Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bee Product Stops Renal Disease Failure in Diabetics

Propolis, honey and other products from honey bees will contain common ingredients - when bees find good food, they stick with it. This flavonoid is most prevelant in propolis, followed by honey and occasionally in pollen and beeswax.. There are other studies that confirm the benefits of propolis and honey for diabetics.

Chrysin, an anti-inflammatory molecule, abrogates renal dysfunction in type 2 diabetic rats
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
J Tox Pharm, 2014 Aug

ABSTRACT

Highlights:
• Chrysin reduced renal oxidative stress and inflammation in diabetic rats.
• Chrysin reduced serum levels of pro-inflammatory in diabetic rats.
• Chrysin exhibited renal protective effect by suppressing the TNF-α pathway.

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 16 weeks 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.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Honey Improves Frozen Sperm Perfomance

Studies have already proven honey to be an effective medium for human tissue but this study confirms that it not only improves human sperm performance of infertile patients but also protects them after a deep freeze of 6 months!

Honey Supplementation to Semen-Freezing Medium Improves Human Sperm Parameters Post-Thawing

OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate the effect of honey supplemented to cryoprotectant medium on post-thaw sperm motility, concentration, morphology and agglutination.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
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:
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.

CONCLUSION:
The results of this study indicated that the supplementation of honey (10%) to cryoprotectant solution results in enhancement of sperm quality post-thawing.


Friday, July 4, 2014

Ethiopian Propolis Contains Unique Bio-active Compounds

The growing interest in propolis is generating numerous studies validating the importance of its unique composition. Though a majority of the compounds are consistently found in propolis worldwide, environmental sources play an essential role. This study discovered a unique compound - triterpenoids - due to the abundance of Acacia waxes and gums in the region. 

Characteristics and chemical compositions of propolis from Ethiopia
J Springer Plus; 2014 May

Introduction
Propolis is a sticky material mixed by honeybees to utilize it in protecting their hives from infection by bacteria and fungi. The therapeutic properties of propolis are due to its chemical composition with bio-active compounds; therefore, researchers are interested in studying its chemical constituents and biological properties. The main objective of this study is to determine the chemical compositions, characteristics and relative concentrations of organic compounds in the extractable organic matter of propolis samples collected from four different areas in Ethiopia.

Results
The propolis samples were extracted with a mixture of dichloromethane and methanol and analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS).The results showed that the total extract yields ranged from 27.2% to 64.2% (46.7 ± 19.1%). The major compounds were triterpenoids (85.5 ± 15.0% of the total extracts, mainly α-, β-amyrins and amyryl acetates), n-alkanes (5.8 ± 7.5%), n-alkenes (6.2 ± 7.0%,), methyl n-alkanoates (0.4 ± 0.2%), and long chain wax esters (0.3 to 2.1%).

Conclusion
The chemical compositions of these propolis samples indicate that they are potential sources of natural bio-active compounds for biological and pharmacological applications.

Click here to download the complete study.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Bee Venom, Acupuncture Prove Promising for Parkinson's Disease Patients

Bee venom, a powerful product from honey bees contains many components with incredible potential. This study reinforces recent studies which found bee venom therapy positive for treating Parkinsons, as well as other conditions, such as ALS and Alzheimer's Disease. 

Bee Venom Acupuncture Shows Promise in Parkinson's Disease
Medscape, 2014, June


Stockholm, Sweden — Both acupuncture and bee venom acupuncture showed promising results in improving symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease in a new small study.

The study was presented at the recent International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) 18th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.

Senor author of the study, Seong-Uk Park, MD, Stroke and Neurological Disorders Center, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Gangdong, Seoul, Korea, explained to Medscape Medical News that studies suggest acupuncture might be beneficial in Parkinson's disease by increasing the efflux and turnover of dopamine. It has also been suggested to enhance the benefits of L-dopa and alleviate the adverse effects.

Commenting on the results, Louis Tan, MD, National Neuroscience Institute in Singapore, who was not involved in the study, said, "The results showed significant improvement of movement outcomes with acupuncture and bee venom acupuncture. These results are important as it has been found that up to 70% of patients in some countries use complementary therapies for the management of Parkinson's disease."

In the study 43 patients with Parkinson's disease were randomly assigned into 3 groups: acupuncture, bee venom acupuncture, or control. Acupuncture involved insertion of needles into 10 acupuncture points at a depth of 1.0 to 1.5 cm. Needles were rotated at 2 Hz for 10 seconds and the position was maintained for 20 minutes. The treatment was repeated twice a week for 8 weeks.

During the trial, 14 patients were excluded, leaving 35 patients (13 in the acupuncture group, 13 in the bee venom acupuncture group, and 9 in the control group) for analysis. Baseline characteristics did not significantly differ between groups.

Participants in the bee venom acupuncture group showed significant improvement on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) (total score, as well as parts II and III individually), the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), and the 30-meter walking time.

In the acupuncture group, the UPDRS (part III and total scores) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) improved significantly. The control group showed no significant changes in any outcome after 8 weeks.

No serious adverse events from the bee venom or acupuncture treatments occurred. One patient in the bee venom group reported itchiness.

Dr. Park acknowledged that because of the small number of patients in this study, no definite conclusion can be drawn, but he believes the results are still promising. He added that a second trial is now underway, and is expected to be completed later this year.…


Monday, June 23, 2014

Propolis Compounds Reprogram Cell Death in Colon Cancer

This finding is consistent with other studies worldwide, confirming the anti-cancer properties of propolis. In this case, they've identified 3 compounds (of the 300 found in propolis) which triggers cell death in human colon cancer cells. The phytochemicals are derivatives of cinnamic acid - Artepelin C, Baccharin & Drupanin.

Propolis cinnamic acid derivatives induce apoptosis through both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis signaling pathways and modulate of miRNA expression
J Phytomedicine, 2014 July

Abstract:
Propolis cinnamic acid derivatives have a number of biological activities including anti-oxidant and anti-cancer ones. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the mechanism of the anti-cancer activity of 3 representative propolis cinnamic acid derivatives, i.e., Artepilin C, Baccharin and Drupanin in human colon cancer cell lines. 

Our study demonstrated that these compounds had a potent apoptosis-inductive effect even on drug-resistant colon cancer cells. Combination treatment of human colon cancer DLD-1 cells with 2 of these compounds, each at its IC20 concentration, induced apoptosis by stimulating both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis signaling pathways. Especially, Baccharin plus Drupanin exhibited a synergistic growth-inhibitory effect by strengthening both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic signaling transduction through
TRAIL/DR4/5 and/or FasL/Fas death-signaling loops and by increasing the expression level of miR-143, resulting in decreased expression levels of the target gene MAPK/Erk5 and its downstream target c-Myc

These data suggest that the supplemental intake of these compounds found in propolis has enormous significance with respect to cancer prevention.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Thyme Honey Suppresses Prostate Cancer Cells

Monofloral honeys are undergoing numerous studies, as researchers determine the importance of their phytonutrients. Honey in general has similar properties, but the phytochemical component in Thyme honey is now identified to deliver that extra punch in the healing process.

A monoterpene, unique component of thyme honeys, induces apoptosis in prostate cancer cells via inhibition of NF-κB activity and IL-6 secretion

Phytomedicine, 2014 Jun 2

We have previously demonstrated that Greek thyme honey inhibits significantly the cell viability of human prostate cancer cells. Herein, 15 thyme honey samples from several regions of Greece were submitted to phytochemical analysis for the isolation, identification and determination (through modern spectral means) of the unique thyme honey monoterpene, the compound trihydroxy ketone E-4-(1,2,4-trihydroxy-2,6,6-trimethylcyclohexyl)-but-3-en-2-one.

We investigated the anti-growth and apoptotic effects of the trihydroxy ketone on PC-3 human androgen independent prostate cancer cells using MTT assay and Annexin V-FITC respectively. The molecular pathways involved to such effects were further examined by evaluating its ability to inhibit (a) the NF-κB phosphorylation (S536), (b) JNK and Akt phosphorylation (Thr183/Tyr185 and S473 respectively) and (c) IL-6 production, using ELISA method. The anti-microbial effects of the trihydroxy ketone against a panel of nine pathogenic bacteria and three fungi were also assessed.
lab analysis included with each jar
The trihydroxy ketone exerted significant apoptotic activity in PC-3 prostate cancer cells at 100μM, while it inhibited NF-κB phosphorylation and IL-6 secretion at a concentration range 10-6-10-4M. Akt and JNK signaling were not found to participate in this process. The trihydroxy ketone exerted significant anti-microbial profile against many human pathogenic bacteria and fungi (MIC values ranged from 0.04 to 0.57mg/ml).


Conclusively, the Greek thyme honey-derived monoterpene exerted significant apoptotic activity in PC-3 cells, mediated, at least in part, through reduction of NF-κB activity and IL-6 secretion and may play a key role in the anti-growth effect of thyme honey on prostate cancer cells.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Spatial Memory Improved with Royal Jelly Consumption

This exciting study reinforces previous studies with humans, which found other positive results from consuming royal jelly, even in shorter duration. These findings are very important for those concerned with Alzheimer's and other age-related diseases. The message is clear - consume royal jelly, it's a brain booster!

Long-term administration of Greek royal jelly improves spatial memory and influences the concentration of brain neurotransmitters in naturally aged wistar male rats

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:
Royal Jelly (RJ) is a bee-derived product that has been traditionally used in the European and Asian systems of medicine for longevity. RJ has various pharmacological activities that may prevent aging e.g., anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-hypercholesterolemic and anti-hyperglycemic properties.

AIM OF THE STUDY:
To evaluate the behavioral and neurochemical effects of long-term oral, previously chemically analyzed, Greek RJ administration to aged rats.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
RJ powder was given to 18-month old male Wistar rats (50 and 100mg of powder/kg b.w./day) by gastric gavage for 2 months. The spatial memory was assessed in the water maze and next the level of neurotransmitters, their metabolites and utilization in the selected brain regions were estimated.

RESULTS:
The improvement of memory in rats pretreated with the smaller dose of RJ was observed compared with controls. In biochemical examination mainly the depletion of dopamine and serotonin in the prefrontal cortex along with an increase in their metabolite concentration and turnover were seen.

CONCLUSION:

Better cognitive performance in the old animals using a non-toxic, natural food product in the view of the process of the aging of human population is noteworthy. Our results contribute towards validation of the traditional use of RJ in promoting a better quality of life in old age.