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


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.