Friday, October 15, 2021

Yogurt, Propolis, Cinnamon Product Studied to Help Reduce Risk of Severe Viral Infections, Including COVID-19


Preparation and evaluation of novel functional fermented dairy products containing propolis and cinnamon


J Food Sci Technol. 2021 Oct 3;1-10

Novel functional food products might be an easy accessible and eligible approach to help reduce the risk of severe viral infections including SARS-CoV-2. Hence a product containing probiotics, propolis and cinnamon was developed and interferences of the ingredients were characterized.

Yogurts were prepared using starter cultures with propolis (0.03%) and cinnamon in various concentrations (0.3%, 1%, and 2.5%). Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus were used as microorganisms for yogurt production. Chemical analysis revealed a decline of fat matter in the presence of propolis and/or cinnamon.

Propolis had statistically significant suppressive effects on Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis as well as on Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus numbers (p < 0.05). These effects were diminished in the presence of increasing cinnamon concentrations. For Lactobacillus acidophilus a statistically significant reducing effect on the number of colonies was observed in all products investigated. Nevertheless all samples met the standard of recommended level of ≥ 106 viable cells/g of a product.

Propolis showed an inverse effect on Streptococcus thermophilus by increasing its colony numbers in yogurts. The probiotic yogurt samples containing propolis (0.03%) and cinnamon (2.5%) gained the highest number of points in the sensory evaluation compared to control.

Friday, October 01, 2021

Thyme Honey, Olive Oil Combine to Protect Against Diabetes Complications


The Synergistic Beneficial Effect of Thyme Honey and Olive Oil against Diabetes and Its Complications Induced by Alloxan in Wistar Rats

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2021 Sep 20;2021:9949056

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by a chronic increase in blood glucose. Owing to the limitations observed with antidiabetics in modern medicine, medicinal plants and bee products are known as good matrices for the search for new antidiabetic molecules. 

The present study focused on the evaluation of the hypoglycemic and the protective properties of two natural products widely used in complementary and alternative medicine (thyme honey and olive oil). To achieve this, the study was carried out on Wistar rats rendered diabetic by the injection of a single dose of alloxan monohydrate (65 mg/kg body weight (BW)). 

First, the physicochemical characterization and the phytochemical analysis of thyme honey and olive oil were carried out, and then in vivo study was conducted on 42 Wistar rats divided into seven groups: three groups were normal, one group was untreated diabetic, and three groups were diabetic rats treated with thyme honey (2 g/kg BW) or olive oil (10 mL/kg BW) or their combination ((1 g/kg BW of thyme honey) and (5 mL/kg BW of olive oil)). During the experiment, the glycemia was measured regularly every 10 days. 

After 30 days of treatment, the rats were sacrificed. The serum and urine were analyzed to determine hepatic enzymes levels (AST, ALT, ALP, and LDH), lipidic profile (total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein), and kidney parameters (urea, uric acid, creatinine, total protein, sodium, potassium, and chloride). The liver, pancreas, and kidneys were analyzed to evaluate their histological changes and to determine their enzymatic antioxidant content (catalase, GSH, and GPx) and the levels of MDA. 

The results obtained showed that thyme honey or olive oil, and especially their combination, improved significantly the blood glucose levels and they protect against metabolic changes and the complications induced by diabetes.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Bee Venom Helps Treat Diabetic Heart Dysfunction


Bee venom ameliorates cardiac dysfunction in diabetic hyperlipidemic rats


Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2021 Sep 22;15353702211045924

High levels of blood glucose and lipids are well-known risk factors for heart diseases. Bee venom is a natural product that has a potent hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects.

The current study aimed to determine the bee venom effects on cardiac dysfunction compared to combined therapy of metformin and atorvastatin in diabetic hyperlipidemic rats. The median lethal dose of bee venom was estimated, and then 50 adult male albino rats were categorized into five groups. One group was fed a standard diet and served as a negative control, while the other groups were given nicotinamide and streptozotocin injections to induce type 2 diabetes.

After confirming diabetes, the rats were fed a high-fat diet for four weeks. The four groups were divided as follows: one group served as a positive control, whereas the other three groups were treated with bee venom (0.5 mg/kg), bee venom (1.23 mg/kg), and combined therapy of metformin (60 mg/kg) and atorvastatin (10 mg/kg), respectively, for four weeks.

Upon termination of the experiment, blood samples and heart tissue were obtained. Administration of bee venom using both doses (0.5 and 1.23 mg/kg) and combined therapy of metformin and atorvastatin revealed a significant decrease in the concentrations of glucose, total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, troponin I, creatine kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase activities.

Moreover, a significant decrease had been detedcted in malondialdehyde, nuclear factor-kappa-β levels, and relative mRNA expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and galectin-3 in heart tissue compared to the positive control (P < 0.0001). Furthermore, there was a significant increase in bodyweight levels of insulin, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and total antioxidant capacity in heart tissue compared to the positive control (P < 0.0001).

The results indicate that bee venom can ameliorate cardiac dysfunction through attenuating oxidative stress and downregulating the NF-κβ signaling pathway.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Pakistan Randomized Trial of Honey, Black Seed in Preventing Community Spread of COVID-19

Prophylactic potential of honey and Nigella sativa L. against hospital and community-based SARS-CoV-2 spread: a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Trials. 2021 Sep 15;22(1):618

Objectives: Considering the therapeutic potential of honey and Nigella sativa (HNS) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, the objective of the study is defined to evaluate the prophylactic role of HNS.

Trial design: The study is a randomized, placebo-controlled, adaptive clinical trial with parallel group design, superiority framework with an allocation ratio of 1:1 among experimental (HNS) and placebo group. An interim analysis will be done when half of the patients have been recruited to evaluate the need to adapt sample size, efficacy, and futility of the trial.

Participants: All asymptomatic patients with hospital or community based COVID-19 exposure will be screened if they have had 4 days exposure to a confirmed case. Non-pregnant adults with significant exposure level will be enrolled in the study High-risk exposure (<6 feet distance for >10min without face protection) Moderate exposure (<6 feet distance for >10min with face protection) Subjects with acute or chronic infection, COVID-19 vaccinated, and allergy to HNS will be excluded from the study. Recruitment will be done at Shaikh Zayed Post-Graduate Medical Institute, Ali Clinic and Doctors Lounge in Lahore (Pakistan).

Intervention and comparator: In this clinical study, patients will receive either raw natural honey (0.5 g) and encapsulated organic Nigella sativa seeds (40 mg) per kg body weight per day or empty capsule with and 30 ml of 5% dextrose water as a placebo for 14 days. Both the natural products will be certified for standardization by Government College University (Botany department). Furthermore, each patient will be given standard care therapy according to version 3.0 of the COVID-19 clinical management guidelines by the Ministry of National Health Services of Pakistan.

Main outcomes: Primary outcome will be Incidence of COVID-19 cases within 14 days of randomisation. Secondary endpoints include incidence of COVID-19-related symptoms, hospitalizations, and deaths along with the severity of COVID-19-related symptoms till 14th day of randomization.

Randomisation: Participants will be randomized into experimental and control groups (1:1 allocation ratio) via the lottery method. There will be stratification based on high risk and moderate risk exposure.

Blinding (masking): Quadruple blinding will be ensured for the participants, care providers and outcome accessors. Data analysts will also be blinded to avoid conflict of interest. Site principal investigator will be responsible for ensuring masking.

Numbers to be randomised (sample size): 1000 participants will be enrolled in the study with 1:1 allocation.

Trial status: The final protocol version 1.4 was approved by institutional review board of Shaikh Zayed Post-Graduate Medical Complex on February 15, 2021. The trial recruitment was started on March 05, 2021, with a trial completion date of February 15, 2022.

Trial registration: Clinical trial was registered on February 23, 2021, www.clinicaltrials.gov with registration ID NCT04767087 .

Full protocol: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). With the intention of expediting dissemination of this trial, the conventional formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines.

Keywords: COVID-19; Honey; Nigella Sativa; Pakistan; Prophetic Medicine; Protocol; Randomised controlled trial.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Honey and Propolis Protect Liver and Kidneys from Damage


Protective Effect of Honey and Propolis against Gentamicin-Induced Oxidative Stress and Hepatorenal Damages


Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 Sep 2;2021:9719906

Bee products are a promising source of phenolic compounds with strong antioxidant activity. The present study was designed to explore the protective effect of honey, propolis, and their combination on gentamicin-induced oxidative stress and hepatorenal dysfunction. This study was conducted on male Wistar rats by intraperitoneal injections of gentamicin (120 mg/kg BW/day, i.p.) or normal saline (1 ml/kg BW/day, i.p.) for 10 consecutive days.

Honey (2 g/kg BW), propolis (100 mg/kg BW), or their combination were given daily by gavage to normal and gentamicin groups. Honey and propolis samples were evaluated for their phytochemical composition and antioxidant capacity. The in vitro investigations showed that the evaluated samples especially propolis extract have high antioxidant power associated with the presence of several phenolic compounds such as flavonoids, flavan-3-ols, hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids, and stilbenes, while honey contains only hydroxybenzoic acids and hydroxycinnamic acids.

It was also shown that simultaneous treatment with honey or propolis extract alone or in association prevented changes caused by gentamicin administration and improved hepatic and renal functions. Changes caused by gentamicin administration, observed by in vivo experiments, include significant elevation of uric acid, urea, creatinine, and hepatic enzyme levels (ALT, AST, and ALP) and kidney biochemical changes (an increase of urea, uric acid, and creatinine and a decrease of albumin and total protein) as well as remarkable changes of renal and liver oxidative stress markers (CAT, GPx, and GSH) and elevation of MDA levels.

Overall, it can be concluded that honey and propolis might be useful in the management of liver and renal diseases induced by xenobiotics.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Bee Venom is Shows Antibacterial, Anti-Cancer, Anti-Arthritic, Anti-Inflammatory Activities

Bee Venom: From Venom to Drug

Molecules. 2021 Aug 15;26(16):4941

Insects of the order Hymenoptera have a defensive substance that contains many biologically active compounds. Specifically, venom from honeybees (Apis mellifera) contains many enzymes and peptides that are effective against various diseases. Different research papers stated the possibility of using bee venom (a direct bee sting or in an injectable form) in treating several complications; either in vivo or in vitro. Other reports used the active fractions of bee venom clinically or at labratory scale.

Many reports and publications have stated that bee venom and its constituents have multiple biological activities including anti-microbial, anti-protozoan, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-arthritic properties. 

The present review aims to refer to the use of bee venom itself or its fractions in treating several diseases and counteracting drug toxicities as an alternative protocol of therapy. The updated molecular mechanisms of actions of bee venom and its components are discussed in light of the previous updated publications. The review also summarizes the potential of venom loaded on nanoparticles as a drug delivery vehicle and its molecular mechanisms. Finally, the products of bee venom available in markets are also demonstrated.







Monday, August 30, 2021

Bee Venom Acupuncture Helps Relieve Pain

Bee Venom Acupuncture Effects on Pain and Its Mechanisms: An Updated Review

Toxins 2021, 13(9), 608

Bee venom (BV) is a complex natural toxin that contains various pharmaceutical compounds. Bee venom acupuncture (BVA), involving a BV injection into a certain acupuncture point, has been utilized to relieve a range of pain conditions. Regardless of whether pain is caused by disease or injury, if not effectively treated, pain can exert a detrimental effect on all aspects of life. 

In the past decade, many researchers have investigated the anti-nociceptive effects of BVA through clinical use and experimental evaluation. This report reviews the existing knowledge on the analgesic effects of BVA, focusing on musculoskeletal pain, inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain, and its analgesic mechanisms. Although further clinical trials are needed to clinical application of experimental results, this review will contribute to the standardization and generalization of BVA.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Lyme Disease, COVID-19 Leads New York Woman to Attempt Bee Venom Therapy


NNY 360

In Ms. Ricci’s case, she had Lyme Disease roughly 15 years ago. She had swelling and joint pain back then, but a couple rounds of antibiotics all-but relieved it. Fast forward to December 2020, when she tested positive for COVID-19. She said it felt like the worst hangover she’s ever had for three weeks straight. But then the joint pain came back and stayed. Her hands would swell and the joint pain would be so severe that she couldn’t get out of bed for days at a time. It took her back to 15 years ago. She would end up showing signs of Lyme Disease again in February, and it appears her COVID-19 case was affecting it. Dr. Duah said it’s possible the COVID-19 case caused the Lyme in Ms. Ricci to flair up. Another possibility that Dr. Duah and Ms. Ricci are not ruling out is that it could be COVID-19 long haulers, which is when symptoms persist for weeks if not months after they first test positive. Either way, COVID-19 is either helping her Lyme along or it’s doing all the work.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Ajwain Honey Shows Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant Therapeutic Applications



Unifloral ajwain honey ameliorates differential inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 protein, cytotoxicity, and antioxidant potential


J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2021 Aug 17;S0975-9476(21)00106-6

Abstract

Background: Free radicals lead to inflammation, which in turn could intervene several chronic diseases including cancer. The promising scientific finding for anti-cancer properties of honey is an area of great interest.

Objective: The present study was designed to investigate the invitro biological effects (cytotoxic, and anti-inflammatory through differential inhibition of metalloproteinases and antioxidant) of unifloral Ajwain honey along with its physicochemical properties (pH, moisture, ash content, electrical conductivity, color, protein).

Materials and methods: Three Ajwain honey samples (AJ-1, AJ-2, and AJ-3) were collected from different geographical origins of Western Ghats of India. Melissopalynological analysis was carried out to confirm uniflorality. Physicochemical analysis for ash, moisture content, pH, electrical conductivity, color, and total protein was estimated. Total polyphenol, total flavonoid content, and ferric reducing ability of plasma assay were determined using appropriate methods. The cytotoxic effect was assessed against breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and the anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated by gelatin zymography of matrix metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9 proteins.

Results: Melissopalynological analysis confirmed pollens from Ajwain plant's and so-called Ajwain honey. MTT assay depicted inhibitory trend for all honey samples across the concentrations (6.25-100 mg/ml) as compared to untreated cells. Gelatin zymography of metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) showed inhibitory tendency in all Ajwain honey samples. The AJ-3 honey sample had the highest inhibition at 0.625%. A significant correlation between honey color, pH, and protein content was perceived throughout the study.

Conclusion: This study highlights the invitro biological evidence for possible therapeutic application of Ajwain honey samples in cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant management as well as can be considered a potent source of supplements in human nutrition.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Bee Pollen, Probiotic May Help Improve Poor Detoxification, Oxidative Stress, Neuroinflammation Implicated in Mechanism of Autism


Testing the combined effects of probiotics and prebiotics against neurotoxic effects of propionic acid orally administered to rat pups

Food Sci Nutr. 2021 Jun 23;9(8):4440-4451

The present study investigated the combined effects of mixed probiotic and bee pollen on brain intoxication induced by propionic acid (PPA) in rat pups.

Thirty western albino rats were divided into five groups, six animals each: (1) Control group receiving phosphate-buffered saline; (2) Probiotic and bee pollen-treated group being administered at the same dose with 200 mg/kg body weight; (c) PPA-treated group receiving a neurotoxic dose 250 mg/kg body weight of PPA for 3 days; (d) Therapeutic group being administered the neurotoxic dose of PPA followed by probiotic and bee pollen treatment 200 mg/kg body weight; (e) Protective group receiving probiotic and bee pollen mixture treatment followed by neurotoxic dose of PPA. 

Selected biochemical parameters linked to oxidative stress, energy metabolism, and neurotransmission were investigated in brain homogenates from all the five groups. PPA treatment showed an increase in oxidative stress markers like lipid peroxidation coupled with a significant decrease in glutathione level. Impaired energy metabolism was ascertained via the alteration of creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities. Dramatic increase of Na+ and K+ concentrations together with a decrease of GABA and IL-6 and an elevation of glutamate levels in PPA-treated rat's pups confirmed the neurotoxicity effect of PPA. 

Interestingly, the mixed probiotic and bee pollen treatment were effective in restoring the levels of glutamate, GABA, and IL-6 in addition to normalizing the levels of lipid peroxidation and glutathione and the activities of CK and LDH. 

The present study indicates that mixed probiotic and bee pollen treatment can improve poor detoxification, oxidative stress, and neuroinflammation as mechanisms implicated in the etiology of autism.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Bee Bread Prevents Migration of Breast Cancer Cells


The effect of bee bread (Perga) with chemotherapy on MDA-MB-231 cells


Mol Biol Rep. 2021 Mar;48(3):2299-2306

Bee bread (BB) is a bee product like propolis and honey. It is the main food for larvae and bees producing royal jelly in the hive. It also known as Perga. As with other bee products, it is increasingly popular due to its antioxidant properties. 

The aim of this study was to examine the effects of BB on MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and the effects on these cells when administered together with Doxorubicin (DOX) and Cisplatin (CDDP), used in cancer treatment. The proliferation of the cells was determined by applying 5 mg/mL BB together with different concentrations of DOX and CDDP. In addition to these studies, the effect of DOX+BB and CDDP+BB combinations on the migration of MDA-MB-231 cells was determined by the wound healing method. 

The expression levels of Bid and Bcl-2 were determined by RtqPCR. According to these studies, as expected, BB did not show a significant toxic effect on MDA-MB-231 cells at different concentrations. BB significantly suppressed the effect of DOX and CDDP on the proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells. BB with DOX and CDDP suppressed the proapoptotic Bid gene while overexpressing the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 gene, separately. Interestingly, BB blocked the migration of MDA-MB-231 cells by 50% even after 72 h. 

As a result, BB significantly reduced the toxicity of DOX and CDDP on MDA-MB-231 cells. The most interesting result of the study is that BB prevented the migration of cancer cells.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Propolis Increases Antibacterial Resistance of Medical Screws, Prevents Biofilm Formation


The Antibacterial Effectiveness of Propolis on Medical Screws


Cureus. 2021 Jul 9;13(7):e16278

Background

Medical screws are widely used in orthopedic surgery for fracture fixation. The antibacterial effectiveness of propolis is well known. In this study, we aimed to demonstrate the antibacterial effectiveness of medical screws coated with propolis.

Methodology

Between March 2019 and April 2020, we formed five experimental groups and investigated the antibacterial activities of different amounts of propolis and polymer-coated screws. Staphylococcus aureus was used to determine the antibacterial activity. Carbopol, chosen as the model polymer, was used to improve the adhesion of propolis to the screws. Agar diffusion test of surface-coated screws was used to evaluate the antibacterial effect.

Results

The mean zone diameters were 24.3 ± 1.1, 23.0 ± 0.8, 21.8 ± 1.6, 19.3 ± 0.6, and 20.2 ± 0.8 mm for IS-7.5, IS-5.0, IS-2.5, IS-P, and IS-P-7.5, respectively. The IS-7.5 group had the most antibacterial activities. The antibacterial activities of the medical screws determined using the agar diffusion method were significantly increased by the propolis coating on the screws. Our results showed that the propolis-coated screws had antibacterial activity against S. aureus.

As a result, we believe that the combination of gel and propolis is an effective method in increasing the antibacterial resistance of medical screws and preventing the formation of a biofilm layer of microorganisms.

Conclusions

In our view, the gel and propolis combination significantly improved the antibacterial resistance of the medical screws, and the method developed in this study can be an alternative approach to increase the antibacterial resistance of medical implants owing to its simplicity, effectiveness, and biocompatibility.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Bee Venom Shows Anti-Cancer Properties Against Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), a Frequent Form of Malignant Glioma


Molecular characterization of the anticancer properties associated with bee venom and its components in glioblastoma multiforme


Physicians Weekly

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a frequent form of malignant glioma. Strategic therapeutic approaches to treat this type of brain tumor currently involves a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Nevertheless, survival of GBM patients remains in the 12-15 months range following diagnosis. Development of novel therapeutic approaches for this malignancy is therefore of utmost importance.

Interestingly, bee venom and its components have shown promising anti-cancer activities in various types of cancer even though information pertaining to GBMs have been limited. The current work was thus undertaken to better characterize the anti-cancer properties of bee venom and its components in Hs683, T98G and U373 human glioma cells. MTT-based cell viability assays revealed IC values of 7.12, 15.35 and 7.60 μg/mL for cell lines Hs683, T98G and U373 treated with bee venom, respectively...

Overall, this study provides preliminary insight on molecular mechanisms via which bee venom and its main components can impact viability of glioma cells and warrants further investigation of its anticancer potential in gliomas.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Honey Bee Products Show Anti-Cancer, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Viral, Anti-Parasitic Properties


Pharmaceutical Prospects of Bee Products: Special Focus on Anticancer, Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Antiparasitic Properties


Antibiotics (Basel). 2021 Jul 6;10(7):822

Bee products have long been used in traditional healing practices to treat many types of disorders, including cancer and microbial-related diseases. Indeed, several chemical compounds found in bee products have been demonstrated to display anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. With the improvement of research tools and in view of recent advances related to bee products, this review aims to provide broad yet detailed insight into the pharmaceutical prospects of bee products such as honey, propolis, bee pollen, royal jelly, bee bread, beeswax, and bee venom, in the domain of cancer and infectious disease management. Available literature confirms the efficacy of these bee products in the alleviation of cancer progression, inhibition of bacterial and viral proliferation, and mitigation of parasitic-related symptoms. With such potentials, bioactive components isolated from the bee products can be used as an alternative approach in the long-run effort to improve humans' health at a personal and community level.

Monday, August 02, 2021

Study: Honey Bee Propolis Can Reduce the Impact of COVID-19


Efficacy of Brazilian green propolis (EPP-AF®) as an adjunct treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients: A randomized, controlled clinical trial

Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Jun;138:111526 

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) promotes challenging immune and inflammatory phenomena. Though various therapeutic possibilities have been tested against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the most adequate treatment has not yet been established. Propolis is a natural product with considerable evidence of immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory activities, and experimental data point to potential against viral targets. We hypothesized that propolis can reduce the negative effects of COVID-19.

Methods: In a randomized, controlled, open-label, single-center trial, hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients were treated with a standardized green propolis extract (EPP-AF®️) as an adjunct therapy. Patients were allocated to receive standard care plus an oral dose of 400 mg or 800 mg/day of green propolis for seven days, or standard care alone. Standard care included all necessary interventions, as determined by the attending physician. The primary end point was the time to clinical improvement, defined as the length of hospital stay or oxygen therapy dependency duration. Secondary outcomes included acute kidney injury and need for intensive care or vasoactive drugs. Patients were followed for 28 days after admission.

Results: We enrolled 124 patients; 40 were assigned to EPP-AF®️ 400 mg/day, 42 to EPP-AF®️ 800 mg/day, and 42 to the control group. The length of hospital stay post-intervention was shorter in both propolis groups than in the control group; lower dose, median 7 days versus 12 days (95% confidence interval [CI] -6.23 to -0.07; p = 0.049) and higher dose, median 6 days versus 12 days (95% CI -7.00 to -1.09; p = 0.009). Propolis did not significantly affect the need for oxygen supplementation. In the high dose propolis group, there was a lower rate of acute kidney injury than in the controls (4.8 vs 23.8%), (odds ratio [OR] 0.18; 95% CI 0.03-0.84; p = 0.048). No patient had propolis treatment discontinued due to adverse events.

Conclusions: Addition of propolis to the standard care procedures resulted in clinical benefits for the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, especially evidenced by a reduction in the length of hospital stay. Consequently, we conclude that propolis can reduce the impact of COVID-19.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Manuka Honey Used to Treat Animal/Pets Cuts and Burns

Successfully Used on Animals Escaping from Fire, Noted Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Theresa Fossum Adds Wound Therabee, with Manuka Honey For Animal Cuts and Burns, To Her Line

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., July 26, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Noted veterinary surgeon Dr. Theresa Fossum DVM, MS, Ph.D., Diplomate ACVS, and author of the most referenced book on pet operations, Small Animal Surgery, has added a new product to her popular line of natural animal supplements Dr. Fossum's Pet Care, Wound Therabee, with certified Manuka Honey for animal cuts and burns.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Judge Says It's OK Trader Joe’s '100% Manuka Honey' Isn't


July 16 - A federal court on Thursday refused to revive a proposed class action against Trader Joe's Co accusing the retailer of falsely marketing its "100% Manuka Honey," which is not derived entirely from the manuka plant.

A unanimous 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Thursday that reasonably minded consumers were unlikely to be deceived by the label because it is impossible to produce a honey made from only one flower source, and because the Food and Drug Administration allows honey to be labeled according to its primary flower source...

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Using Manuka Honey to Treat Cat's Injury was Right Thing to Do


MV Times

...When all the debris and dead tissue was removed, I looked at it for a long time. There was not enough viable skin left on the top to suture closed. There were exposed tendons. On the bottom, at least all his pads were intact but much of the tissue between the pads, and farther up the leg, looked like hamburger. I palpated all the bones. Carpus. Metatarsals. Toes. There did not seem to be any broken. (We later confirmed this with radiographs.) “Okay,” I said to myself, trying to be optimistic. “I’ve seen worse things heal.” Out loud I asked my assistant to lay out my surgical equipment while I went into the house and grabbed the honey from my pantry.

That’s right. Honey. People have been using honey to treat wounds for more than 4,000 years. Now science has analyzed and documented why this ancient remedy can be so effective in certain circumstances. Honey helps dissolve away tissue that is no longer viable while simultaneously having antimicrobial effects, inhibiting bacterial growth. It helps draw fluid out of edematous tissues, reducing swelling. Honey can help the body to activate its own lymphocytes and to release substances that help with wound healing. Honey has antioxidant and moisturizing properties. Manuka honey, a product native to New Zealand made by bees who pollinate the manuka bush or tree (Leptospermum scoparium), is touted to have greatly enhanced anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects and to be the best type of honey for healing. It is actually approved by the FDA as a medical treatment for open wounds.

I didn’t happen to have medical grade Manuka honey, or any Manuka honey, in my cupboard, but in a pinch, any honey was better than none. I flushed Roro’s lesions thoroughly with sterile saline, sutured what I could to minimize the areas that would have to heal as open wounds. Then I slathered honey over the entire paw and applied a “wet-to-dry” bandage dressing. An injection of a long-acting broad spectrum antibiotic and a course of an oral nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medication and an opioid pain medication to be given for the next few days completed my ministrations. “Bring him back tomorrow for a bandage change,” I told his owner when Roro was awake enough to go home. “And pick him up a jar of Manuka honey.”...

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Honey Could Help Manage Diabetic Foot Ulcers


Therapeutic Properties of Honey for the Management of Wounds; Is There a Role in the Armamentarium of Diabetic Foot Ulcer Treatment? Results From In vitro and In vivo Studies


Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2021 Jun 18;15347346211026819

Diabetic foot ulcers are one of the most dreadful complications of diabetes mellitus and efforts to accelerate diabetic wound healing are of paramount importance to prevent ulcer infections and subsequent lower-limb amputations. There are several treatment approaches for the management of diabetic foot ulcers and honey seems to be a safe and cost-effective therapeutic approach on top of standard of care. The aim of this review was to summarize the therapeutic properties of honey and the data regarding its possible favorable effects on diabetic wound healing. A literature search of articles from 1986 until April 2021 was performed using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library to assess for studies examining the therapeutic wound healing properties of honey, it's in vitro effect, and the efficacy and/or mechanism of action of several types of honey used for the treatment of diabetic animal wounds. Honey has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties and in vitro studies of keratinocytes and fibroblasts, as well as studies in diabetic animal models show that treatment with honey is associated with increased re-epithelialization and collagen production, higher wound contraction, and faster wound healing. The use of honey could be a promising approach for the management of diabetic foot ulcers.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Antimicrobial Activities of Green and Red Brazilian Propolis


Green and red Brazilian propolis: antimicrobial potential and anti-virulence against ATCC and clinically isolated multidrug-resistant bacteria


Chem Biodivers. 2021 Jun 4

Brazilian green and red propolis stand out as commercial products for different medical applications. In this paper, we report the antimicrobial activities of the hydroalcoholic extracts of green (EGP) and red (ERP) propolis, as well as guttiferone E plus xanthochymol (8) and oblongifolin B (9) from red propolis, against multidrug-resistant bacteria (MDRB). 

We undertook the minimal inhibitory (MIC) and bactericidal (MBC) concentrations, inhibition of biofilm formation (MICB 50 ), catalase, coagulase, DNase, lipase, and hemolysin assays, along with molecular docking simulations. ERP was more effective by displaying MIC and MBC values < 100 μg.mL -1 . 

Compounds 8 and 9 displayed the lowest MIC values (0.98 to 31.25 µg.mL -1 ) against all tested Gram-positive MDRB. They also inhibited the biofilm formation of S. aureus (ATCC 43300 and clinical isolate) and S. epidermidis (ATCC 14990 and clinical isolate), with MICB 50 values between 1.56 and 6.25 µg.mL -1 . The molecular docking results indicated that 8 and 9 might interact with the catalase's amino acids. Compounds 8 and 9 have great antimicrobial potential.

Monday, June 07, 2021

Mountain Tallow Tree Honey Protects Against Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease


Monofloral Triadica Cochinchinensis Honey Polyphenols Improve Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease by Regulating the Gut Microbiota of Mice


Front Immunol. 2021 May 21;12:673903

Honey produced from medicinal plants holds great promise for human health. Increasing evidence suggests that the gut microbiota plays an important role in liver pathology after alcohol intake. The aim of this study was to identify the polyphenol composition of triadica cochinchinensis honey (TCH), and to study the potential effect of honey polyphenols on the regulation of gut microbes in mice with alcohol-induced liver injury and the improvement of alcohol-induced liver disease. For these purposes, a total of 190 compounds were identified and 27 of them were quantified by ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q/TOF-MS) and we successfully established a mouse model of alcohol-induced liver injury. The results show that TCH polyphenols can significantly restore the levels of ALT and AST, and TCH intervention can significantly improve the pathological changes of liver tissue in alcohol-exposed mice. Additionally, a significant decrease was observed in Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes after TCH treatment. Moreover, KEGG pathways of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, two-component system and biosynthesis of amino acids enriched the most differentially expressed genes after TCH intervention for 8 weeks. Our results may have important implications for the use of TCH as a functional food component with potential therapeutic utility against alcohol-induced liver disease.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Bee Pollen May Help Treat/Prevent Diabetes and Obesity, Delay Aging, Enhance Immunity, Boost Mental (Brain) Activity and Fertility, Protect Heart




Bee Pollen: Current Status and Therapeutic Potential

Nutrients. 2021 May 31;13(6):1876

Bee pollen is a combination of plant pollen and honeybee secretions and nectar. The Bible and ancient Egyptian texts are documented proof of its use in public health. It is considered a gold mine of nutrition due to its active components that have significant health and medicinal properties. Bee pollen contains bioactive compounds including proteins, amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and polyphenols. The vital components of bee pollen enhance different bodily functions and offer protection against many diseases. It is generally marketed as a functional food with affordable and inexpensive prices with promising future industrial potentials. This review highlights the dietary properties of bee pollen and its influence on human health, and its applications in the food industry.

Conclusions

Global interest and the increase of consumer awareness, especially regarding the nutritional and medicinal value of what they eat or drink, awaken the concept of returning to natural products, especially bee products. Bee pollen has had attracted a big deal of focus from the food supplement and food processing industries due to its high health value. The involvement of bee pollen in various formulations i.e., pills, tablets, capsules, and powders, helped to cover many customers’ needs. Bee pollen has served to prevent and treat many chronic diseases, especially metabolic disorders. It has a preventive role in various ailments such as diabetes, obesity, hyper-dyslipidemia, and heart complications. Bee pollen was recommended as a daily supplement to maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, bee pollen as a functional food can be used daily to protect against heart muscle diseases and the harmful impacts of food toxins. Long-term bee pollen consumption can improve health, foster blood circulation, delay aging, enhance immunity and increase physical and mental activities. More studies on metabolic pathways and biomedical interactions are required to establish bee pollen’s bioactivity in controlling body functions and preventing diseases. Boosting clinical practice and encouraging the search for bee pollen products play a significant role in fostering future innovations and possible applications.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Royal Jelly Can Play Anti-Inflammatory Role, Protect Kidney and Liver


The effect of royal jelly and silver nanoparticles on liver and kidney inflammation


Avicenna J Phytomed. May-Jun 2021;11(3):218-223

Objective: Royal jelly (RJ) is a honey bee product for which, anti-inflammatory properties were shown in vitro. Nanoparticles, including nano-silver (NS), are plausible inflammation inducers that act by activation of immune cells and consequent production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This project aimed to explore immunomodulatory effects of royal jelly and nano-silver on the kidney and liver.

Materials and methods: In this project, 40 male rats were grouped as follows: 10 rats as controls, 10 rats treated with RJ; 10 rats treated with both NS and RJ and 10 rats treated with NS. Liver and kidney interleukin (IL)-1β, -2, -6, and -33 levels were determined using commercial ELISA kits.

Results: RJ reduced kidney IL-6 levels in comparison to control and NS--RJ groups. RJ and NS reduced kidney and liver IL-1β levels. Kidney IL-33 levels were decreased in the RJ and nano-silver groups in comparison to the NS--RJ group.

Conclusion: Based on this study, it may be concluded that RJ together with NS can play anti-inflammatory roles and may affect the function of immune cells.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Fighting Eye Diseases with Brazilian Green Propolis

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy
Volume 140, August 2021, 111740

In 2020, an estimated 596 million people worldwide had distance vision impairment and a further 510 million had uncorrected near vision impairment, which can profoundly affect individuals, families, and society. Currently, the ultimate goal in ophthalmology research is to establish news actions other than medical that may be effective for the treatment of eye diseases. To a similar extent, as nature has provided an unlimited source of biologically-active compounds, scientists have sought resources in fauna and flora to treat certain major eye diseases. Thus, we enjoyed reading the excellent review article developed by Zhao and colleagues who discussed the latest developments in therapeutic quercetin for the treatment of various ophthalmic diseases. Due to various biological activities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fibrosis activities, the authors appropriately discuss the clinical application of quercetin in keratoconus, Graves’ orbitopathy, ocular surface, cataracts, glaucoma, retinoblastoma, and other retinal diseases.

Considering the important clinical data, we also would like to express some thoughts that may open the debate about the possible viability of propolis in the ophthalmological field. In fact, as pure natural molecules isolated from plants have shown scientifically-proven benefits for ocular tissues, the protective effects of propolis in certain major eye diseases could play an important role in this scenario...


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Bee Venom May Help Treat Aggressive, Hard-to-Treat Breast Cancer


Beekeepers are in the early stages of trials to assess the benefits of bee venom.


Key points:
  • A Northern NSW apiarist is exploring how beekeepers can diversify
  • Research has found honeybee venom is effective in killing breast cancer cells
  • It could provide more options for apiarists than just honey production
...She said her business HoneyBee Hives, which operates from Coutts Crossing, would be using Queensland-invented technology to see if bee venom could be used for both cosmetic and therapeutic purposes.

The technology, developed by company Whale Labs, is a bee venom collection device that doesn't harm the bees.

"Rather than just doing the same old, same old, let's look at ways we can diversify," Ms McQueen-Richardson said.

A study published in the Nature Precision Oncology journal last year found venom from honeybees could rapidly kill aggressive and hard-to-treat breast cancer cells.

The study also found when the venom's main component was combined with existing chemotherapy drugs, it was extremely efficient at reducing tumour growth in mice.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

WATCH: Can Bee Venom Therapy Help Treat Lyme Disease?


Bee venom therapy?


SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - This woman’s only relief from Lyme disease is bees!

Stinging away the pain of Lyme disease, in today’s Medical Moment.

300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.

If diagnosed early, antibiotics will wipe out the bacteria left behind in the blood before it spreads.

But now, as Martie Salt reports, some patients are turning to bees.

The scientists caution that more research is needed to find a safe and effective way to administer the bee venom.

And of course, health experts say people who are allergic to bees should not try this.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Health Benefits of Bee Pollen (bee bread, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties, allergies, allergy)


Bee pollen: What to know

  • About bee pollen
  • Nutritional details
  • Apitherapy
  • Potential health benefits
  • Precautions
  • Pollen and bees
  • Medical advice
Summary

Bee pollen provides nutritional food for bees. It is a natural mixture of bee secretions, honey, enzymes, wax, and flower pollen. Bee pollen may have some benefits for humans, but collecting it may adversely affect the health of the bees and even destroy the colony.

Many people regard bee pollen as a superfood because of its many nutrients; others see it as a natural therapeutic product that has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. Consuming bee pollen may not suit people with allergies to flower pollen or bee stings...

Friday, May 14, 2021

Bee Bread May Help Prevent Complications of Type 2 Diabetes


Bee Bread Can Alleviate Lipid Abnormalities and Impaired Bone Morphology in Obese Zucker Diabetic Rats


Molecules. 2021 Apr 29;26(9):2616

This study examined for the first time whether bee bread (BB, consisting of monofloral rape bee pollen) could alleviate lipid derangements and reduced bone quality in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats, which are considered an appropriate animal model for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) investigation. Adult ZDF rats were segregated into four groups: lean non-diabetic rats (L group), obese diabetic rats untreated (C group), and those treated with the BB at two doses (500 and 700 mg/kg body weight, respectively, B1 and B2 groups) for 10 weeks. Significantly reduced levels of total cholesterol and triglyceride were recorded in the B2 group versus the C group. In both BB-treated groups, significantly increased relative volume of trabecular bone and trabecular thickness, enhanced density of secondary osteons, accelerated periosteal bone apposition, and improved blood flow were observed. A positive effect of higher dose of BB on femoral weight and cortical bone thickness was also demonstrated. Our results suggest a promising potential of BB to ameliorate T2DM-related complications associated with lipid and bone damages.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Using Bee Venom as a Treatment for Lyme Disease


ABC12

...Adriana and her mother talked with 75 different doctors, tried antibiotics, immunotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen and herbal treatments. Nothing worked until bee venom therapy, or BVT. Ellie Lobel, a nuclear physicist, literally stumbled across the treatment by accident.

“I was attacked by killer bees,” Ellie Lobel shared.

But days after surviving the surprise bee attack her symptoms started disappearing. Ellie spent the next several years researching BVT and found it kills the bacteria that causes Lyme’s most debilitating symptoms—but according to Ellie, it only works if taken directly from the bee.

“The devil’s in the dosing right, is what they say. So not enough, won’t heal you, but too much can kill you,” Lobel revealed...

Thursday, May 06, 2021

International Virtual Conference: Apitherapy for Children - Bees, Children and Health, 22nd to 24th of October 2021


The main topics of the conference: 

    • Medicinal bee plants useful for bees and children

    • Medicinal beekeeping, rules, and principles

    • Bio-pharmacology and quality of beehive products

    • Prevention and treatment of children diseases, including allergies with beehive products

    • Api-Tourism and Api-Education for Children

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Honey Most Commonly Used Dietary Supplement Used in Saudi Arabia During COVID-19 Pandemic


COVID-19 Pandemic in Saudi Arabia:
A Cross-Sectional Online Survey

Objectives: The utilization rate of herbal and dietary supplements among the Saudi population is reported to be high. However, the utilization rate and types of herbal and dietary supplements during the COVID-19 pandemic are largely unknown.

Methods: This was an online questionnaire-based cross-sectional study that used convenience sampling and social media platforms (Telegram®, Twitter®, and WhatsApp®) to disseminate a 12-item questionnaire across the Saudi general public aged 18 years and above. The questionnaire inquired about the sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., age, gender, education, geographical location), presence of chronic health conditions and the use of prescription medications, awareness of the viral nature of COVID-19 infection and its common symptoms, and the commonly utilized herbal and/or dietary supplements.

Results: Sixty-four percent of the 1473 participants reported using herbal and/or dietary supplements for the purpose of boosting their immune system to prevent COVID-19 infection. In addition, 88.2% of the respondents were misinformed about the manifestation of COVID-19 symptoms. Most of the participants were Saudi (91.9%), aged 49 years and younger (83%), female (52%), and healthy (81%). Honey (46%), lemon (45%), ginger (36%), vitamin C (32%), black seed (26%), garlic (26%), and turmeric (19%) were the most commonly used herbal and/or dietary supplements by the participants. Saudi nationals (OR = 1.67, 95% CI: 1.08 to 2.6, p = 0.02), older adults (OR = 1.30, 95% CI:1.10 to 1.55, p = 0.002), and those taking prescription medications had higher odds of using dietary and/or herbal supplements (OR = 3.31, 95% CI: 2.61 to 4.18, p < 0.0001).

Conclusion: The utilization rate of herbal and dietary supplements among the Saudi public during the COVID-19 pandemic is high. Future studies should examine the impact of different public awareness campaigns aimed at improving the public knowledge of the risk and benefits associated with the use of different commonly utilized herbal and dietary products identified in this study.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Royal Jelly Protects Brain Against Chronic Stress, Improves Behavioral and Cognitive Impairments


Combined effects of royal jelly and environmental enrichment against stress-induced cognitive and behavioral alterations in male rats: behavioral and molecular studies


Nutr Neurosci. 2021 Apr 5;1-12

Background: Exposure to chronic stress has detrimental effects on cognitive and emotional processing. Also, the neuroprotective influences of environmental enrichment (EE) and royal jelly (RJ) have been indicated in previous studies.

Aims: To our knowledge, to date, there are no studies about the synergistic effects of EE and RJ on cognitive changes induced by stress. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the protective effects of RJ, and EE on anxiety-like behaviors, cognitive functions, and expression of hippocampal and also prefrontal cortex (PFC) brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in stressed rats.

Methods: By using restraint and cold temperature, rats were exposed to stressful situations and then subjected to treatment with RJ or/ and EE for 14 days. Stress induction was done 14 days before treatments by placing the rats in the restrainer under 4°C. Following the interventions, anxiety-like behaviors, novel object recognition memory (NORM), inhibitive avoidance performance, hippocampal, and PFC BDNF expression were examined. The plasma corticosterone level of all groups was also evaluated.

Results: Results showed increased plasma corticosterone levels, stress-induced deficits in the NORM and IA tests, and increased anxiety-like behaviors. EE and RJ improved these deficits with a decline in serum corticosterone and also increased BDNF levels in the hippocampus and PFC in stressed ones.

Conclusion: The EE and the RJ prevented the detrimental effects of stress on anxiety-like behaviors and memory processes. These treatments can protect susceptible brain areas against chronic stress via improvement in behavioral and cognitive impairments through mediating BDNF expression.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Wasp and Bee Venom May Help Treat Neurodegenerative Diseases (Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease)


Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Wasp Venom in BV-2 Microglial Cells in Comparison with Bee Venom


Insects. 2021 Mar 29;12(4):297

The aim of this study was to compare the anti-inflammatory effect of wasp venom (WV) from the yellow-legged hornet (Vespa velutina) with that of bee venom (BV) on BV-2 murine microglial cells. 

WV was collected from the venom sac, freeze-dried, and used for in vitro examinations. WV and BV were non-toxic to BV-2 cells at concentrations of 160 and 12 µg/mL or lower, respectively. 

Treatment with WV reduced the secretion of nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha, from BV-2 cells activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). 

Western blot analysis revealed that WV and BV decreased the expression levels of inflammation markers, including inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2. In addition, WV decreased the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), which is a key transcription factor in the regulation of cellular inflammatory response. 

Cumulatively, the results demonstrated that WV inhibited LPS-induced neuroinflammation in microglial cells by suppressing the NF-κB-mediated signaling pathway, which warrants further studies to confirm its therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Bee Venom Therapy Used to Treat Lyme Disease


Stinging away Lyme disease with bee venom therapy?

Three-hundred-thousand people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. Usually caused by a tick bite, it can impact people physically, mentally, and neurologically.

If diagnosed early, antibiotics will wipe out the bacteria left behind in the blood before it spreads through the heart, joints and nervous system.

Now, some patients are turning to bees to take the sting out of this painful and debilitating disease.

One sting -- after another -- after another. These days, Adriana Furey stings herself with ten live honeybees three times a week to get relief from the symptoms of chronic Lyme disease...

Monday, April 19, 2021

Propolis, Henbane Syrup Helps Treat Symptoms (Cough, Sore Throat, Chest Pain, Shortness of Breath, Fever) of COVID-19 Infection


The effect of propolis plus Hyoscyamus niger L. methanolic extract on clinical symptoms in patients with acute respiratory syndrome suspected to COVID-19: A clinical trial


Phytother Res. 2021 Apr 15

The outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused a global health crisis. Nevertheless, no antiviral treatment has yet been proven effective for treating COVID-19 and symptomatic supportive cares have been the most common treatment. Therefore, the present study was designed to evaluate the effects of propolis and Hyoscyamus niger L. extract in patients with COVID-19. 

This randomized clinical trial was conducted on 50 cases referred to Akhavan and Sepehri Clinics, Kashan university of medical sciences, Iran. Subjects were divided into two groups (intervention and placebo). 

This syrup (containing 1.6 mg of methanolic extract along with 450 mg of propolis per 10 mL) was administered three times a day to each patient for 6 days. The clinical symptoms of COVID-19 such as: dry cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, chest pain, fever, dizziness, headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea were reduced with propolis plus Hyoscyamus niger L. extract than the placebo group. However, the administration of syrup was not effective in the control of nausea and vomiting. 

In conclusion, syrup containing propolis and Hyoscyamus niger L. extract had beneficial effects in ameliorating the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 disease, in comparison with placebo groups.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Poplar Propolis Extract May Help Treat Obesity


Botanic Origin of Propolis Extract Powder Drives Contrasted Impact on Diabesity in High-Fat-Fed Mice


Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Mar 9;10(3):411

Propolis extracts are considered as nutraceutical products with potentialities towards obesity and comorbidities management. Nevertheless, propolis extracts composition is highly variable and depends on the botanic origin of plants used by the bees to produce propolis. 

This study aims to evaluate the differential effect of poplar propolis extract powder (PPEP), Baccharis propolis extract powder (BPEP), and/ or Dalbergia propolis extract powder (DPEP) on obesity and glucose homeostasis in high-fat-fed mice. PPEP supplementation reduced high-fat (HF)-mediated body weight gain, adiposity index, and improved glucose homeostasis in male C57Bl/6J mice that were submitted to a high-fat diet for 12 weeks, whereas BPEP, DPEP, or a mix of the three PEPs did not modify those parameters. 

Adipose tissue (AT) gene expression profiling highlighted an induction of mRNA related to lipid catabolism and an inhibition of mRNA coding for inflammatory markers. Several Nrf2 target genes, coding for antioxidant enzymes, were induced in AT under PPEP effect, but not by other PEP. Interestingly, representative PPEP polyphenols mediated the induction of Nrf2 target genes cell-autonomously in adipocytes, suggesting that this induction may be related to the specific polyphenol content of PPEP. 

Whereas PPEP supplementation has demonstrated a clear potential to blunt the onset of obesity and associated comorbidities, other PEPs (from Baccharis and Dalbergia) were inefficient to support their role in preventive nutrition.

Monday, April 05, 2021

Propolis a Safe and Effective Adjunct Treatment for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients (Coronavirus)


Efficacy of Brazilian green propolis (EPP-AF®) as an adjunct treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients: A randomized, controlled clinical trial


Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, Volume 138, June 2021, 111526

Highlights

• 124 hospitalized COVID-19 patients were randomized into three groups.
• 0, 400 or 800 mg/day of a standardized Brazilian green propolis was provided.
• Adjunct treatment with propolis anticipated hospital release by five to six days.
• The 800 mg propolis dose reduced kidney damage associated with COVID-19.
• Propolis was safe and effective as an adjunct treatment.

Background

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) promotes challenging immune and inflammatory phenomena. Though various therapeutic possibilities have been tested against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the most adequate treatment has not yet been established. Propolis is a natural product with considerable evidence of immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory activities, and experimental data point to potential against viral targets. We hypothesized that propolis can reduce the negative effects of COVID-19.

Methods

In a randomized, controlled, open-label, single-center trial, hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients were treated with a standardized green propolis extract (EPP-AF®️) as an adjunct therapy. Patients were allocated to receive standard care plus an oral dose of 400 mg or 800 mg/day of green propolis for seven days, or standard care alone. Standard care included all necessary interventions, as determined by the attending physician. The primary end point was the time to clinical improvement, defined as the length of hospital stay or oxygen therapy dependency duration. Secondary outcomes included acute kidney injury and need for intensive care or vasoactive drugs. Patients were followed for 28 days after admission.

Results

We enrolled 124 patients; 40 were assigned to EPP-AF®️ 400 mg/day, 42 to EPP-AF®️ 800 mg/day, and 42 to the control group. The length of hospital stay post-intervention was shorter in both propolis groups than in the control group; lower dose, median 7 days versus 12 days (95% confidence interval [CI] −6.23 to −0.07; p = 0.049) and higher dose, median 6 days versus 12 days (95% CI −7.00 to −1.09; p = 0.009). Propolis did not significantly affect the need for oxygen supplementation. In the high dose propolis group, there was a lower rate of acute kidney injury than in the controls (4.8 vs 23.8%), (odds ratio [OR] 0.18; 95% CI 0.03–0.84; p = 0.048). No patient had propolis treatment discontinued due to adverse events.

Conclusions

Addition of propolis to the standard care procedures resulted in clinical benefits for the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, especially evidenced by a reduction in the length of hospital stay. Consequently, we conclude that propolis can reduce the impact of COVID-19.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Happy ‘World Apitherapy Day'


Annual event marks birth of scientist who studied medicinal use of bee venom, celebrates health benefits of bee products

March 30, marks the annual celebration of “World Apitherapy Day," an event designed to enhance international understanding of the therapeutic use and health benefits of bee products.

Apitherapy is the use of bee hive products such as honey, propolis, bee-collected pollen, beeswax, drone larvae extract, bee venom, and royal jelly to maintain good health and in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions.

(Propolis is a resinous substance collected by bees from plants and trees and is used to coat the inside of the beehive and the honeycomb cells with an antiseptic layer. Royal jelly is a substance produced by young worker bees and fed to queens.

March 30 was chosen for World Apitherapy Day because it is the birth date of Dr. Philipp Terc (formerly Filip Tertsch), the first scientific researcher to investigate the medical uses of 'apitoxin," or bee venom. Terc was born on March 30, 1844, in Praporiste, Bohemia (Czech Republic).

For more information about Apitherapy, go to: www.apitherapy.com or www.apitherapy.org

The latest news and information about Apitherapy is available at Apitherapy News: www.apitherapynews.com





Monday, March 22, 2021

Study: Egyptian Use of Supplements (Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc), Medicinal Plants (Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric), Immune-Boosting Drinks (Honey) to Strengthen Immune System Common During COVID-19 Pandemic


Use of vitamin/zinc supplements, medicinal plants, and immune boosting drinks during COVID-19 pandemic: A pilot study from Benha city, Egypt


Heliyon. 2021 Mar;7(3):e06538

Background: The COVID-19 infection is characterized by a wide spectrum of severity that ranges from mild to severe lethal symptoms. The optimal status of vitamins and minerals in the body is important to maintain proper immune response to overcome infections including COVID-19. Certain foods and medicinal plants have been shown to boost the immune system.

Objectives: In the current study, the use of vitamin and zinc supplements, medicinal plants, honey, garlic, and immune-boosting drinks among Egyptian living in Benha city were investigated during the corona pandemic.

Methods: An online questionnaire was distributed through Google forms. A total of 301 adult participants (age range: 18-82) from Benha city, Egypt were included in the study. The Chi2 goodness of fit test was used to determine the differences in the distribution of the participant responses.

Results: The use of vitamin C and D were reported by 27% and 17.7% of participants. About one-third of participants reported the use of immune-boosting drinks, honey, and garlic during the pandemic to strengthen the body immunity. The use of Zingiber officinale and Curcuma longa was reported by 47.2% and 31.6% respectively. Concerning zinc supplements, only 5.6% of the sample reported using it during the pandemic. The use of examined nutrients was found to be associated with age (P < 0.05) and the fear score from the virus (P < 0.05), but not with other factors such as sex, income, and educational level.

Conclusion: The uses of supplements, medicinal plants, and immune-boosting drinks to strengthen the immune system during the pandemic were common among the participants. The present findings may help comprehend some health practices related to the COVID-19 pandemic that might be considered by health policymakers.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Bee Pollen May Help Treat Infertility


Potential Therapeutic Effect of Bee Pollen and Metformin Combination on Testosterone and Estradiol Levels, Apoptotic Markers and Total Antioxidant Capacity in A Rat Model of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome


Int J Fertil Steril. 2021 Apr;15(2):101-107

Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with metabolic disorder as well as infertility. Many traditional remedies have been reported to show estrogenic and antioxidant potential. Bee pollen is a natural compound, reported as one such remedy. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of BP extract and metformin (MET) on estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) levels, apoptotic markers, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) inarat model of PCOS.

Materials and methods: In this experimental study, 54 female Wistar (n=6/group) rats received 2 mg of estradiol valerate (EV) intramuscularly and 6 additional rats were considered the control without EV injection. The rats were treated with BP (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg), MET (300 mg/kg) and BP+MET (50 BP+300 MET, 100 BP+300 MET, and 200 BP+300 MET mg/kg). Serum levels of E2 and T were assessed by ELISA method. TAC of serum was also determined. The expressions of Bcl-2, Bax and Caspase-3(Cas-3), and Sirt-1 genes were evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Data were statistically analyzed using one-way ANOVA.

Results: In the untreated PCOS group E2 and T levels (P<0.01), and Bcl-2 (P=0.007) expression were increased, but TAC (P=0.002) and expression of Bax (P=0.001), Cas-3 and Sirt1 (P<0.01) were decreased significantly. The levels of E2 and T, as well as the expressions of Bcl-2 were decreased in all treated groups compared to the untreated PCOS group (P<0.01). On the other hand, TAC and expression of Bax, Cas-3and Sirt1 were increased in the BP- and MET-treated groups (P<0.05).

Conclusion: BP and MET synergistically improved serum E2, T and TAC levels, and expression of apoptotic genes.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Propolis Improves Cognitive Function (verbal memory, information processing, attention, concentration) in Elderly


Cognitive Improvement and Safety Assessment of a Dietary Supplement Containing Propolis Extract in Elderly Japanese: A Placebo-Controlled, Randomized, Parallel-Group, Double-Blind Human Clinical Study


Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2021 Feb 24;2021:6664217

Objectives. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of propolis on cognitive function in elderly Japanese with a placebo-controlled design. 

Material and Methods. This study was performed on 79 elderly Japanese. Participants orally received either a placebo or dietary supplement containing propolis extract for 24 weeks. Cognitive function assessed by Cognitrax and various blood or urine markers were measured at pre- and postadministration. 

Results and Conclusion. Eligible data from 68 subjects (placebo: 33, propolis: 35) who completed the study were analyzed. Compared to the placebo group, the propolis group showed significant improvement in verbal memory in Cognitrax (P=0.028). Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and uric acid were significantly improved in the propolis group compared to the placebo group (P = 0.011, P = 0.004, P = 0.048, P = 0.045, and P = 0.005, respectively). However, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and uric acid fluctuated within the normal level. Furthermore, a subgroup analysis was performed on those with higher than 100 of the standardized score of the neurocognitive index indicated by the overall Cognitrax score. Significant improvements in the propolis group compared to placebo were confirmed in verbal memory (P = 0.007) and processing speed as indications for information processing ability, complex attention, and concentration (P = 0.029). No side effects were observed in any of the groups. This study demonstrates that propolis is effective in improving cognitive functions such as memory, information processing, complex attention, and concentration in elderly Japanese.

Conclusion

Propolis intake improves not only verbal memory but also information processing, attention, and concentration in a group with high cognitive function. In addition, no side effects were shown by propolis ingestion. Thus, propolis is considered a very safe food.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Thyme Honey Protects Liver From Damage by Toxins


Protective Effect of Thyme Honey against Valproic Acid Hepatotoxicity in Wistar Rats


Biomed Res Int. 2021 Feb 20;2021:8839898

Introduction: Valproic acid is a medication most commonly used in the treatment of emotional and neurological depression, psychological imbalances, epilepsy, and bipolar disorder. Dark honey, like thyme honey, contains more antioxidant compounds than other samples. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of thyme honey on the potential hepatic effects of valproic acid.

Methods: In this study, 48 male rats were randomly divided into 8 groups (n = 6): G1 (control): healthy rats (normal saline 0.9%), G2: thyme honey (1 g/kg), G3: thyme honey (2 g/kg dose), G4: thyme honey (3 g/kg dose), G5: VPA (500 mg/kg), G6: VPA (500 mg/kg) and thyme honey (1 g/kg), G7: VPA (500 mg/kg) and thyme honey (2 g/kg dose), and G8: VPA (500 mg/kg) and thyme honey (3 g/kg dose). Groups G1 to G5 received the drug for 28 days. On day 14, administration of thyme honey for G6 to G8 groups was carried out using gavage until day 28. VPA was administered one hour after honey. To carry out the biochemical evaluation, blood samples were collected from all the groups and their serums were used for MDA, TAC, and liver enzymes (AST, ALT, and GGT). Tissue samples of each rat were also removed for histological studies with hematoxylin-eosin and Masson's trichrome staining.

Results: The use of thyme honey significantly improved the histopathological parameters of the liver tissue, including hypertrophic degeneration and nucleus alteration, expansion of sinusoids, fibrosis and hepatic necrosis, and inflammation as well as hypertrophy of Kupffer cells. In the groups receiving VPA, the rate of lipid peroxidation increased, which indicates the destruction of the liver cell membrane due to drug consumption. TAC levels also increased following increase in thyme honey dosage (p ≤ 0.05). The results of liver enzyme analysis showed a decrease in AST and ALT levels in the G6 group and a decrease in GGT level in the G8 group (p ≤ 0.05).

Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, it seems that high percentage of antioxidants in thyme honey enabled it to improve hepatic complications and reduce the rate of hepatocellular destruction.