643

This study evaluates clinically the effect of propolis paste on healing of cutaneous wound in dogs.

Under general anesthesia and complete aseptic conditions, two full thickness skin wounds (3 cm diameter) were created in each side of the chest in five dogs, one dorsal and one ventral, with 10 cm between them. These wounds were randomly allocated into two groups, control group (10 wounds) and propolis group (10 wounds). Both groups were represented in each dog. The wounds were cleaned with normal saline solution and dressed with macrogol ointment in control group and propolis paste in propolis group, twice daily till complete wound healing. Measurement of the wound area (cm(2)) was monitored planimetrically at 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 days after injury. The data were analyzed statistically.

The results revealed a significant reduction in the wound surface area in the propolis group after 14 and 21 days compared to control group. The wound reepithelization, contraction, and total wound healing were faster in propolis group than in control group during five weeks of study.

In conclusion, propolis paste has a positive impact on cutaneous wound healing and it may be suggested for treating various types of wounds in animals.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Propolis Has Significant Antifungal Activity

Antifungal Activity of Propolis Against Yeasts Isolated From Blood Culture: In Vitro Evaluation

J Clin Lab Anal. 2016 Jan 20


Due to the failure of available antifungal agents in the treatment of candidemia and the toxic activities of these drugs, a lot of researches are being conducted to develop new nontoxic and effective antifungal agents for optimal control of fungal pathogens. The aim of this study is to evaluate the in vitro antifungal activity of propolis against yeasts isolated from the blood cultures of intensive care unit patients.


Seventy-six strains were included in this study. The in vitro antifungal activity of propolis, fluconazole (FLU), and itraconazole (ITR) was investigated by the microdilution broth methods (CLSI guidelines M27-A3 for yeast). The propolis sample was collected from Kayseri, Turkey.


Of the 76 isolates, 33 were identified as Candida albicans while 37 were C. parapsilosis, three were C. tropicalis, and three were identified as C. glabrata. The geometric mean range for MIC (μg/ml) with regard to all isolates was 0.077 to 3 μg/ml for FLU and ITR, and 0.375 to 0.70 μg/ml for propolis. It was shown that propolis had significant antifungal activity against all Candida strains and the MIC range of propolis was determined as 0185 to 3 μg/ml.


This study demonstrated that propolis had significant antifungal activity against yeasts isolated from blood culture compared with FLU and ITR. The propolis MIC in azole-resistant strains such as C. glabrata was found lower than the FLU MIC.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Bee Venom Boosts Pain-Killing Effect of Morphine

Combined Effects of Bee Venom Acupuncture and Morphine on Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathic Pain in Mice

Toxins 2016, 8(2), 33

Oxaliplatin, a chemotherapeutic drug for colorectal cancer, induces severe peripheral neuropathy. Bee venom acupuncture (BVA) has been used to attenuate pain, and its effect is known to be mediated by spinal noradrenergic and serotonergic receptors. Morphine is a well-known opioid used to treat different types of pain.

Here, we investigated whether treatment with a combination of these two agents has an additive effect on oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain in mice. To assess cold and mechanical allodynia, acetone and von Frey filament tests were used, respectively. Significant allodynia signs were observed three days after an oxaliplatin injection (6 mg/kg, i.p.). BVA (0.25, 1, and 2.5 mg/kg, s.c., ST36) or morphine (0.5, 2, and 5 mg/kg, i.p.) alone showed dose-dependent anti-allodynic effects.

The combination of BVA and morphine at intermediate doses showed a greater and longer effect than either BVA or morphine alone at the highest dose. Intrathecal pretreatment with the opioidergic (naloxone, 20 μg) or 5-HT3 (MDL-72222, 15 μg) receptor antagonist, but not with α2-adrenergic (idazoxan, 10 μg) receptor antagonist, blocked this additive effect.

Therefore, we suggest that the combination effect of BVA and morphine is mediated by spinal opioidergic and 5-HT3 receptors and this combination has a robust and enduring analgesic action against oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Honey Used to Treat Surgical Wound

Post-bariatric abdominoplasty resulting in wound infection and dehiscence-Conservative treatment with medical grade honey: A case report and review of literature

Int J Surg Case Rep. 2016 Jan 7;20:1-3


Wound complications in post-bariatric patients undergoing body-contouring surgery after massive weight loss are not uncommon and often, surgical debridement or conservative management is necessary. Honey is one of the most ancient remedies for wound care and it is also considered to possess debriding effects. Current research has demonstrated promising results showing that honey can improve wound granulation and epithelialization, reduce exudate and shorten healing times.


This case report has been reported in line with the CARE criteria.


A 40 year-old female suffered wound infection and dehiscence after undergoing post-bariatric abdominoplasty. The patient was not interested in surgical revision and split skin grafting. Therefore, conservative wound treatment with topical Manuka honey was instituted resulting in significant clinical improvement and effective healing concurrently with good patient satisfaction.


Surgical wound complications in post-bariatric patients undergoing abdominoplasty are common and often require surgical revision or conservative wound treatment. No previous publication has addressed outpatient treatment of post-bariatric abdominoplasty wound complications with medical grade honey.


Although more research is needed for definitive conclusions of honey's efficacy, it is safe and as presented in our case, it may under certain circumstances reduce the need of surgical wound debridement and serve as a remedy for conservative treatment.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

Bee Pollen May Boost Nutritional Value, Storage Quality of Food

Evaluation of the Nutritional and Storage Quality of Meatballs Formulated with Bee Pollen

Korean J Food Sci Anim Resour. 2014;34(4):423-33

In this study, the nutritional and storage quality of meatballs formulated with different levels (0, 1.5, 3.0, 4.5 and 6.0%) of bee pollen were investigated during storage at 41℃ for 9 d. Protein content of meatballs increased, while moisture content decreased with increased pollen.

The addition of pollen improved cooking loss but decreased the redness (Hunter a value) and sensory scores. Textural parameters (hardness, springsness, gumminess, and chewiness) were affected by pollen addition and the hardness and gumminess values of meatballs decreased as the pollen content increased. While C18:0 content of meatballs slightly decreased with pollen addition, C18:2n-6c, C18:3n-3, C20:5n-3, and PUFA contents increased. The PUFA/saturated fatty acids (P/S) ratio increased from 0.05 in the control to 0.09 in meatballs with 6.0% pollen. The n-6/n-3 ratio decreased from 11.84 in the control to 3.65 in the meatballs with 6.0% pollen. The addition of pollen retarded the lipid oxidation and inhibited the bacterial growth in meatballs. The pH, redness, TBA value and total aerobic mesophilic bacteria, coliform bacteria and S. aureus counts values changed significantly during storage.

The results suggest that bee pollen could be added to enhance the nutritional and storage quality of meatballs with minimal changes in composition and/or sensory properties.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Manuka Honey may help Treat Ulcers

Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, and Antiulcer Potential of Manuka Honey against Gastric Ulcer in Rats

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:3643824

Gastric ulcers are among the most common diseases affecting humans. This study aimed at investigating the gastroprotective effects of manuka honey against ethanol-induced gastric ulcers in rats. The mechanism by which honey exerts its antiulcer potential was elucidated.

Four groups of rats were used: control, ethanol (ulcer), omeprazole, and manuka honey. Stomachs were examined macroscopically for hemorrhagic lesions in the glandular mucosa, histopathological changes, and glycoprotein detection. The effects of oxidative stress were investigated using the following indicators: gastric mucosal nitric oxide (NO), reduced glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxide (MDA, measured as malondialdehyde) glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase. Plasma tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and IL-6 were also measured. Manuka honey significantly decreased the ulcer index, completely protected the mucosa from lesions, and preserved gastric mucosal glycoprotein. It significantly increased gastric mucosal levels of NO, GSH, GPx, and SOD. Manuka honey also decreased gastric mucosal MDA and plasma TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 concentrations.

In conclusion, manuka honey likely exerted its antiulcer effect by keeping enzymatic (GPx and SOD) and nonenzymatic (GSH and NO) antioxidants as well as inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) in a reduced form, inhibited lipid peroxidation (MDA), and preserved mucous glycoproteins levels.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Honey-impregnated Dressings for Treating Challenging Dehisced Surgical Wounds

A Clinical Minute: Honey-impregnated Dressings for Treating Challenging Dehisced Surgical Wounds

Volume 61 - Issue 10 - October 2015,
Ostomy Wound Manage

Dehisced surgical wounds can cause many care providers to hit the panic button. These wounds can quickly go downhill: they stall in the inflammatory phase and are usually associated with increased costs of care and length of stay.

Common risk factors for wound dehiscence include obesity, smoking, diabetes, advanced age, low serum albumin, and autoimmune disease. If one or more of these risk factors is present, advanced modalities such as anti-infective surgical dressings, absorptive alginate dressings, or negative pressure are viable options to enhance moist wound healing and keep infection at bay. For dehisced wounds where slough and necrotic tissue are present, surgical or topical debridement also may be used to remove impediments to healing...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Royal Jelly Proteins as Markers for Authenticity and Quality of Honey

Major royal jelly proteins as markers of authenticity and quality of honey / Glavni proteini matične mliječi kao markeri izvornosti i kakvoće meda

Arh Hig Rada Toksikol. 2015 Dec 1;66(4):259-67

Until now, the properties of honey have been defined based exclusively on the content of plant components in the nectar of given plant. We showed that apalbumin1, the major royal jelly (RJ) protein, is an authentic and regular component of honey.

Apalbumin1 and other RJ proteins and peptides are responsible for the immunostimulatory properties and antibiotic activity of honey. For the quantification of apalbumin1, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed using polyclonal anti-apalbumin1 antibody. The method is suitable for honey authenticity determination; moreover it is useful for detection of the honey, honeybee pollen and RJ in products of medicine, pharmacy, cosmetics, and food industry, where presences of these honeybee products are declared.

Results from the analysis for presence and amount of apalbumin1 in honeys will be used for high-throughput screening of honey samples over the world. On the basis of our experiments which show that royal jelly proteins are regular and physiologically active components of honey we propose to change the definition of honey (according to the EU Honey Directive 2001/110/EC) as follows: Honey is a natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from nectar of plants or from secretions of plants, or excretions of plant sucking insects, which honey bees collect, transform by combining with major royal jelly proteins and other specific substances of their own, deposit, dehydrate, store and leave in the honey comb to ripen and mature.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Serbia Bee Pollen Rich in Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc

Mineral content of bee pollen from Serbia / Sadržaj minerala u uzorcima pčelinjega peluda iz Srbije

Arh Hig Rada Toksikol. 2015 Dec 1;66(4):251-258

In this study we analysed mineral composition of bee pollen of different plant origin collected across Serbia using inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectrometry. The most abundant elements were potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

The samples were also exceptionally rich in iron and zinc, which are very important as nutrients. Judging by our findings, mineral composition of bee pollen much more depends on the type of pollen-producing plant than on its geographical origin.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bee Venom Shows Antibacterial Activity and Antibiotic-Enhancing Effects Against MRSA

Antibacterial Activity and Antibiotic-Enhancing Effects of Honeybee Venom against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Molecules 2016, 21(1), 79

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), along with other antibiotic resistant bacteria, has become a significant social and clinical problem. There is thus an urgent need to develop naturally bioactive compounds as alternatives to the few antibiotics that remain effective.

Here we assessed the in vitro activities of bee venom (BV), alone or in combination with ampicillin, penicillin, gentamicin or vancomycin, on growth of MRSA strains. The antimicrobial activity of BV against MRSA strains was investigated using minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC), minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) and a time-kill assay. Expression of atl which encodes murein hydrolase, a peptidoglycan-degrading enzyme involved in cell separation, was measured by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.

The MICs of BV were 0.085 µg/mL and 0.11 µg/mL against MRSA CCARM 3366 and MRSA CCARM 3708, respectively. The MBC of BV against MRSA 3366 was 0.106 µg/mL and that against MRSA 3708 was 0.14 µg/mL. The bactericidal activity of BV corresponded to a decrease of at least 3 log CFU/g cells. The combination of BV with ampicillin or penicillin yielded an inhibitory concentration index ranging from 0.631 to 1.002, indicating a partial and indifferent synergistic effect. Compared to ampicillin or penicillin, both MRSA strains were more susceptible to the combination of BV with gentamicin or vancomycin. The expression of atl gene was increased in MRSA 3366 treated with BV.

These results suggest that BV exhibited antibacterial activity and antibiotic-enhancing effects against MRSA strains. The atl gene was increased in MRSA exposed to BV, suggesting that cell division was interrupted. BV warrants further investigation as a natural antimicrobial agent and synergist of antibiotic activity.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Neonicotinoid Concentrations Low in UK Honey

Neonicotinoid Concentrations in UK Honey from 2013

Pest Management Science
Accepted Article


Concentrations of the neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid were determined in honey collected in Spring 2013 from a variety of locations in England. The honey was produced before the moratorium in the EU on the use of neonicotinoids in pollinator-attractive crops became effective.


Neither imidacloprid, not its metabolites were detected in any honey samples. Concentrations of clothianidin ranged from < 0.02 µg/kg to 0.82 µg/kg and thiamethoxam concentrations were between < 0.01 µg/kg and 0.79 µg/kg.


Neonicotinoid concentrations were below those likely to cause any chronic mortality. The concentrations detected should provide a useful baseline against which the effectiveness of the moratorium in reducing exposure of honeybees can be measured.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Chemical Composition and Biological Activity of Brazilian Brown, Green and Red Propolis

Chemical Composition and Biological Activity of Extracts Obtained by Supercritical Extraction and Ethanolic Extraction of Brown, Green and Red Propolis Derived from Different Geographic Regions in Brazil

PLoS One. 2016 Jan 8;11(1):e0145954

The variations in the chemical composition, and consequently, on the biological activity of the propolis, are associated with its type and geographic origin. Considering this fact, this study evaluated propolis extracts obtained by supercritical extraction (SCO2) and ethanolic extraction (EtOH), in eight samples of different types of propolis (red, green and brown), collected from different regions in Brazil. The content of phenolic compounds, flavonoids, in vitro antioxidant activity (DPPH and ABTS), Artepillin C, p-coumaric acid and antimicrobial activity against two bacteria were determined for all extracts. For the EtOH extracts, the anti-proliferative activity regarding the cell lines of B16F10, were also evaluated. Amongst the samples evaluated, the red propolis from the Brazilian Northeast (states of Sergipe and Alagoas) showed the higher biological potential, as well as the larger content of antioxidant compounds. The best results were shown for the extracts obtained through the conventional extraction method (EtOH). However, the highest concentrations of Artepillin C and p-coumaric acid were identified in the extracts from SCO2, indicating a higher selectivity for the extraction of these compounds. It was verified that the composition and biological activity of the Brazilian propolis vary significantly, depending on the type of sample and geographical area of collection.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Composition, Biological Activity of Brazilian Propolis Vary Based on Type of Sample, Geographical Area of Collection

Chemical Composition and Biological Activity of Extracts Obtained by Supercritical Extraction and Ethanolic Extraction of Brown, Green and Red Propolis Derived from Different Geographic Regions in Brazil

PLoS One. 2016 Jan 8;11(1):e0145954

The variations in the chemical composition, and consequently, on the biological activity of the propolis, are associated with its type and geographic origin. Considering this fact, this study evaluated propolis extracts obtained by supercritical extraction (SCO2) and ethanolic extraction (EtOH), in eight samples of different types of propolis (red, green and brown), collected from different regions in Brazil.

The content of phenolic compounds, flavonoids, in vitro antioxidant activity (DPPH and ABTS), Artepillin C, p-coumaric acid and antimicrobial activity against two bacteria were determined for all extracts. For the EtOH extracts, the anti-proliferative activity regarding the cell lines of B16F10, were also evaluated.

Amongst the samples evaluated, the red propolis from the Brazilian Northeast (states of Sergipe and Alagoas) showed the higher biological potential, as well as the larger content of antioxidant compounds. The best results were shown for the extracts obtained through the conventional extraction method (EtOH). However, the highest concentrations of Artepillin C and p-coumaric acid were identified in the extracts from SCO2, indicating a higher selectivity for the extraction of these compounds.

It was verified that the composition and biological activity of the Brazilian propolis vary significantly, depending on the type of sample and geographical area of collection.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Antibacterial and Leishmanicidal Activity of Bolivian Propolis

Letters in Applied Microbiology

The antimicrobial activity of Bolivian propolis was assessed for the first time on a panel of bacteria and two endemic parasitic protozoa. Ten samples of Bolivian propolis and their main constituents were tested using the micro-broth dilution method against 11 bacterial pathogenic strains as well as against promastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis and L. braziliensis using the XTT-based colorimetric method. The methanolic extracts showed antibacterial effect ranging from inactive (MICs >1000 μg ml−1) to low (MICs 250-1000 μg ml−1), moderate (62∙5-125 μg ml−1) and high antibacterial activity (MIC 31.2 μg ml−1), according to the collection place and chemical composition. The most active samples towards Leishmania species were from Cochabamba and Tarija, with IC50 values of 12∙1 and 7∙8, 8∙0 and 10∙9 μg ml−1 against L. amazonensis and L. brasiliensis, respectively. The results show that the best antibacterial and antiprotozoal effect was observed for some phenolic rich propolis.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Bee Venom Component Can Mitigate Airway Inflammation

Bee venom phospholipase A2 suppresses allergic airway inflammation in an ovalbumin-induced asthma model through the induction of regulatory T cells

Immun Inflamm Dis. 2015 Aug 9;3(4):386-97

Bee venom (BV) is one of the alternative medicines that have been widely used in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. We previously demonstrated that BV induces immune tolerance by increasing the population of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in immune disorders. However, the major component and how it regulates the immune response have not been elucidated.

We investigated whether bee venom phospholipase A2 (bvPLA2) exerts protective effects that are mediated via Tregs in OVA-induced asthma model. bvPLA2 was administered by intraperitoneal injection into control and OVA-challenged mice. The Treg population, total and differential bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) cell count, Th2 cytokines, and lung histological features were assessed. Treg depletion was used to determine the involvement of Treg migration and the reduction of asthmatic symptoms. The CD206-dependence of bvPLA2-treated suppression of airway inflammation was evaluated in OVA-challenged CD206(-/-) mice.

The bvPLA2 treatment induced the Tregs and reduced the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the lung in the OVA-challenged mice. Th2 cytokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were reduced in bvPLA2-treated mice. Although bvPLA2 suppressed the number of inflammatory cells after OVA challenge, these effects were not observed in Treg-depleted mice. In addition, we investigated the involvement of CD206 in bvPLA2-mediated immune tolerance in OVA-induced asthma model. We observed a significant reduction in the levels of Th2 cytokines and inflammatory cells in the BALF of bvPLA2-treated OVA-induced mice but not in bvPLA2-treated OVA-induced CD206(-/-) mice.

These results demonstrated that bvPLA2 can mitigate airway inflammation by the induction of Tregs in an OVA-induced asthma model.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Honey Heals Skin Grafts Faster

Honey Dressing Accelerates Split-Thickness Skin Graft Donor Site Healing

Indian J Surg. 2015 Dec;77(Suppl 2):261-3

The management of the donor site after harvesting a skin graft is an important issue, as patients often report more discomfort at the donor site than at the recipient site. There is, however, a plethora of dressings available for the treatment and management of donor sites, yet, there is no widely accepted method established for these partial thickness wounds.

Honey has been found to be useful in the treatment of burns and other wounds, split-thickness skin graft donor sites are like partial thickness burn wounds and honey's healing effect on burn wound can also be expected on these types of wounds. Therefore, this study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of honey on skin graft donor sites.

From 2002 to 2004, 100 patients who have undergone skin grafting for various reasons formed the material of the randomized study divided into two groups of 50 each in honey-treated group and Vaseline gauze-treated group. Graft donor site area ranged from 30 to 48 cm(2), mean 32.6 cm(2). In the group treated with honey, 90 % of the patients had nil or only moderate pain, whereas in the group treated with Vaseline gauze,88 % had nil or mild pain (p > 0.001, not significant). There were no allergic reactions in any of the patients in either group. On opening of the dressing on the 7th day, epithelialization has occurred in 48 patients as compared to 39 in group 2, i.e., donor sites treated with Vaseline gauze (p < 0.05, statistically significant). By the 10th day, all the wounds healed in honey-treated group, whereas 76 % of wounds healed in Vaseline gauze-treated group (p < 0.05). At 1 month follow-up, the results were comparable in both groups, with regard to patient satisfaction.

In conclusion, honey-impregnated gauze causes less pain and heals donor sites wounds faster with good cosmetic result.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Oak and Chestnut Honeys Show Substantial Antioxidant Effects

Characterization of Anatolian honeys based on minerals, bioactive components and principal component analysis

LWT - Food Science and Technology
Volume 68, May 2016, Pages 273–279

Our aim is the characterization of Anatolian monofloral and honeydew honeys according to their mineral, vitamin B2, total phenolic contents and antioxidant activities. Five main elements (Ca, K, Fe, Cu, and Mn) were determined in 20 honey samples by inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The vitamin B2 contents of honey samples were determined by the capillary electrophoresis method coupled with a sensitive laser induced fluorescence (LIF) detector. The total phenolic contents were analyzed with Folin–Ciocalteu's method. Two comparative antioxidant assays, namely cupric reducing antioxidant capacity assay (CUPRAC) and ABTS radical scavenging assay, were applied to detect the antioxidant power of honeys. Heather honeys were distinguished from others with significantly high vitamin B2 and iron contents. Considerably higher antioxidant capacities and Mn contents were observed for oak and chestnut honeys. Principal components analysis was applied to the analysis result in order to classify the honeys from different botanical origins.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Propolis Component Shows Anti-Cancer Properties

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester: Inhibition of metastatic cell behaviours via voltage-gated sodium channel in human breast cancer in vitro

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2015 Dec 24. pii: S1357-2725(15)30085-6

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester, derived from natural propolis, has been reported to have anti-cancer properties. Voltage-gated sodium channels are upregulated in many cancers where they promote metastatic cell behaviours, including invasiveness.

We found that micromolar concentrations of caffeic acid phenethyl ester blocked voltage-gated sodium channel activity in several invasive cell lines from different cancers, including breast (MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468), colon (SW620) and non-small cell lung cancer (H460). In the MDA-MB-231 cell line, which was adopted as a 'model', long-term (48h) treatment with 18μM caffeic acid phenethyl ester reduced the peak current density by 91% and shifted steady-state inactivation to more hyperpolarized potentials and slowed recovery from inactivation. The effects of long-term treatment were also dose-dependent, 1μM caffeic acid phenethyl ester reducing current density by only 65%. The effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester on metastatic cell behaviours were tested on the MDA-MB-231 cell line at a working concentration (1μM) that did not affect proliferative activity. Lateral motility and Matrigel invasion were reduced by up to 14% and 51%, respectively. Co-treatment of caffeic acid phenethyl ester with tetrodotoxin suggested that the voltage-gated sodium channel inhibition played a significant intermediary role in these effects.

We conclude, first, that caffeic acid phenethyl ester does possess anti-metastatic properties. Second, the voltage-gated sodium channels, commonly expressed in strongly metastatic cancers, are a novel target for caffeic acid phenethyl ester. Third, more generally, ion channel inhibition can be a significant mode of action of nutraceutical compounds.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Brazilian Propolis May Help Treat Mastitis in Cows

The effects of Brazilian propolis on etiological agents of mastitis and the viability of bovine mammary gland explants

J Dairy Sci. 2015 Dec 23. pii: S0022-0302(15)00941-8

The objective of this study was to evaluate in vitro the antimicrobial activity of Brazilian propolis from Urupema, São Joaquim, and Agua Doce (Santa Catarina State) and green propolis from Minas Gerais State, and the effects of propolis on bovine mammary gland explant viability.

The propolis samples differed in flavonoid content and antioxidant activity. Green propolis showed the highest content of flavonoids, followed by the sample from São Joaquim. The propolis from Urupema showed the lowest flavonoid content along with the lowest antioxidant activity. The total phenolics were similar across all studied samples. Despite phytochemical differences, the propolis samples from Minas Gerais, São Joaquim, and Urupema presented the same level of antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus strains. The reduction in S. aureus growth was, on average, 1.5 and 4 log10 times at 200 and 500 μg/mL, respectively. At concentrations of 1,000 μg/mL, all propolis reduced bacterial growth to zero.

On the other hand, when the propolis were tested against strains of Escherichia coli, the samples presented weak antimicrobial activity. Mammary explants were maintained in culture for 96 h without a loss in viability, demonstrating the applicability of the model in evaluating the toxicity of propolis. The origin and chemical composition of the propolis had an effect on mammary explant viability. We encountered inhibitory concentrations of 272.4, 171.8, 63.85, and 13.26 μg/mL for the propolis from Água Doce, Urupema, São Joaquim, and Mina Gerais, respectively. A clear association between greater antimicrobial activity and toxicity for mammary explants was observed. Of all propolis tested, the Urupema sample was noteworthy, as it showed antimicrobial activity at less toxic concentrations than the other samples, reducing bacterial growth to an average of 9.3 × 102 cfu/mL after 6 h of contact using 200 μg/mL of extract. The results demonstrate the potential for Brazilian propolis in the treatment of mastitis, although effectiveness is dependent on geographical origin and concentration.

The results from the mammary gland explant assays are promising for the investigation of other natural products with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can be used in the intramammary treatment of subclinical mastitis and during dry cow therapy.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Kidney Stones

Anti-inflammatory effects of royal jelly on ethylene glycol induced renal inflammation in rats

Int Braz J Urol. 2015 Sep-Oct;41(5):1008-13


In this study, anti-inflammatory effects of Royal Jelly were investigated by inducing renal inflammation in rats with the use of ethylene glycol. For this purpose, the calcium oxalate urolithiasis model was obtained by feeding rats with ethylene glycol in drinking water.


The rats were divided in five study groups. The 1st group was determined as the control group. The rats in the 2nd group received ethylene glycol (1%) in drinking water. The rats in the 3rd group were daily fed with Royal Jelly by using oral gavage. The 4th group was determined as the preventive group and the rats were fed with ethylene glycol (1%) in drinking water while receiving Royal Jelly via oral gavage. The 5th group was determined as the therapeutic group and received ethylene glycol in drinking water during the first 2 weeks of the study and Royal Jelly via oral gavage during the last 2 weeks of the study.


At the end of the study, proinflammatory/anti-inflammatory cytokines, TNF-a, IL-1ß and IL-18 levels in blood and renal tissue samples from the rats used in the application were measured.


The results have shown that ethylene glycol does induce inflammation and renal damage. This can cause the formation of reactive oxygen species. Royal Jelly is also considered to have anti-inflammatory effects due to its possible antiradical and antioxidative effects. It can have positive effects on both the prevention of urolithiasis and possible inflammation during the existing urolithiasis and support the medical treatment.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Italian Consumers Prefer Local Honey

Attitudes towards honey among Italian consumers: a choice experiment approach

Appetite. 2015 Dec 21. pii: S0195-6663(15)30127-6

Honey is becoming increasingly popular with consumers for its nutritional benefits as well as many other functions. The objective of this article is to determine which factors influence consumers' purchase intentions and to assess the importance of certain honey characteristics to enable identification of the constituents of an ideal honey profile. This information will lead to satisfaction of consumers' preferences and formulation of marketing strategies that support honey makers. We applied a choice experiment to the Italian honey market to define the preferences and the willingness to pay for key characteristics of the product. A face-to-face questionnaire survey was conducted in 2014 (January-July) among Italian consumers; it was completed by 427 respondents. A latent class model was estimated and four classes were identified, with different preferences, illustrating that respondents seem to be heterogeneous honey consumers Results suggest the "organic" attribute was more important than others factors, such as the place where the honey was produced (landscape), but less important than the country of origin; local Italian honey was preferred to foreign honey. Respondents showed a higher willingness to pay (WTP) for honey from their country of origin versus the production method used. Our results suggest that while organic beekeeping might be an important strategy for diversification, if suitable communication is not taken into consideration, the added value of the production method might not be perceived by consumers.

Friday, January 01, 2016

The Use of Propolis in Micro/Nanostructured Pharmaceutical Formulations

Recent Pat Drug Deliv Formul. 2015 Dec 29. [Epub ahead of print]


Propolis is a resinous material with complex chemical structure, produced by bees using plant sources, displaying a wide spectrum of biological activities. Many studies have reported the use of this compound in pharmaceutical, medicinal, veterinary and dentistry areas, and the results have reported its pharmacological activities. Moreover, several propolis delivery systems have been proposed and their properties evaluated, indicating that they can be used. On the other hand, considering its chemical and physical characteristics, propolis could be used as a material to produce micro/nano-structured pharmaceutical formulations. This work reviews the recent studies of development of micro/nanostructured systems using propolis or its byproduct. In addition, patents were reviewed and categorized.


This review was based on a structured search of databases for peer-reviewed papers and patents using a focused review question and inclusion/exclusion criteria. The patent documents and the quality of retrieved articles were appraised using standard tools. The characteristics of screened patents and papers were described. In addition, a deductive qualitative content analysis methodology was applied to analyze the findings and interventions of included studies using a conceptual framework.


Propolis identification, chemical composition and biological activity were discussed, and the information was structured and discussed. The literature shows the safety of this compound and the possibility to use it to prepare micro or nanostructured pharmaceutical systems. There are many strategies to modify the propolis delivery such as the use of micro/nanoemulsions, particles, thermoresponsive systems, films, hydrogels, lotions, creams, ointments, carbon nanotubes, liquid crystalline phases, and bio/mucoadhesive systems. Propolis can also be used as an excipient to produce drug-delivery systems.


Many papers and submitted or granted patent applications were found, reporting from extraction method for propolis, which provides new possibilities for incorporation of propolis components in micro/nanostructured cosmetic products, foodstuffs and medicines.