Saturday, May 31, 2014

Brazilian green propolis modulates inflammation, angiogenesis and fibrogenesis in intraperitoneal implant in mice

7th Space, 5/29/2014
Chronic inflammatory processes in the peritoneal cavity develop as a result of ischemia, foreign body reaction, and trauma. Brazilian green propolis, a beeswax product, has been shown to exhibit multiple actions on inflammation and tissue repair.
Our aim was to investigate the effects of this natural product on the inflammatory, angiogenic, and fibrogenic components of the peritoneal fibroproliferative tissue induced by a synthetic matrix.
Methods: Chronic inflammation was induced by placing polyether-polyurethane sponge discs in the abdominal cavity of anesthetized Swiss mice. Oral administration of propolis (500/mg/kg/day) by gavage started 24 hours after injury for four days.
The effect of propolis on peritoneal permeability was evaluated through fluorescein diffusion rate 4 days post implantation. The effects of propolis on the inflammatory (myeloperoxidase and n-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase activities and TNF-alpha levels), angiogenic (hemoglobin content-Hb), and fibrogenic (TGF-beta1 and collagen deposition) components of the fibrovascular tissue in the implants were determined 5 days after the injury.
Results: Propolis was able to decrease intraperitoneal permeability. The time taken for fluorescence to peak in the systemic circulation was 20 +/- 1 min in the treated group in contrast with 15 +/- 1 min in the control group. In addition, the treatment was shown to down-regulate angiogenesis (Hb content) and fibrosis by decreasing TGF-beta1 levels and collagen deposition in fibroproliferative tissue induced by the synthetic implants.
Conversely, the treatment up-regulated inflammatory enzyme activities, TNF-alpha levels and gene expression of NOS2 and IFN-gamma (23 and 7 fold, respectively), and of FIZZ1 and YM1 (8 and 2 fold) when compared with the untreated group.
Conclusions: These observations show for the first time the effects of propolis modulating intraperitoneal inflammatory angiogenesis in mice and disclose important action mechanisms of the compound (downregulation of angiogenic components and activation of murine macrophage pathways).

Friday, May 30, 2014

Acacia Honey Accelerates Corneal Wound Healing

Effect of acacia honey on cultured rabbit corneal keratocytes
Acacia honey is a natural product which has proven to have therapeutic effects on skin wound healing, but its potential healing effects in corneal wound healing have not been studied. This study aimed to explore the effects of Acacia honey (AH) on corneal keratocytes morphology, proliferative capacity, cell cycle, gene and protein analyses. Keratocytes from the corneal stroma of six New Zealand white rabbits were isolated and cultured until passage 1. The optimal dose of AH in the basal medium (FD) and medium containing serum (FDS) for keratocytes proliferation was identified using MTT assay. The morphological changes, gene and protein expressions of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), marker for quiescent keratocytes and vimentin, marker for fibroblasts were detected using q-RTPCR and immunocytochemistry respectively. Flowcytometry was performed to evaluate the cell cycle analysis of corneal keratocytes.
Cultured keratocytes supplemented with AH showed no morphological changes compared to control. Keratocytes cultured in FD and FDS media supplemented with 0.025% AH showed optimal proliferative potential compared with FD and FDS media, respectively. Gene expressions of ADLH and vimentin were increased in keratocytes cultured with AH enriched media. All proteins were expressed in keratocytes cultured in all media in accordance to the gene expression findings. No chromosomal changes were detected in keratocytes in AH enriched media.
Corneal keratocytes cultured in media supplemented with 0.025% AH showed an increase in proliferative capacity while retaining their morphology, gene and protein expressions with normal cell cycle. The results of the present study show promising role of AH role in accelerating the initial stage of corneal wound healing.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Manuka Honey Test Faster, More Cost Effective

NZ Honey Industry to Benefit From New Manuka Test
Voxy, 5/27/2014
New Zealand’s honey industry can now test manuka honey faster and more cost effectively than ever before thanks to a new three-in-one test introduced by the country’s leading analytical testing laboratory, Hill Laboratories.
The test, dubbed the Manuka Suite, is available to producers and sellers of manuka honey across the country this month and uses new technology and methodology to test the bioactive components in manuka honey.
Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush and sells for a high premium worldwide. To sell the product for a price indicative of the manuka level, producers and sellers of honey need to undertake manuka honey tests.
Hill Laboratories Food and Bioanalytical client services manager, Jill Rumney, said the new technology and methodology used in the Manuka Suite allows the organisation to group together three of their most popular manuka honey tests.
"Our new Manuka Suite test combines the three vital compounds required for active manuka honey tests; dihydroxyacetone (DHA), methylglyxol (MGO) and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), into one ground-breaking test," Jill said…

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Royal Jelly Decreased Severity of MRSA Infection

Antibacterial effect of royal jelly for preservation of implant-related spinal infection in rat
Turk Neurosurg, 2014;24(2):249-52
Implant-related infections are still a significant problem in spinal surgical procedures. Many drugs and methods have been tried to prevent implant-related infections. Our objective in this study was to evaluate whether royal jelly, which was found to hinder the growth of MRSA, has any preventive role in the prognosis of an infection in rats in an implant-related infection model.]
Rats were divided into 3 groups of eight rats. Group-1 consisted of rats that underwent only a spinal implant, group-2 included those rats that were inoculated bacteria together with a spinal implant and group-3 was administered royal jelly in addition to a spinal implant and infection.
The amount of bacteria that grew in vertebral columns and implants was more in Group-2 than in Group-3, which meant that the number of bacteria colonies that grew was more quantitatively. This difference was found to be statistically significant in vertebral columns, but not in implants.
Royal jelly could not fully prevent the MRSA infection in this model, but decreased the severity of infection noticeably. More objective and promising results may be obtained if royal jelly can be used at regular intervals in a different model to be designed with respect to implant-related infections.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Royal Jelly May Boost Growth of Broiler Chickens

Hatchability rate and embryonic growth of broiler chicks following in ovo injection royal jelly
Br Poult Sci, 2014 May 20

1. The objectives of this study were to compare the hatchability, chick body and internal organs weights and plasma testosterone concentration of hatchlings after in ovo administration of royal jelly (RJ) on d 7 of incubation.

2. Fertile eggs (n =150) were injected into the air sac or yolk sac with 0.5ml normal saline solution or normal saline and pure RJ. The eggs were randomly divided into five groups of 30 eggs each: NC, control eggs receiving no injection; ASA, air sac-injected eggs given normal saline solution; ARJ, air sac-injected eggs injected with pure RJ; YSA, yolk sac-injected eggs receiving normal saline solution; and YRJ, yolk sac-injected eggs given pure RJ.

3. Injection of RJ significantly decreased hatchability (46.7%) compared with injection of SA (68.3%). Hatchability was lower in ARJ (33.3 %) and YRJ (60.0%) groups than in the NC group (90.0%). Hatchability in ASA (70.0%) and YSA (66.66%) groups were comparable to the NC group.

4. In ovo injection of RJ into both sacs increased chicks' absolute and relative body, heart, liver and testes weights compared to the control group whereas plasma testosterone concentration was similar among the different groups.

5. It was concluded that in ovo injection of RJ may be an effective method to increase CWT and chicks' internal organ weights.

Monday, May 26, 2014

New Product: The Honey Spoon (Video)

Ismail Cuneyt Oktay demonstrates the Balgo Honey Spoon
At Caffè Culture 2014 in London, Bill Bruce talks to Ismail Cuneyt Oktay about the Balgo Honey Spoon, which he demonstrates.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Honey, Propolis Component May Help Treat Diabetic Nephropathy

Chrysin, an anti-inflammatory molecule, abrogates renal dysfunction in type 2 diabetic rats
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol, 2014 May 18. pii: S0041-008X(14)00191-4
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is considered as the leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) worldwide, but the current available treatments are limited. Recent experimental evidences support the role of chronic microinflammation in the development of DN. Therefore, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) pathway has emerged as a new therapeutic target for the treatment of DN.
We investigated the nephroprotective effects of chrysin (5, 7-dihydroxyflavone) in a high fat diet/streptozotocin (HFD/STZ)-induced type 2 diabetic Wistar albino rat model. Chrysin is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that is abundantly found in plant extracts, honey and bee propolis. The treatment with chrysin for 16weeks post induction of diabetes significantly abrogated renal dysfunction and oxidative stress. Chrysin treatment considerably reduced renal TNF-α expression and inhibited the nuclear transcription factor-kappa B (NF-кB) activation. Furthermore, chrysin treatment improved renal pathology and suppressed transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), fibronectin and collagen-IV protein expressions in renal tissues. Chrysin also significantly reduced the serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and IL-6. Moreover, there were no appreciable differences in fasting blood glucose and serum insulin levels between the chrysin treated groups compared to the HFD/STZ-treated group.
Hence, our results suggest that chrysin prevents the development of DN in HFD/STZ-induced type 2 diabetic rats through anti-inflammatory effects in the kidney by specifically targeting the TNF-α pathway.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Can honey clear a stuffy nose?

Daily Mail, 5/22/2014
London - Rinsing the nose with honey is being tested as a treatment for sinusitis. In a new clinical trial in the US, a tablespoon of Manuka honey mixed with saline will be compared with a placebo solution…

Friday, May 23, 2014

PET Fibrous Mats with Honey Could Be Potential Wound Dressing Materials

Honey-based PET or PET/chitosan fibrous wound dressings: effect of honey on electrospinning process
J Biomater Sci Polym Ed, 2014 May 20:1-14
In this study, fibrous mats were fabricated via electrospinning from solutions of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), PET/chitosan, and PET/honey at different concentrations. The effect of honey and chitosan on electrospinning process was investigated and compared. Fibers containing chitosan had a beaded or ribbon-like/branched morphology, but this morphology improved in the presence of honey. The diameter of electrospun fibers decreased with an increased ratio of honey in PET solution. In addition, fiber deposition area in the collector increased by increasing the honey content. PET/chitosan and PET/honey fibrous mats reached an equilibrium water content in 15 min and their water uptake capacities, which are important for exudating wounds, were found in the range of 280-430% on dry basis. Cytotoxicity evaluation demonstrated that fibers exhibited no cytotoxic activity. This study discloses that PET fibrous mats especially electrospun in the presence of honey could be proposed as potential wound dressing materials owing to their improved processing abilities besides their suitable structural properties.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bee Venom May Help Treat Hepatitis B

Induction of IFN-γ cytokine response against hepatitis B surface antigen using melittin
Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench, 2014 Spring;7(2):108-17
In this study we co-administered melittin along with HBsAg/alum vaccine to investigate if it helps elicitation of Th1/Th2 response.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a life-threatening liver infection, which can lead to chronic liver disease. Vigorous T cell responses are stimulated at acute, self-limiting HBV infection, while chronic HBV infection elicits very weak T cell responses. The prevalence of HBV infection has been decreased by the approved vaccination approach using recombinant HBs antigen (HBsAg) and alum i.e. HBV vaccine. Alum, a strong Th2 stimulator, is usually used as adjuvant to increase HBsAg immunogenicity. The present vaccine does not induce protective and/or prophylactic immune response in some groups. Melittin, major active component in the venom of honeybee, induces Th1 development.
Experimental mice were immunized with melittin plus hepatitis B vaccine on day 0 following by two booster doses with the same injections. Lymphocyte proliferation, IFN-γ, and IL-4 level, total antibody and isotyping of IgG1, IgG2a IgG2b, and IgM were measured using ELISA.
Administration of melittin and HBV vaccine had no effect on lymphoproliferation and total antibody responses, but increased IFN-γ response and induced Th1 response.
The present study proposed that administration of melittin along with conventional vaccine shifts T cell responses towards Th1/Th2 dominated with Th1 response. The resultant immune response leads to activation of both cell-mediated and humoral immune responses, both of which required for clearance of HBV infection.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bee Venom Inhibits DNA Damage

Combined cytogenotoxic effects of bee venom and bleomycin on rat lymphocytes: an in vitro study
Biomed Res Int, 2014;2014:173903
This study was carried out to determine the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of bee venom (BV) and/or the chemotherapeutic agent bleomycin (BLM) on healthy isolated rat lymphocytes utilizing morphometric and molecular techniques.
Using the Ficoll-Histopaque density gradient centrifugation technique, lymphocytes were isolated, divided into groups, and subjected to BV and/or BLM at incubation medium concentrations of 10 or 20  μ g/mL respectively for 24 and 72 hrs. An MTT assay and fluorescent microscopy examinations were used to assess the cytotoxic effects. To determine the predominant type of BV and/or BLM-induced cell death, LDH release assay was employed beside quantitative expression analyses of the apoptosis-related genes (Caspase-3 and Bcl-2). The genotoxic effects of the tested compounds were evaluated via DNA fragmentation assay.
The results of these assays demonstrated that BV potentiates BLM-induced cytotoxicity through increased LDH release and diminished cell viability. Nevertheless, BV significantly inhibited the BLM-induced DNA damage. The results verify that BV significantly attenuates the genotoxic effects of BLM on noncancerous isolated rat lymphocytes but does not diminish BLM cytotoxicity.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New Method for Determination of Methylglyoxal in Honey

Determination of methylglyoxal in Manuka honey of New Zealand by high performance liquid chromatography
Se Pu, 2014 Feb;32(2):189-93.
[Article in Chinese]

An HPLC method was developed for the determination of methylglyoxal in Manuka honey of New Zealand. The honey sample was dissolved in water and mixed with o-phenylenediamine solution for derivatization.
After the reaction for at least 8 h in the dark at room temperature, the solution was filtered with 0.22 microm membrane and injected into an HPLC system for analysis. The separation was carried out on a Kromasil reversed phase column with gradient elution. The mobile phases were methanol and 0. 1% (v/v) acetic acid aqueous solution. The detection wavelength was 318 nm. The external standard method was used for quantitation. The linear range of methylglyoxal was 1-50 mg/L with a correlation coefficient of 0. 999 9. The LOD (S/N = 3) and LOQ (S/N = 10) were 0.02 mg/L and 0.06 mg/L, respectively. The recoveries at the spiked levels of 50, 100, 200 mg/kg were 98.3%-101.5% and the RSDs (n = 5) were less than 5%. The derivative of methylglyoxal was stable within 24 h.
The results showed that the pretreatment of this method is simple and the sensitivity, the recovery and repeatability are good. This method can be used for the quality control of Manuka honey of New Zealand, and also for the detection of methylglyoxal in Chinese honey.

Monday, May 19, 2014

International Product Spotlight: Beehive Products

Native to Europe, honeybees (Apis mellifera) have been introduced successfully to every continent except Antarctica. Many cultures revere honeybees more than we do in North America. Consequently, the export market for most bee products is larger than the domestic market. Asian countries, including Singapore and the Philippines, widely regard bee products as promoting superior health. These countries understand that bees are phytochemical experts. Bees have had millions of years to determine which plants in which areas during which seasons provide the correct nutritional, medicinal, and construction materials for the hive to thrive. Humans simply take advantage of this.
I spoke with Bruce Brown, CEO of CC Pollen Co. in Phoenix, AZ.
“We’ve been exporting our products for 30 years and importing raw materials for 27 years,” Brown told me. “Currently exports (mainly Asia) are 75 percent of CC Pollen’s business, and they’ve been as high as 85 percent. Most companies in our industry don’t have brand-name identification. We were lucky that people from other countries found us. The story behind the beehive products and a charismatic owner/promoter all helped secure their business. The GMP program certification is a huge effort, but is necessary because markets such as Japan have stringent import requirements. We spend considerable funds to utilize a top-tier German testing laboratory with expertise in beehive products. Few other companies, if anybody else, in the U.S. does this…

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Biofilm Embedded Organisms Resist Honey Treatment

Manuka honey treatment of biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa results in the emergence of isolates with increased honey resistance
7th Space, 5/12/2014
Medical grade manuka honeys are well known to be efficacious against Pseudomonas aeruginosa being bactericidal and inhibiting the development of biofilms; moreover manuka honey effectively kills P. aeruginosa embedded within an established biofilm.
Sustained honey resistance has not been previously documented for planktonic or biofilm P. aeruginosa.
Methods: Minimum inhibitory concentrations for manuka honey and antibiotics were determined using broth micro-dilution methods.
Minimum biofilm eliminating concentrations (MBEC) and biofilm biomass were determined using the crystal violet method. Sub-culture used non-selective media and the grid-plate method.
Results: When honey treated biofilm biomass of two strains of P. aeruginosa (reference strain ATCC 9027 and the clinical isolate 867) were sub-cultured onto non-selective media isolates emerged that exhibited reduced susceptibility to manuka honey. Significantly, this characteristic was sustained with repeated sub-culture onto non-selective media resulting in increased minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of between 5-7% (w/v) and increased minimum biofilm eliminating concentrations (MBEC) of up to 15% (w/v).
Interestingly the resistant isolates showed reduced susceptibility to antibiotic treatment with rifampicin and imipenem as well as being more prolific biofilm-formers than the progenitor strains.
Conclusions: P. aeruginosa biofilms treated with manuka honey equivalent to the MBEC harbour slow growing, viable persistor organisms that exhibit sustained, increased resistance to manuka honey and antibiotic treatment, suggesting a shared mechanism of resistance.
This sheds new light on the propensity for biofilm embedded organisms to resist honey treatment and become persistor organisms that are tolerant to other antimicrobial therapies

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Enhance Fertility with Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen & Bee Propolis

By Dora Bona, Women’s Health Talk, May 12, 2014
Any woman who has had to face the prospect of infertility will go through a huge emotional roller coaster ride. It can be heartbreaking for you, or a loved one to have to go through the trauma of discovering that having a child may never be a reality…
Obviously there are so many aspects to consider when confronted with fertility problems, and seeking specialist medical advice is clearly the course to take.
But as an adjunct for those women who are having fertility problems, the good news is that Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen, and Bee Propolis abound with health benefits in relationship to fertility and fertility issues...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Video: Bee Venom Helping Relieve Pain

Honey Bee venom is being used to help take away knee pain.
OKLAHOMA CITY —Hillcrest Clinical Research in Oklahoma City is turning to honey bee venom to take the sting out of knee pain.
Dr. Vicki Conrad, principal investigator in the clinical trials, said, "We very quickly have seen some of our subjects just respond beautifully and they’re much better.”
The honey bee venom is collected, processed in a lab, then shipped to Hillcrest in vials. It’s later mixed with the local anesthetic Lidocaine so the injection is not painful.
First, the doctor uses a syringe full of the purified honey bee venom and injects it in a few small areas right around the knee. The skin will bubble up slightly, similar to an allergy test, and then the venom goes to work.
The treatment is relatively new in the U.S. but it’s actually been around for thousands of years. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates used bee venom to treat joint pain and arthritis…

Thursday, May 15, 2014

First Congress of the International Federation of Apitherapy

Venue: Aro-Palace Hotel in Brasov, Romania
Dates: October 17-21, 2014 (Congress + Api-Expo 17-19 of October; Intensive Workshops (18 hours total), 20 and 21 of October
The Congress will be held simultaneously with the VII-th RomanianApitherapy Congress with International Participation
For any other questions, please contact:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Honey May Help Treat Yeast Infections

Honey flavonoids inhibit Candida albicans morphogenesis by affecting DNA behavior and mitochondrial function
Future Microbiol, 2014 Apr;9:445-56
Aim: Candida albicans is a pathogenic yeast, which forms a range of polarized and expanded cell shapes. We aimed to determine the correlation between honey extract (HFE) activity and changes in C. albicans cell cycle, morphology and subcellular organelles.
Materials & methods: HFE anticandidal properties were investigated using flow cytometry and scanning electron microscopy.
Results: Flow cytometry and scanning electron microscopy analyses indicated that HFE may inhibit the growth of the three phenotypes displayed by C. albicans and reduce infection by affecting membrane integrity. HFE affects hyphal transition by reducing the G0/G1 phase and increasing the G2/M phase. Conversely, yeast and pseudohyphae do not appear to be affected. Modifications of vacuolization and mitochondrial activity, during yeast-hypha transition establish the involvement of vacuole and mitochondria.
Conclusion: HFE improved mitochondrial functionality and reduced the vacuolization, modifying the branching process associated with virulence. It is hypothesized that HFE induces changes in cell cycle progress, membrane integrity, mitochondrial function and biogenesis.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Leptospermum Honey Useful for Treating Wounds in Newborns

Neonatal case studies using active leptospermum honey
J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs, 2014 May-Jun;41(3):213-8
Treatment of the neonatal patient with clinically complex wounds creates a challenge due to the safety and efficacy issues associated with the use of many advanced wound care products. The purpose of this case series was to present outcomes of 3 neonates with wounds of differing etiologies managed by Active Leptospermum Honey (ALH).
Clinical case series.
Clinical experiences with 3 neonates, 1 male and 2 females, are described. These premature infants received care at Rush University Medical Center, Houston, Texas, or Driscoll Children's Hospital, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Each neonate presented with dissimilar wounds and differing treatment goals. For a premature infant with left foot ischemia, ALH dressings allowed for removal of nonviable tissue and facilitated the granulation of the open wounds. This removal of nonviable tissue coupled with the facilitation of granulation tissue enabled the premature infant's toe tips to be salvaged without requiring aggressive surgical intervention. For the 2 preterm infants with extravasation of intravenous solutions, ALH dressings allowed healing and increased tissue granulation without any noted toxicity to the wound bed. Further, the method of action of ALH includes an osmotic pull effect that reduced periwound erythema and edema.
Although the use of ALH has been well documented in adult care, these case studies demonstrate its potential use in different wound etiologies in 3 neonatal patients.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Stingless Bee Propolis May Help Treat Asthma

Effects of stingless bee propolis on experimental asthma
Bee products have been used empirically for centuries, especially for the treatment of respiratory diseases. The present study evaluated the effect of treatment with a propolis hydroalcoholic extract (PHE) produced by Scaptotrigona aff. postica stingless bee in a murine asthma model.
BALB/c mice were immunized twice with ovalbumin (OVA) subcutaneously. After 14 days, they were intranasally challenged with OVA. Groups P50 and P200 received PHE by gavage at doses of 50 and 200 mg/kg, respectively. The DEXA group was treated with intraperitoneal injection of dexamethasone. The OVA group received only water. The mice were treated daily for two weeks and then they were immunized a second time with intranasal OVA.
The treatment with PHE decreased the cell number in the bronchoalveolar fluid (BAL). Histological analysis showed reduced peribronchovascular inflammation after treatment with PHE especially the infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells. In addition, the concentration of interferon- γ (IFN- γ ) in the serum was decreased. These results were similar to those obtained with dexamethasone.
Treatment with S. aff postica propolis reduced the pathology associated with murine asthma due an inhibition of inflammatory cells migration to the alveolar space and the systemic progression of the allergic inflammation.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tualang Honey Possesses Antioxidant Properties and Can Improve Cell Migration

Tualang honey improves human corneal epithelial progenitor cell migration and cellular resistance to oxidative stress in vitro
PLoS One, 2014 May 6;9(5):e96800
Stem cells with enhanced resistance to oxidative stress after in vitro expansion have been shown to have improved engraftment and regenerative capacities. Such cells can be generated by preconditioning them with exposure to an antioxidant.
In this study we evaluated the effects of Tualang honey (TH), an antioxidant-containing honey, on human corneal epithelial progenitor (HCEP) cells in culture. Cytotoxicity, gene expression, migration, and cellular resistance to oxidative stress were evaluated. Immunofluorescence staining revealed that HCEP cells were holoclonal and expressed epithelial stem cell marker p63 without corneal cytokeratin 3. Cell viability remained unchanged after cells were cultured with 0.004, 0.04, and 0.4% TH in the medium, but it was significantly reduced when the concentration was increased to 3.33%. Cell migration, tested using scratch migration assay, was significantly enhanced when cells were cultured with TH at 0.04% and 0.4%. We also found that TH has hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) scavenging ability, although a trace level of H2O2 was detected in the honey in its native form. Preconditioning HCEP cells with 0.4% TH for 48 h showed better survival following H2O2-induced oxidative stress at 50 µM than untreated group, with a significantly lower number of dead cells (15.3±0.4%) were observed compared to the untreated population (20.5±0.9%, p < 0.01). 
Both TH and ascorbic acid improved HCEP viability following induction of 100 µM H2O2, but the benefit was greater with TH treatment than with ascorbic acid. However, no significant advantage was demonstrated using 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furancarboxaldehyde, a compound that was found abundant in TH using GC/MS analysis. This suggests that the cellular anti-oxidative capacity in HCEP cells was augmented by native TH and was attributed to its antioxidant properties.
In conclusion, TH possesses antioxidant properties and can improve cell migration and cellular resistance to oxidative stress in HCEP cells in vitro.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bee Venom: The Next Skincare Phenomenon?

My Daily, 5/6/2014
The latest skincare craze? It's bee venom - and no, it doesn't sting.
Bee venom-based beauty treatments have been around for a while but thanks to a recent celebrity following - fans include Victoria Beckham, Kylie Minogue and Bar Refaeli - it's become something of a trend…

Friday, May 09, 2014

Bee Venom’s ‘Healing’ Buzz

The New Age, 5/6/2014
Indicative of the rise in the number of people looking to the past for alternative healing methods, there’s been mounting interest across the world in apitherapy.
Traced back to thousands of years to Egypt and China, bee venom has been used in ancient medicine for centuries primarily as a treatment for arthritis.
Now celebrities such as Kate Middleton and Victoria Beckham are helping propel the trend into the 21st century.
Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow, known for her love of unusual and holistic treatments, recently revealed she used bee venom therapy to treat an insect bite.
In China, throngs of patients are also reportedly swarming to acupuncture clinics to be given bee stings to treat or ward off a variety of illnesses, disorders and pain, even though there is there is no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness…

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Bee Venom Component Anti-Tumor Activity Studied

Melittin Restores PTEN Expression by Down-Regulating HDAC2 in Human Hepatocelluar Carcinoma HepG2 Cells
PLoS One, 2014 May 2;9(5):e95520
Melittin is a water-soluble toxic peptide derived from the venom of the bee. Although many studies show the anti-tumor activity of melittin in human cancer including glioma cells, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here the effect of melittin on human hepatocelluar carcinoma HepG2 cell proliferation in vitro and further mechanisms was investigated. We found melittin could inhibit cell proliferation in vitro using Flow cytometry and MTT method. Besides, we discovered that melittin significantly downregulated the expressions of CyclinD1 and CDK4.
Results of western Blot and Real-time PCR analysis indicated that melittin was capable to upregulate the expression of PTEN and attenuate histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) expression. Further studies demonstrated that knockdown of HDAC2 completely mimicked the effects of melittin on PTEN gene expression. Conversely, it was that the potential utility of melittin on PTEN expression was reversed in cells treated with a recombinant pEGFP-C2-HDAC2 plasmid. In addition, treatment with melittin caused a downregulation of Akt phosphorylation, while overexpression of HDAC2 promoted Akt phosphorylation.
These findings suggested that the inhibitory of cell growth by melittin might be led by HDAC2-mediated PTEN upregulation, Akt inactivation, and inhibition of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathways.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

South African Honey Has Potential as Antimicrobial Agent in Wound Healing

Antimicrobial properties and isotope investigations of South African honey
J Appl Microbiol, 2014 Apr 29
AIMS: The therapeutic potential of honey for the treatment of wound infections is well documented. However, South African (SA) honey has been poorly explored as an antimicrobial agent and given the well-established antimicrobial properties of the indigenous plant species from SA, there is the potential that honey from this geographical region may exhibit noteworthy anti-infective properties. In this study, the antimicrobial properties of 42 SA honey samples were determined.
METHODS AND RESULTS: The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) agar dilution method was used to determine antimicrobial activity. The MICs of the honeys ranged from 6.25% to 50.00%. Samples 4-(CITYMIX/WC), 12-(BUSHVELD/KZN), 15-(ONION/WC), 16-(FYNBOS/WC), 17-(AKMS/FS), 19-(CITYMIX/FS), 41-(INDIGENOUS/WC) and 52-(SURBURBANGARDEN/WC) displayed broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. The physicochemical properties including pH, water content and stable isotope analysis (SIA) was analysed. The pH of the honeys ranged between 3.89 and 5.09. The SIA revealed strong overall trends between protein concentration and MIC suggesting close links with antimicrobial activity.
CONCLUSION: A number of SA honey samples tested have potential as an effective antimicrobial agent in wound healing.
SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF STUDY: The future of South Africa's market for medical grade and therapeutic honeys looks promising as the antimicrobial properties of the honeys have some superior activity. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Chestnut Shows High Antimicrobial Potential

Antimicrobial potential of Sicilian honeys against commensal Escherichia coli and pathogenic Salmonella serovar infantis
J Prev Med Hyg. 2013 Dec;54(4):223-6
The purpose of this study was to investigate the antibacterial effect of 71 locally produced honeys from different botanical sources collected from apiarist's open markets in Sicily.
Antimicrobial activity was determined against Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) and Salmonella serovar Infantis (ATCC 1523) by an agar-diffusion assay from the estimation of the diameter of the inhibition zone produced by the honeys. Statistically) significant differences (P < .000) regarding inhibition were observed for the honeys tested.
The chestnut and polyfloral honey samples exhibited the largest and highest inhibition (diameter of the inhibition zone > 25 mm) against both E. coli and S. Infantis. The honey of oregano origin showed intermediate or low activity against E. coli and S. Infantis, respectively. Prickly pear and erica honeys showed no antimicrobial activity against the two reference strains.
The results may partially suggest the usefulness of the Sicilian honeys on treating multi-resistant enterobacteria. In light of the enormous potential for application of honey in the clinical practice, it is important that research continues not only into those honeys well recognized as antimicrobial, but also into other locally produced and yet untested honeys.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Propolis Volatile Compounds: Chemical Diversity and Biological Activity: A Review

Published: 2 May 2014
Propolis is a sticky material collected by bees from plants, and used in the hive as building material and defensive substance. It has been popular as a remedy in Europe since ancient times. Nowadays, propolis use in over-the-counter preparations, "bio"-cosmetics and functional foods, etc., increases.
Volatile compounds are found in low concentrations in propolis, but their aroma and significant biological activity make them important for propolis characterisation. Propolis is a plant-derived product: its chemical composition depends on the local flora at the site of collection, thus it offers a significant chemical diversity. The role of propolis volatiles in identification of its plant origin is discussed. The available data about chemical composition of propolis volatiles from different geographic regions are reviewed, demonstrating significant chemical variability. The contribution of volatiles and their constituents to the biological activities of propolis is considered.
Future perspectives in research on propolis volatiles are outlined, especially in studying activities other than antimicrobial.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

AUDIO: Radio Program Discusses Apitherapy

There's More to Bees Than Just a Stinger
WNPR, 4/29/2014
For people with really bad arthritis the idea of intentionally suffering bee stings is an easier sell than it is with the rest of humankind. Sometimes my knees hurt so bad, a bee sting would be a welcomed distraction. I mean, it couldn’t make things any worse and there’s something intuitive about the idea that our body’s natural response to the venom might actually counteract other problems. So, this hour, we talk about apitherapy…

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Propolis Has Potential to Be Used in Both Treatment and Prevention of Leukaemia

Polyphenols as Key Players for the Antileukaemic Effects of Propolis
Propolis (a bee product) which has a long history of medicinal use by humans has attracted a great deal of research interest in the recent time; this is due to its widely reported biological activities such as antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic properties.
Crude form of propolis and its phenolic contents have both been reported to exhibit antileukaemic effects in various leukaemia cell lines. The ability of the polyphenols found in propolis to arrest cell cycle and induce apoptosis and differentiation in addition to inhibition of cell growth and proliferation makes them promising antileukaemic agents, and hence, they are believed to be a key to the antileukaemic effects of propolis in different types of leukaemia.
This paper reviews the molecular bases of antileukaemic activity of both crude propolis and individual polyphenols on various leukaemia cell lines, and it indicates that propolis has the potential to be used in both treatment and prevention of leukaemia. This however needs further evaluation by in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiological studies as well as clinical trials.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Does gamma irradiation affect physicochemical properties of honey?

Clin Ter, 2014 Mar-Apr;165(2):e125-33
Honey is a supersaturated solution of sugars, enriched with proteins, minerals, vitamins, organic acids and polyphenols. Gamma irradiation is a physical technique of food preservation which protects the honey from insects' and microbial contamination during storage. We investigated the effect of gamma irradiation on physicochemical properties in two types of Malaysian honey, Gelam and Nenas.
Both honeys were irradiated at the dose 25 kGy in a cobalt-60 irradiator. The physicochemical properties pH, moisture, acidity, color, and sugar content as well as vitamins C and E, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and mineral contents, for the irradiated and non-irradiated honeys were assessed.
The results revealed that pH, acidity, minerals and sugar contents in both types of honey were not affected significantly by gamma irradiation, while moisture, vitamin E contents and HMF level decreased significantly with gamma irradiation. However, significant increased in color intensity and vitamin C were observed after gamma irradiation for both types of honey.
In summary, gamma irradiation treatment of honey (in the dose mentioned above) did not cause significant changes in the physicochemical and mineral contents, except for significant alterations in color intensity, moisture, vitamins (C and E), and HMF contents.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Honey-Ginger Powder Mixtures Potential Antibacterial Agents for Drug Resistant Bacteria

Synergetic antimicrobial effects of mixtures of ethiopian honeys and ginger powder extracts on standard and resistant clinical bacteria isolates
Purpose. To evaluate antimicrobial effects of mixtures of Ethiopian honeys and ginger rhizome powder extracts on Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922), Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli (R), and Klebsiella pneumoniae (R).
Methods. Agar diffusion and broth assays were performed to determine susceptibility of these standard and resistant clinical bacteria isolates using honey-ginger powder extract mixtures.
Results. Honey-ginger powder extract mixtures produced the highest mean inhibition (25.62 mm ± 2.55) compared to the use of honeys (21.63 mm ± 3.30) or ginger extracts (19.23 mm ± 3.42) individually. The ranges of inhibitions produced by honey-ginger extract mixtures on susceptible test organisms (26-30 mm) and resistant strains (range: 19-27 mm) were higher compared to 7-22 mm and 0-14 mm by standard antibiotic discs. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of mixture of honeys-ginger extracts were 6.25% (0.625 v/mL) on the susceptible bacteria compared to 75% for resistant clinical isolates. Minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of honey-ginger extracts was 12.5% (0.125 g/mL) for all the test organisms.
Conclusion. The result of this study showed that honey-ginger powder extract mixtures have the potential to serve as cheap source of antibacterial agents especially for the drug resistant bacteria strains.