Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bee Venom Component Exerts Anti-Apoptotic Effects

Protective effect of melittin against inflammation and apoptosis on Propionibacterium acnes-induced Human THP-1 monocytic cell
Eur J Pharmacol. 2014 Jul 22. pii: S0014-2999(14)00517-2
Melittin is a cationic, hemolytic peptide that is the main toxic component in the venom of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). It has been used in treatment of various chronic inflammatory diseases. However, the cellular mechanism and the anti-apoptotic effect of melittin in Propionibactierium acnes (P. acnes)-induced THP-1 cells have not been explored. In the present study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic mechanism by examining the effect of melittin on P. acnes-induced THP-1 monocytic cells. THP-1 monocytic cells were stimulated by heat-killed P. acnes in the presence of melittin. The expression levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, NF-κB signaling, caspase family, and PARP signaling were measured by ELISA or Western blot analysis. The number of apoptotic cells and changes of cell morphology were examined using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Heat-killed P. acnes increased the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cleavage of caspase-3 and -8 in heat-killed P. acnes-induced THP-1 cells. However, treatment with melittin inhibited the pro-inflammatory cytokines and cleavage of the caspase-3 and -8. Moreover, the cleaved PARP appeared after 8h of heat-killed P. acnes treatment and its cleavage was reduced by melittin treatment. These results demonstrate that 1.0×107 CFU/ml of heat-killed P. acnes-induces THP-1 cell apoptosis and secretion of inflammatory cytokines. Also, administration of melittin significantly decreases the expression of various inflammatory cytokines in heat-killed P. acnes-treated THP-1 monocytic cells. In particular, melittin exerts anti-apoptotic effects against 1.0×107 CFU/ml of heat-killed P. acnes injury to THP-1 cells.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Discover the Wondrous Health Benefits of Royal Jelly

Ghana Broadcasting, 7/29/2014
Royal jelly is a thick and milky substance made by worker bees as food for the queen bee. They do this by mixing honey, bee pollen and enzymes from their throat glands. Because the queen bee is larger, stronger, has more stamina and lives longer than the other bees, royal jelly is believed to be a healthful supplement.
Royal jelly is nutritionally rich, containing good amounts of B-vitamins, including high levels of vitamin B5 and vitamin B6, and amino acids, including all eight essential amino acids. Further, it contains many other nutrients, including iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Specific health benefits
Broadly speaking, royal jelly is useful for energy support as well as to help deal with fatigue and stress. Studies have shown that this substance could help to boost the immune system and speed up the healing of wounds. Research also suggests that royal jelly has anti-inflammatory properties…

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Honey a Potential Candidate in the War Against Cancer

A Review on Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Activities of Natural Honey
Recent statistics revealed cancer is one among the main reasons for death throughout the world. Several treatments are available but still there is no cure when it is detected at late stages. One of the treatment modes for cancer is chemotherapy which utilizes anticancer drugs in order to eradicate the cancer cells by apoptosis. Apoptosis is programmed cell death through which body maintains homeostasis or kills cancer cells by utilizing its cell machinery. Recent researches have concluded that dietary agents have a putative role in instituting apoptosis of cancer cells. Honey, one of the victuals rich in antioxidants, has a long-standing exposure to humans and its role in cancer prevention and treatment is a topic of current interest. Various researchers have been experimenting honey against different cancers and provided valuable insights about the apoptosis induced by the honey.
This review will highlight the recent findings of apoptotic mechanism involved in different cancer cells. Further it also reports antitumor activity of honey in some animal models. Hence it is high-time to initiate more preclinical trials as well as clinical experiments which would further add to the knowledge of anticancer nature of honey and also endorse honey as a potential candidate in the war against cancer.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Honey an Alternative Remedy for Prevention of Cavities, Gingivitis

Effect of honey in preventing gingivitis and dental caries in patients undergoing orthodontic treatment
Saudi Dent J, 2014 Jul;26(3):108-14
THIS STUDY WAS CONDUCTED TO INVESTIGATE THE FOLLOWING: (1) the effects of chewing honey on plaque formation in orthodontic patients, (2) the effect of chewing honey on dental plaque bacterial counts, (3) determine if honey possesses antibacterial effects on bacteria recovered from plaques.
Female orthodontic patients (n = 20, 12-18 years of age) participated in this randomized controlled study. The effects of honey were compared to treatment with either 10% sucrose or 10% sorbitol that served as positive and negative controls, respectively. The pH of plaque was measured using a digital pH meter prior to baseline and at 2, 5, 10, 20, and 30 min after chewing honey or rinsing with control solutions and the numbers of Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacilli, and Prophymonas gingivalis in respective plaques were determined. The antibacterial activity of honey was tested against commonly used antibiotics using the disk diffusion method.
Significant differences in pH were observed in the honey and sucrose groups compared to the pH observed in the sorbitol group. The maximum pH drop occurred at 5 min in both the honey and sucrose groups; however the pH in the honey group rapidly recovered 10-20 min after exposure and did not drop below the critical decalcification pH of 5.5. On the other hand, the pH following sucrose exposure fell and was associated with a 30 min recovery time. The pH observed for the sorbitol group did not change over time. Bacterial counts were significantly reduced in the honey group compared to the other treatment groups and honey significantly inhibited the growth of all studied strains compared to inhibition observed with antibiotics .
Honey can be used as an alternative to traditional remedies for the prevention of dental caries and gingivitis following orthodontic treatment.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Derma Sciences CEO Discusses Continued Growth of MEDIHONEY at Comvita Annual Meeting of Shareholders

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 25, 2014-- Derma Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:DSCI), a tissue regeneration company focused on advanced wound care, announces that Edward J. Quilty, its chief executive officer, delivered a presentation highlighting MEDIHONEY(R) and its robust growth at the Comvita Ltd. annual meetings of shareholders in New Zealand on Thursday, July 24. During his remarks Mr. Quilty stated that the Company's sales of MEDIHONEY dressings are expected to approach $20 million in 2014, which would represent an increase of approximately 23% compared with 2013 sales…

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Health Benefits of Honey

By Lindsay Williamson, Mother Earth News, 7/22/2014
Before I get into talking about all of the wonderful benefits of honey, I want to make sure I’m specific about the kind of honey I’m advocating. To experience any real benefit from it, make sure that first and foremost it’s raw honey. Most of what you buy in a grocery store will have been heated to remove any “impurities” and to keep it from crystallizing which is supposedly more attractive to consumers. Heating raw honey destroys enzymes and basically turns it into a simple sugar without many nutritional or medicinal perks.
Honey labeling is barely regulated by the FDA and there is essentially no testing that takes place to verify what is on the label. When buying honey, seek out local beekeepers and ask them about their beekeeping practices. Ask them if they’re honey is raw, and how they deal with issues like varroa mites and small hive beetles. Some beekeepers use strong chemicals to fight these pests and traces of those chemicals will remain in the hive. Also, ask them if they ever feed their bees and if so, if they feed high fructose corn syrup. Feeding bees is sometimes necessary but not anytime close to harvesting the honey and I would avoid any honey that is produced by bees that are fed corn syrup of any sort.
Last but definitely not least; honey should never be given to an infant under 12 months old as this could cause rare but very serious infant botulism.
Ulcers and Digestive Problems
Raw honey has widely been reported to potentially prevent, cure or alleviate symptoms of a wide variety of health problems affecting the mucous membranes of the body including stomach ulcers, mouth and throat ulcers that result from radiation treatment for cancers of the head and neck and (read on) sinuses and sore throats due to colds or allergies. Bastyr Center for Natural Health reported a study finding that people receiving radiation therapy for cancers of the head and neck were significantly less likely to suffer from ulcers when given 4 teaspoons of honey 15 minutes prior to treatment, 15 minutes after treatment and then again six hours later. These types of ulcers are the reason that many people quit their radiation treatment as it can make eating difficult or impossible.
Studies in New Zealand have shown that raw Manuka honey was effective in killing the bacterium Helicobacter pylori which is said to be the cause of most stomach ulcers. This is thought to be due to the antibacterial properties of the honey. 
Wound and Burn Dressing
The pH of raw honey (between 3.2 and 4.5) along with antibacterial, antiseptic and many other properties make it a superior dressing for wounds and burns. Honey is excellent as a wound dressing as it cleans pus and dead tissue from infections, suppresses inflammation and stimulates growth of new tissue. It also shortens healing time and minimizes scarring.
Manuka honey is a honey from New Zealand that comes from the Manuka flower of the Tea Tree and has recently enjoyed much praise as a cure for and even prevention of Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This honey by itself and also in combination with antibiotics has undeniably saved lives that would not have otherwise been saved. That’s pretty awesome.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bee Venom Ointment Relieves Muscle Tension

Myorelaxant Effect of Bee Venom Topical Skin Application in Patients with RDC/TMD Ia and RDC/TMD Ib: A Randomized, Double Blinded Study
Biomed Res Int, 2014;2014:296053
The aim of the study was the evaluation of myorelaxant action of bee venom (BV) ointment compared to placebo. Parallel group, randomized double blinded trial was performed. Experimental group patients were applying BV for 14 days, locally over masseter muscles, during 3-minute massage. Placebo group patients used vaseline for massage. Muscle tension was measured twice (TON1 and TON2) in rest muscle tonus (RMT) and maximal muscle contraction (MMC) on both sides, right and left, with Easy Train Myo EMG (Schwa-medico, Version 3.1).
Reduction of muscle tonus was statistically relevant in BV group and irrelevant in placebo group. VAS scale reduction was statistically relevant in both groups: BV and placebo. Physiotherapy is an effective method for myofascial pain treatment, but 0,0005% BV ointment gets better relief in muscle tension reduction and analgesic effect.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bangladeshi Honey Good Sources af Phenolic Acids, Flavonoids

Identification of phenolic acids and flavonoids in monofloral honey from Bangladesh by high performance liquid chromatography: determination of antioxidant capacity
Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:737490
The aim of the present study was to characterize the phenolic acids, flavonoids, and antioxidant properties of monofloral honey collected from five different districts in Bangladesh. A new high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) equipped with a UV detector method was developed for the identification of the phenolic acids and flavonoids.
A total of five different phenolic acids were identified, with the most abundant being caffeic acid, benzoic acid, gallic acid, followed by chlorogenic acid and trans-cinnamic acid. The flavonoids, kaempferol, and catechin were most abundant, followed by myricetin and naringenin. The mean moisture content, total sugar content, and color characteristics of the honey samples were 18.36 ± 0.95%, 67.40 ± 5.63 g/100 g, and 129.27 ± 34.66 mm Pfund, respectively. The mean total phenolic acids, total flavonoid content, and proline content were 199.20 ± 135.23, 46.73 ± 34.16, and 556.40 ± 376.86 mg/kg, respectively, while the mean FRAP values and DPPH radical scavenging activity were 327.30 ± 231.87 μM Fe (II)/100 g and 36.95 ± 20.53%, respectively. Among the different types of honey, kalijira exhibited the highest phenolics and antioxidant properties. Overall, our study confirms that all the investigated honey samples are good sources of phenolic acids and flavonoids with good antioxidant properties.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Composition and Biological Activity of Honey: A Focus on Manuka Honey

Foods 2014, 3(3), 420-432
Honey has been used as a food and medical product since the earliest times. It has been used in many cultures for its medicinal properties, as a remedy for burns, cataracts, ulcers and wound healing, because it exerts a soothing effect when initially applied to open wounds. Depending on its origin, honey can be classified in different categories among which, monofloral honey seems to be the most promising and interesting as a natural remedy. Manuka honey, a monofloral honey derived from the manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium), has greatly attracted the attention of researchers for its biological properties, especially its antimicrobial and antioxidant capacities. Our manuscript reviews the chemical composition and the variety of beneficial nutritional and health effects of manuka honey. Firstly, the chemical composition of manuka honey is described, with special attention given to its polyphenolic composition and other bioactive compounds, such as glyoxal and methylglyoxal. Then, the effect of manuka honey in wound treatment is described, as well as its antioxidant activity and other important biological effects.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Methylglyoxal is Associated with Bacteriostatic Activity of High Fructose Agave Syrups

Three α-ketoaldehydes, potentially present in high fructose agave syrups (HFASs) as intermediates of the Maillard reaction, were determined. A previously reported HPLC-FLD procedure based on pre-column derivatisation with 4-methoxy-o-phenylenediamine was adopted, yielding the method quantification limits 0.11mg/kg, 0.10mg/kg, 0.09mg/kg for glyoxal, methylglyoxal (MGo) and diacetyl, respectively. The obtained results revealed high concentrations of methylglyoxal in HFASs (average 102±91mg/kg, range 15.6-315mg/kg) as compared to commercial Mexican bee honeys or corn syrups. Hydrogen peroxide was generated in all HFASs upon dilution, yet to less extent than in bee honeys. HFASs presented bacteriostatic activity against Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli; catalase addition had minimum effect on the assay results in syrups with elevated MGo. Principal component analysis revealed direct association between growth inhibition and MGo. It is concluded that elevated concentration of MGo in HFASs is at least in part responsible for their non-peroxide bacteriostatic activity.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Anti-Inflammatory Compound in Honey, Propolis May Help Treat Diabetic Nepropathy

Chrysin, an anti-inflammatory molecule, abrogates renal dysfunction in type 2 diabetic rats
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol, 2014 Aug 15;279(1):1-7
Diabetic nepropathy (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, the 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.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Propolis Can Extend the Shelf Life of Beef Patties

Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity of Commercial Propolis Extract in Beef Patties
The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of propolis extract (PE) to reduce lipid oxidation and microbial growth on beef patties during refrigerated storage. Beef patties were manufactured by incorporating PE in 4 different treatments: (1) Control (no PE addition); (2) commercial propolis 1 (2% w/w; CP1); (3) commercial propolis 2 (2% w/w; CP2); and (4) noncommercial propolis (2% w/w; NCP). Raw patties were wrapped with polyvinyl chloride and stored at 2 °C for 8 d. 
Total phenolic content (TPC), free-radical scavenging activity (FRS), and polyphenolic content of the PE were evaluated using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Lipid oxidation (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), conjugated dienes (CnDs), metmyoglobin (MetMb%), pH variation, and color (L*, a*, b*, C*, and h*), and microbial growth (mesophilic and psychrotrophic bacteria) of patty samples were measured. NCP treatment demonstrated the highest FRS (64.8% at 100 μg/mL), which correlated with TPC and the presence of polyphenolic compounds. 
Lipid oxidation (78.54%, TBARS; 45.53%, CnD; 58.57%, MetMb) and microbial mesophilic and psychrotrophic growth (19.75 and 27.03%, respectively) values were reduced by NCP treatment in refrigerated samples after 8 d. These results indicate that PE has great potential as a natural antioxidant and antimicrobial additive to extend the shelf life of beef patties.
Practical Application
In this work, the results indicate that propolis reduced lipid oxidation and microbial growth, thereby extending meat sample shelf life. Propolis should be considered for use as an alternative to commercially available antioxidants that are currently used in meat products.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Honey Beats Traditional Medication in Reducing Canker Sores

Efficacy of honey in comparison to topical corticosteroid for treatment of recurrent minor aphthous ulceration: A randomized, blind, controlled, parallel, double-center clinical trial
Quintessence Int, 2014 Jul 10
Background: Recurrent aphthous ulceration represents a very common mucosal disorder that general dentists may encounter on a daily basis, and for which there is no curative treatment. The best treatment that can be achieved is to avoid local traumatic precipitants, lessen the pain and duration of ulceration by suppressing the local immune response, and prevent secondary infection.
Objective: The objective of this study was to clinically determine the efficacy of honey as a topical treatment of recurrent minor aphthous ulceration in a Saudi cohort.
Method and Materials: A randomized, blind, controlled, parallel, double-center clinical trial was carried out. Honey was applied by patients four times a day for 5 days. Clinical parameters (ulcer size, pain scale, and degree of erythema and healing) were recorded both at baseline and during the follow-up period.
Results: There were 94 subjects, with 180 minor recurrent aphthous ulcerations. The ulcers were distributed as 67, 57, and 56 ulcers for honey, topical corticosteroid, and Orabase treatment, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between the honey group and the other two groups in terms of reduction of ulcer size, days of pain, and degree of erythema. No side effects were reported in any group.
Conclusion: Honey was found to be effective and safe in reducing minor aphthous ulcer pain, size, and erythema in a Saudi cohort.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Honey Wound Dressings Acceptable to Parents of NICU Babies

PB.09 A Feasibility Study of Active Manuka Honey Dressings on Babies Requiring Admission to NICU
Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed, 2014 Jun;99 Suppl 1:A35
Honey Dressings have been demonstrated to have important anti-infective and wound healing properties in adults and children. Mechanisms of action include an osmotic effect on bacteria and anti-inflammatory properties. They have yet to be adequately studied in newborn infants and this study aimed to determine if honey dressings are safe and acceptable to staff and parents. In this abstract we present the themes obtained from asking parents and staff what they thought of the dressings.
Questionnaires were distributed to parents of babies who had Active Manuka Honey Dressings applied to their wounds in a feasibility study. Similar questionnaires were given to staff that had used the dressings. Responses were grouped into themes reflecting similar comments.
12 parents responded, giving responses grouped into the themes of 'natural product' and the 'effect on healing'. 46 staff commented and their responses were grouped into three themes: 'ease of application', 'smell' and 'effect on healing'. Some negative comments were also received covering 5 areas: 'properties of the dressings', 'wastage', 'inappropriate use', 'appearance' and 'lack of adhesion' under certain conditions.
Honey Dressings appear to be acceptable to parents and staff with both groups saying that they felt the dressings helped the wounds heal more quickly. More research is required to fully assess the effectiveness and role of honey dressings in newborn infants.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Zealand Manuka Honey Network Proposed

Radio News Zealand, 7/15/2014
A coalition wants to build a manuka honey industry driven by Maori with the aim of increasing employment for rural tangata whenua on tribal land.
The Miere Coalition is talking to iwi across the country about developing a network that would work with Maori landowners, beekeepers and iwi on areas such as procurement and exporting.
Project director Victor Goldsmith said eight iwi had signed up to the idea of a network…

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Propolis Component Protests Thyroid and Liver in Same Way as Melatonin

Protective antioxidative effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) in the thyroid and the liver are similar to those caused by melatonin
Thyroid Res, 2014 Jun 5;7:5
Whereas oxidative reactions occur in all tissues and organs, the thyroid constitutes such an organ, in which oxidative processes are indispensable for physiological functions. In turn, numerous metabolic reactions occurring in the liver create favourable conditions for huge oxidative stress. Melatonin is a well-known antioxidant with protective effects against oxidative damage perfectly documented in many tissues, the thyroid and the liver included. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a component of honeybee propolis, has been suggested to be also an effective antioxidant. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of CAPE on Fenton reaction-induced oxidative damage to membrane lipids (lipid peroxidation, LPO) in porcine thyroid and liver, and to compare the results with protective effects of melatonin.
Thyroid and liver homogenates were incubated in the presence of CAPE (500; 100; 50; 10; 5.0; 1.0 μM) or melatonin (500; 100; 50; 10; 5.0; 1.0 μM), without or with addition of FeSO4 (30 μM) + H2O2 (0.5 mM). The level of lipid peroxidation was measured spectrophotometrically and expressed as the amount of MDA + 4-HDA (nmol) per mg of protein.
Whereas CAPE decreased the basal LPO in a concentration-dependent manner in both tissues, melatonin did not change the basal LPO level. When antioxidants were used together with Fenton reaction substrates, they prevented - in a concentration-dependent manner and to a similar extent - experimentally-induced LPO in both tissues.
Protective antioxidative effects of CAPE in the thyroid and the liver are similar to those caused by melatonin. CAPE constitutes a promising agent in terms of its application in experimental and, possibly, clinical studies.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Propolis Beats Traditional Sanitizing Solution for Lettuce

Use of propolis in the sanitization of lettuce
Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Jul 9;15(7):12243-57
The present study aimed to determine the effectiveness of propolis in reducing the microbial load in ready-to-eat (RTE) and fresh whole head (FWH) lettuces (Lactuca sativa L.) type Batavia. Two sanitizing solutions were employed: sodium hypochlorite (SH) and propolis (PS), during 15 and 30 min. Tap water (TW) was used as a control. Regarding the mean reduction on aerobic mesophiles, psychrotrophic and fecal coliforms, the SH and PS treatments showed the same pattern of variation. In all cases, PS was slightly more effective in the microbiological reduction in comparison with commercial SH. Reductions between two and three log cycles were obtained with PS on aerobic mesophiles and psychrotrophic counts. The information obtained in the present study can be used to evaluate the potential use of propolis as product for sanitizing other vegetables and for developing other food preservation technologies, with impact on human health.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Propolis a Potential Therapeutic Compound for Anxiety and Depression

Antidepressant and anxiolytic-like activities of an oil extract of propolis in rats
Phytomedicine, 2014 Jul 7. pii: S0944-7113(14)00250-5
Propolis biological effects are mainly attributed to its polyphenolic constituents such as flavonoids and phenolic acids that were recently described in the chemical composition of an extract of propolis obtained with edible vegetal oil (OEP) by our group. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of OEP on the behavior of rats.
An in vivo open field (OF), elevated Plus-maze (EPM), and forced swimming (FS) tests were performed to evaluate locomotor activity, anxiolytic- and antidepressant effects of the extract. Besides, oxidative stress levels were measured in rat blood samples after the behavioral assays by evaluation of the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and nitric oxide levels.
OEP increased locomotion in the OF test (50mg/kg) and central locomotion and open arm entries in the OF and EPM tests (10-50mg/kg) and decreased the immobility time in the FS test (10-50mg/kg). Moreover, OEP reduced nitric oxide levels in response to swim stress induced in rats.
OEP exerted stimulant, anxiolytic and antidepressant effects on the Central Nervous System and antioxidant activity in rats, highlighting propolis as a potential therapeutic compound for behavior impairment of anxiety and depression.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Propolis in Dentistry and Oral Cancer Management

N Am J Med Sci, 2014 Jun;6(6):250-9
Propolis, known as bee glue, is a wax-cum-resin substance, which is created out of a mix of buds from some trees with the substance secreted from the bee's glands. Its diverse chemical content is responsible for many valuable properties. Multiple applications of propolis have been studied and described in detail for centuries. However, currently available information on propolis is scarce. A literature search in the PubMed database was performed for English language articles, using the search terms propolis, oral health, dentistry, and oral cancer; no restrictions were used for publication dates. The aim of the article was to review propolis and its applications in dentistry including oral cancer…
Oral cancer is a public health problem. The use of natural substances such as propolis aims to search for chemoprevention with fewer side effects. Desirable effects of propolis on the treatment of oral cancer are regression of tumors by stimulating multicellular immunity, prevention of metastasis, speeding up apoptosis of cancer cells, mitosis-suppressing effect, anti-angiogenesis effect, immunomodulatory effect, and antioxidant effect. Propolis maintains high circulating levels of chemotherapeutic drugs such as 5-FU and MMC, thus reducing the dose of these drugs. When concurrently administered with propolis, the dose and side effects of these chemotherapeutic drugs are reduced; the cytopenia resulting from these drugs is ameliorated by administration of propolis via increasing WBC and RBC counts in peripheral blood. Propolis also has radioprotective effect. Flavonoid quercetin in propolis potentiates the growth-inhibitory activity on tumors.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Manuka Honey an Effective Oral Hygiene Measure

Evaluation of the effects of manuka honey on salivary levels of mutans streptococci in children: A pilot study
J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent, 2014 Jul-Sep;32(3):212-9
Background: There has been much debate in the past about whether honey is harmful to the teeth, mostly as part of the debate about raw sugar versus refined sugar and the results have been equivocal. However, what has not been taken into account is that honey varies markedly in the potency of its antibacterial activity. Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honey from New Zealand has been found to have substantial levels of non-peroxide antibacterial activity associated with an unidentified phytochemical component, denoted as Unique Manuka Factor (UMF).
Aims: Considering the potential antimicrobial effects of manuka honey, the present study attempted to investigate effects of twice daily use of manuka honey with UMF 19.5 on salivary levels of Mutans streptococci in children.
Study Design: The investigation was a stratified comparison of two parallel groups of children who either used manuka honey with regular tooth brushing regimen or continued only with regular tooth brushing regimen twice daily under professional supervision for a 21-day period. A total of three salivary samples were taken from each individual at baseline, day 10, and day 21; colony counts of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) were determined. All data was subjected to paired T-test and Wilcoxon's signed ranks sum for intra- and intergroup comparisons respectively.
Results: Children using manuka honey showed statistically significant reductions in salivary S. mutans after 10 and 21 days.
Conclusion: Manuka honey with UMF 19.5 may be considered as an effective adjunctive oral hygiene measure for reducing colony counts in children.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Romanian Bee Pollen Rich in Lutein

Predominant and Secondary Pollen Botanical Origins Influence the Carotenoid and Fatty Acid Profile in Fresh Honeybee-Collected Pollen
J. Agric. Food Chem, 2014, 62 (27), pp 6306–6316
Publication Date (Web): June 18, 2014
Total and individual carotenoids, fatty acid composition of total lipids, and main lipid classes of 16 fresh bee-collected pollen samples from Romania were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection and capillary gas chromatography with mass detection. Analyzed samples were found rich in lutein, whereas β-criptoxanthin and β-carotene were present in a wide range of amounts correlated with predominant botanical origin of the samples. High amounts of lutein were correlated with the presence of Callendula officinalis, Taraxacum officinale and Anthylis sp. The highest amount of total lipids was found in samples where pollen from Brassica sp. was predominant. Lipid classes were dominated by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids were determined in variable amounts. Lipid and carotenoid contents present great variability, explained by the various botanical species present in the samples.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

MANUKA - The Biography of an Extraordinary Honey

This book takes us on a journey, an amazing journey, of how a scientist in a small laboratory on an island at the end of the world discovered the magical healing powers of a honey. And not just any old honey - Manuka Honey...a honey that is only produced from an obscure plant, with the help of those extraordinary bees.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

New Zealand Exporters Demand Crackdown on Bogus Manuka Honey

NZ Exporters Demand Crackdown After Magazine Suggests Retailers Raking It In Selling Bogus Manuka
Manuka honey exporters want the Government to clamp down on "cowboys" bringing the $150 million-a-year industry into international disrepute.
"The whole thing is stupid - it's the whole New Zealand Inc reputation - the legislation is available," said Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association chief John Rawcliffe last night of a damning report into counterfeit product allegedly crowding British supermarket shelves.
"We have to do things correctly and we can really grow this industry. If we continue this way, we are going to make fools of ourselves," he said.
Mr Rawcliffe was responding from Bali to a special investigation by Britain's The Grocer trade magazine, which claims lack of clarity over what constitutes real manuka honey is allowing dodgy dealers to sell bogus product for up to $116 for a 500g jar, as endorsements from movie and sports stars fuel global demand.
Under a headline "The Great Manuka Honey Swindle", the magazine quotes a honey expert as claiming a leading British retailer has pocketed $39 million from selling jars of what it claims to be manuka honey but which is no better for consumers than a Scottish heather honey 90 per cent cheaper.
It asks whether retailers are deliberately misleading consumers or whether they are victims of confused claims about the disease-fighting properties of true manuka, which Hollywood A-lister Scarlett Johanssen swears by, as do tennis star Novak Djokovic and classical singer Katherine Jenkins.
The Grocer says only 1700 tonnes of true manuka honey are produced annually in New Zealand, yet 1800 tonnes of what purports to be the sweet elixir are sold in Britain among 10,000 tonnes globally.
Mr Rawcliffe said the annual production figure was more like 2400 tonnes but there were too many unscrupulous operators both here and overseas undermining the efforts of honest players…

Monday, July 07, 2014

Propolis Presented High Cytotoxic Potential for Human Tumor Cell Lines

Cytotoxicity of portuguese propolis: the proximity of the in vitro doses for tumor and normal cell lines
Biomed Res Int, 2014;2014:897361
With a complex chemical composition rich in phenolic compounds, propolis (resinous substance collected by Apis mellifera from various tree buds) exhibits a broad spectrum of biological activities. Recently, in vitro and in vivo data suggest that propolis has anticancer properties, but is the cytoxicity of propolis specific for tumor cells? To answer this question, the cytotoxicity of phenolic extracts from Portuguese propolis of different origins was evaluated using human tumor cell lines (MCF7-breast adenocarcinoma, NCI-H460-non-small cell lung carcinoma, HCT15-colon carcinoma, HeLa-cervical carcinoma, and HepG2-hepatocellular carcinoma), and non-tumor primary cells (PLP2). The studied propolis presented high cytotoxic potential for human tumor cell lines, mostly for HCT15. Nevertheless, excluding HCT15 cell line, the extracts at the GI50 obtained for tumor cell lines showed, in general, cytotoxicity for normal cells (PLP2). Propolis phenolic extracts comprise phytochemicals that should be further studied for their bioactive properties against human colon carcinoma. In the other cases, the proximity of the in vitro cytotoxic doses for tumor and normal cell lines should be confirmed by in vivo tests and may highlight the need for selection of specific compounds within the propolis extract.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

UK Recognition for Methylglyoxal in Manuka Honey Products

Friday, 4 July 2014, Press Release: Manuka Health NZ
Another leading food scientist has acknowledged that the major antimicrobial compound in manuka honey is methylglyoxal.
In an article in the UK’s influential trade magazine The Grocer, Dr David Hoyland, commercial director at Minerva Scientific – described as “one of Europe’s leading scientific independent honey testing labs” – acknowledged that “the major antimicrobial compound responsible for the characteristic NPA [non-peroxide activity] in manuka honey has been identified and is widely recognised as methylglyoxal.”
Dr Hoyland’s view complements and reinforces the research findings of numerous food scientists.
The methylglyoxal compound naturally occurring in manuka honey was identified in 2006 by a Technical University of Dresden group led by Professor Thomas Henle.
Professor Henle, a Professor of Food Chemistry, has been Chairman of Germany’s Federal Food Chemical Society and Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal European Food Research & Technology.
His findings were published in the Journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research in January 2008.
His research has been verified by other prominent food chemists, including Professor Peter Molan of the University of Waikato. See Professor Molan’s views here.
Manuka Health Chief Executive Kerry Paul said it was good to see methylglyoxal recognised by yet another eminent food scientist in a publication influential in the UK, an important market for New Zealand manuka honey producers.
“There are a couple of assertions in the article that I would dispute.
“The first is that methylglyoxal can be found in other plant species. It cannot, in any significant quantity. Generally, if methylglyoxal is detected in the honey which derives from bees which have harvested the nectar of plants other than manuka, that means only that there has been an overlap in flowering between neighbouring plants…

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Greek Company Achieves Success Beginning with Propolis soap

How a Greek company searching for 'common good' became a rare success story
As young adults, the husband and wife pharmacists Nikos and Niki Koutsianas never much liked flogging industrial, chemical-laden products to their customers. So Nikos, who is obsessed with honey bees, and Niki, a budding aromatherapist, tinkered in their laboratory and produced a black soap made from propolis, the resin collected by bees to seal their hives, and face creams with natural ingredients such as myrtle and jasmine.
The products were a hit with their pharmacy customers and gave the Greek couple an idea: Why not launch a company devoted to all-natural soaps, creams and cosmetics?
They did. In 1979, Apivita was born and the propolis soap, which is thought to have mild antiseptic qualities, was its first product. Today, the Apivita line is available in 14 countries – Canada is coming soon – and reported €33-million ($48-million) in sales last year…

Friday, July 04, 2014

Malaysian Honeys Free of Pesticide Residues, Rich Sources of Minerals

Determination of mineral, trace element, and pesticide levels in honey samples originating from different regions of malaysia compared to manuka honey
Biomed Res Int, 2014;2014:359890
The present study was undertaken to determine the content of six minerals, five trace elements, and ten pesticide residues in honeys originating from different regions of Malaysia. Calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn) were analyzed by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS), while sodium (Na) and potassium (K) were analyzed by flame emission spectrometry (FAES). Trace elements such as arsenic (As), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), and cobalt (Co) were analyzed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) following the microwave digestion of honey. High mineral contents were observed in the investigated honeys with K, Na, Ca, and Fe being the most abundant elements (mean concentrations of 1349.34, 236.80, 183.67, and 162.31 mg/kg, resp.). 
The concentrations of the trace elements were within the recommended limits, indicating that the honeys were of good quality. Principal component analysis reveals good discrimination between the different honey samples. The pesticide analysis for the presence of organophosphorus and carbamates was performed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). No pesticide residues were detected in any of the investigated honey samples, indicating that the honeys were pure.
Our study reveals that Malaysian honeys are rich sources of minerals with trace elements present within permissible limits and that they are free from pesticide contamination.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Anti-Cancer Propolis Component Synthesized

Total Synthesis of Propolisbenzofuran B
Chem Sci, 2014 May 1;5(5):1794-1798
The first total synthesis of propolisbenzofuran B, a bioactive natural product isolated from honeybee propolis resin, is reported. The convergent synthesis makes use of a silicon-tether controlled oxidative ketone-ketone cross-coupling and a novel benzofuran-generating cascade reaction to deliver the core structure of the natural product from readily prepared precursors…
Propolisbenzofuran B is a natural product found in Brazilian propolis, first isolated in 2000 by Banskota and co-workers. Initial biological testing determined that the compound had a cytotoxic effect on murine colon 26-L5 carcinoma and human HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cells…

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Bees Expressing Higher Amounts of Glucose Oxidase Could Increase Antibacterial Efficacy of Honey

Honeybee glucose oxidase-its expression in honeybee workers and comparative analyses of its content and H2O2-mediated antibacterial activity in natural honeys
Naturwissenschaften, 2014 Jun 27
Antibacterial properties of honey largely depend on the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which is generated by glucose oxidase (GOX)-mediated conversion of glucose in diluted honey. However, honeys exhibit considerable variation in their antibacterial activity. Therefore, the aim of the study was to identify the mechanism behind the variation in this activity and in the H2O2 content in honeys associated with the role of GOX in this process.
Immunoblots and in situ hybridization analyses demonstrated that gox is solely expressed in the hypopharyngeal glands of worker bees performing various tasks and not in other glands or tissues. Real-time PCR with reference genes selected for worker heads shows that the gox expression progressively increases with ageing of the youngest bees and nurses and reached the highest values in processor bees. Immunoblot analysis of honey samples revealed that GOX is a regular honey component but its content significantly varied among honeys. Neither botanical source nor geographical origin of honeys affected the level of GOX suggesting that some other factors such as honeybee nutrition and/or genetic/epigenetic factors may take part in the observed variation.
A strong correlation was found between the content of GOX and the level of generated H2O2 in honeys except honeydew honeys. Total antibacterial activity of most honey samples against Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolate significantly correlated with the H2O2 content. These results demonstrate that the level of GOX can significantly affect the total antibacterial activity of honey. They also support an idea that breeding of novel honeybee lines expressing higher amounts of GOX could help to increase the antibacterial efficacy of the hypopharyngeal gland secretion that could have positive influence on a resistance of colonies against bacterial pathogens.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Honey Boosts Quality of Frozen Sperm

Honey Supplementation to Semen-Freezing Medium Improves Human Sperm Parameters Post-Thawing
J Family Reprod Health, 2014 Mar;8(1):27-31
To evaluate the effect of honey supplemented to cryoprotectant medium on post-thaw sperm motility, concentration, morphology and agglutination.
Thirty semen samples were collected from 30 infertile patients. After assessment of semen analysis, semen samples were divided into 3 aliquots (0.7ml for each) and mixed with 1 ml of cryopreservation solution (G1, control) alone, or enriched with 5% honey (G2) or with 10% honey (G3) for cryopreservation. Cryopreservation was done at -196°C in liquid nitrogen and thawing was performed after six months. Direct swim up technique was used for in vitro sperm preparation post-thawing. Sperm parameters were assessed and data were statistically analyzed pre- and post-thawing.
Results appeared that the percentage of sperm motility for G1 and G2 groups were significantly reduced (P < 0.05) post-thawing when compared to pre-cryopreservation. However, there was no significant difference in the total motility (%) of the post-thaw sperm between the G1 and G2 groups. While there was significant increased (P < 0.05) in the percentage of normal sperm morphology for G1 and G3 groups post-thawing. Post-thawing normal sperm morphology (%) for G3 group was significantly increased (P < 0.05) as compared to G1 and G2 groups. In contrast non significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed between G1 and G2 groups. Significant reduction (P < 0.05) was seen in the sperm concentration for all groups post-thawing as compared to pre-cryopreservation groups. After thawing the results reveal significant reduction (P < 0.05) in the sperm agglutination (%) for G3 group as compared to G1 and G2 groups.
The results of this study indicated that the supplementation of honey (10%) to cryoprotectant solution results in enhancement of sperm quality post-thawing.