Monday, February 28, 2011

Study Helps Explain Inhibition of MRSA by Manuka Honey

Effect of Manuka Honey on the Expression of Universal Stress Protein A in Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Int J Antimicrob Agents, 2011 Feb 22

Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen that can cause many problems, from impetigo to endocarditis. With its continued resistance to multiple antibiotics, S. aureus remains a serious health threat.

Honey has been used to eradicate meticillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains from wounds, but its mode of action is not yet understood.

Proteomics provides a potent group of techniques that can be used to analyse differences in protein expression between untreated bacterial cells and those treated with inhibitory concentrations of manuka honey.

In this study, two-dimensional (2D) electrophoresis was combined with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) to determine the identities of proteins whose levels of expression were changed at least two-fold following treatment with manuka honey.

Protein extracts were obtained from cells grown in tryptone soy broth (with or without manuka honey) by mechanical disruption and were separated on 2D polyacrylamide gels. A protein was isolated in gels prepared from untreated cell extract that was absent from gels made using honey-treated cell extract. Using MALDI-TOF MS, the protein was identified as universal stress protein A (UspA).

Downregulation of this protein was confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which showed a 16-fold downregulation in honey-treated cells compared with untreated samples.

This protein is involved in the stress stamina response and its downregulation could help to explain the inhibition of MRSA by manuka honey.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Honey Has Antibacterial Activity Similar to Antibiotics

Antibacterial Efficacy of Raw and Processed Honey
Biotechnol Res Int, 2011:917505

In vitro antibacterial activity of methanol, ethanol, and ethyl acetate extracts of raw and processed honey was tested against Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus faecalis, and Micrococcus luteus) and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella typhi).

Both types of honey showed antibacterial activity against tested organisms with the zone of inhibition (ZOI) ranging from 6.94 to 37.94 mm, while E. coli, S. typhi, and P. aeruginosa showed that sensibility towards all the extracts with ZOI ranges between 13.09 to 37.94 mm.

The methanol extract showed more potent activity than other organic extracts. Gram-negative bacteria were found to be more susceptible as compared to Gram-positive bacteria except E. faecalis. The broth microdilution assay gave minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) value of 625 μg/mL, while the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) ranges between 625 μg/mL 2500 μg/mL.

The study showed that honey has antibacterial activity (bacteriostatic and bactericidal effect), similar to antibiotics, against test organisms and provides alternative therapy against certain bacteria.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Report on First Hungarian Apitherapy Congress

Dr. János Körmendy-Rácz President of the Hungarian Apitherapy Society

Some 240 people attended the first Hungarian Apitherapy Congress in Budapest, the birth city of Dr. Bodog Beck. The congress was organized by the Hungarian Beekeeper's Organization and the Hungarian Apitherapy Society. Although there is a great tradition of apitherapy in Hungary, no conference has been held until today - concluded one of the speakers. Fifteen speakers showed the results of the current apitherapy research. The themes included all beehive products from honey, propolis, bee venom, pollen, to royal jelly.

Tibor Erdélyi spoke about the research results of over 50 year work of Professor Szalay, who was the author of multiple books on apitherapy. He was planning to give a lecture, but he died just before the conference.

Dr. Anna Mária Nagy spoke about the treatments using royal jelly. The specialist of diseases of internal organs has been treating autoimmune diseases with royal jelly for 10 years. Fifteen cases were presented.

Dr. Éva Szabó, assistant professor from the University of Debrecen treats wounds with honey. The presented three cases were in the area of difficult healing wounds, e.g. diabetic foot.

Live bee sting treatment on acupunctural points was shown by István Gillich and his colleague Zita Pataki.

Two theoretical lessons were given by experts of the field: István Gillich spoke about his experience of 14 years of treating multiple sclerosis with bee sting therapy.

Kálmán Debreceni spoke about his research results: steps to digest pollen over 90 percent. Royal Jelly was mentioned again.

Ingredients and storing conditions were the theme of Dr. Péter Sebők's presentation.

Dr. Ágnes Farkas, assistant professor from the University of Pécs raised a question: Which medical plant has connection to its honey? Detailed laboratory work was presented.

The Chief-Pharmacist Dr. Ágnes Soltész showed some results with her own ointments, pills, drops, sprays. The presented cases were from the area of wound healing.

Tamás Kutasi is a master beekeeper. He is dealing with the practice of producing apitherapy products.

Dr. János Körmendy-Rácz, the president of the Hungarian Apitherapy Society spoke about a case study: treating breast cancer with propolis suspension, APYS® bee venom ointment and royal jelly. The presented case is an 80-year-old woman with scheduled date to chemotherapy. She began the propolis and bee venom treatment, and fast changes were detected. After 15 months gentle treatment she is very well, almost all signs disappeared completely.

Ibolya Rudolf, cosmetician tutor, and Anikó Albert cosmetician observed the effects of APYS® bee venom ointment in facial skin care. They presented the pictures of female faces before and during the treatment. The treatment is still in progress, but the first two week's results are very promising.

For more information, contact Dr. János Körmendy-Rácz at email:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Manuka Honeys Might Reduce Pathogens Within Dental Plaque

The in vitro Effect of Manuka Honeys on Growth and Adherence of Oral Bacteria
Anaerobe, Volume 17, Issue 1, February 2011, Pages 19-22

Honey has been used since ancient times and more recently, for the healing of wounds and against infectious diseases. The aim of our study was to investigate the effect of two manuka honeys showing different potencies of their antibacterial activity, on potentially pathogenic oral bacteria.

The antimicrobial activity was examined by determining the MIC and MBC using the macro dilution broth technique. The effect on the adherence was tested on growing cells of Streptococcus mutans on a glass surface and on a multi-species biofilm grown on saliva-coated hydroxyapatite discs.

As expected, the antibacterial activity of manuka (with higher potency of antibacterial activity) was the most important. The two tested honeys weakly inhibited the adherence of S.mutans cells to a glass surface at sub-MIC concentration.

Manuka showed a total inhibition of multi-species biofilm at the concentration of 200 μg/ml manuka inhibited biofilm formation weakly at the concentration of 200 μg/ml but firmly at the concentration of 500 μg/ml.

Our findings suggest that manuka honeys might be able to reduce oral pathogens within dental plaque. These two honeys appear to be able to control dental biofilm deposit.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Honey May Help Reduce Damage to Diabetic Kidneys

Comparison of Antioxidant Effects of Honey, Glibenclamide, Metformin, and Their Combinations in the Kidneys of Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats
Int J Mol Sci, 2011 Jan 21;12(1):829-43

Hyperglycemia-induced increase in oxidative stress is implicated in diabetic complications.

This study investigated the effect of metformin and/or glibenclamide in combination with honey on antioxidant enzymes and oxidative stress markers in the kidneys of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg; intraperitoneal)-induced diabetic rats.

Diabetic rats were randomized into eight groups of five to seven rats and received distilled water (0.5 mL); honey (1.0 g/kg); metformin (100 mg/kg); metformin (100 mg/kg) and honey (1.0 g/kg); glibenclamide (0.6 mg/kg); glibenclamide (0.6 mg/kg) and honey (1.0 g/kg); metformin (100 mg/kg) and glibenclamide (0.6 mg/kg); or metformin (100 mg/kg), glibenclamide (0.6 mg/kg) and honey (1.0 g/kg) orally once daily for four weeks.

Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were significantly elevated while catalase (CAT) activity, total antioxidant status (TAS), reduced glutathione (GSH), and GSH:oxidized glutathione (GSSG) ratio was significantly reduced in the diabetic kidneys. CAT, glutathione reductase (GR), TAS, and GSH remained significantly reduced in the diabetic rats treated with metformin and/or glibenclamide.

In contrast, metformin or glibenclamide combined with honey significantly increased CAT, GR, TAS, and GSH.

These results suggest that combination of honey with metformin or glibenclamide might offer additional antioxidant effect to these drugs. This might reduce oxidative stress-mediated damage in diabetic kidneys.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Propolis Effective as Root Canal Disinfectant

Antibacterial Activity of Propolis versus Conventional Endodontic Disinfectants Against Enterococcus faecalis in Infected Dentinal Tubules
J Endod, 2011 Mar;37(3):376-81

Introduction: The antibacterial activity against Enterococcus faecalis of 2 propolis samples was investigated in a dentin block model, and their effectiveness was compared with that of established endodontic disinfectants, chlorhexidine (CHX) and calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)(2)].

Methods: Standardized dentin blocks were infected with E. faecalis ATCC 29212. The root canal space was filled with one of the ethanolic extracts of propolis (Artvin or Tekirdağ mix [TM]), CHX 2%, Ca(OH)(2), or ethanol or phosphate-buffered saline for control. Canal dentin was sampled after 1 or 7 days by using a standard-size bur. The dentinal shavings were vortexed vigorously in phosphate-buffered saline, and aliquots were cultured on tryptone soy agar plates. Colonies were counted after 2 days of incubation. Statistical significance was set to 5%.

Results: All experimental agents significantly reduced the number of the cultivable bacteria. CHX was the most potent disinfectant at both times. Compared with the ethanol control, no significant reduction in the number of colonies was found for the propolis extracts at day 1; however, significant reduction was found at day 7. The 2 propolis samples were statistically similar to each other and to Ca(OH)(2), but the TM sample was also similar to CHX at day 7. This has been linked to the greater concentration of flavonoids, a group of antibacterially active compounds, in the TM sample as determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis.

Conclusions: The antimicrobial activity of the propolis samples tested in this study was between Ca(OH)(2) and CHX. Both propolis samples were antimicrobially effective; however, their activity did not exceed CHX.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Killing Cancer Cells with Bee Venom

PBS, 2/17/2011

The sharp pain of a honeybee sting is caused in part by a peptide called melittin, which kills cells by piercing holes in their membranes. To turn this indiscriminate killer into a fine-tuned cancer drug, researchers have combined it with nanoparticles and cancer-targeting agents that allow the melittin to "sting" cancer cells without harming healthy cells. Though the treatment has not yet been tested on human patients, it has shown promise on mice. Researchers also hope to harness melittin's cell-killing power to knock out other diseases, including bacterial and fungal infections and arthritis.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sidr Honey Helps Protect Liver from Damage by Toxins

Dietary Honey and Ginseng Protect Against Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Hepatonephrotoxicity in Rats
Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology, Article in Press

Liver diseases are amongst the most serious health problems in the world today and hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the world's deadliest cancers.

The aim of the current study was to evaluate the protective effect of sider honey and/or Korean ginseng extract (KGE) against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepato-nephrotoxicity in rat.

Eighty male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were allocated into different groups and over a 4-week period, they orally received honey and/or KGE or were treated either with CCl4 alone (100 mg/kg b.w) or with CCl4 after a pretreatment period with honey, KGE or a combination of both. Clinical, clinico-pathological and histopathological evaluations were done and CCl4-treated groups were compared with rats receiving no treatment and with rats given honey, KGE or a combination of these substances.

The results indicated that oral administration of CCl4 induced severe hepatic and kidney injury associated with oxidative stress. The combined treatment with CCl4 plus honey and/or KGE resulted in a significant improvement in all evaluated parameters. This improvement was prominent in the group receiving CCl4 after combined pretreatment with honey and KGE.

Animals receiving honey and/or KGE (without CCl4-treatment) were comparable to the control untreated group. It could be concluded that honey and KGE protect SD rats against the severe CCl4-induced hepatic and renal toxic effects.

Our results suggest that the protective activity of honey and KGE may have been related to their antioxidant properties.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beeswax Component Has Anti-Inflammatory, Pain-Killing Effect

Evaluation of Anti-Inflammatory and Antinociceptive Effects of D-002 (Beeswax Alcohols)
J Nat Med, 2011 Jan 22

D-002, a mixture of six higher aliphatic alcohols purified from beeswax, displayed anti-inflammatory effects in carrageenan-induced pleurisy and cotton pellet granuloma in rats.

The aim of the present study was to confirm the anti-inflammatory properties of D-002 and to explore its potential analgesic effects…

This study confirmed the anti-inflammatory effects of D-002 and demonstrated its analgesic effects on the acetic acid-induced writhing, but not on the hot plate response, which suggests that the antinociceptive effects of D-002 could be related to its anti-inflammatory activity.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Today in California: "Medicine from the Hive" - Fifth Annual Bee Symposium 2011

For Information, Go To:

"Bee Venom Therapy, Historical Perspective into Modern Applications"
(Dr. Frederique Keller)

"The Revolutionary Effects of Honey on Human Metabolism"
Dr. Ron Fessenden)

"Socialized Medicine in Honey Bee Colonies"
(Dr. Marla Spivak)

"Medicinal Use of Raw Honey, Pollen, Propolis, Royal Jelly, Bee Bread & Beeswax" (Dr. Frederique Keller)

"How to Sleep Your Way to Better Health with Honey"
(Dr. Ron Fessenden)

"Bee Health and Breeding"
(Dr. Marla Spivak)

Bee Pollen Hydrolysates Possess High Antiradical Scavenging Activity

Preparation of Antioxidant Enzymatic Hydrolysates from Honeybee-Collected Pollen Using Plant Enzymes
Enzyme Res, 2011 Jan 9;2010:415949

Enzymatic hydrolysates of honeybee-collected pollen were prepared using food-grade proteinase and aminopeptidases entirely of plant origin.

Bromelain from pineapple stem was applied (8 mAU/g substrate) in the first hydrolysis stage. Aminopeptidase (0.05 U/g substrate) and proline iminopeptidase (0.03 U/g substrate) from cabbage leaves (Brassica oleracea var. capitata), and aminopeptidase (0.2 U/g substrate) from chick-pea cotyledons (Cicer arietinum L.) were involved in the additional hydrolysis of the peptide mixtures.

The degree of hydrolysis (DH), total phenolic contents, and protein contents of these hydrolysates were as follows: DH (about 20-28%), total phenolics (15.3-27.2 μg/mg sample powder), and proteins (162.7-242.8 μg/mg sample powder), respectively.

The hydrolysates possessed high antiradical scavenging activity determined with DPPH (42-46% inhibition).

The prepared hydrolysates of bee-collected flower pollen may be regarded as effective natural and functional dietary food supplements due to their remarkable content of polyphenol substances and significant radical-scavenging capacity with special regard to their nutritional-physiological implications.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Recombinant Royal Jelly Peptide Exhibits High Antibacterial Activity

Facilitative Production of an Antimicrobial Peptide Royalisin and its Antibody Via an Artificial Oil-Body System
Biotechnol Prog, 2011 Jan;27(1):153-61

Royalisin found in the royal jelly of Apis mellifera is an antimicrobial peptide (AMP). It has a molecular weight of 5.5 kDa, which contains six cysteine residues.

In this study, royalisin was overexpressed in Escherichia coli AD494 (DE3) as two oleosin-fusion proteins for preparation of its antibodies and functional purification. The recombinant royalisin, fused with oleosin central hydrophobic domain in both N- and C-termini, was reconstituted with triacylglycerol and phospholipids to form artificial oil bodies (AOBs). The AOBs were then purified to raise the antibodies.

These antibodies could recognize both the native and recombinant royalisins, but not oleosin. Another oleosin-intein S-fusion protein was purified by AOBs system, and royalisin was subsequently released from the AOBs through self-splicing of the intein.

The recombinant royalisin exhibited high antibacterial activity, which suggested that it was refolded to its functional structure. These results demonstrated that AOBs system is an efficient method to functionally express and purify small AMPs. In addition, it also provides a facile platform for the production of antibodies against small peptides.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Propolis Paste Suitable for Root Canal Dressings

Removal Efficiency of Propolis Paste Dressing from the Root Canal
J Appl Oral Sci, 2010 Dec;18(6):621-4.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) the cleaning of root canal walls after the use of experimental propolis or calcium hydroxide root canal dressings.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty single-rooted teeth were used. After conventional cleaning and shaping procedures and removal of the smear layer with 17% EDTA, the teeth were divided into four groups according to the medication used (N=5): Group I (control) - No drug, Group II - Calcium hydroxide dressing, Group III - Propolis paste A70D and Group IV - Propolis paste D70D. The medications were introduced into the root canals and maintained for 7 days, then removed with a K-file and 5 mL of 1% sodium hypochlorite irrigation. Finally, the canals were flushed with 2 mL of 17% EDTA for 3 min. For SEM analysis, the roots were cleaved and microphotographs from the middle third of the root canal were taken at 750x. The cleaning of the root canal walls was determined by the number of open dentinal tubules as verified with the software Image Tool 3.1. The statistical analysis was performed by ANOVA and Tukey's test.

RESULTS: The results showed no statistically significant difference between the calcium hydroxide and propolis groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The experimental propolis pastes presented acceptable physical characteristics to be used as intracanal medicaments.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lower Cost Food Honey as Effective as Medicinal Honey

Honey in Otorhinolaryngology: When, Why and How?
Eur Ann Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Dis, 2011 Feb 8

In this review of the literature devoted to the use of honey, the authors analyse the composition, indications, benefits and adverse effects of this product in otorhinolaryngology and head and neck surgery.

Published data indicate that honey applied topically to skin and mucosal wounds and/or burns and administered orally as antitussive medication (after the first year of life) is highly effective with no adverse effects.

The physiological action of honey is the result of various mechanisms (osmotic, detersion, bactericidal action). Various medicinal honeys are available worldwide, but only one has Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of wounds.

After the first year of life, the use of food honey appears to be as effective as medicinal honey, while decreasing the overall cost of treatment.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Apitherapy Conferences and General Assembly of the Francophone Apitherapy Association to be Held in Lyon May 17

One-day experience exchange that focuses on health benefits of bee hive products

Internationally-known experts on “Apitherapy", the therapeutic use of bee hive products, will offer four conferences in Lyon, France, on Saturday, May 17, as an overview of the health benefits provided by honey, propolis, bee-collected pollen, beeswax, drone larvae extract, bee venom and royal jelly.

On the same day it will be held the General Assembly of the Francophone Apitherapy Association.

More details in

Indian Honey Entrepreneur Seeks to Expand Apitherapy Business

Ritu Kapoor's Sweet Success
By Neeta Lal, The Star (Malaysia), 2/12/2011

Young entrepreneur Ritu Kapoor, scion of one of the world’s largest honey-exporting family businesses, is as busy as a bee with her frenetic expansion plans…

The young businesswoman’s interest in honey, she says, began as a child. She would watch in fascination as her parents incorporated the golden-hued liquid into everything from food to face packs to home remedies.

“For burns, cuts, wounds, etc, my father would instinctively reach out for honey,” recalls Kapoor. “In fact, I don’t remember ever popping pills for minor ailments like today’s kids. Daddy told me about honey’s anti-bacterial properties when I was small and it has now became a part of my survival kit. Often, I help cure my friends’ colds and coughs by putting them on a ginger-honey concoction.”

According to Kapoor, the benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. “In Europe, men and women use honey to rejuvenate their skin,” says Kapoor. “Unfortunately, in India, honey’s many qualities remain untapped.”

To plug that gap, the head of KA’s business re-engineering programme is now planning to produce honey-based cosmetics and spa treatments. She is promoting honey for its wellness, beauty and health properties by tying up with spas and wellness centres across the country…

The company’s plans include exporting to 100 countries by this year and marketing high-value byproducts like royal jelly and bee venom…

Monday, February 14, 2011

Video: Apitherapy for Health and Beauty

Watch the video.

Honey Popular in Skin Care Products

Honey, I Love You It's sweet to taste and an equally sweet treat for the skin
Bangkok Post, 2/12/2011

Honey has long been used to pamper the skin, thanks to its cleansing, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties. In addition to that, the sticky stuff leaves a coat of film on the skin to lock in moisture and radiance. What's not to love?

Honey is an ideal skin care ingredient as it prevents drying. It also helps protect the skin from sun damage. This is why many skincare products, and even cosmetics, which are aimed at softening and moisturising the skin, use the benefits of honey to deliver an amazing fragrance and deliciously soft skin.

Its powerful healing properties are also second to none. Honey not only fights infection and aids tissue healing, but also helps reduce skin inflammation and scarring.

Honey can work as a facial mask, or along with other home remedies. Most commonly, honey is best friends with milk, both for health foods and for skin treatments. A glass of milk with a few drops of honey can help you sleep better at night, while a milk and honey facial mask can be a very good acne fighter.

Other acne remedies include honey with apple, honey with aloe vera, honey with tea tree oil, honey with cucumber and honey with aspirin. Yes, aspirin! This is probably the least delicious sounding recipe for the skin, but aspirin is a good skin conditioner that works well in treating acne in oily skin, and the coarse texture is great for exfoliation. It is not suitable for dry skin as it might cause excessive dryness and skin flaking.

Sometimes benefits of honey come in other various forms, such as propolis, royal jelly, beewax and bee pollen. These are also packed with honey's goodness but differ in form and concentration. For example, royal jelly is a honey bee secretion commonly found in adult queens. It is widely praised for its cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing and antibiotic effects…

Propolis Component May Help Prevent Skin Aging

Inhibition of Stromelysin-1 by Caffeic Acid Derivatives from a Propolis Sample from Algeria
Planta Med, 2011 Feb 8

Stromelysin-1 (matrix metalloproteinase-3: MMP-3) occupies a central position in collagenolytic and elastolytic cascades, leading to cutaneous intrinsic and extrinsic aging.

We screened extracts of a propolis sample from Algeria with the aim to isolate compounds able to selectively inhibit this enzyme.

A butanolic extract (B (3)) of the investigated propolis sample was found to potently inhibit MMP-3 activity (IC (50) = 0.15 ± 0.03 µg/mL), with no or only weak activity on other MMPs. This fraction also inhibited plasmin amidolytic activity (IC (50) = 0.05 µg/mL) and impeded plasmin-mediated proMMP-3 activation. B (3) was fractionated by HPLC, and one compound, characterized by NMR and mass spectroscopy and not previously identified in propolis, i.e., (+)-chicoric acid, displayed potent IN VITRO MMP-3 inhibitory activity (IC (50) = 6.3 × 10 (-7) M).

In addition, both caffeic acid and (+)-chicoric acid methyl ester present in fraction B (3) significantly inhibited UVA-mediated MMP-3 upregulation by fibroblasts.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Apitherapy in Nicaragua

Familia marquense impulsa apiterapia
Prense Libre, 2/10/2011

Treinta años de producción de miel de alta calidad para exportación han dado a los propietarios del apiario Flores Occidentales, de San Marcos, la experiencia para impulsar la apiterapia como una alternativa contra algunas enfermedades.

Teodoro Miranda, impulsor del proyecto, indicó que ante la necesidad de la población comenzaron a producir algunos derivados de la miel y la colmena, como alternativas curativas.

Explicó que en la actualidad procesan polen, jalea real y propóleo, con los que se hacen combinaciones con plantas medicinales que dan como resultado jarabes para el tratamiento de enfermedades respiratorias…

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Propolis Reduces Complications of Cancer Treatment

Effect of Propolis Against Radiation-Induced Oral Mucositis in Rats
Kulak Burun Bogaz Ihtis Derg, 2011 Jan-Feb;21(1):32-41

Objectives: This study aims to investigate whether propolis has a protective role in oral mucosal damage induced by radiotherapy applied to head-neck region, using quantitative, biochemical and histopathological approaches.

Materials and Methods: Forty eight Wistar-Albino adult female rats at eight weeks of age and weighing 213±27 grams were included in this study and randomly divided into six groups: Group 1: control, group 2: only irradiated rats, group 3: irradiated rats with propolis administration at 50 mg/kg/day, group 4: irradiated rats with propolis administration at 100 mg/kg/day, group 5: only propolis administration at 50 mg/kg/day, group 6: only propolis administration at 100 mg/kg/day. The first dose of propolis was administered before 30 minutes irradiation and the other doses after irradiation once daily for seven days by topical application. Radiotherapy was applied to the total cranium by single fraction at a dose of 18 Gy. The mucositis degrees and body weights of the animals were measured throughout the experiment. On the 7th day of study, blood samples were taken from the rats under ketamine anesthesia and then the rats were sacrificed and tongue tissues samples were taken. Complete blood count and biochemical and antioxidant activities were analysed in the blood samples. The tongue samples were microscopically examined.

Results: Radiotherapy group had a decrease in body weight and neutrophil count, and an increase in oral mucositis as compared with the control group. Moreover, an increase in plasma malondialdehyde concentrations and significant decreases in catalase and superoxide dismutase activities were observed in irradiation-alone group when compared to the control group. Propolis administered irradiated rat groups showed a dose-dependent normalization in quantitative, biochemical and histopathological parameters when compared with the irradiation-alone group.

Conclusion: The results showed that propolis is effective in reducing the severity of oral mucositis induced by head-and-neck irradiation.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Honey-Based Diet Promotes Lower Weight Gain

Honey Promotes Lower Weight Gain, Adiposity, and Triglycerides Than Sucrose in Rats
Nutrition Research, Volume 31, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 55-60

Various dietary carbohydrates have been linked to obesity and altered adipose metabolism; however, the influences of honey vs common sweeteners have not been fully explored.

We hypothesized that in comparison with sucrose, a honey-based diet would promote lower weight gain, adiposity, and related biomarkers (leptin, insulin, and adiponectin) as well as a better blood lipid profile.

Thirty-six male Sprague-Dawley rats (228.1 ± 12.5 g) were equally divided by weight into 2 groups (n = 18) and provided free access to 1 of 2 diets of equal energy densities differing only in a portion of the carbohydrate. Diets contained 20% carbohydrate (by weight of total diet) from either clover honey or sucrose. After 33 days, epididymal fat pads were excised and weighed, and blood was collected for analyses of serum concentrations of lipids, glucose, and markers of adiposity and inflammation.

Body weight gain was 14.7% lower (P ≤ .05) for rats fed honey, corresponding to a 13.3% lower (P ≤ .05) consumption of food/energy, whereas food efficiency ratios were nearly identical. Epididymal fat weight was 20.1% lower (P ≤ .05) for rats fed honey. Serum concentrations of triglycerides and leptin were lower (P ≤ .05) by 29.6% and 21.6%, respectively, and non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was higher (P ≤ .05) by 16.8% for honey-fed rats.

No significant differences in serum total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, adiponectin, C-reactive protein, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, glucose, or insulin were detected.

These results suggest that in comparison with sucrose, honey may reduce weight gain and adiposity, presumably due to lower food intake, and promote lower serum triglycerides but higher non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Algerian Propolis Extract has Antioxidant Capacity

In vitro Evaluation of Antioxidant Capacity of Algerian Propolis by Spectrophotometrical and Electrochemical Assays
International Journal of Pharmacology, 2011 | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 113-118

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the antioxidant capacity and the total phenolic content of propolis extract, obtained from colonies of honeybees located in El-Oued (south of Algeria).

The total phenolic content was evaluated using the Folin-Ciocalteu method and the antioxidant capacity was measured using the following methods: 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl free radical scavenging capacity and reducing power capacity for spectrophotometrical techniques, ascorbic and gallic acids equivalent antioxidant capacity assays for electrochemical techniques. Both techniques allowed an evaluation of the antioxidant capacity of methanolic propolis extract.

The electrochemical techniques were performed by cyclic voltammetry, the results suggest that propolis extract do not reveal similar electrochemical responses to that of ascorbic and gallic acids, suggesting a different electroactive chemical composition and oxidation potential more positive than that of the standard (ascorbic acid), however this does not suggest that propolis has a lower antioxidant capacity.

The results suggest also that propolis extract possess antioxidant capacity in vitro conditions.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

New Propolis Extract Dissolves in Water, Retains Healing Properties

Bradford University Research Harnesses the Healing Powers of Honey Bee ResinTelegraph & Argus, 2/7/2011

Researchers at the University of Bradford have developed a way of harnessing the healing powers of propolis – a mixture of resin and wax made by honey bees.

The benefits of propolis in medicine and food supplements has been known for many years, but its use has been limited because the sticky substance is not water soluble and has a strong smell which is off-putting.

Now the university’s Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science has developed a way of purifying propolis that retains its medicinal properties, but makes it dissolve in water and gets rid of its pungent smell…

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

How to Use Propolis for Arthritis

Livestrong, 2/3/2011


Propolis is a type of resin that bees use to construct and strengthen their hive. This versatile substance has also been used for centuries as a treatment for inflammation, pain and compromised immunity. These effects are a result of the combination of resin and plants the bees use to make propolis. Propolis is generally regarded as safe to use and its anti-inflammatory effects can help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Speak with your doctor before using any remedy for pain and inflammation.

Step 1

Discuss your intentions of using propolis with your physician. Although it is considered relatively safe to use, propolis may cause a reaction in people who are allergic to bees or pollen. It's also unlikely that propolis will cause an interaction with any medications you are currently using, but you still should discuss using this supplement with your doctor.

Step 2

Apply a topical cream that contains propolis extract, available at your local health food store. Use the cream as directed by the manufacturer to help reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis. A 2007 article published in the "Journal of Venom and Animal Toxins" explains that propolis is an inexpensive yet effective topical treatment for both acute and chronic inflammatory processes such as arthritis. Propolis is particularly useful for treating these conditions when they occur in the joints between bones, where arthritis often appears…

Monday, February 07, 2011

Propolis Extract Protects Against UVA Radiation

The Use of Nanoemulsions Based on Aqueous Propolis and Lycopene Extract in the Skin's Protective Mechanisms Against UVA Radiation
Journal of Nanobiotechnology, 4 February 2011

The use of natural products based on aqueous extract of propolis and lycopene in the skin's protective mechanisms against UVA radiation was evaluated by means of experimental acute inflammation on rat paw edema.

The purpose of the study is the evaluation of the inoffensiveness of the propolis lycopene system, by evaluating skin level changes and anti-inflammatory action.

The regenerative and protective effect of the aqueous propolis and lycopene extract is due to the fact that it is rich in biologically active substances: tocopherols, flavonoids, amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, the chlorophyll pigment, which are substances with a strong antioxidant action, that contribute to the modification of oxidative stress, especially by reducing the prooxidant processes and enhancing the antioxidant ones.

They participate in the synthesis of the prostaglandins and phospholipids composing the cell membranes and thus enhance the protection mechanisms in the skin. The formulated systems offered a sustained release of the drug, in vitro, for a time period of eight hours. The formulations that were prepared did not have a deteriorating effect on the tissues. They proved a better therapeutic efficiency compared to the standard suspension, because they were superior in improving the monitorized parameters for a longer period of time (24 hours).

The preliminary examination of the tissues shows that the formulations did not produce irritations. The local application of the aqueous propolis and lycopene extract nanoemulsion has a high potential both regarding its efficiency (the analgesic effect) and therapeutic safety. This research demonstrates the fact that the aqueous propolis and lycopene extract nanoemulsions, which are preparations that contain active substances, can confer better therapeutic effects than those of the conventional formulations, because of the local controlled-release of the dozed form, in a longer period of time, which may lead to an improvement of its efficiency and to the skin accepting it more easily, meaning a better compliance.

The information gathered in the present research suggests that the administration of aqueous propolis and lycopene extract nanoemulsion be safe and inoffensive. The preparation can be recommended for further preclinical studies. Lycopene embedded in aqueous propolis extract can be used in pharmaceuticals (targeted medical therapy).

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Brazilian Green Propolis Boosts Prostate Cancer Cell Death

Ethanolic Extract of Brazilian Green Propolis Sensitizes Prostate Cancer Cells to TRAIL-Induced Apoptosis
Int J Oncol, 2011 Feb 1

Prostate cancer represents an ideal disease for chemopreventive intervention.

Propolis possesses immuno-modulatory, anti-tumour and chemopreventive properties. The tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is an important endogenous anti-cancer agent that induces apoptosis selectively in tumour cells. However, some cancer cells are resistant to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis.

Naturally occurring phenolic and polyphenolic compounds sensitize TRAIL-resistant cancer cells and augment the apoptotic activity of TRAIL. The ethanolic extract of Brazilian green propolis (EEP) is rich in phenolic components.

Our in vitro results indicate the potential targets in the TRAIL-induced apoptotic pathway for the cancer chemopreventive activity of Brazilian propolis.

We examined the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of Brazilian EEP and its bioactive components in combination with TRAIL on LNCaP prostate cancer cells…

The inhibition of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) (p65) activation in cancer cells was confirmed by the ELISA-based TransAM NF-κB kit. The LNCaP cells were shown to be resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Our study demonstrates that EEP sensitizes TRAIL-resistant prostate cancer cells.

The main phenolic components detected in Brazilian green propolis are artepillin C, quercetin, kaempferol and p-coumaric acid. Brazilian propolis and its bioactive components markedly augmented TRAIL-mediated apoptosis and cytotoxicity in prostate cancer cells.

Brazilian EEP enhanced the expression of TRAIL-R2 and the activity of NF-κB in LNCaP cells. The co-treatment of prostate cancer cells with 100 ng/ml TRAIL and 50 µg/ml EEP increased the percentage of apoptotic cells to 65.8±1.2% and caused a significant disruption of ∆Ψm in LNCaP cells.

We show that Brazilian EEP helped cells overcome TRAIL resistance by engaging both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways and regulating NF-κB activity.

The data demonstrate the important role of Brazilian green propolis and its bioactive compounds in prostate cancer chemoprevention through the enhancement of TRAIL-mediated apoptosis.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Propolis Component May Help Prevent Atherosclerosis

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Inhibits PDGF-Induced Proliferation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells via Activation of p38 MAPK, HIF-1α, and Heme Oxygenase-1
J Nat Prod, 2011 Jan 25

Hyperproliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is critically involved in the onset of atherosclerosis and restenosis. Although caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE, 1), one of the main constituents of honeybee propolis, has been shown to exert a beneficial effect in models of vascular injury in vivo, detailed mechanistic investigations in vascular cells are scarce.

This study has examined the antiproliferative activity of 1 in platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-stimulated primary rat aortic VSMCs and aimed to shed light on underlying molecular mechanisms.

Compound 1 inhibited the proliferation of VSMCs upon exposure to PDGF in a dose-dependent manner by interfering with cell cycle progression from the G0/1- to the S-phase. Enhanced phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) as well as stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and subsequent induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) could be identified as molecular events contributing to the observed growth arrest in PDGF-activated VSMCs upon exposure to 1.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Royal Jelly Could be Used to Treat Colitis

Effect of Royal Jelly on Experimental Colitis Induced by Acetic Acid and Alteration of Mast Cell Distribution in the Colon of Rats
Eur J Histochem, 2010 Oct 21;54(4):e35

This study investigated the effects of royal jelly (RJ) on acetic acid-induced colitis in rats.

Twenty adult female Wistar albino rats were divided into four treatment groups of 5 animals each, including a control group (Group I); Group II was treated orally with RJ (150 mg kg-1 body weight); Group III had acetic acid-induced colitis; and Group IV had acetic acid-induced colitis treated orally with RJ (150 mg kg-1 body weight) for 4 weeks. Colitis was induced by intracolonic instillation of 4% acetic acid; the control group received physiological saline (10 kg-1). Colon samples were obtained under deep anaesthesia from animals in all groups. Tissues were fixed in 10% formalin neutral buffer solution for 24 h and embedded in paraffin. Six-micrometre-thick sections were stained with Mallory’s triple stain and toluidine blue in 1% aqueous solution at pH 1.0 for 5 min (for Mast Cells).

RJ was shown to protect the colonic mucosa against the injurious effect of acetic acid. Colitis (colonic damage) was confirmed histomorphometrically as significant increases in the number of mast cells (MC) and colonic erosions in rats with acetic acid-induced colitis.

The RJ treatment significantly decreased the number of MC and reduced the area of colonic erosion in the colon of RJ-treated rats compared with rats with untreated colitis.

The results suggest that oral treatment with RJ could be used to treat colitis.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Portuguese Bee Pollen Shows Antimicrobial Activity

Honeybee-Collected Pollen from Five Portuguese Natural Parks: Palynological Origin, Phenolic Content, Antioxidant Properties and Antimicrobial Activity
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Article in Press

The aim of this study was to determine the palynological origin, phenolic content, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of pollen from five Portuguese Natural-Parks [Parque Nacional Peneda Gerês (PNPG); Parque Natural do Montesinho (PNM); Parque Natural do Alvão (PNA); Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela (PNSE) and Parque Natural do Douro Internacional (PNDI)].

Eight families were found in the mixture of bee pollen: Rosaceae, Cistaceae, Boraginaceae, Asteraceae, Fagaceae, Ericaeae, Myrtaceae and Fabaceae. The phenolic compounds content, determined by the Folin-Ciocalteu method, varied between 10.5 and 16.8 mg of gallic acid equivalents/g of extract (mg GAE/g) found in bee pollen from PNM and PNDI, respectively. The free radical scavenging measured showed the highest effective extract - PNM with EC50 2.16, followed by PND with 2.24 mg/mL.

In the β-carotene bleaching assay the same behaviour as in the DPPH method was verified. We also verified that the presence of pollen differentially affected the growth of bacteria Gram-positive, Gram-negative and yeasts under study, depending this on the microorganism and the pollen used.

This is an important study since, as far we know, it is the first time that Portuguese bee pollen from Natural Parks was studied, and their characterization can increase their economic value.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Polyphenols Contribute to Antioxidant Activity of Honey Melanoidins

Honey Melanoidins: Analysis of the Compositions of the High Molecular Weight Melanoidins Exhibiting Radical-Scavenging Activity
Food Chemistry, Article in Press

Size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) and activity-guided fractionation of honeys allowed the isolation of high molecular weight brown compounds, ranging in size from 66 to 235 kDa that exhibited peroxyl radical-scavenging activity. Their concentrations, antioxidant activity and degree of browning increased after heat-treatment of honeys, suggesting that they represent melanoidins.

Chemical analysis of melanoidins demonstrated the presence of proteins, polyphenols and oligosaccharides. Heat-treatment caused an increased incorporation of phenolics into high molecular weight melanoidins and drastically decreased the protein content in these fractions with a concomitant appearance of high molecular weight protein-polyphenol complexes of reduced solubility. LC-ESI-MS demonstrated the presence of oligosaccharide moieties, supporting the postulated origin of melanoidins.

The changes in the phenolic content of melanoidins from heated honeys were strongly correlated with their oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) values (R=0.75, p<0.0001), indicating that polyphenols contribute to the antioxidant activity of melanoidins.

In summary, honey melanoidins are multi-component polymers consisting of protein-polyphenol-oligosaccharide complexes. A direct interaction between polyphenols and melanoidins resulted in a loss or gain of function for melanoidin antioxidant activity.

Research highlights

Evidence for a spontaneous formation of melanoidins in unheated raw honeys. Demonstration that the melanoidin structure is composed of the protein-polyphenol-polycarbohydrate complexes. Formation of polyphenol – containing melanoidin complexes in honey were significantly correlated with a loss or gain of antioxidant properties of melanoidins.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Brazilian Green Propolis Component Reduces DNA Damage

Antigenotoxicity of Artepillin C in vivo Evaluated by the Micronucleus and Comet Assays
J Appl Toxicol, 2011 Jan 24

Artepillin C (3,5-diprenyl-p-coumaric acid), a major compound found in Brazilian green propolis and Baccharis dracunculifolia, shows anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and antitumoral activities, among others.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the genotoxic potential of artepillin C and its ability to prevent the chemically induced chromosome breakage or loss and the primary DNA damage using the micronucleus and comet assays in male Swiss mice, respectively.

The animals were treated by gavage with different doses of artepillin C (0.4, 0.8 and 1.6 mg kg(-1) b.w.). For the antigenotoxicity assays, the different doses of artepillin C were administered simultaneously to doxorubicin (DXR; micronucleus test; 15 mg kg(-1) b.w.) and to methyl methanesulfonate (MMS; comet assay; 40 mg kg(-1) b.w.).

The results showed that artepillin C itself was not genotoxic in the mouse micronucleus and comet assays. In the animals treated with artepillin C and DXR, the number of micronucleated reticulocytes was significantly lower in comparison with the animals treated only with DXR.

Regarding antigenotoxicity, artepillin C at the tested doses significantly reduced the extent of DNA damage in liver cells induced by MMS.