Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Propolis Component Boosts Anti-Cancer Activity of Tamoxifen

Could Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Expand the Antitumor Effect of Tamoxifen in Breast Carcinoma?

Nutr Cancer. 2016 Mar 23:1-11

Despite tamoxifen (TAM) is beneficial in treating a significant proportion of patients with breast cancer, many women still relapse after long-term therapy. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a component of honeybee propolis, with a plethora of important biological actions including anticancer activity. This study aimed to explore the cytotoxicity, the type of drugs interaction as well as the apoptotic and autophagic pathways of the combined treatment of TAM and CAPE in MCF-7 cells. Their antitumor activity and effect on survival of mice bearing Ehrlich tumor were also analyzed.

The results showed synergistic cytotoxic effects, manifested by significant activation of apoptotic machinery, along with downregulation of protein levels of Bcl-2 and beclin-1, upon using the combination regimen. However, the ratio between microtubule-associated protein light chain 3-II and -I was not altered. Moreover, a decrease in vascular endothelial growth factor level was detected. Similarly, TAM + CAPE increased the life span of tumor-bearing animals and caused a marked regression in their tumor size and weight compared with those treated with either TAM or CAPE alone.

In conclusion, CAPE relatively improved the anticancer activity of TAM in both in vitro and in vivo models via its apoptotic and angiostatic potentials.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bee Pollen Recommended as Valuable Dietary Supplement

Biological and therapeutic properties of bee pollen. A review

J Sci Food Agric. 2016 Mar 25

Natural goods, including bee products, are particularly appreciated by consumers and are used for therapeutic purposes as alternative drugs. However, it is not known whether treatments with bee products are safe and how to minimize the health risks of such products.

Among others, bee pollen is a natural honeybee product promoted as a valuable source of nourishing substances and energy. Health-enhancing value of bee pollen is expected due to the wide range of secondary plant metabolites (tocopherol, niacin, thiamine, biotin and folic acid, polyphenols, carotenoid pigments, phytosterols), besides enzymes and coenzymes, contained in bee pollen. The promising reports on the anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cariogenic anti-bacterial, anti-fungicidal, hepatoprotective, anti-atherosclerotic, immune enhancing potential require long-term and large cohort clinical studies.

The main difficulty in application of bee pollen in modern phytomedicine is related to the wide species-specific variation in its composition. Therefore, the variations may differently contribute to bee-pollen properties and biological activity and thus in therapeutic effects.

In principle, we can unequivocally recommend bee pollen as a valuable dietary supplement. Although the bee-pollen components have potential bioactive and therapeutic properties, extensive research is required before bee pollen can be used in therapy.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Honey Decreases Pain, Odor in Wounds

A Comparative Study of Honey and Phenytoin Dressings for Chronic Wounds

Indian J Surg. 2015 Dec;77(Suppl 3):1209-13

Chronic wounds are a common problem faced by health care professionals, both in the community and in the hospital setting. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of honey and phenytoin with respect to the process of wound healing, eradication of infection, pain relief and hospital stay. The study included 150 patients, 3 groups of 50 each (group A, honey dressing; group B, phenytoin dressing; group C, saline dressing).

The appearance of granulation tissue was faster with significant wound area reduction after 3 weeks in groups A and B compared to group C. Eradication of infection was evident earlier in the honey- and phenytoin-treated groups along with significant pain relief as compared to that of group C. The outcomes of the use of honey and phenytoin as wound dressings are beneficial and comparable. Honey provides quicker pain relief and removes malodour more effectively.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Honey: A Skin Graft Fixator Convenient for Both Patient and Surgeon

Indian J Surg. 2015 Dec;77(Suppl 3):863-7

Skin grafts can be used effectively to cover burn injuries. A critical element of this treatment is the adherence of the graft to the wound bed. Honey has been shown to increase the adherence of skin grafts to wound beds and have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects and increase healing rate of wounds. We therefore devised a clinical trial to determine the effect of honey on skin graft fixation in burn injuries. Sixty patients were included in this study (in 30 patients, graft was fixed with medical honey, and in 30 patients, it was fixed with dressing or suturing).

All patients in two groups were evaluated for infection, graft loss, graft contraction, severity of pain, and need for re-operation. The most common cause of burn was kerosene. Honey significantly decreased infection rate on fifth day and reduced the patient pain. The mean hospital stay was shorter in honey group. Contraction of graft was significantly less in honey group. Honey has strong adhesive properties for skin graft fixation.

Medical honey is a natural material, not synthetic. For this reason, we can advise the application of medical honey for the fixation of split thickness skin graft.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Propolis, Honey Component May Help Prevent Heart Disease

Antiplatelet activity of chrysin via inhibiting platelet αIIbβ3-mediated signaling pathway

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Mar 23


Propolis is thought to help prevent thrombotic and related cardiovascular diseases in humans. Chrysin, a bioflavonoids compound found in high levels in propolis and in honey, has been reported to possess antiplatelet activity. However, the mechanism by which it inhibits platelet function is unclear.


The effects of chrysin on agonist-activated platelet-aggregation, granule-secretion and integrin αIIbβ3 activation were examined. Its effects on the phosphorylation of Akt, GSK3β, MAPKs and several proteins of the glycoprotein VI (GPVI)-signaling pathway were also studied on collaged-activated platelets. In addition, human platelet spreading on immobilized fibrinogen was also tested.


We found that chrysin dose-dependently inhibited platelet aggregation and granule secretion induced by collagen, as well as platelet aggregation induced by ADP, thrombin and U46619. Chrysin also markedly reduced the number of adherent platelets and the single platelet spreading area on immobilized fibrinogen. Biochemical analysis revealed that chrysin inhibited collagen-induced activation of Syk, PLCγ2, PKC, as well as the phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2. Additionally, chrysin attenuated phosphorylation of molecules such as FcγRIIa, FAK, Akt and GSK3β in platelet spreading on immobilized fibrinogen.


Our findings indicate that chrysin suppresses not only integrin αIIbβ3-mediated "inside-out" signaling, but also the "outside-in" signal transmission. This implies that chrysin may represent a potential candidate for an antiplatelet agent. This article is protected by copyright.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Bee Venom Therapy May Be Associated with Low Blood Platelet Count

Immune thrombocytopenia after bee venom therapy: a case report

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 201616:107


Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a hematological disorder with an isolated decrease in number of circulating platelets. Bee venom therapy (BVT) is a form of alternative medicine. It is still being practiced in the Middle East and other parts of Asia. In BVT, acupuncture points are used to inject diluted bee venom into the body. The pharmacological basis behind BVT is not fully understood. However, it has been used to treat various medical conditions such as arthritis and low back pain. On the other hand there have been a number of reported complications of BVT use such as ITP. We present a case report on ITP after BVT.

Case presentation

A 61 year old lady presented with gum bleeding and ecchymosis and found to have isolated thrombocytopenia (platelet count of 9 × 109/L) after receiving four direct bee sting sessions. There was no evidence of any other risk factors of ITP.


Bee venom components and toxicity may be associated with thrombocytopenia as a complication. Further research is needed to postulate guidelines and protocol for BVT. In the meantime, monitoring of the practice of BVT should be made, with an emphasis on patient education regarding the safety profile and associated risks compared to the gained benefits.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wild Bee Venom Peptide Boosts Antibiotic's Effect

Antimicrobial Peptide from the Wild Bee Hylaeus signatus Venom and Its Analogues: Structure-Activity Study and Synergistic Effect with Antibiotics

J Nat Prod. 2016 Mar 21

Venoms of hymenopteran insects have attracted considerable interest as a source of cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). In the venom of the solitary bee Hylaeus signatus (Hymenoptera: Colletidae), we identified a new hexadecapeptide of sequence Gly-Ile-Met-Ser-Ser-Leu-Met-Lys-Lys-Leu-Ala-Ala-His-Ile-Ala-Lys-NH2. Named HYL, it belongs to the category of α-helical amphipathic AMPs. HYL exhibited weak antimicrobial activity against several strains of pathogenic bacteria and moderate activity against Candida albicans, but its hemolytic activity against human red blood cells was low.

We prepared a set of HYL analogues to evaluate the effects of structural modifications on its biological activity and to increase its potency against pathogenic bacteria. This produced several analogues exhibiting significantly greater activity compared to HYL against strains of both Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa even as their hemolytic activity remained low.

Studying synergism of HYL peptides and conventional antibiotics showed the peptides act synergistically and preferentially in combination with rifampicin. Fluorescent dye propidium iodide uptake showed the tested peptides were able to facilitate entrance of antibiotics into the cytoplasm by permeabilization of the outer and inner bacterial cell membrane of P. aeruginosa.

Transmission electron microscopy revealed that treatment of P. aeruginosa with one of the HYL analogues caused total disintegration of bacterial cells. NMR spectroscopy was used to elucidate the structure-activity relationship for the effect of amino acid residue substitution in HYL.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Bee Venom Contains Anti-Coagulation Factors

Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera) Contains Anticoagulation Factors and Increases the Blood-clotting Time

J Pharmacopuncture. 2015 Dec;18(4):7-11


Bee venom (BV) is a complex mixture of proteins and contains proteins such as phospholipase and melittin, which have an effect on blood clotting and blood clots. The mechanism of action of honey bee venom (HBV, Apis mellifera) on human plasma proteins and its anti-thrombotic effect were studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-coagulation effect of BV and its effects on blood coagulation and purification.


Crude venom obtained from Apis mellifera was selected. The anti-coagulation factor of the crude venom from this species was purified by using gel filtration chromatography (sephadex G-50), and the molecular weights of the anti-coagulants in this venom estimated by using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Blood samples were obtained from 10 rabbits, and the prothrombin time (PT) and the partial thromboplastin time (PTT) tests were conducted. The approximate lethal dose (LD) values of BV were determined.


Crude BV increased the blood clotting time. For BV concentrations from 1 to 4 mg/mL, clotting was not observed even at more than 300 seconds, standard deviations (SDs) = ± 0.71; however, clotting was observed in the control group 13.8 s, SDs = ± 0.52. Thus, BV can be considered as containing anti-coagulation factors. Crude BV is composed 4 protein bands with molecular weights of 3, 15, 20 and 41 kilodalton (kDa), respectively. The LD50 of the crude BV was found to be 177.8 μg/mouse.


BV contains anti-coagulation factors. The fraction extracted from the Iranian bees contains proteins that are similar to anti-coagulation proteins, such as phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and melittin, and that can increase the blood clotting times in vitro.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Beekeeper Creates Cannabis Honey

Culture Magazine, 3/7/2016

In a stunning act of brilliance, a French beekeeper claims that he’s figured out how to get bees to generate honey from cannabis. He calls it CannaHoney, and it brings a whole new meaning to “honey oil.”...

Trainer, who now goes by Trainerbees, is a lifetime cannabis fan. “I began consuming before the age of 10,” he told Dinafem. “For some time I had known about the health benefits of bee products such as honey, propolis, pollen, wax and royal jelly, and also about the benefits of cannabis.”

Honey is already known for its healing properties against cancer and heart disease. Trainer went on to say that “Everything that passes through the body of the bee is improved.” Bees’ bodies convert nectar into propolis, which acts as an antiseptic, antibiotic, antifungal and antibacterial. Trainer wondered if cannabis would yield the same results. “So if the bee took the resin from cannabis it would also be very beneficial. The aim arose for me to get the bees to obtain this resin,” he said...

Trainer says his customers swear they’ve seen dramatic improvement after just a few spoonfuls...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Biological Properties and Therapeutic Applications of Propolis

Phytother Res. 2016 Mar 14

Propolis is a resinous material collected by bees from bud and exudates of the plants, mixed with bee enzymes, pollen and wax. In this review, the biological properties of propolis and some therapeutic applications are discussed.

The same biological activities have been investigated until today, using samples from different geographic regions. Thus, the study of the biological properties of a given sample should always be associated with its chemical composition and botanical source, representing a particular sample of a given geographic area, exploring its biological potential and the role of its constituents. Efforts have been carried out to explain propolis' mechanisms of action in vivo and in vitro, but the majority of propolis' targets and actions are still unclear.

The number of formulations containing propolis and patents have increased, although propolis extracts have been used deliberately with different recommendations, not always mentioning the chemical composition, vegetal source and the methods of extraction. Clinical studies will help to obtain criterious recommendations in view of the expected outcomes. Further investigation should explore the effects of common compounds found in the samples from all over the world in an attempt to standardize the research on propolis and to obtain new drugs.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Melittin, the Major Pain-Producing Substance of Bee Venom

Neurosci Bull. 2016 Mar 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Melittin is a basic 26-amino-acid polypeptide that constitutes 40-60% of dry honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom. Although much is known about its strong surface activity on lipid membranes, less is known about its pain-producing effects in the nervous system. In this review, we provide lines of accumulating evidence to support the hypothesis that melittin is the major pain-producing substance of bee venom. At the psychophysical and behavioral levels, subcutaneous injection of melittin causes tonic pain sensation and pain-related behaviors in both humans and animals.

At the cellular level, melittin activates primary nociceptor cells through direct and indirect effects. On one hand, melittin can selectively open thermal nociceptor transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor channels via phospholipase A2-lipoxygenase/cyclooxygenase metabolites, leading to depolarization of primary nociceptor cells. On the other hand, algogens and inflammatory/pro-inflammatory mediators released from the tissue matrix by melittin's pore-forming effects can activate primary nociceptor cells through both ligand-gated receptor channels and the G-protein-coupled receptor-mediated opening of transient receptor potential canonical channels. Moreover, subcutaneous melittin up-regulates Nav1.8 and Nav1.9 subunits, resulting in the enhancement of tetrodotoxin-resistant Na+ currents and the generation of long-term action potential firing.

These nociceptive responses in the periphery finally activate and sensitize the spinal dorsal horn pain-signaling neurons, resulting in spontaneous nociceptive paw flinches and pain hypersensitivity to thermal and mechanical stimuli.

Taken together, it is concluded that melittin is the major pain-producing substance of bee venom, by which peripheral persistent pain and hyperalgesia (or allodynia), primary nociceptive neuronal sensitization, and CNS synaptic plasticity (or metaplasticity) can be readily induced and the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying naturally-occurring venomous biotoxins can be experimentally unraveled.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Study Looks at How Manuka Honey Component Bills Bacteria

How methylglyoxal kills bacteria: An ultrastructural study

Ultrastruct Pathol. 2016 Mar 17:1-5

Antibacterial activity of honey is due to the presence of methylglyoxal (MGO), H2O2, bee defensin as well as polyphenols. High MGO levels in manuka honey are the main source of antibacterial activity.

Manuka honey has been reported to reduce the swarming and swimming motility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa due to de-flagellation. Due to the complexity of honey it is unknown if this effect is directly due to MGO.

In this ultrastructural investigation the effects of MGO on the morphology of bacteria and specifically the structure of fimbriae and flagella were investigated. MGO effectively inhibited Gram positive (Bacillus subtilis; MIC 0.8 mM and Staphylococcus aureus; MIC 1.2 mM) and Gram negative (P. aeruginosa; MIC 1.0 mM and Escherichia coli; MIC 1.2 mM) bacteria growth. The ultrastructural effects of 0.5, 1.0 and 2 mM MGO on B. substilis and E. coli morphology was then evaluated. At 0.5 mM MGO, bacteria structure was unaltered. For both bacteria at 1 mM MGO fewer fimbriae were present and the flagella were less or absent. Identified structures appeared stunted and fragile. At 2 mM MGO fimbriae and flagella were absent while the bacteria were rounded with shrinkage and loss of membrane integrity.

Antibacterial MGO causes alterations in the structure of bacterial fimbriae and flagella which would limit bacteria adherence and motility.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Propolis Prevents Kidney Damage

Protective effect of propolis on methotrexate-induced kidney injury in the rat

Ren Fail. 2016 Mar 16:1-7


Propolis is a potent antioxidant and a free radical scavenger. Pharmacological induction of heat shock proteins (HSPs) has been investigated for restoring normal cellular function following an injury. In this study, effect of propolis on HSP-70 expression in methotrexate-induced nephrotoxicity and direct preventive effect of propolis in this toxicity were investigated.

Material and methods

A total of 40 male Wistar albino rats were divided into four groups: Group 1 was the untreated control. On the eighth day of the experiment, groups 2 and 3 received single intraperitoneal injections of methotrexate (MTX) at 20 mg/kg. Groups 3 and 4 received 100 mg/kg/day propolis (by oral gavage) for 15 d by the first day of the experimental protocol. Then the rats were decapitated under ketamine esthesia and their kidney tissues were removed. HSP-70 expression, apoptosis, and histopathological damage scores were then compared.


MTX caused epithelial desquamation into the lumen of the tubules, dilatation, and congestion of the peritubular vessels and renal corpuscles with obscure Bowman's space. The number of apoptotic cells (p = 0.000) and HSP-70 (p = 0.002) expression were increased in group 2. Propolis prevented the rise in number of apoptotic cells (p = 0.017), HSP-70 (p = 0.000) expression, and improved kidney morphology.


It was found that methotrexate gives rise to serious damage in the kidney and propolis is a potent antioxidant agent in preventing kidney injury.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

High Royal Jelly-Producing Honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in China

J Econ Entomol. 2016 Feb 25. pii: tow013

China is the largest producer and exporter of royal jelly (RJ) in the world, supplying 90% of the global market. The high production of RJ in China is principally owing to the high RJ-producing lineage of honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola, 1806) established by beekeepers in the 1980s.

We describe the development of high royal jelly-producing honeybees and the management of this lineage today. Previous research and recent advances in the genetic characterization of this lineage, and the molecular markers and mechanisms associated with high RJ production are summarized. The gaps in our knowledge and prospects for future research are also highlighted.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Honey Boosts Healing of Surgical Wounds

Topical Application of Honey on Surgical Wounds: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Forsch Komplementmed. 2016;23(1):12-15


The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity of honey and its ability to accelerate wound healing make it an attractive option in surgical wound care. We performed a randomized clinical trial to compare the efficacy of honey dressing with conventional dressing regarding the aesthetic outcome.


Bilateral symmetric incisions in randomly selected plastic surgical patients were randomly covered postoperatively with conventional dressing and honey dressing for five days. The aesthetic outcome of the two sides was rated on a Visual Analog Scale by the surgeon and the patient and compared at month three and six after surgery.


Seventy two symmetrical incisions in 52 patients were evaluated during the study. The mean width of the scar after the third and the sixth month was 3.64 +/- 0.83 mm and 3.49 +/- 0.87 mm on the side that received honey dressing and 5.43 +/- 0.05 mm and 5.30+/- 1.35 mm in the control group. Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed significant difference between honey and conventional dressing outcomes at third and sixth month (p < 0.001).


The healing process of the surgical wound and its final aesthetic result could be improved by using honey dressing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bee Venom Anti-Aging Face Mask


There’s been a lot of talk about how bee venom is used in skincare to plump up and firm the skin. This is the low down – bee venom acts as an irritation as if it has been stung with the peptide Melittin. It causes an increased blood circulation to the deep layers of the skin and stimulates cell regeneration and the production of elastin and collagen to lift, plump and tighten the skin. This means that it can be used as a natural alternative to clinical treatments that involve painful needles.

The Venomenous face masque is a great pain-free alternative by BeeBio which includes pure bee venom, highly active medical grade Manuka honey, kiwifruit extract, avocado oil, rosehip oil, evening primrose oil and manuka oil. Bee Venom is the world’s most expensive active skin care ingredient at over $500,000 per kilogram.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Propolis As Effective as Germicidal Mouthwash Against Oral Microorganisms

The Comparative Evaluation of the Antimicrobial Effect of Propolis with Chlorhexidine against Oral Pathogens: An In Vitro Study

Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:3627463

This study aimed to compare the antimicrobial effectiveness of ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) to chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX) on planktonic Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus salivarius subsp. salivarius, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Prevotella intermedia, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Actinomyces israelii, Candida albicans, and their single-species biofilms by agar dilution and broth microdilution test methods.

Both agents inhibited the growth of all planktonic species. On the other hand, CHX exhibited lower minimum bactericidal concentrations than EEP against biofilms of A. actinomycetemcomitans, S. aureus, and E. faecalis whereas EEP yielded a better result against Lactobacilli and P. intermedia. The bactericidal and fungicidal concentrations of both agents were found to be equal against biofilms of Streptecocci, P. gingivalis, A. israelii, and C. albicans.

The results of this study revealed that propolis was more effective in inhibiting Gram-positive bacteria than the Gram-negative bacteria in their planktonic state and it was suggested that EEP could be as effective as CHX on oral microorganisms in their biofilm state.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Raw Milk and Honey Solution Reduces Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness

A Comparison between Chocolate Milk and a Raw Milk Honey Solution’s Influence on Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness

Sports 2016, 4(1), 18

This investigation sought to examine the effect that a chocolate milk solution (CMS) and a raw milk solution (RMS) had on lower extremity induced delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS).

Twenty trained male participants completed a set of questionnaires, prior to completing a lower extremity DOMS protocol, to determine the level of discomfort and functional limitations. Once the DOMS protocol was completed, participants were randomly assigned to either the CM or RM group. Once assigned, participants ingested 240 mL of the respective solution and completed the same set of questionnaires immediately post, 24-, 48- and 72-h post DOMS protocol. Additionally, for 10 days post-ingestion participants were contacted to learn if any negative effects were experienced as a result of ingesting either solution.

Both groups reported an increase in lower extremity discomfort at each data collection interval post-DOMS protocol (post, 24-, 48- and 72-h). Participants assigned to the RM group reported high discomfort post and a relative decline in discomfort from immediately post-DOMS protocol to 72-h post. The RMS group reported substantially less discomfort at 72-h when compared to the CMS group.

Ingestion of a raw milk solution immediately post strength exercise can substantially reduce the level of self-reported discomfort associated with DOMS.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Evidence of Honey's Antimicrobial and Wound Healing Benefits

Healing the Bee's Knees-On Honey and Wound Healing

JAMA Dermatol. 2016 Mar 1;152(3):275

Since antiquity, honey has been revered for its natural healing properties. It has been used for treatment of gastrointestinal tract illnesses, treatment of pain, and defense from infection. However, it is its historical use in the treatment of skin wounds, burns, and ulcers that has sparked a renewed interest in recent years. Emerging scientific study of honey’s therapeutic mechanisms has provided evidence for the antimicrobial and wound healing benefits behind this enduring tradition.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Propolis Better Than Steroid at Treating Lung Fibrosis

Ultrastructural investigation of the protective effects of propolis on bleomycin induced pulmonary fibrosis

Biotech Histochem. 2016 Mar 9:1-9

We investigated the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of propolis on bleomycin induced lung fibrosis and compared these effects to prednisolone treatment.

Forty rats were divided into four groups of ten: group 1 was treated with intratracheal infusion of 0.2 ml physiological saline followed by daily treatment with 0.5 ml physiological saline for 20 days. In the remaining groups (groups 2 - 4), 5 mg/kg bleomycin was given via the trachea. Rats in group 2 were given 0.5 ml physiological saline. Rats in group 3 were treated with 100 mg/kg propolis, and 10 mg/kg prednisolone was given to rats in group 4.

The treatments for all groups were continued for 20 days. On postoperative day 21, blood and lung samples were taken for biochemistry, histopathology and electron microscopy evaluation. We compared oxidative stress parameters and found lower malondialdehyde and myeloperoxidase levels, and higher total sulfhydryl levels and catalase activities for the bleomycin + propolis group than for the bleomycin and bleomycin + prednisolone groups. The highest mean fibrosis score was detected in the bleomycin group.

Although the mean fibrosis scores of the bleomycin + propolis and bleomycin + prednisolone groups were not significantly different, electron microscopy revealed that propolis diminished bleomycin induced lung fibrosis more effectively than prednisolone. The effects of propolis might be due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bee Venom Used to Treat Pneumonia

Tell me about bee venom.

Chicago Tribune, 3/9/2016

"Bee venom is good for people who suffer from arthritis. I'm seeing quite a few people from this area who have Lyme disease. It takes about two years, but bee venom will cure people who have Lyme disease. We sting for lots of things. Dirk had shingles and it was horrible. I would just take the stinger out of the bee and bounce it where he was ready to erupt and it wouldn't happen in that spot. Bee venom is magical."

You're telling me there are people who allow your bees to sting them?

"Last year, there was a lady with pneumonia. We went up into the bathroom and I stung her 30 times on each lung. There were bees flying all around that little bathroom. See, you grab the bees with this tweezers-like tool, remove them from this plastic container, and place the bee on the person's arm or wherever."

In helping the lady with pneumonia, 60 of your girls bit the dust.

"Yes, a honey bee dies once it stings someone. I try to use the foragers — bees near the ends of their lives."

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Manuka Honey Shows Antibacterial Activity After Gastroduodenal Digestion

Antistaphylococcal activity and metabolite profiling of manuka honey (Leptospermum scoparium L.) after in vitro simulated digestion

Food Funct. 2016 Mar 7

The antistaphylococcal activity against methicillin-susceptible and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus and the metabolite profiling of manuka honey (MH) were investigated before and after in vitro simulated gastric (GD) and gastroduodenal (GDD) digestions.

Undigested manuka honey showed antibacterial activity against all the tested strains, the GD sample showed no activity against S. aureus, and the GDD honey showed an antistaphylococcal activity, which was slightly reduced in comparison with the undigested sample. To explain these results, methylglyoxal (MGO), to which most of the antibacterial activity of MH is ascribed, was subjected to in vitro simulated GD and GDD.

After digestion, MGO showed antibacterial activity at concentrations definitively higher than those registered in digested MH samples. These results showed that the antistaphylococcal activity registered after digestion cannot be ascribed to MGO. Thus metabolite analysis, carried out using an explorative untargeted NMR-based approach and a targeted RP-HPLC-PAD-ESI-MSn analysis focused on bio-active substances, was used to highlight the chemical modifications occurring from digestion.

The results showed that (1) the level of MGO decreases and (2) the content of aromatic compounds, such as leptosin and methyl syringate, markers of manuka honey, was stable under gastric and gastroduodenal conditions, whereas (3) the levels of acetic and lactic acids increase in particular after gastroduodenal digestion, being 1.5 and 2.8 times higher in GDD-MH than in UND-MH, respectively.

Overall, the results obtained from chemical analysis provide at least a partial explanation of the registered S.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Bee Pollen in Diet Protects Against Immunotoxic Hazards

Experimental Studies on Some Immunotoxicological Aspects of Aflatoxins Containing Diet and Protective Effect of Bee Pollen Dietary Supplement

Pak J Biol Sci. 2016 Jan;19(1):26-35

Aflatoxins (AFs), widely distributed food-borne mycotoxins, affect quality and safety of food and cause economic losses in livestock. In this study, the protective effect of Bee Pollen (BP) against some immunotoxic hazards elucidated from eating of AFs-containing diet was investigated in Wistar rats.

Rats were randomly classified into four groups and treated for 30 days, Group 1; control negative, Group 2; Total AFs (3 mg kg(-1) basal diet), Group 3; BP (20 g kg(-1) basal diet) and Group 4; AFs+BP in basal diet.

The immunoprotective effect of BP was revealed in terms of increasing (relative to levels seen in Group 2 rats that consumed the AFs diet) serum total protein and globulin levels, restored normal neutrophil (PMN)/lymphocyte ratio, increased PMN phagocytic activity and increased lymphocyte proliferative capacity. Also, the use of the BP reduced spleen H2O2 levels and increased GSH content while maintaining normal levels of NO formation. Histopathologic analysis showed thatthe AFs caused lymphocytic depletion in the spleen; however, BP induced lymphocytic hyperplasia and reduced the levels of AFs-inducible cellular exhaustion or depletion.

These results provide evidence of a protective effect of BP against some immunotoxic actions induced in situ by consumption of AFs.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Seasonal Variations Influence Mineral Content of Propolis

Effects of seasonal variations and collection methods on the mineral composition of propolis from Apis mellifera Linnaeus Beehives

Braz J Biol. 2016 Mar 1

The effects of seasonal variations and the methods of collection of propolis produced by Africanized honey bees Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758, on the composition of constituent minerals such as magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), and potassium (K) were evaluated. Propolis was harvested from 25 beehives by scraping or by means of propolis collectors (screen, "intelligent" collector propolis [ICP], lateral opening of the super [LOS], and underlay method).

During the one-year study, the propolis produced was harvested each month, ground, homogenized, and stored in a freezer at -10 ºC. Seasonal analyses of the mineral composition were carried out by atomic absorption spectrophotometry and the results were evaluated by analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by Tukey-Kramer's test to compare the mean values (p < 0.05).

The results showed that seasonal variations influence the contents of 5 minerals (Mg, Fe, Na, Ca, and Cu), and the propolis harvesting method affects the contents of 4 minerals (Mg, Zn, Fe, and Ca).

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Honey May Help Treat Swimmer's Ear

Efficacy of medical grade honey in the management of canine otitis externa - a pilot study

Vet Dermatol. 2016 Apr;27(2):93-e27


The high prevalence of antimicrobial resistance within otic pathogens has created a need for alternative therapies of otitis externa (OE). Evidence suggests that medical grade honey (MGH) may be effective against drug-resistant pathogens.


The efficacy of a commercial MGH compound was assessed in an open clinical trial. We hypothesized that it would be an effective alternative to conventional treatments.


Client-owned dogs (n = 15) with a confirmed diagnosis of infectious OE were enrolled in this pilot study.


Dogs were prescribed MGH (1 mL daily per ear) until cure was achieved or for a maximum of 21 d. Evaluation was based on weekly clinical scores, cytological progression and owner assessments of pruritus. Swab samples were submitted for culture and susceptibility testing. MGH was tested for biocidal activity against the bacterial isolates.


Medical grade honey promoted rapid clinical progress, with 70% of dogs achieving clinical cure between days 7 and 14 and over 90% having resolved by Day 21. There was a decrease in clinical scores throughout the duration of the trial (P < 0.001) and owner-assessed pruritus also decreased significantly (P < 0.05). In vitro assays of the biocidal activity of MGH showed activity against all bacterial isolates, including meticillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) and other species of drug-resistant bacteria.


Medical grade honey was successful in both clinical and laboratory settings, thus demonstrating its potential of becoming an alternative treatment for canine OE.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Royal Jelly Boosts Fertility of Buffalo Bull Sperm

Royal jelly supplementation in semen extender enhances post-thaw quality and fertility of Nili-Ravi buffalo bull sperm

Anim Reprod Sci. 2016 Feb 11. pii: S0378-4320(16)30050-1

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of royal jelly (RJ) on post-thaw sperm quality, in vitro and in vivo fertility rate of cryopreserved buffalo bull sperm. The semen was collected from three mature regular donor buffalo bulls, ejaculates were pooled and semen evaluated initially.

In Experiment 1, the ejaculates were extended in tris-citric acid diluter supplemented with different RJ concentrations (0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 or 0.4%). The diluted semen was cooled to 4°C, packaged into 0.5mL straws and frozen using standard procedure. The straws were thawed and assessed for sperm progressive motility, viability, plasma membrane, acrosome, and chromatin integrity. The results indicated that sperm progressive motility was significantly greater (P < 0.05) in 0.05, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3% RJ than 0.4% RJ supplemented and control groups. The sperm viability, plasma membrane and acrosome integrity were significantly improved (P < 0.05) in 0.1% RJ supplemented group the compared to other treatment groups.

In Experiment 2, cryopreserved sperm with 0.1% RJ supplementation and control (without RJ supplementation) were used to observe the in vitro fertilizing potential and in vivo fertility. In vitro fertilization method was applied to assess the cleavage rate; whereas, AI was performed in buffalo during in vivo fertility trial. The buffaloes were inseminated 12h after standing estrus and pregnancy diagnosis was performed through ultrasonography.

The results revealed that the cleavage rate was higher (P < 0.05) in 0.1% RJ as compared to control group. However, the pregnancy rate was similar (P > 0.05) between 0.1% RJ supplemented and control groups. It is concluded that supplementation of RJ in freezing extender can improve the cryosurvival rate and in vitro fertilizing capacity of buffalo bull sperm.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Phenolic Content of Korean Propolis Compared to that of China, Brazil, Australia

Relationship between total phenolic contents and biological properties of propolis from 20 different regions in South Korea

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 Feb 18;16(1):65


Propolis (or bee glue), collected from botanical sources by honey bee, has been used as a popular natural remedies in folk medicine throughout the world. This study was conducted to assess growth inhibitory effects of ethanol extracts of propolis (EEPs) from 20 different regions in South Korea on human intestinal bacteria as well as their human β-amyloid precursor cleavage enzyme (BACE-1), acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory, antioxidant, antiproliferative, and anti-human rhinovirus activities.


The Bonferroni multiple-comparison method was used to test for significant differences in total polyphenol and flavonoid contents among EEP samples using SAS 9.13 program. Correlation coefficient (r) analysis of the biological activities of EEP samples was determined using their 50 % inhibition concentration or minimal inhibitory concentration values and their polyphenol or flavonoid contents in 20 native Korean EEP samples.


The amounts of total polyphenol and flavonoids in the Korean EEP samples ranged from 49 to 239 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g EEP (Brazilian, Chinese, and Australian samples, 127-142 mg GAE/g EEP) and from 21 to 50 mg quercetin equivalent (QE)/g EEP (Brazilian, Chinese, and Australian samples, 33-53 mg QE/g EEP), respectively. Correlation coefficient analysis showed that total polyphenol contents may be negatively correlated with 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl free radical scavenging activity (r = -0.872) and total flavonoid content has no correlation with the activity (r = 0.071). No direct correlation between BACE-1 inhibition, AChE inhibition, or antiproliferative activity and total polyphenol or total flavonoid content in Korean EEP samples was found. Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria were observed to have different degrees of antimicrobial susceptibility to the EEP samples examined, although ciprofloxacin susceptibility among the bacterial groups did not differ greatly.


Further studies will warrant possible applications of propolis as potential therapeutic BACE-1 blocker, antioxidant, antiproliferative agent, and antimicrobial agent.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Radioactivity in Honey of the Central Italy

Food Chem. 2016 Jul 1;202:349-55

Natural radionuclides and (137)Cs in twenty seven honeys produced in a region of the Central Italy were determined by alpha ((235)U, (238)U, (210)Po, (232)Th and (228)Th) and gamma spectrometry ((137)Cs, (40)K, (226)Ra and (228)Ra).

The study was carried out in order to estimate the background levels of natural ((40)K, (238)U and (232)Th and their progeny) and artificial radionuclides ((137)Cs) in various honey samples, as well as to compile a data base for radioactivity levels in that region. (40)K showed a mean activity of 28.1±23.0Bqkg(-1) with a range of 7.28-101Bqkg(-1). The mean of (210)Po activity resulted 0.40±0.46Bqkg(-1) with a range of 0.03-1.98Bqkg(-1). The mean of (238)U activity resulted 0.020±0.010Bqkg(-1). (226)Ra and (228)Ra resulted always <0 .34="" 0.002-5.13="" account="" adults="" all="" always="" and="" children="" committed="" doses="" due="" effective="" exposure="" for="" from="" h="" honey="" in="" infants="" ingestion="" italy.="" natural="" nbsp="" o="" of="" p="" qkg="" radiation="" respectively="" resulted="" s="" samples.="" the="" to="" were="">
The honeys produced in Central Italy were of good quality in relation to the studied parameters, confirming the general image of a genuine and healthy food associated to this traditional products.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Honey Flavone May Help Prevent Cancer

Chemopreventive effect of chrysin, a dietary flavone against benzo(a)pyrene induced lung carcinogenesis in Swiss albino mice

Pharmacol Rep. 2016 Apr;68(2):310-318


Chemoprevention is considered as one of the most promising and realistic approaches in the prevention of lung cancer. Chrysin, a naturally occurring dietary flavone widely found in Passiflora family of plants and honey, has been studied extensively for its chemopreventive properties. The objective of present study is to divulge the chemopreventive role of chrysin against benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P] induced lung carcinogenesis in Swiss albino mice.


B(a)P was administered orally (50mg/kg body weight) twice a week for four weeks to induce lung cancer in mice. The body weight, lung weight, tumor incidence, lipid peroxidation, carcinoembryonic antigen, enzymatic antioxidants (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase) and non-enzymatic antioxidants (reduced glutathione, vitamin E and vitamin C) were estimated. Further, histopathological analysis of lung tissue and western blotting analysis of PCNA, COX-2 and NF-κB were also carried out.


Administration of B(a)P resulted in increased lipid peroxides and carcinoembryonic antigen with concomitant decrease in the levels of both enzymatic antioxidants and non-enzymatic antioxidants. Chrysin treatment (250mg/kg body weight) significantly attenuated all these changes thereby showing potent anti lung cancer effect. Further, the anticancer effect of chrysin was confirmed by histopathology of lungs, and immunoblotting analysis of PCNA, COX-2 and NF-κB, where chrysin supplementation downregulated the expression of these proteins and maintained cellular homeostasis.


Overall, these findings confirm the chemopreventive potential of chrysin against B(a)P induced lung cancer in Swiss albino mice.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Production of Methylglyoxal in New Zealand Manuka Honey Studied

Kinetics of conversion of dihydroxyacetone to methylglyoxal in New Zealand mānuka honey: Part I - Honey systems

Food Chem. 2016 Jul 1;202:484-91

The kinetics of conversion of dihydroxyacetone (DHA) to methylglyoxal (MGO) were investigated in mānuka honeys and DHA-doped clover honeys stored between 4 and 37°C. Both the disappearance of DHA and appearance of MGO were confirmed as overall, first order reactions, albeit probably composites of multiple reactions.

Increasing the storage temperature accelerated the rate of DHA loss and the initial rate of formation of MGO, but better conversion efficiency was observed at lower temperature. At 37°C, more MGO was lost at later times in mānuka honey compared to DHA-doped-clover honey. Thirty-seven New Zealand mānuka honeys and four clover honeys were analysed for various chemical and physical properties; comparison of rate constants and these parameters identified some positive correlations.