Monday, October 31, 2016

Royal Jelly and in vitro Fertilization

Royal jelly may improve the metabolism of glucose and redox state of ovine oocytes matured in vitro and embryonic development following in vitro fertilization

Theriogenology. 2016 Dec;86(9):2210-2221

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different concentrations of royal jelly (RJ) on in vitro maturation (IVM), fertilization, cleavage, blastocyst rates, glutathione (GSH) content in ovine oocyte, mRNA abundance of antioxidant enzymes in both oocyte and cumulus, and glucose metabolism-related genes in cumulus cells.

In vitro maturation of oocyte was performed in the presence of control (RJ0), 2.5 (RJ2.5), 5 (RJ5), and 10 (RJ10) mg/mL of RJ. Nuclear status, intracellular GSH content in oocytes, and mRNA abundance of selected genes were evaluated following 24 hours of IVM. Following the IVM, fertilization and embryo culture were carried out in all the groups and embryonic development was examined. The addition of 10-mg/mL RJ to maturation media not only yielded a higher number of oocytes at MII stage but also showed an increased level of intracellular GSH content than did RJ2.5 and control groups. Fertilization, cleavage, and blastocyst rate were higher in the RJ10 treatment group in comparison to the control one. In cumulus cells, the expression of PFKM, PFKL, and G6PDH were increased following the addition of RJ to the maturation media. Supplementation of 10-mg/mL RJ to IVM medium increased the GPx mRNA abundance in both oocyte and cumulus cells and SOD expression in the cumulus cells. The CAT mRNA abundance was not influenced by the addition of RJ to the maturation media in either oocyte or cumulus cells.

It seems that the improvement of oocyte maturation and its subsequent development in RJ10 group may be associated with amelioration of redox status in the oocytes and activation of glucose metabolic pathways in their surrounding cumulus cells.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Brazilian Propolis May Help Prevent Blood Clots

Effects of a diet containing Brazilian propolis on lipopolysaccharide-induced increases in plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels in mice

J Intercult Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Aug 17;5(4):439-443.


Brazilian propolis has many biological activities including the ability to help prevent thrombotic diseases, but this particular effect has not been proven. Plasma levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), an inhibitor of fibrinolysis, increase under inflammatory conditions such as infection, obesity and atherosclerosis and such elevated levels predispose individuals to a risk of developing thrombotic diseases.


This study aimed to determine the effects of a diet containing Brazilian propolis on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced increases in plasma PAI-1 levels.


Mice were fed with a diet containing 0.5% (w/w) Brazilian propolis for 8 weeks. Thereafter, the mice were subcutaneously injected with saline containing 0.015 mg/kg of LPS and sacrificed 4 h later.


Orally administered Brazilian propolis significantly suppressed the LPS-induced increase in PAI-1 antigen and its activity in mouse plasma.


This study indicated that Brazilian propolis contains natural products that can decrease thrombotic tendencies in mice.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Propolis Component May Help Treat Advanced Prostate Cancer

CAPE suppresses migration and invasion of prostate cancer cells via activation of non-canonical Wnt signaling

Oncotarget. 2016 Jun 21;7(25):38010-38024

Prostate cancer (PCa) was the fifth most common cancer overall in the world. More than 80% of patients died from PCa developed bone metastases. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a main bioactive component of honeybee hive propolis. Transwell and wound healing assays demonstrated that CAPE treatment suppressed the migration and invasion of PC-3 and DU-145 PCa cells. Gelatin zymography and Western blotting indicated that CAPE treatment reduced the abundance and activity of MMP-9 and MMP-2.

Analysis using Micro-Western Array (MWA), a high-throughput antibody-based proteomics platform with 264 antibodies detecting signaling proteins involved in important pathways indicated that CAPE treatment induced receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (ROR2) in non-canonical Wnt signaling pathway but suppressed abundance of β-catenin, NF-κB activity, PI3K-Akt signaling, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Overexpression or knockdown of ROR2 suppressed or enhanced cell migration of PC-3 cells, respectively. TCF-LEF promoter binding assay revealed that CAPE treatment reduced canonical Wnt signaling. Intraperitoneal injection of CAPE reduced the metastasis of PC-3 xenografts in tail vein injection nude mice model. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that CAPE treatment increased abundance of ROR2 and Wnt5a but decreased protein expression of Ki67, Frizzle 4, NF-κB p65, MMP-9, Snail, β-catenin, and phosphorylation of IκBα. Clinical evidences suggested that genes affected by CAPE treatment (CTNNB1, RELA, FZD5, DVL3, MAPK9, SNAl1, ROR2, SMAD4, NFKBIA, DUSP6, and PLCB3) correlate with the aggressiveness of PCa.

Our study suggested that CAPE may be a potential therapeutic agent for patients with advanced PCa.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Two Novel Cinnamic Acid Derivatives from Italian Honey and Propolis

Journal of Apicultural Research 

Volume 55, 2016 -  Issue 3

4-(3′-Hydroxymethyl-3′-methylallyloxy)cinnamic acid 1 and 4-(3′-hydroxymethyl-3′-methylallyloxy)-3-methoxycinnamic acid 2 have been identified as novel phytochemicals in honey and propolis of Italian origin by HPLC analysis. Compound 2 was seen to be most abundant in honey samples with a concentration of 3.52 ug/g.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Propolis Component May Help manage Asthma

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester alleviates asthma by regulating the airway microenvironment via the ROS-responsive MAPK/Akt pathway

Volume 101, December 2016, Pages 163–175

In the pathophysiology of asthma, structural cell dysfunction and concomitant microenvironment changes in airways are crucial to pathological progression, which involves oxidative stress. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an active anti-oxidative component obtained from propolis, and has been shown to have beneficial effects on several respiratory disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. However, the impact of CAPE on asthma is not well understood. 

Therefore, this study investigated the advantages of using CAPE to treat asthma and demonstrated the roles of CAPE in the regulation of airway microenvironments. In ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized mice, CAPE treatments notably reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, attenuated extensive inflammatory cell infiltration and inhibited goblet cell hyperplasia and collagen deposition and fibrosis. In addition, CAPE improved the airway microenvironment in a dose-dependent manner by inhibiting OVA-induced increases in immunoglobulin E, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 and suppressing matrix metalloproteinase-9 and alpha-smooth muscle actin expression as well as malondialdehyde production. To determine the underlying mechanisms responsible for these effects, we used TNF-α-stimulated BECs and TGF-β1-challenged human ASMCs to explore the impacts of CAPE on pro-inflammatory proteins and ASMC proliferation. 

The results indicated that CAPE significantly limited the secretion of eotaxin-1, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, IL-8 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and dramatically inhibited the proliferation of ASMCs. These effects were shown to be associated with decreased reactive oxidant species (ROS) levels. The phosphorylation of Akt and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) caused by increased ROS was significantly decreased by CAPE, which implied a contribution of ROS-MAPK/Akt signaling to the attenuation of asthma. Our findings indicated for the first time that CAPE alleviates airway inflammation and remodeling in chronic asthma by balancing the airway microenvironment, which highlights a novel profile of CAPE as a potent agent for asthma management.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Propolis Boosts Bactericidal Activityof Dendritic Cells

Propolis modulates miRNAs involved in TLR-4 pathway, NF-κB activation, cytokine production and in the bactericidal activity of human dendritic cells

Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells, essential for recognition and presentation of pathogens to T cells. Propolis, a resinous material produced by bees from various plants, exhibits numerous biological properties, highlighting its immunomodulatory action. Here, we assayed the effects of propolis on the maturation and function of human DCs.


DCs were generated from human monocytes and incubated with propolis and LPS. NF-κB and cytokines production were determined by ELISA. microRNA's expression was analysed by RT-qPCR and cell markers detection by flow cytometry. Colony-forming units were obtained to assess the bactericidal activity of propolis-treated DCs.

Key findings

Propolis activated DCs in the presence of LPS, inducing NF-kB, TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-10 production. The inhibition of hsa-miR-148a and hsa-miR-148b abolished the inhibitory effects on HLA-DR and pro-inflammatory cytokines. The increased expression of hsa-miR-155 may be correlated to the increase in TLR-4 and CD86 expression, maintaining LPS-induced expression of HLA-DR and CD40. Such parameters may be involved in the increased bactericidal activity of DCs against Streptococcus mutans.


Propolis modulated the maturation and function of DCs and may be useful in the initial steps of the immune response, providing a novel approach to the development of DC-based strategies and for the discovery of new immunomodulators.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Propolis Hydrogel for Wound-Care Dressings

Properties of PVA Hydrogel Wound-Care Dressings Containing UK Propolis

Macromolecular Symposia
Volume 368, Issue 1
October 2016
Pages 122–127
First published: 21 October 2016

Burns pose a potential threat to health, and often require dressings. PVA hydrogels present many characteristics of ideal dressings, but do not have any intrinsic antimicrobial properties. Propolis is a natural antimicrobial substance that can be incorporated in materials intended for wound-care. The goal of this work was to produce and characterize (in terms of swelling behaviour, microstructural and thermal analysis) PVA gels loaded with a UK propolis.

Propolis was loaded in the gels and it altered the crystallinity of the PVA gels. The thermal profile of the PVA-UK propolis gels was different from that of PVA gel alone. All gels presented at least ∼200% of swelling degree. Weight loss as well as propolis release was high for samples with high amount of propolis. Samples with the highest amount of propolis still presented mechanical properties adequate for the application.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Yellow Propolis May Help Treat Depression

Neurobehavioral and Antioxidant Effects of Ethanolic Extract of Yellow Propolis

Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2906953, 14 pages

Propolis is a resin produced by bees from raw material collected from plants, salivary secretions, and beeswax. New therapeutic properties for the Central Nervous System have emerged.

We explored the neurobehavioral and antioxidant effects of an ethanolic extract of yellow propolis (EEYP) rich in triterpenoids, primarily lupeol and β-amyrin. Male Wistar rats, 3 months old, were intraperitoneally treated with Tween 5% (control), EEYP (1, 3, 10, and 30 mg/kg), or diazepam, fluoxetine, and caffeine (positive controls) 30 min before the assays. Animals were submitted to open field, elevated plus maze, forced swimming, and inhibitory avoidance tests. After behavioral tasks, blood samples were collected through intracardiac pathway, to evaluate the oxidative balance. The results obtained in the open field and in the elevated plus maze assay showed spontaneous locomotion preserved and anxiolytic-like activity.

In the forced swimming test, EEYP demonstrated antidepressant-like activity. In the inhibitory avoidance test, EEYP showed mnemonic activity at 30 mg/kg. In the evaluation of oxidative biochemistry, the extract reduced the production of nitric oxide and malondialdehyde without changing level of total antioxidant, catalase, and superoxide dismutase, induced by behavioral stress.

Our results highlight that EEYP emerges as a promising anxiolytic, antidepressant, mnemonic, and antioxidant natural product.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Honey and Propolis Help Treat Aphthous Stomatitis in Children

Minerva Pediatr. 2016 Dec;68(6):507-509.

Clinical efficacy of a solution composed by sodium bicarbonate and alginate, aloe vera, propoli, chamomile, calendula and honey, in the treatment of minor recurrent aphthous stomatitis in children.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Kourtney Kardashian Uses Manuka Honey for Skin Care

Kourtney Kardashian, Manuka Doctor celebrate honey-fueled skin care

LA Times

First it was a fraught relationship with color cosmetics, then a more solid relationship with hair care and now Kourtney Kardashian has her fingers in honey-fueled skin care. Manuka Doctor has turned to the reality TV princess to generate buzz for its treatment products, and she did her part Wednesday evening by headlining a party for the brand...

Friday, October 21, 2016

Bee Venom May Help Treat Atopic Dermatitis (AD)

Effects of Emollient Containing Bee Venom on Atopic Dermatitis: A Double-Blinded, Randomized, Base-Controlled, Multicenter Study of 136 Patients

Ann Dermatol. 2016 Oct;28(5):593-599. Epub 2016 Sep 30.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common, complex disease that follows a chronic relapsing course and significantly affects the quality of life of patients. Skin barrier dysfunction and inflammatory processes induce and aggravate this skin condition. Proper use of an emollient for hydration is a keystone of AD treatment. Bee venom is known to have anti-inflammatory effects and has been widely used in traditional medicine to treat various inflammatory disorders.


To find out the beneficial effect of an emollient containing bee venom in the treatment of patients with AD.


This study included 136 patients with AD who were randomized to receive either an emollient containing bee venom and silk-protein or a vehicle that was identical except for the bee venom for 4 weeks. The patients were instructed to apply the emollient twice daily on their entire body and not to use other medications, including topicals, during the course of the study. The eczema area and severity index (EASI) score, transepidermal water loss, and visual analogue scale (VAS) score of itching were evaluated at the first visit and after 2 and 4 weeks. The investigator global assessment was evaluated at 2 and 4 weeks after the application of emollient containing bee venom or vehicle.


Patients applying emollient containing bee venom showed significantly lower EASI score and VAS value compared to patients applying emollient without bee venom.


Emollient containing bee venom is a safe and effective option for patients with AD.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Royal Jelly Contains Antibiotic Compounds

Food to some, poison to others - honeybee royal jelly and its growth inhibiting effect on European Foulbrood bacteria

Microbiologyopen. 2016 Oct 14

Honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera) serve as attractive hosts for a variety of pathogens providing optimal temperatures, humidity, and an abundance of food. Thus, honeybees have to deal with pathogens throughout their lives and, even as larvae they are affected by severe brood diseases like the European Foulbrood caused by Melissococcus plutonius.

Accordingly, it is highly adaptive that larval food jelly contains antibiotic compounds. However, although food jelly is primarily consumed by bee larvae, studies investigating the antibiotic effects of this jelly have largely concentrated on bacterial human diseases.

In this study, we show that royal jelly fed to queen larvae and added to the jelly of drone and worker larvae, inhibits not only the growth of European Foulbrood-associated bacteria but also its causative agent M. plutonius. This effect is shown to be caused by the main protein (major royal jelly protein 1) of royal jelly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Propolis, Honey Component May Help Treat Depression

Neurochemical factors associated with the antidepressant-like effect of flavonoid chrysin in chronically stressed mice

Eur J Pharmacol. 2016 Sep 5;791:284-296

Chrysin is a flavonoid which is found in bee propolis, honey and various plants. Antidepressant-like effect of chrysin in chronically stressed mice was previously demonstrated by our group. Conversely, neurochemical factors associated with this effect require further investigations.

Thus, we investigated the possible involvement of pro-inflammatory cytokines, kynurenine pathway (KP), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) metabolism and caspases activities in the effect of chrysin in mice exposed to unpredictable chronic stress (UCS). UCS applied for 28 days induced a depressive-like behavior, characterized by decrease in the time of grooming in the splash test and by increase in the immobility time in the tail suspension test.

Oral treatment with chrysin (5 or 20mg/kg, 28 days), similarly to fluoxetine (10mg/kg, positive control), culminated in the prevention of these alterations. UCS elevated plasma levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone and adrenocorticotropic hormone, as well the tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and kynurenine levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HP). UCS induced the decrease in the 5-HT levels in the HP and the increase in the indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase, caspase 3 and 9 activities in the PFC and HP.

Treatment with chrysin, similarly to fluoxetine, promoted the attenuation of these alterations occasioned by UCS.

These results corroborated with the antidepressant potential of chrysin in the treatment of psychiatric diseases. Furthermore, this work indicated the association of pro-inflammatory cytokines synthesis, KP, 5-HT metabolism and caspases activities with the action exercised by chrysin in mice exposed to UCS.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Residues in beeswax: a health risk for the consumer of honey and beeswax?

J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Oct 14. [Epub ahead of print]

A scenario analysis in regard to the risk of chronic exposure of consumers to residues through the consumption of contaminated honey and beeswax was conducted. Twenty-two plant protection products and veterinary substances of which residues have already been detected in beeswax in Europe were selected. The potential chronic exposure was assessed applying a worst-case scenario based on the addition of a maximum daily intake through the consumption of honey and beeswax to the theoretical maximum daily intake through other foodstuffs. For each residue, the total exposure was finally compared to the acceptable daily intake. It is concluded that the food consumption of honey and beeswax contaminated with these residues considered separately does not compromise the consumer's health, provided proposed action limits are met. In regard to residues of flumethrin in honey and in beeswax, the "zero tolerance" should be applied.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Royal Jelly Inhibits Bacterial Growth

Food to some, poison to others - honeybee royal jelly and its growth inhibiting effect on European Foulbrood bacteria

Microbiologyopen. 2016 Oct 14

Honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera) serve as attractive hosts for a variety of pathogens providing optimal temperatures, humidity, and an abundance of food. Thus, honeybees have to deal with pathogens throughout their lives and, even as larvae they are affected by severe brood diseases like the European Foulbrood caused by Melissococcus plutonius.

Accordingly, it is highly adaptive that larval food jelly contains antibiotic compounds. However, although food jelly is primarily consumed by bee larvae, studies investigating the antibiotic effects of this jelly have largely concentrated on bacterial human diseases.

In this study, we show that royal jelly fed to queen larvae and added to the jelly of drone and worker larvae, inhibits not only the growth of European Foulbrood-associated bacteria but also its causative agent M. plutonius. This effect is shown to be caused by the main protein (major royal jelly protein 1) of royal jelly.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Bee Venom May Help Treat Arthritis

Could bee venom halt arthritis? Injecting the poison into knees of patients may help millions of sufferers 

Daily Mail

  • Nanoparticles can be injected into knees using peptide found in poison
  • It has powerful anti-inflammatory effect that halts cartilage destruction 
  • 9m people in Britain are estimated to have some degree of osteoarthritis

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ulmo Honey and Vitamin C Combined Boosts Healing of Burn Wounds

Morphometric evaluation of wound healing in burns treated with Ulmo (Eucryphia cordifolia) honey alone and supplemented with ascorbic acid in guinea pig (Cavia porcellus)

Burns Trauma. 2016 Oct 3;4:25


In the context of the search for cost-efficient treatments, Ulmo (Eurcyphia cordifolia) honey is an excellent alternative for treating burn wounds and could have a profound medical, social, and economic impact. Ascorbic acid is an enzymatic co-factor necessary for the synthesis of collagen and the proliferation of fibroblasts and has been proposed as a coadjuvant to strengthen the healing effects of honey. The aim of this work was to evaluate by morphometric studies the healing wounds caused by burns treated with Ulmo honey alone and supplemented with ascorbic acid in guinea pig (Cavia porcellus).


Fifteen guinea pigs were used and divided randomly into three groups: positive control (C+), experimental with unsupplemented honey (H), and experimental with supplemented honey (SH). A uniform deep burn covering 1 cm2 of the back skin was performed. The following indices were calculated for the morphometric study: superficial contraction index of the wound, deep contraction index of the wound, wound severity index, global healing index, global contraction index, and dermal proliferation area.


The superficial contraction index of the wound, global healing index, global contraction, and dermal proliferation area values of the experimental with supplemented honey group were higher than the other groups (P < 0.05).


According to these results, the combination of honey with an antioxidant (ascorbic acid) promotes an appropriate action to support the healing effect. This study showed that by supplementing the Ulmo honey with ascorbic acid, the healing and contraction effects can be strengthened in burn wounds compared to unsupplemented honey. These results were proof of the synergy between honey and ascorbic acid in healing burn wounds.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Turning Bee Pollen Into Bee Bread (Ambrosia, Bienenbrot, Perga)

The nutritional and bioactive aptitude of bee pollen for a solid-state fermentation process

Aptitud nutricional y bioactiva del polen de abeja para un proceso de fermentación en estado sólido

Journal of Apicultural Research

Volume 55, 2016 -  Issue 2

Interest in bioprocess-based products has increased in recent years due to their applications and advantages. Solid-state fermentation, as a part of this technology, has been used in different industries, including food. Among the products produced with this type of process, bee bread is one of the most important. Bee pollen is a valuable raw material because of its nutritional characteristics, in particular its protein (10–52%), lipid (.15–20%), dietary fiber (.3–20%), and mineral contents, as well as its bioactive qualities related to the presence of vitamins and antioxidants, which ultimately should allow micro-organism development during fermentation processes. Pollen grains possess, however, a natural protection that greatly limits nutrient transportation to the exterior of the grain. In fact, bees naturally induce bioprocesses in the interior of their hive to make pollen nutrients more bioavailable. The objective of this work is therefore to review the characteristics of bee pollen, and its aptitude as a raw material for a solid-state fermentation process.

El interés en los productos basados en bioprocesos se ha incrementado en los últimos años debido a sus aplicaciones y ventajas. La fermentación en estado sólido, como una parte de esta tecnología, se ha utilizado en diferentes industrias, incluyendo alimentos. Entre los productos producidos con este tipo de proceso, el pan de abejas es uno de los más importantes. El polen de abeja es una valiosa materia prima, debido a sus características nutricionales, en particular, su contenido de proteína (10–52%), lípidos (0.15–20%), fibra dietética (0.3–20%) y de minerales, así como su cualidades bioactivas relacionadas con la presencia de vitaminas y antioxidantes, que en última instancia, debería permitir el desarrollo de microorganismos durante los procesos de fermentación. Los granos de polen poseen, sin embargo, una protección natural que limita en gran medida el transporte de nutrientes al exterior del grano. De hecho, las abejas inducen naturalmente bioprocesos en el interior de la colmena para hacer nutrientes de polen más biodisponible. Por tanto, el objetivo de este trabajo es revisar las características del polen de abeja, y su aptitud como materia prima para un proceso de fermentación en estado sólido.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Analysis of Major Protein Unique to Royal Jelly

Quantitative Analysis of Apisin, a Major Protein Unique to Royal Jelly

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:5040528

Apisin, a protein that is unique to royal jelly (RJ), is known to compose the greater part of the RJ proteins and to exist as a heterooligomer containing major royal jelly protein 1 and apisimin. However, few reports on the methods for quantifying apisin have been published.

Thus, we attempted to quantify apisin using HPLC, a widely used analytical technique, as described below. Isoelectric precipitation and size-exclusion chromatography were used to obtain the purified protein, which was identified as apisin by SDS-PAGE and LC-MS analyses. The purified apisin was lyophilized and then used to generate a calibration curve to quantify apisin in RJ. The apisin content was fairly constant (i.e., 3.93 to 4.67 w/w%) in natural RJ.

This study is the first to describe a simple, standardized method for quantifying apisin using HPLC and suggests that apisin can be used as a benchmark for future evaluations of RJ quality.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Honey Extracted by Press Process More Nutritional Than That Obtained by Centrifugation

Nutritional and mineral contents of honey extracted by centrifugation and pressed processes

Food Chem. 2017 Mar 1;218:237-241

In this study, wild honey samples extracted by two different methods (centrifugation and pressed processing) were characterized and compared based on their physicochemical, and nutritional properties, macro- and micro-mineral contents, and pollen counts.

Twelve colonies of Africanized Apis mellifera were used; six honey samples were obtained by centrifugation and six by honeycomb press. All physicochemical parameters of honey samples (moisture, pH, total acidity, ash, dry matter, and qualitative absence of hydroxymethylfurfural) were within the limits established by EU legislation, and all parameters in pressed honey were superior (p < 0.05).

Nutritional contents (total carbohydrates, total lipids, total proteins, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid) and minerals (K, Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Li, Zn) were also higher in pressed honey. The quantity of pollen in pressed honey samples was 5.6-fold higher than in centrifuged samples. Pressed honey, can be marked as a differentiated product with a higher mineral content and several nutritional properties.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Role of Bioengineered Honey in Wound Care

Nursing Times, October 10, 2016

In vitro and clinical studies of a new bioengineered medical-grade honey suggest it has a broad-spectrum antimicrobial effect in healing wounds

Monday, October 10, 2016

Propolis Helps Preserve Quality of Fresh-Cut Vegetables

Physical Treatments and Propolis Extract to Enhance Quality Attributes of Fresh-Cut Mixed Vegetables

Journal of Food Processing and Preservation, Early View

The impact of individual and combined application of propolis extract (PE) plus ultrasound (ULT) or thermal treatment (TT) on the microbiological, nutritional, physicochemical and sensory quality of fresh-cut mixed vegetables for soup (celery, leek and butternut squash) stored at 5C was studied. The use of PE slightly reduced microbial growth, inhibited the activity of browning related enzymes and improved quality attributes during refrigerated storage. Moreover, PE was effective to reduce ascorbic acid losses in the product maintaining its nutritional quality. TT greatly lowered the initial microbial load (1.7–2.2 log units) and also reduced microbial growth on mixed vegetables extending its microbiological shelf-life to 5 days. Furthermore, TT inactivated browning enzymes improving visual quality; however, ascorbic acid degradation adversely affected nutritional quality. Meanwhile, ULT caused a significant microbial inactivation, reduced browning enzyme activity and also the inhibitory effect on polyphenoloxidase enzyme was enhanced by combining ULT with PE.
Practical Applications

The use of natural agents, as propolis extract, along with physical treatments to preserve the quality of fresh-cut mixed vegetables for soup might be an interesting option to address the concerns of the consumer about the use of synthetic chemical antimicrobials potentially harmful for health.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Rare Croatian Honey Analyzed for Antioxidant Capacity

First Report on Rare Unifloral Honey of Endemic Moltkia petraea (Tratt.) Griseb. from Croatia: Detailed Chemical Screening and Antioxidant Capacity

Chem Biodivers. 2016 Oct 8

Rare Moltkia petraea (Tratt.) Griseb. honey from Croatia was first time characterised. The spectrophotometric assays on CIE L*a*b*Cab *hab ° colour coordinates, total phenol content and antioxidant capacity (FRAP, CUPRAC, DPPH● and ABTS●+ assays) determined higher honey values generally close to dark honeys ranges. Headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) on two fibres after GC-FID and GC-MS revealed the major compounds 2-phenylacetaldehyde (12.8%; 15.6%), benzaldehyde (11.1%; 10.0%), octane (9.3%; 7.6%), nonane, propan-2-one, pentan-2-one, pentanal and nonanal (4.9%; 14.5%). Ultrasonic solvent extraction (USE) mainly isolated non-specific higher molecular compounds characteristic of the comb environment. Targeted HLPC-DAD analysis of the honey determined higher concentration of phenylalanine (212.08 mg/kg) and lumichrome (16.25 mg/kg) along with tyrosine and kojic acid. The headspace composition (chemical fingerprint) and high concentration of lumichrome can be considered particular for M. petraea honey.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Phenol-Rich Sweet Gel with Honey More Effective Than Antibiotic Against Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Phenol-Rich Compounds Sweet Gel: A Statistically More Effective Antibiotic than Cloxacillin Against Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

J Pharmacopuncture. 2016 Sep;19(3):246-252


The purpose of this study was to obtain a natural antibiotic from Phenol-rich compounds; for the dressing and the treatment of chronic wounds.


The Phenol-rich compound sweet gel was prepared by blending four natural herbal extracts, Acacia catechu (L.F.), Momia (Shilajit), Castanea sativa, and Ephedra sinica stapf, with combination of a sweet gel medium, including honey, maple saps, Phoenix dactylifera L. (date), pomegranate extract and Azadirachta indica gum as a stabilizer. The combinations were screened by using a well-diffusion assay with cloxacillin as a control. Pseudomonas spp. was tested with our novel antimicrobial compound. The zones of inhibition in agar culture were measured for each individual component and for the compound, and the results were compared with those of the control group which had been treated with cloxacillin. Data were expressed as means ± standard deviations. Quantitative analyses were performed using the paired t-test.


The antibiotic effect of the Phenol-rich compound sweet gel was statistically shown to be more significant than that of cloxacillin against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P < 0.05).


Our novel approach to fighting the antibiotic resistance of Pseudomonas proved to be successful. The Phenol-rich compound sweet gel was found to be suitable for use as an alternative medicine and bioactive dressing material, for the treatment of patients with various types of wounds, including burns, venous leg ulcers, ulcers of various etiologies, leg ulcers on the feet of diabetic, unhealed graft sampling sites, abscesses, boils, surgical wounds, necrotic process, post-operative and neonatal wound infection, and should be considered as an alternative to the usual methods of cure.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Bee Venom Component May Help Treat Viral Myocarditis (VMC)

Melittin ameliorates CVB3-induced myocarditis via activation of the HDAC2-mediated GSK-3β/Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016 Sep 27

Viral myocarditis (VMC) is characterized as an inflammatory process of the myocardium and can be fatal in infants and children. Melittin is a major polypeptide in honey bee venom that has been traditionally used against inflammation. However, its effect on VMC and the underlying molecular mechanism has not been reported.

In this study, BALB/c mice were intraperitoneally injected with CVB3 to build a VMC model and treated with melittin. The results showed that melittin increased the mice's body weight and inhibited CVB3 replication. HE staining also showed that melittin alleviated myocardial injury in the VMC model. Flow cytometry showed that melittin inhibited myocardial cell apoptosis; in addition, real-time PCR showed that melittin decreased the expression of bax and caspase-3, and increased the expression of bcl-2. The results of echocardiographic examination showed that melittin improved cardiac function. Moreover, melittin decreased the activity of AST, CK, HBDH and LDH, and decreased the production of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and MCP-1 in CVB3-induced myocardial tissues. Finally, we also found that melittin increased the expression of HDAC2 and activated the GSK-3β/Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway, whereas these changes were reversed by inhibition of HDAC2 in VMC model mice.

In conclusion, our results suggested that melittin ameliorates CVB3-induced myocarditis via activation of the HDAC2-mediated GSK-3β/Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Bee Venom Inhibits Bacterial Growth

Bee Venom (Apis Mellifera) an Effective Potential Alternative to Gentamicin for Specific Bacteria Strains: Bee Venom an Effective Potential for Bacteria

J Pharmacopuncture. 2016 Sep;19(3):225-230


Mellitine, a major component of bee venom (BV, Apis mellifera), is more active against gram positive than gram negative bacteria. Moreover, BV has been reported to have multiple effects, including antibacterial, antivirus, and anti-inflammation effects, in various types of cells. In addition, wasp venom has been reported to have antibacterial properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial activity of BV against selected gram positive and gram negative bacterial strains of medical importance.


This investigation was set up to evaluate the antibacterial activity of BV against six grams positive and gram negative bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Three concentrations of crude BV and standard antibiotic (gentamicin) disks as positive controls were tested by using the disc diffusion method.


BV was found to have a significant antibacterial effect against E. coli, S. aureus, and Salmonella typhyimurium in all three concentrations tested. However, BV had no noticeable effect on other tested bacteria for any of the three doses tested.


The results of the current study indicate that BV inhibits the growth and survival of bacterial strains and that BV can be used as a complementary antimicrobial agent against pathogenic bacteria. BV lacked the effective proteins necessary for it to exhibit antibacterial activity for some specific strains while being very effective against other specific strains. Thus, one may conclude, that Apis mellifera venom may have a specific mechanism that allows it to have an antibacterial effect on certain susceptible bacteria, but that mechanism is not well understood.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Brazilian Propolis May Help Treat Oral Infections

Effects of Brazilian Propolis on Dental Plaque and Gingiva in Patients with Oral Cleft Malformation Treated with Multibracket and Removable Appliances: A Comparative Study

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:2038407

Orthodontic appliances modify the local environment of the oral cavity, increase the accumulation of dental plaque, and affect the condition of the gingiva.

The aim of this study is assessment of Brazilian propolis toothpaste's effect on plaque index (PLI) and gingival index (GI) in patients with CL/CLP treated using orthodontic appliances in the 35-day study period. The study population included 96 patients of an Orthodontic Outpatient Clinic, ACSiMS in Bytom. All the patients participated in the active phase of orthodontic treatment using buccal multibracket appliances or removable appliances. During the first examination, each patient was randomly qualified to the propolis group or control group.

A statistically significant decrease in GI and PLI in the entire propolis group (P < 0.01) was shown during repeated examination. Insignificant change in GI was in the entire control group during the repeated examination compared to the baseline. Similar result was obtained in patients treated with multibracket and removable appliances. The orthodontic appliance type did not affect the final dental plaque amount and gingival condition in patients using the propolis toothpaste.

These results may be clinically useful to improve prevention and control oral infectious diseases during orthodontic treatment patients with oral cleft.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Bee Venom May Help Treat Dementia

Bee Venom Ameliorates Cognitive Dysfunction Caused by Neuroinflammation in an Animal Model of Vascular Dementia

Mol Neurobiol. 2016 Sep 29

Vascular dementia (VaD) is caused by the reduction of blood supply by vessel occlusion and is characterized by progressive cognitive decline. VaD incidence has been growing due to the aging population, placing greater strain on social and economic resources. However, the pathological mechanisms underlying VaD remain unclear. Many studies have used the bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) animal model to investigate potential therapeutics for VaD.

In this study, we investigated whether bee venom (BV) improves cognitive function and reduces neuroinflammation in the hippocampus of BCCAO animals.

Animals were randomly divided into three groups: a sham group (n = 15), BCCAO control group (n = 15), and BV-treated BCCAO group (n = 15). BCCAO animals were treated with 0.1 μg/g BV at ST36 ("Joksamli" acupoint) four times every other day. In order to investigate the effect of BV treatment on cognitive function, we performed a Y-maze test. In order to uncover any potential relationship between these results and neuroinflammation, we also performed Western blotting in the BCCAO group.

Animals that had been treated with BV showed an improved cognitive function and a reduced expression of neuroinflammatory proteins in the hippocampus, including Iba-1, TLR4, CD14, and TNF-α. Furthermore, we demonstrated that BV treatment increased pERK and BDNF in the hippocampus. The present study thus underlines the neuroprotective effect of BV treatment against BCCAO-induced cognitive impairment and neuroinflammation.

Our findings suggest that BV may be an effective complementary treatment for VaD, as it may improve cognitive function and attenuate neuroinflammation associated with dementia.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Manuka Honey: A Natural Antibacterial Agent?

Newsmax, September 29, 2016

Manuka honey, hailed by some as a new “superfood,” has been found to curb the growth of bacterial biofilms — thin layers of microbes that build up on surfaces, including plastic — according to new research.

The findings, published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, suggest the honey might hold promise as an antibacterial agent for medical devices, such as urinary catheters, which carry a high infection risk.

The use of honey as a health remedy dates back centuries, and the new study adds to a growing body of research suggesting that it may have potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

For the new study, researchers from the University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, cultured strains of Escherichia coli and Proteus mirabilis bacteria — common causes of urinary tract infections — on plastic plates in the laboratory.

The results showed that the honey strongly inhibited the “stickiness” of the bacteria, and therefore blocked the development of a biofilm — even at very diluted concentrations...

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Bee-Sting Therapy Provides Relief to Egyptians

Xinhua, 10/1/2016

CAIRO, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Dozens have gathered at Heba al-Sayeh's place in Egypt's Giza Governorate for bee-sting therapy to cure muscle problems, kidney failure and cancer.

Al-Sayeh, whose family originally works in beekeeping business, has turned two rooms of her house into "clinics" to treat patients free of charge with the stings of live bees, a practice known as apitherapy.

With a master degree in apitherapy, the doctor in her late thirties said that she started the treatment some 15 years ago as the first practitioner of apitherapy in Egypt.

Though denounced by many researchers for lacking sound medical evidences, apitherapy, which can date back to ancient Egypt, is a form of alternative treatment that has spread in recent decades to many countries.

Ibrahim, al-Sayeh's younger brother who learned the skill from her, was taking care of male patients in a two-room clinic at the ground floor, while a smaller room on the first floor was packed with women waiting for treatment by al-Sayeh herself...

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Honey Inhibits Biofilm Formation

Diluted honey inhibits biofilm formation: potential application in urinary catheter management?

J Clin Pathol. 2016 Sep 26. pii: jclinpath-2015-203546

Biofilms are ubiquitous and when mature have a complex structure of microcolonies in an extracellular polysaccharide and extracellular DNA matrix. Indwelling medical devices harbour biofilms which have been shown to cause infections and act as reservoirs for pathogens. Urinary catheters are often in place for considerable periods of time and are susceptible to both encrustation and biofilm formation. Strategies for minimising biofilm occurrence underpin an active research area in biomedicine. Manuka honey has, inter alia, well-established antibacterial properties. This study aims to assess the influence of honey on early biofilm formation in an established in vitro model.


An established model of early biofilm formation using static bacterial cultures in vinyl 96-well plates was used to grow Escherichia coli, strain ATC 25922 and Proteus mirabilis, strain 7002. Planktonic cells were removed and the residual biofilm was stained with crystal violet, which were subsequently eluted and quantified spectrophotometrically. Manuka honey (Unique Manuka Factor 15+) was added either with the bacteria or up to 72 hours after.


Biofilms in this model was developed over 3 days, after which growth stalled. Mixed (1:1) cultures of E. coli and P. mirabilis grew slower than monocultures. In mixed cultures, honey gave a dose-dependent reduction in biofilm formation (between 3.3 and 16.7%w/v). At 72 hours, all concentrations inhibited maximally (p<0 .001="" 24="" 48="" adherent="" after="" also="" and="" application="" bacterial="" biomass="" cultures="" honey="" hours="" of="" p="" reduced="" the="" to="">

Manuka honey at dilutions as low as 3.3% w/v in some protocols and at 10% or above in all protocols tested significantly inhibits bacterial attachment to a vinyl substrate and reduces further early biofilm development. No augmentation of growth over untreated controls was observed in any experiment.