Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Propolis Boosts Therapeutic Effect of Antibiotic

Studies on the therapeutic effect of propolis along with standard antibacterial drug in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infected BALB/c mice

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Published: 25 November 2016Background

Antibiotic resistance is an emerging public health problem. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has described antibiotic resistance as one of the world’s most pressing health problems in 21st century. WHO rated antibiotic resistance as “one of the three greatest threats to human health”. One important strategy employed to overcome this resistance is the use of combination of drugs. Many plants, natural extracts have been shown to exhibit synergistic response with standard drugs against microorganisms. The present study focused on the antibacterial potential of propolis in combination with the standard antibiotic Cefixime against the typhoid causing bacteria i.e. Salmonella.


Ethanolic extract of propolis was taken for the present work. For the experiment BALB/c mice were taken as animal model and divided into ten groups. Along with normal and infected control groups, four different combinations of cefixime and propolis were used. Biochemical, hematological and histopathological indices were studied by following the standard protocols.


In BALB/c mice, Salmonella causes severe biochemical, hematological and histopathological alterations by 5th day of infection. Ethanolic extract of propolis at a dose of 300 mg/kg body weight of mice when used alone to treat Salmonella infection in mice gave significant results by 30th day of treatment. Similarly, when cefixime (4 mg/kg body weight of mice) was used to treat infection in mice, significant results as compared to infected control were observed after 5th day. But when propolis and cefixime were used together in different concentrations in combination therapy, evident results were observed after 5 days of treatment. The levels of various liver and kidney function enzymes, blood indices and the histopathology of liver, spleen and kidney were restored to near normal after 5 days of treatment and at much lower doses as compared to the effective dose when used alone.


The study confirmed that significant results were observed in three combinations of cefixime and propolis as compared to infected controls. Propolis acted synergistically with cefixime and enhanced the efficacy of antibiotic and reduced its effective dose in combined therapy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bee Venom Possible Broad Spectrum Antiviral Agent

Inhibitory effects of bee venom and its components against viruses in vitro and in vivo

J Microbiol. 2016 Dec;54(12):853-866. Epub 2016 Nov 26.

Bee venom (BV) from honey bee (Apis Melifera L.) contains at least 18 pharmacologically active components including melittin (MLT), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), and apamin etc. BV is safe for human treatments dose dependently and proven to possess different healing properties including antibacterial and antiparasitidal properties. Nevertheless, antiviral properties of BV have not well investigated.

Hence, we identified the potential antiviral properties of BV and its component against a broad panel of viruses. Co-incubation of non-cytotoxic amounts of BV and MLT, the main component of BV, significantly inhibited the replication of enveloped viruses such as Influenza A virus (PR8), Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV), Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Additionally, BV and MLT also inhibited the replication of non-enveloped viruses such as Enterovirus-71 (EV-71) and Coxsackie Virus (H3). Such antiviral properties were mainly explained by virucidal mechanism. Moreover, MLT protected mice which were challenged with lethal doses of pathogenic influenza A H1N1 viruses.

Therefore, these results provides the evidence that BV and MLT could be a potential source as a promising antiviral agent, especially to develop as a broad spectrum antiviral agent.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sustained-Release Bee Venom Particles

Preparation and characterization of bee venom-loaded PLGA particles for sustained release

Pharm Dev Technol. 2016 Nov 24:1-20

Bee venom-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) particles were prepared by double emulsion-solvent evaporation, and characterized for a sustained-release system. Factors such as the type of organic solvent, the amount of bee venom and PLGA, the type of PLGA, the type of polyvinyl alcohol, and the emulsification method were considered. Physicochemical properties, including the encapsulation efficiency, drug loading, particle size, zeta-potential, and surface morphology were examined by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The size of the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles was 500 nm (measured using sonication). Zeta-potentials of the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles were negative owing to the PLGA. FT-IR results demonstrated that the bee venom was completely encapsulated in the PLGA particles, indicated by the disappearance of the amine and amide peaks. In addition, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis indicated that the bee venom in the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles was intact. In vitro release of the bee venom from the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles showed a sustained-release profile over 1 month. Bee venom-loaded PLGA particles can help improve patients' quality of life by reducing the number of injections required.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sicilian Black Honeybee Honey Shows Strong Antioxidant Potential

Monofloral honeys by Sicilian black honeybee (Apis mellifera ssp. sicula) have high reducing power and antioxidant capacity

Heliyon. 2016 Nov 10;2(11)

Thirty samples from thirteen Sicilian monofloral honeys by the local black honeybee, and two honeydew honeys, were studied to assess phenol content, reducing power and antioxidant capacity as well as correlations among these parameters.

Honeys from Apiaceae showed the highest phenol amount and capacity to reduce ferric ion and stable chemical radicals, whereas honeys from Leguminosae the lowest.

All honeys were active against myoglobin-derived radicals usually formed in red meat after storage and/or heating and significant correlation (p = 0.023) was found between flavonoid content and deactivation rate of this radical. Dill > almond > tangerine > thistle > sulla honeys inhibited formation of lipoperoxides in either iron/ascorbate or azoinitiator -induced membrane lipid oxidation, whereas eucalyptus honey was mostly effective in the metal-dependent model.

Honeys by black honeybee possess remarkable reducing power and antioxidant potential against radicals of interest in dietary foodstuffs.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Comparison of the Effects of Alpha and Medical-Grade Honey Ointments

A Comparison of the Effects of Alpha and Medical-Grade Honey Ointments on Cutaneous Wound Healing in Rats

J Pharm (Cairo). 2016;2016:9613908

Introduction. This study compared the healing efficacy and possible adverse effects of topical Alpha and medical-grade honey ointments on cutaneous wounds in rats.

Methods. To conduct the study, 22 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly allocated into two equal groups: (1) rats with Alpha ointment applied to the wound surface area and (2) rats with medical-grade honey ointment applied to their wounds. The ointments were applied daily during the 21-day study period. Wound contraction was examined photographically with images taken on days 0, 7, and 21 after wounding. The healing process was histopathologically assessed using skin biopsies taken from the wound sites on days 7 and 21.

Results. No statistically significant difference in mean wound surface area was observed between the two study groups. According to histopathological assessment, a significant reduction in the amount of collagen deposition (P value: 0.007) and neovascularisation (P value: 0.002) was seen in the Alpha-treated rats on day 21. No tissue necrosis occurred following the application of Alpha ointment.

Conclusion. Daily topical usage of Alpha ointment on a skin wound can negatively affect the healing process by inhibiting neovascularization. Topical Alpha ointment can reduce the possibility of excessive scar formation by reducing collagen deposition.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

‘Bee-Tox’ Bee Venom Facials

‘Bee-Tox’ Venom Facials New Beauty Buzz For More Youthful Skin

NEW YORK (CBS NewYork) — Are you looking for a natural alternative to Botox?

Then “bee-tox” could be the answer.

More: Best Spas In NYC | Best Places For A Makeover In NYC

It’s a new type of facial that’s getting a lot of buzz, CBS2’s Emily Smith reported. The procedure uses bee venom and honey to tighten your skin and make it glow by tricking your body into thinking your face has been stung.

“Bee venom that sounds scary but once they got it they get addicted to the peel,” clinical aesthetician Julie Lindh said.

Here’s how it works. First, the skin is washed clean. Then, a bee venom potion is applied to the skin to help trigger the healing process, ultimately creating a collagen synthesis.

A second coat is then applied, creating a stronger burning sensation. Once application is complete, the client’s face is wrapped in gauze, locking in the concoction for around 10 minutes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Apitherapy Helps Control Diseases Like Asthama and Ageing

Ugani Honey Bee Apitherapy to control diseases like asthama and ageing

CII Agro Tech 2016, witnessed displays from some out of the box ventures from the agriculture sector including Ugani Honey Bee Farm, one of the innovations. Simranjeet Singh, from Department of Horticulture, Punjab went to Europe to discover Apitherapy and brought the same to his homeland. Organic Honey is a treasure house of nutrition and medicinal value, and same has been accentuated in their Apitherapy, which is seen in India for the first time. Apitherapy incorporates Body vivanum therapy, which acts as a cure to diseases like lungs infection, asthama and joint pains.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Honey Reduces Tonsillectomy Pain

Role of Honey after Tonsillectomy: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Clin Otolaryngol. 2016 Nov 12


Honey reduced post-tonsillectomy pain, but its effects on awakening at night, inflammation and healing of the tonsillar fossa were controversial.


This systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluated the effect of oral honey on pain, consumption of painkillers, awakening at night, healing of tonsillar fossa, and adverse effects in children after tonsillectomy.


A search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, CINAHL and COCHRANE Collaboration library databases was performed without any restriction of publication year. The end date of search was June 30, 2016. The search was supplemented by search from Google, hand search of cross-references of selected articles and reviews, and contacting the authors of different studies. The inclusion criteria were RCTs comparing the effect of honey with control on different outcomes, in children after tonsillectomy.


Honey improved pain, requirement of painkillers, and awakening at night due to pain in children after tonsillectomy. There was little improvement in healing of tonsillar fossa. The GRADE of the evidence varied from 'low' to 'very low'. A good quality, placebo controlled RCT of different doses and durations of administration of honey is required to evaluate its clear efficacy and safety in children after tonsillectomy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Inflammatory Diseases

In Vitro Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Three Fatty Acids from Royal Jelly

Mediators Inflamm. 2016;2016:3583684

Trans-10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-H2DA), 10-hydroxydecanoic acid (10-HDAA), and sebacic acid (SEA) are the three major fatty acids in royal jelly (RJ). Previous studies have revealed several pharmacological activities of 10-H2DA and 10-HDAA, although the anti-inflammatory effects and underlying mechanisms by which SEA acts are poorly understood.

In the present study, we evaluated and compared the in vitro anti-inflammatory effects of these RJ fatty acids in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. The results showed that 10-H2DA, 10-HDAA, and SEA had potent, dose-dependent inhibitory effects on the release of the major inflammatory-mediators, nitric oxide, and interleukin-10, and only SEA decreased TNF-α production. Several key inflammatory genes have also been modulated by these RJ fatty acids, with 10-H2DA showing distinct modulating effects as compared to the other two FAs. Furthermore, we found that these three FAs regulated several proteins involved in MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways. Taken together, these findings provide additional references for using RJ against inflammatory diseases.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

AUDIO: The Healing Powers of Honey

Thousands of years after the ancient Egyptians dressed their wounds with the sweet stuff, modern medicine is still exploring honey's antibacterial properties.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Radical Scavenging Activity of Cameroonian Propolis

New mono-ether of glycerol and triterpenes with DPPH radical scavenging activity from Cameroonian propolis

Nat Prod Res. 2016 Nov 13:1-11

The extracts of some propolis samples were analysed by GC-MS and then purified by column chromatography. The latter led to the isolation of a new mono-ether of glycerol, 1'-O-eicosanyl glycerol and a new triterpene, methyl-3β,27-dihydroxycycloart-24-en-26-oate together with known triterpenoids namely betulin, 3β-hydroxylanostan-9,24-dien-21-oic acid, mangiferonic acid, a mixture of ambolic acid and β-sitosterol, 3β-hydroxycycloartan-12,24(25)-diene and 27-hydroxymangiferonic acid. The DPPH radical scavenging potential of some extracts and compounds were measured.

The radical scavenging activity varied from Hexane extract of Foumban propolis (IC50 = 5.6 mg/mL) to Methanol extract of Foumban propolis (IC50 = 1.07 mg/mL) for the extracts and from 3β-hydroxylanostan-9,24-dien-21-oic acid (IC50 = 1.22 mg/mL) to 1'-O-eicosanyl glycerol (IC50 = 0.93 mg/mL) for the compounds. Activities of samples were moderate as they remained closer to those of the standard antioxidants Gallic acid (IC50 = 0.30 mg/mL) and vitamin C (IC50 = 0.80 mg/mL), especially 1'-O-eicosanyl glycerol, the most active compound.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Saudi Propolis May Help Treat Malaria

In vivo assessment of the antimalarial and spleen-protective activities of the Saudi propolis methanolic extract

Parasitol Res. 2016 Nov 7

Antimalarial drug resistance is the main therapeutic challenge to the control of the disease, making the search for new compounds as alternative treatments of central importance. Propolis has a long history of medicinal use due to its antifungal, antibacterial and antiprotozoal properties. The present study therefore aimed to evaluate the antimalarial activity of the Saudi propolis methanolic extract against Plasmodium chabaudi infection in mice.

To this end, albino mice were divided into five groups: the first group was the normal control; the second, third, fourth and fifth groups were infected intraperitoneally with 106 P. chabaudi-parasitized erythrocytes. The last three groups of mice were gavaged with 100 μl of propolis extract (PE) at a dose of 25, 50 and 100 mg PE/kg, respectively, once daily for 7 days. PE significantly suppressed the parasitaemia and showed significant efficacy in ameliorating anaemic conditions in P. chabaudi-infected mice in a dose-dependent manner.

Histological investigation of the spleen tissue of treated and untreated mice further supports the antimalarial potential of PE. In addition, our study proved that Saudi PE reduced oxidative damage by decreasing the malondialdehyde (MDA) and increasing the catalase (CAT) activity and the glutathione (GSH) levels. Also, Saudi PE increased the level of some pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ, TNF-α, GM-CSF and G-CSF, with the most effective dose being 100 mg PE/kg.

In conclusion, PE showed antimalarial and antioxidant activities and provided protection against spleen tissue damage in P. chabaudi-infected mice.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bee Products For Dogs: Their Safety, Efficacy and How To Use Them

\By Diana Beth Miller -  Nov 15, 2016

As humans start to turn to more unique ingredients to improve their health, they also seek the same for their loyal companions. Some of the more popular natural and holistic products and ingredients to hit the shelves recently include bee products, such as bee venom and bee pollen. Bee products for dogs are a great alternative to products filled with chemicals and toxins.

Natural bee products are said to have a wide variety of benefits for both humans and animals. Some studies with humans have shown a lot of positive effects from bee products: sclerosis, treatment of wounds, and even serving as anti-cancer treatment.

Although research of bee products for dogs is still lacking, there is some evidence that these can be beneficial to dogs in some cases, such as stimulation of cortisol in arthritic dogs and helping with canine intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) with no side effects.

What are bee products for dogs and where to find them?

A lab puppy is chasing after a beeThere is a huge variety of ingredients that can be considered as “bee products.” Some of those include bee pollen and bees’ wax, brood, venom, propolis, royal jelly, and the most popular bee product – honey. Most of these have been shown to have positive effects...

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Honey Reduces Post-Tonsillectomy Pain

Role of Honey after Tonsillectomy: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials


Honey reduced post-tonsillectomy pain, but its effects on awakening at night, inflammation and healing of the tonsillar fossa were controversial.


This systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluated the effect of oral honey on pain, consumption of painkillers, awakening at night, healing of tonsillar fossa, and adverse effects in children after tonsillectomy.


A search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, CINAHL and COCHRANE Collaboration library databases was performed without any restriction of publication year. The end date of search was June 30, 2016. The search was supplemented by search from Google, hand search of cross-references of selected articles and reviews, and contacting the authors of different studies.

The inclusion criteria were RCTs comparing the effect of honey with control on different outcomes, in children after tonsillectomy.


Our search generated 64 studies and eight RCTs met our inclusion criteria. The methodological quality of RCTs was poor. Compared to control, honey significantly decreased postoperative pain from day 1 to 7; consumption of painkillers from day 1 to 5 and on day 10; and number of awakening at night due to pain on days 2 and 4 after tonsillectomy. The healing of tonsillar fossa was significantly greater with honey compared to control on days 3-4 nd days ≥ 9 after tonsillectomy. The adverse effects were not significantly different between honey and control groups. The Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) of the evidence for different outcomes varied from ‘low’ to ‘very low’.


Honey improved pain, requirement of painkillers, and awakening at night due to pain in children after tonsillectomy. There was little improvement in healing of tonsillar fossa. The GRADE of the evidence varied from ‘low’ to ‘very low’. A good quality, placebo controlled RCT of different doses and durations of administration of honey is required to evaluate its clear efficacy and safety in children after tonsillectomy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Purified Bee Venom is Anti-Inflammatory, Presents Less Allergic Reactions

Safety of essential bee venom pharmacopuncture as assessed in a randomized controlled double-blind trial

J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Nov 10. pii: S0378-8741(16)31691-9


While bee venom (BV) pharmacopuncture use is common in Asia, frequent occurrence of allergic reactions during the treatment process is burdensome for both practitioner and patient.


This study compared efficacy and safety in isolated and purified essential BV (eBV) pharmacopuncture filtered for phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and histamine sections, and original BV to the aim of promoting safe BV pharmacopuncture use.


In in vitro, we examined the effect of BV and eBV on nitric oxide (NO) production induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in RAW 264.7 macrophages, and clinically, 20 healthy adults aged 20-40 years were randomly allocated and administered eBV 0.2mL and BV pharmacopuncture 0.2mL on left and right forearm, respectively, and physician, participant, and outcome assessor were blinded to treatment allocation. Local pain, swelling, itching, redness, wheals, and adverse reactions were recorded by timepoint.


eBV and BV displayed comparable anti-inflammatory effects, and eBV pharmacopuncture presented less local allergic reactions.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Honey and Maggot Used to Treat Foot Gangrene

Honey and larvae in the treatment of foot gangrene: a reflection

Br J Nurs. 2016 Nov 10;25(20):S10-S14

With the introduction of the Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC) (2015a) revalidation directive, nurses are required to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to providing safe and effective care by continually combining sound empirical evidence with reflective practice ( Sackett et al, 1996 ; Rolfe et al, 2011 ). Using Gibbs' (1998) model, I will reflect on an episode of care undertaken while I was on a recent placement. This reflective account will discuss the clinical use of honey and larvae therapy in the treatment of foot gangrene following meningococcal septicaemia. The psychosocial impact of ill health will also be considered. The use of newly acquired nursing skills and knowledge will be evaluated and the nurse-patient therapeutic relationship explored.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Bee Venom May Help treat Periodontitis

Bee Venom Inhibits Porphyromonas gingivalis Lipopolysaccharides-Induced Pro-Inflammatory 

Molecules 2016, 21(11), 1508

Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that leads to destruction of tooth supporting tissues. Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis), especially its lipopolysaccharides (LPS), is one of major pathogens that cause periodontitis. Bee venom (BV) has been widely used as a traditional medicine for various diseases. Previous studies have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial effects of BV. However, a direct role and cellular mechanism of BV on periodontitis-like human keratinocytes have not been explored. Therefore, we investigated the anti-inflammatory mechanism of BV against P. gingivalis LPS (PgLPS)-induced HaCaT human keratinocyte cell line. The anti-inflammatory effect of BV was demonstrated by various molecular biological methods. The results showed that PgLPS increased the expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 and pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and interferon (IFN)-γ. In addition, PgLPS induced activation of the signaling pathways of inflammatory cytokines-related transcription factors, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and activator protein 1 (AP-1). BV effectively inhibited those pro-inflammatory cytokines through suppression of NF-κB and AP-1 signaling pathways. These results suggest that administration of BV attenuates PgLPS-induced inflammatory responses. Furthermore, BV may be a useful treatment to anti-inflammatory therapy for periodontitis.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

5 Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

With 'flu season almost upon us, Fiona MacConnacher tells you why Manuka honey should be on your shopping list

Every year, we are bombarded with the latest superfood fads that we need to invest in: goji berries, acai, flaxseeds...  However, one appears to crop up again and again.

Manuka honey, a special variety produced in New Zealand and parts of Australia, is a superfood whose popularity just won't wane. You'll find it nestled up high on supermarket shelves, not just in corners of health food shops, and it has a wide variety of uses; a spoonful a day could just keep the doctor away.

With no escape from coughs and sneezes, especially on our daily commutes on the packed tube or condensation-laden buses, the best way to tackle getting ill this winter is to try and prevent it in the first place. Manuka honey's uses spread beyond prevention, and can even help once illness has taken grip.

Below, nutritionist Pixie Turner MSc looks at health benefits of Manuka honey.

Friday, November 11, 2016

An Inside Look at Bee Venom therapy

Bee-venom therapy, which involves being intentionally stung by honeybees, is being used to treat everything from joint pain to carpal tunnel syndrome. But is it safe? Sarah Cristobal investigates.

Beauty BAZZAR: The honey in Guerlain Abeille Royale Day Cream ($154) helps bolster your skin's barrier and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Everyone talks about going under the knife, but what about going under the stinger? This past April, Gwyneth Paltrow told The New York Times that she had experimented with apitherapy—which is defined as harvesting the products of the honeybee hive including venom, honey, pollen, and propolis for medical uses—and instantly sent the Internet abuzz. Willingly being stung by live bees in order to benefit from the venom's anti-inflammatory peptides and proteins seemed extreme even for the Goop founder, but surprisingly the treatment has been gaining traction among those who want a nontraditional fix for joint-pain relief.

"I usually treat patients for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel," says Frederique Keller, an acupuncturist and third-generation apitherapist in Northport, New York. "Seven or eight out of 10 get some form of apitherapy, though not necessarily bee-venom therapy. The venom naturally stimulates the body's production of the [anti-inflammatory hormone] cortisone. It also contains peptide 401, which is 100 times more effective in the body than a cortisone shot [from a doctor]. It's huge."

Keller, who is also the president of the American Apitherapy Society, which boasts more than 7,000 members, gives herself seven stings roughly three times a week for issues with knee and shoulder pain. (She says that the number of stings vary from person to person depending on their ailments and immune system.) The process of administering the stings is a bit like a game of Operation. "I take the bee out of a little box and gently pick her up with tweezers behind the head or the thorax," she says. "Then I decide where to sting, and then the bee stings—you don't have to force her—and delivers that .01 microgram of venom within the first minute to five minutes." An initial two-hour consultation costs $225, while follow-up appointments are $95 each...

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Korean Honey Shows Antimicrobial Activity

Antimicrobial activity of solvent fractions and bacterial isolates of Korean domestic honey from different floral sources

Food Science and Biotechnology
October 2016, Volume 25, Issue 5,  pp 1507–1512

Forty solvent fractions and 387 bacterial isolates of seven varieties of Korean domestic honey and manuka honey from New Zealand were screened for antimicrobial activity. The minimum inhibitory concentrations and minimum bactericidal concentrations of the honey fractions were determined; only Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579, ATCC 11778, and F4552 were inhibited by 11, 1, and 16, respectively, out of the 40 honey fractions. The bacterial isolates showed the highest incidence (30.2%) of antimicrobial activity against Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 15313. The growth of at least one of the five foodborne pathogens tested was inhibited by 109 of the 327 isolates (33.3%) from seven types of Korean domestic honey. The percentage of such isolates of manuka honey was significantly higher (76.7%). Solvent fractionation of honey could contribute to the detection of antimicrobial activity of the nonsugar compounds in honey. Moreover, the bacterial isolates from Korean domestic honey may be good sources for the natural antimicrobials used in the food industry and other related industries.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Brazilian Propolis Isoflavonoid Demonstrates Anti-Inflammatory Potential

Neovestitol, an isoflavonoid isolated from Brazilian red propolis, reduces acute and chronic inflammation: involvement of nitric oxide and IL-6

Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 7;6:36401

Isoflavonoids have been largely studied due to their distinct biological activities identified thus far. Herein, we evaluated the activity of neovestitol, an isoflavonoid isolated from Brazilian red propolis, in acute and chronic inflammation. As for acute inflammation, we found that neovestitol reduced neutrophil migration, leukocyte rolling and adhesion, as well as expression of ICAM-1 in the mesenteric microcirculation during lipopolysaccharide-induced acute peritonitis. No changes were observed in the levels of TNF-α, CXCL1/KC and CXCL2/MIP-2 upon pretreatment with neovestitol.

The administration of an inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibitor abolished the inhibitory effects of neovestitol in neutrophil migration and ICAM-1 expression. Nitrite levels increased upon treatment with neovestitol. No effects of neovestitol were observed on the chemotaxis of neutrophils in vitro. As for chronic inflammation, neovestitol also reduced the clinical score and joint damage in a collagen-induced arthritis model. There was no change in the frequency of IL-17-producing TCD4+ cells. In addition, pretreatment with neovestitol reduced the levels of IL-6.

These results demonstrate a potential anti-inflammatory activity of neovestitol, which may be useful for therapeutic purposes and/or as a nutraceutical.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Powder Formulation of Manuka Honey Improves Wound Healing

Application of DoE approach in the development of mini-capsules, based on biopolymers and manuka honey polar fraction, as powder formulation for the treatment of skin ulcers

Int J Pharm. 2016 Oct 24. pii: S0378-5173(16)31017-1

The aim of the present work was the development of a powder formulation for the delivery of manuka honey (MH) bioactive components in the treatment of chronic skin ulcers. In particular pectin (PEC)/chitosan glutamate (CS)/hyaluronic acid (HA) mini-capsules were obtained by inverse ionotropic gelation in presence of calcium chloride and subsequently freeze-dried. Optimization of unloaded (blank) formulation was performed using DoE approach.

In a screening phase, the following three factors were investigated at two levels: CS (0.5-1% w/w), PEC (0.5-1% w/w) and HA (0.3-0.5% w/w) concentrations. For the optimization phase a "central composite design" was used. The response variables considered were: particle size, buffer (PBS) absorption and mechanical resistance. In a previously work two different MH fractions were investigated, in particular MH fraction 1 (Fr1), rich in polar substances (sugars, methylglyoxal (MGO), dicarbonyl compounds, …), was able to enhance human fibroblasts in vitro proliferation.

In the present work, the loading of MH Fr1 into mini-capsules of optimized composition determined a significant increase in cell proliferation in comparison with the unloaded ones. Loaded particles showed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes; they were also able to improve wound healing in vivo on a rat wound model.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Flavonoid Found in Honey, Propolis May Help Treat Depression

Neurochemical factors associated with the antidepressant-like effect of flavonoid chrysin in chronically stressed mice

Eur J Pharmacol. 2016 Sep 5;791:284-296

Chrysin is a flavonoid which is found in bee propolis, honey and various plants. Antidepressant-like effect of chrysin in chronically stressed mice was previously demonstrated by our group. Conversely, neurochemical factors associated with this effect require further investigations.

Thus, we investigated the possible involvement of pro-inflammatory cytokines, kynurenine pathway (KP), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) metabolism and caspases activities in the effect of chrysin in mice exposed to unpredictable chronic stress (UCS). UCS applied for 28 days induced a depressive-like behavior, characterized by decrease in the time of grooming in the splash test and by increase in the immobility time in the tail suspension test. Oral treatment with chrysin (5 or 20mg/kg, 28 days), similarly to fluoxetine (10mg/kg, positive control), culminated in the prevention of these alterations. UCS elevated plasma levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone and adrenocorticotropic hormone, as well the tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and kynurenine levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HP). UCS induced the decrease in the 5-HT levels in the HP and the increase in the indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase, caspase 3 and 9 activities in the PFC and HP.

Treatment with chrysin, similarly to fluoxetine, promoted the attenuation of these alterations occasioned by UCS. These results corroborated with the antidepressant potential of chrysin in the treatment of psychiatric diseases. Furthermore, this work indicated the association of pro-inflammatory cytokines synthesis, KP, 5-HT metabolism and caspases activities with the action exercised by chrysin in mice exposed to UCS.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Medicinal Attributes of Propolis Support Scientific Miracles in the Quran

Reduction of Dacarbazine cytogenetic effects on somatic cells in male mice using bee glue (Propolis) to manifest the scientific miracles in the Quran

Electron Physician. 2016 Sep 20;8(9):3015-3023


This study was carried out to investigate the ability of Propolis to ameliorate the adverse cytogenetic effects of Dacarbazine on bone marrow cells.


In this experimental in vivo study, 18 mice were used, divided into four groups: control group; Propolis-treated group (treated with 50mg/kg Propolis); and Dacarbazine-treated group (treated with 3.5mg/kg Dacarbazine). The fourth, fifth, and sixth were treated with Dacarbazine and Propolis as pre 2h, post 2h, and concomitant treatment. After five days, the Bone Marrow (BM) samples were obtained for cytogenetic investigation.


The in vivo studies revealed that Dacarbazine induced an abnormalities in polychromatic erythrocytes cells (PECs) as increase of cell with micronuclei, while the dual treatment accompanied with improvement of this abnormalities.


It could be concluded that there are protective effects of Propolis against the adverse effects of Dacarbazine. It could be recommended to use Propolis as an adjuvant with chemotherapeutic agents.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Rape Bee Pollen a Natural Antioxidant

Antioxidant Enzyme Activities and Lipid Oxidation in Rape (Brassica campestris L.) Bee Pollen Added to Salami during Processing

Molecules. 2016 Oct 28;21(11)

The present research investigated the antioxidant effect of rape (Brassica campestris L.) bee pollen (RBP) on salami during processing. Eight flavonoids in RBP ethanol extract were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) analysis, and quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol were the major bioactive compounds. The RBP ethanol extract exhibited higher total antioxidant capacity than 6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tertramethylchromancarboxylic acid (trolox) at the same concentration. The salami with 0.05% RBP extract had higher catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities than that of the control throughout the processing time (p < 0.05). Significant decreases in peroxide value (POV) and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) were obtained in the final salami product with 0.05% RBP ethanol extract or 1% RBP (p < 0.05). These results suggested that RBP could improve oxidative stability and had a good potential as a natural antioxidant for retarding lipid oxidation.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Therapeutic Application of Bee and Wasp Venoms

An Introduction to the Toxins Special Issue on “Bee and Wasp Venoms: Biological Characteristics and Therapeutic Application”

Toxins 2016, 8(11), 315

Venoms, especially bee venom, have been used since ancient times as a healing treatment for various disorders. The therapeutic value of honey bee venom to improve the quality of life of patients has been acknowledged for over a hundred years.

Modern approaches of venomics have allowed for the discovery of venom constituents that have proven to be of pharmacological significance and have opened the way to optimization of therapeutic strategies through the use of active components such as melittin and apamin. Subsequently, the application scope of honey bee venom has been expanding from conventional antinociceptive effect to degenerative diseases of the nervous system. This seems to be due to the properties of venom enzymes and peptides for their natural stability as injectable solutes, their effectiveness in reaching targeted tissues, and their ability to synergize their actions by enhancing cell–cell interactions.

Expansion of the therapeutic application of bee and wasp venoms has advanced particularly far in recent years, so this is an opportune time to present this Special Issue on bee and wasp venoms, their biological characteristics and therapeutic application.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Australian Honeys Show Antibacterial Activity

Antibacterial activity and chemical characteristics of several Western Australian honeys compared to manuka honey and pasture honey

Arch Microbiol. 2016 Oct 26

The physicochemical parameters and antibacterial activity of 10 Western Australian (WA) and two comparator honeys were determined. Honeys showed a pH range of 4.0-4.7, colour range of 41.3-470.7 mAU, methylglyoxal levels ranging from 82.2 to 325.9 mg kg-1 and hydrogen peroxide levels after 2 h of 22.7-295.5 µM.

Antibacterial activity was assessed by the disc diffusion assay, phenol equivalence assay, determination of minimum inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations and a time-kill assay. Activity was shown for all honeys by one or more method, however, activity varied according to which assay was used. Minimum inhibitory concentrations for WA honeys against 10 organisms ranged from 4.0 to >32.0% (w/v). Removal of hydrogen peroxide activity by catalase resulted in decreased activity for several honeys.

Overall, the data showed that honeys in addition to those derived from Leptospermum spp. have antimicrobial activity and should not be overlooked as potential sources of clinically useful honey.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Medicinal Benefits of Propolis


Bee Culture, 10/21/2016

In last month’s Bee Culture article we looked at the origins of propolis; how it is produced and used by honey bees; and how beekeepers can harvest and process propolis into various medicinal forms for market. This month we’ll explore the potent medicinal properties of this product from the hive that is among the most powerful antimicrobial compounds found in nature. Also included is just a small sampling of references to scientific research that backs up many of the medicinal and therapeutic claims made with regard to propolis.

Use of propolis for healing and health by humans has a long history, predated only by the discovery of honey. Propolis is one of the few natural products that has maintained popularity for a long time, although it is not considered a therapeutic agent by the conventional allopathic medical establishment.

While the use of propolis for healing and health is considered alternative, it does not require you to turn your back on modern medicine. Propolis can be used in conjunction with modern medical treatments for a synergistic effect that is better than either the modern treatment or propolis alone.
While the use of propolis for healing and health is considered alternative, it does not require you to turn your back on modern medicine. Propolis can be used in conjunction with modern medical treatments for a synergistic effect that is better than either the modern treatment or propolis alone.

Throughout their 6,000 year civilization, the Egyptians used propolis medicinally as well as for the mummification of cadavers. The ancient Greeks used propolis to speed up the healing of wounds and Aristotle recommended it for all afflictions of the skin. The Roman legionnaires reportedly carried small amounts of propolis with them into battle, not only to help speed up wound healing but for its analgesic (numbing) properties. The Incas used propolis for infections. During the Boer War, the British used it to keep wounds from becoming infected. Throughout history, propolis has played an important role in veterinary medicine since many of the human uses for propolis are applicable to animals.

Unlike some anti-microbial compounds, propolis exhibits strong antimicrobial activity against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria and fungi. (Melliou 2004, Grange 1990) This may be why propolis is reported to have been identified as one of the ingredients in the wood finish of Stradivarius violins built in the 17th and 18th century. Today the evidence suggests that the activity of propolis against microorganisms appears to be more related to the synergistic effect of flavonoids (and other compounds) than to any individual compound that may be extracted from propolis. This is probably why modern medicine does not take advantage of the benefits of propolis: it is a natural product available inexpensively to anyone with access to bees, and does not contain a single active ingredient that can be extracted, patented and sold for a lot of money.


Since propolis is composed primarily of tree resins collected by honey bees, the properties and thus medicinal qualities of propolis will vary with the geographic location where honey bee colonies are located. While all propolis has been found to exhibit antibacterial properties, propolis from wet-tropical rain forest-type climates have shown the highest antibacterial activity. (Seidel, 2008) It makes sense that trees growing in hot, wet climates will have the greatest amount and variety of bacteria to fight off and, through evolution, have developed the world’s most powerful antibacterial tree resins to get the job done...

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Zero Tolerance for Residues in Beeswax and Honey

Residues in beeswax: a health risk for the consumer of honey and beeswax?

J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Oct 14. [Epub ahead of print]

A scenario analysis in regard to the risk of chronic exposure of consumers to residues through the consumption of contaminated honey and beeswax was conducted. Twenty-two plant protection products and veterinary substances of which residues have already been detected in beeswax in Europe were selected. The potential chronic exposure was assessed applying a worst-case scenario based on the addition of a maximum daily intake through the consumption of honey and beeswax to the theoretical maximum daily intake through other foodstuffs. For each residue, the total exposure was finally compared to the acceptable daily intake. It is concluded that the food consumption of honey and beeswax contaminated with these residues considered separately does not compromise the consumer's health, provided proposed action limits are met. In regard to residues of flumethrin in honey and in beeswax, the "zero tolerance" should be applied.