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, 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.