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.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Health Benefits of Stingless Bee-Collected Pollen (Bee Bread)


Stingless Bee-Collected Pollen (Bee Bread): Chemical and Microbiology Properties and Health Benefits


Molecules. 2021 Feb 11;26(4):957

Stingless bee-collected pollen (bee bread) is a mixture of bee pollen, bee salivary enzymes, and regurgitated honey, fermented by indigenous microbes during storage in the cerumen pot.

Current literature data for bee bread is overshadowed by bee pollen, particularly of honeybee Apis. In regions such as South America, Australia, and Southeast Asia, information on stingless bee bee bread is mainly sought to promote the meliponiculture industry for socioeconomic development.

This review aims to highlight the physicochemical properties and health benefits of bee bread from the stingless bee. In addition, it describes the current progress on identification of beneficial microbes associated with bee bread and its relation to the bee gut. This review provides the basis for promoting research on stingless bee bee bread, its nutrients, and microbes for application in the food and pharmaceutical industries...

The collective pieces of evidence in recent years have shown the potential of the stingless bee bee bread to be developed as a food ingredient, feed, or a supplement. It is rich in micronutrients, minerals, and phenolic compounds.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Australian Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) Honey Contains Agents That Augment Antifungal Activity


Inhibition of Dermatophyte Fungi by Australian Jarrah Honey


Pathogens. 2021 Feb 11;10(2):194

Superficial dermatophyte infections, commonly known as tineas, are the most prevalent fungal ailment and are increasing in incidence, leading to an interest in alternative treatments. Many floral honeys possess antimicrobial activity due to high sugar, low pH, and the production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) from the activity of the bee-derived enzyme glucose oxidase. 

Australian jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) honey produces particularly high levels of H2O2 and has been found to be potently antifungal. This study characterized the activity of jarrah honey on fungal dermatophyte species. Jarrah honey inhibited dermatophytes with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 1.5-3.5% (w/v), which increased to ≥ 25% (w/v) when catalase was added. Microscopic analysis found jarrah honey inhibited the germination of Trichophyton rubrum conidia and scanning electron microscopy of mature T. rubrum hyphae after honey treatment revealed bulging and collapsed regions. When treated hyphae were stained using REDOX fluorophores these did not detect any internal oxidative stress, suggesting jarrah honey acts largely on the hyphal surface. 

Although H2O2 appears critical for the antifungal activity of jarrah honey and its action on fungal cells, these effects persisted when H2O2 was eliminated and could not be replicated using synthetic honey spiked with H2O2, indicating jarrah honey contains agents that augment antifungal activity.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Propolis May Help Treat Cold Sores, Genital Herpes (Type 1 HSV-1 and Type 2 HSV-2 Viruses)

Antiviral activity of different extracts of standardized propolis preparations against HSV


Antivir Ther. 2021 Feb 23

Background: Viral infections are among the most common problems in healthcare practice. Natural products offer great promise as potentially effective antiviral drugs. Propolis is a honeybee product with biological properties and therapeutic applications. We aimed to investigate the antiviral activity of different extracts of Standardized Propolis Preparations (M.E.D.®) with glycol, ethanol, glycerol, and soya oil, against herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) viruses.

Methods: Chemical composition and antiviral activity of each extract were determined. The selective index (SI=CC50/EC50) was determined as a parameter to indicate the in-vitro antiviral activity of the extracts compared to acyclovir as the control.

Results: SI values of glycol, ethanol, glycerol, soya oil extracts and acyclovir were determined as 6.8, 4.1, 2.2, 3.3, and 6.3 against HSV-1, and as 6.4, 7.7, 1.9, 4.2, and 2.9 against HSV-2, respectively. Glycolic propolis extract was found to possess a greater antiviral activity than acyclovir for both HSV type 1 and type 2, while glycolic, ethanolic, and soya oil preparations were found to have more significant activity than acyclovir for HSV-2.

Conclusions: It was determined that standardized propolis preparations have antiviral bioactivity against HSV.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Bee Pollen May Help Treat Diabetes (High Blood Sugar, Hyperglycemia)


J Agric Food Chem. 2021 Feb 5

Extract of Unifloral Camellia sinensis L. Pollen Collected by Apis mellifera L. Honeybees Exerted Inhibitory Effects on Glucose Uptake and Transport by Interacting with Glucose Transporters in Human Intestinal Cells

Bee pollen possesses potential hypoglycemic effects but its inhibitory mechanisms on glucose absorption and transportation in intestinal cells still need to be clarified. Here, we determined the inhibitory effects of bee pollen extract originating from Camellia sinensis L. (BP-Cs) as well as its representative phenolic compounds on glucose uptake and transport through a human intestinal Caco-2 cell monolayer model.

It showed that three representative phenolic compounds, including gallic acid (GA), 3-O-[6'-O-(trans-p-coumaroyl)-β-d-glucopyranosyl]kaempferol (K1), and 3-O-[2',6'-di-O-(trans-p-coumaroyl)-β-d-glucopyranosyl]kaempferol (K2), with contents of 27.7 ± 0.86, 9.88 ± 0.54, and 7.83 ± 0.46 μg/mg in BP-Cs extract, respectively, exerted mutual antagonistic actions interacting with glucose transporters to inhibit glucose uptake and transport based on their combination index (CI) and molecular docking analysis. K1, K2, and GA might compete with d-glucose to form hydrogen bonds with the same active residues including GLU-412, GLY-416, GLN-314, and TRP-420 in GLUT2.

These findings provide us a deep understanding of the mechanisms underlying the anti-hyperglycemia by bee pollen, which provide a new sight on dietary intervention strategies against diabetes.

Friday, February 05, 2021

Fighting against the second wave of COVID-19: Can honeybee products help protect against the pandemic?


Conclusions and recommendations


Bee products and bee venom are well known of their nutritional and medicinal values, they have been employed since ages for different therapeutic purposes. In this review, we comprehensively discussed the promising effects of different bee products against the emerging pandemic COVID-19, bee products possess unique criteria and harbor a magic cocktail of phytomedicines that help to protect, to fight, and to alleviate COVID-19 infection.

Honey has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) as a first line treatment for cough due to upper respiratory tract infection, which is the main well identified COVID-19 symptom (Wölfel et al., 2020), on the other hand variable concentrations of Manuka honey surprisingly found to modulate the release of cytokines, chemokines and matrix-degrading enzymes that regulate inflammatory and immune responses (Minden-Birkenmaieret al., 2019), currently drugs that quiet cytokine storms and soften the hyperinflammation are greatly considered to protect from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) the major cause of death due to serious COVID-19 infection (Mehta et al., 2020a). Therefore, we recommend honey as a potential compatible antiseptic prophylaxis to help protect against the virus. Honey might safely disinfect the throat and trap virus particles, beside a major advantage that it has no side effects and of great nutritional value. Furthermore, research into the active ingredients that impart antiviral potency to honey and greater understanding of how those chemicals cause their effects on viruses might help direct development of effective antiviral drugs with potentially fewer side effects. We may even consider diluted solution of natural honey as a home-made antiseptic for hands, skin and mucous membranes or as a mouth gargle since honey is completely safe and widely used as sweetener in several pharmaceutical preparations.

Propolis contains a concentrated dosage of therapeutic flavonoids and phenolic compounds that interfere with maturation and replication machinery of the virus in one hand and mitigate the exaggerated inflammatory response of COVID-19 on the other hand. Propolis belongs to the safest ecological therapies, investigational studies and confirmed anti-corona effects of chemical ingredients of propolis highlight the necessity for further investigations covering the prophylactic effect of propolis in high‐risk groups, especially individuals in close contact with COVID-19 patients, and validating the anti-corona effects of propolis.

As a powerful immune modulator, bee venom should be taken in consideration, it enhance the differentiation of T regulatory immune cells, it works like a protective vaccine that puts the immune system in a standby state to interfere with the virus. Finally, we reconsider bee product in general as a treasure trove to fight COVID-19.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Bee Bread Exhibits Higher Antimicrobial Potential Compared to Bee Pollen


Antibiotics

This study aimed at investigation of the antimicrobial potential of ethanolic extracts of bee bread (BB) and bee pollen (BP) and suspensions of these products in MHB (Mueller Hinton Broth).

We covered 30 samples of BP and 19 samples of BB harvested in Polish apiaries. Slightly lower activity was observed against Gram-negative bacteria compared to Gram-positive staphylococci. BB extracts exhibited higher inhibitory potential with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values in the range from 2.5 to 10% (v/v) against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and ATCC 29213. Most active BB extracts, namely, BB6, BB11 and BB19, effectively inhibited growth of clinical isolates of S. aureus (n = 9), including MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) strains (n = 3) at concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 5.0% (v/v).

Minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) values were in the same range of concentrations; however, a shift from 2.5 to 5.0% (v/v) was observed for some products. The most active BP extracts inhibited the growth of reference strains of S. aureus at a concentration of 5% (v/v). Up to the concentration of 20% (v/v) three and seven BP extracts were not able to inhibit the growth of S. aureus ATCC 29213 and S. aureus ATCC 25923 respectively.

The growth of staphylococci was also importantly inhibited in suspensions of the products in MHB. No correlation between phenolic content and antimicrobial activity was observed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Propolis May Help Heal Spinal Cord Injuries


Effect of Propolis on Neurological Recovery After Experimental Spinal Cord Injury

Turkish Neurosurgery

Aim: To examine the effect of propolis on the healing process in terms of both electrophysiological and ultrastructural parameters in a rat model of experimental spinal cord injury.

Material and methods: Thirty rats were divided into control, spinal cord trauma, and treated trauma groups with 10 rats per group. The rats were sacrificed after 10 days. Before sacrifice, all rats were neurologically assessed by electrophysiological monitoring, and immediately after sacrifice, the spinal cord was examined ultrastructurally by transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

Results: According to the electrophysiological examination, the treatment group was statistically significantly different from the trauma group. However, no statistically significant difference was found between the control and treatment groups. In terms of the TEM examination, the treatment group was significantly different from the trauma group.

Conclusion: In this study, propolis was administered just before the induction of trauma, and the findings suggest that the use of propolis has a positive effect on the healing process. This implies that in order to prevent postoperative deficits, this treatment may be preferably applied before spinal cord surgery for trauma.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Malaysian Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut Honeys Show Anti-Diabetic, Anti-Obesity, Anti-Cancer, Anti-Oxidative, Anti-Microbial, Anti-Inflammatory, and Wound-Healing Properties


Physicochemical and Medicinal Properties of Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut Honeys: A Comprehensive Review


Nutrients. 2021 Jan 10;13(1):E197

Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut honeys are tropical rainforest honeys reported to have various medicinal properties. Studies related to the medicinal properties and physicochemical characteristics of these honeys are growing extensively and receiving increased attention. This review incorporated and analysed the findings on the biological and physicochemical properties of these honeys. Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut honeys were found to possess a wide variety of biological effects attributed to their physicochemical characteristics. 

Findings revealed that these honeys have anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-cancer, anti-oxidative, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties and effects on the cardiovascular system, nervous system and reproductive system. The physicochemical properties of these honeys were compared and discussed and results showed that they have high-quality contents and excellent antioxidant sources.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Green and Red Brazilian Propolis May Help Treat Heart (Cardiovascular) Disease (High Blood Pressure, Hardening of the Arteries)


The Cardiovascular Therapeutic Potential of Propolis—A Comprehensive Review

Biology 2021, 10(1), 27

Simple Summary

Propolis, also described as bee glue, is a natural component made up of a resinous mixture of honeybee compounds from multiple botanical sources. The literature has demonstrated a variety of medicinal properties attributed to propolis due to its chemical complexity. However, the positive effects of propolis on cardiovascular health have gained little coverage. Therefore, we aimed to provide an accurate and up-to-date review of the main cardiovascular health benefits of propolis. In particular, we intend to establish the key varieties of propolis and pharmacological compounds with the therapeutic effects that are most encouraging, as well as the physiological processes by which those advantages are accomplished.

The Brazilian green and red varieties reveal the greatest number of beneficial activities among the varieties of propolis studied. While much of the cardiovascular beneficial effects appear to derive from the cumulative actions of several compounds working via multiple signaling mechanisms, some individual compounds that may enhance the existing therapeutic arsenal have also shown significant results. It is also worth exploring the prospect of using propolis as food supplements.

Abstract

Owing to its chemical richness, propolis has a myriad of therapeutic properties. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first comprehensive review paper on propolis to focus exclusively on its major effects for cardiovascular health. The propolis compound varieties with the most promising therapeutic benefits and their respective physiological mechanisms will be discussed. Propolis displays an anti-atherosclerotic activity, attained through modulation of the plasma lipid profile and through stabilization of the fatty plaque by inhibiting macrophage apoptosis, vascular smooth muscle proliferation and metalloproteinase activity.

The antihypertensive effects of propolis probably arise through the combination of several mechanisms, including the suppression of catecholamine synthesis, stimulation of endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and vascular anti-inflammatory activity. The anti-hemostatic activity of propolis is attributed to the inhibition of platelet plug formation and antifibrinolytic activity. By inhibiting the secretion of proangiogenic factors, propolis suppresses endothelial cell migration and tubulogenesis, exerting antiangiogenic activity. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities are responsible for protection against vascular endothelial and cardiomyocyte dysfunction, mostly by the prevention of oxidative stress. Among the reviewed propolis varieties, the Brazilian green and red varieties show the largest number of beneficial activities. Further research, especially preclinical, should be conducted to assess the cardiovascular benefits of the given varieties with different compositions.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Propolis May Help Treat Diabetes, Obesity, Cancer (Cytokines, Inflammation, Fat, Diet, Cholesterol, COVID-19)




Biomedical Properties of Propolis on Diverse Chronic Diseases and Its Potential Applications and Health Benefits

NUTRIENTS

The use of alternative medicine products has increased tremendously in recent decades and it is estimated that approximately 80% of patients globally depend on them for some part of their primary health care. Propolis is a beekeeping product widely used in alternative medicine. It is a natural resinous product that bees collect from various plants and mix with beeswax and salivary enzymes and comprises a complex mixture of compounds. Various biomedical properties of propolis have been studied and reported in infectious and non-infectious diseases. However, the pharmacological activity and chemical composition of propolis is highly variable depending on its geographical origin, so it is important to describe and study the biomedical properties of propolis from different geographic regions. A number of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer, are the leading causes of global mortality, generating significant economic losses in many countries. In this review, we focus on compiling relevant information about propolis research related to diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The study of propolis could generate both new and accessible alternatives for the treatment of various diseases and will help to effectively evaluate the safety of its use...


Conclusions

Traditional and alternative medicine is the world’s oldest form of health care and is used in the prevention and treatment of physical and mental illnesses in the present day. Propolis is a beekeeping product widely used in alternative medicine due to its easy accessibility. In this review, we compiled some of the biomedical properties of propolis, focusing mainly on diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Our search for information reflects the global trend to seek new alternatives for the treatment of these diseases. There is a significant volume of research on propolis that shows that it is able to help in the control of diabetes by lowering glucose levels, MDA, and pro-inflammatory cytokines, and assisting in weight loss. Furthermore, it enhances serum insulin levels, the translocation of GLUT-4, and the function of antioxidant enzymes, in addition to protecting cells and pancreatic function. In obesity, propolis has also shown benefits, with in vitro and animal models providing evidence that it induces the transcription of adiponectin and leptin, reduces the mass of visceral adipose tissue, and regulates the levels of triglycerides, non-esterified fatty acids, and cholesterol. Another relevant aspect for propolis is the data obtained on its antitumor effects related to the inhibition of the cell cycle, apoptosis, proliferation, viability, growth, and cell migration; it is notable that many of these activities continue to have selectivity towards tumor cells without affecting non-tumor cells. It is necessary to emphasize that the propolis of each geographical region has different biomedical activities due to the significant diversity that exists in its chemical composition. As a result, each geographical variant of propolis can be considered a great source of natural products, particularly terpenes and phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids. Each propolis is thus unique, requiring individual study. Despite all the attributes and virtues of propolis, several challenges remain to overcome. The first is to determine a classification in which all the properties that have been studied can be integrated as well as those that emerge from future investigations. The proposal by Bankova (2005) can function as basis for achieving adequate classification [6]. The standardization of propolis will lead to its safe and adequate consumption, to achieve this it is necessary to generate a commitment from the scientific community that works with this beekeeping product to describe the chemical composition of all the propolis extracts used in any research. Another challenge is to increase in vivo and clinical studies, since much of the available evidence of the biomedical properties of propolis is in vitro work, which, in many cases, prevents the reported activities from being directly applied in humans. Furthermore, we consider that future clinical studies should use propolis with a well-established chemical composition, since this will allow the establishment of a specific dose for each disease and the adequate treatment in infectious and non-infectious diseases. Investigation and better understanding of the properties of propolis, and phenomena such as synergism and other mechanisms of natural products, can assist in the development of new and better medicines and safe consumption treatments as complementary therapies for these diseases.

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Propolis Used to Treat Gynaecological and Gastrointestinal Disorders, Cancer


...1. Helps fight cancer

One of the benefits of the bee propolis is that it has anti-cancer and anti-tumoral properties. Scientific studies are focusing on cancer treatment and propolis. Two propolis polyphenols in specific appear to be the most-effective and powerful antitumour agents. Scientists consider that propolis’ potential to obstruct cancer from growing in both human cell and animal models is probably the outcome of its capability to prevent DNA synthesis in tumour cells and its ability to persuade apoptosis of tumour cells.

2. Gastrointestinal disorder

The infestations caused by parasites usually occur in association with an infected area. The symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract infection consist of diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain, and bloating. Propolis has various advantages involving anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some studies reported that the clinical usage of bee propolis helps in treating viral infections. Research showed it to obstruct adherence and development of trophozoites. It prompted the separation of these parasitic structures.

3. Oral health

Excessive bacterial microflora is present in the oral cavity, and enormous bacterial growth can lead to various oral diseases. Several studies have found that propolis restricts periodontitis-causing pathogens and bacterial-plaque growth owing to its antibacterial activities. Bee propolis extract utilizes a selectively lesser cytotoxic work on human gum fibroblasts. It also helps in healing surgical injuries or wounds. Propolis extract also plays a vital role as a therapeutic agent.

4. Gynaecological care

The causes of vaginitis are vulvovaginal candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis. The reduction of lactobacillus in the vagina is a notable aspect of vaginal infections. This infection is associated with excessive development of vaginal pathogens. A study showed that the use of propolis extract resulted in an enhancement in the well-being of the vagina. It also provides symptomatic relief because of its anesthetic properties. Therefore, one can use propolis as an alternative for patients who cannot take antibiotics because of concurrent pharmacological treatment.

5. Oncological treatment

Propolis is useful in cancer treatment because of its antitumour property by activating apoptosis on cancer cells. While it kills cancerous cells, unlike chemotherapy, it does not harm the cells around it. Also, propolis minimizes the proliferation of cancer cells. Overall, it is beneficial in cancer treatments if used efficiently.