Saturday, December 31, 2011

Propolis Boosts Wound Healing

The protective power of propolis instantly boosts wound healing capacities, boosts the immune system and delivers antioxidant, anti-viral, antibacterial properties due to its naturally-occurring bioflavonoid compounds. 

Propolis Anti-Inflammatory Action Boosts Wound Healing Effect of Propolis on Mast Cells in Wound Healing

Wound healing is divided into three phases: inflammatory, proliferative and remodeling. Mast cells participate in all these phases.

The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of propolis on the population of mast cells in oral surgical wounds in comparison to the results obtained with dexamethasone. This study was prospective, in vivo, randomized, semiexperimental, quantitative and comparative animal.

A circular surgical wound was made on the dorsum of the tongue of 90 hamsters divided into three experimental groups: topical application of 30% propolis alcoholic extract (Group 1); 0.1% dexamethasone in orabase cream (Group 2); and orabase cream alone (Group 3). Applications were performed every 12 h throughout the experiment. The postoperative times for killing of the animals were 1, 3, 7, 14 and 28 days. 

The Student's t test for independent samples was employed in the statistical analysis.
In the inflammatory phase of healing, propolis caused a greater reduction in the number of mast cells on the edge and in the central region of the surgical wound in comparison to dexamethasone. Moreover, the number of mast cells on day 1 was lower in the central region of the wounds treated with the orabase cream alone in comparison to dexamethasone.

In conclusion, the anti-inflammatory action of propolis mediated by mast cells was more effective than dexamethasone in the inflammatory phase of healing.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Royal Jelly Anti-Tumor Effect Studied

Royal Jelly posseses very important components. One in particular, the amazing 10H2DA, is currently being studied to stop cancer cells from growing, modulate Estrogen and treat Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). The natural wonders of the beehive, known as Apitherapy, have real therapeutic value.

Inhibition of Interferon-γ-Induced Nitric Oxide Production by 10-Hydroxy-Trans-2-Decenoic Acid Through Inhibition of Interferon Regulatory Factor-8 Induction

10-Hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid (10H2DA) is a major lipid component of royal jelly, a honey bee secretion used to nourish the queen bee and young larvae.

In this study, we examined the effect of 10H2DA on interferon (IFN)-γ-induced nitric oxide (NO) production. IFN-γ-induced NO production and activation of the inducible NO synthase promoter were significantly inhibited by 10H2DA. IFN-γ-induced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 was not affected by 10H2DA. In contrast, IFN-γ-induced tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α production and nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation were inhibited by 10H2DA. IFN-γ-mediated induction of interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-8, but not IRF-1, was also inhibited by 10H2DA. IFN-γ-induced TNF-α production followed by activation of NF-κB is known to be essential for NO production.

Together, 10H2DA inhibited IFN-γ-induced NO production by inhibiting IRF-8 induction and TNF-α production. 10H2DA might modulate IFN-γ-mediated cellular responses by inhibiting the induction of IRF-8 and IRF-8-dependent genes.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Propolis Demonstrates Anti-Parasitic Capacity

Though Sandflies may not be a problem for some, one bite can induce Leishmaniasis, a potentially fatal disease, as stated in Wikipedia. Fortunately, researchers are exploring the anti-parasitic properties of Propolis, yet another of it's amazing qualities. Thanks to Apitherapy, these discoveries are essentiel for emerging nations lacking in medicinal or financial solutions.

The Effect of Propolis on CCL5 and IFN-γ Expression by Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Leishmaniasis Patients

Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis is associated with a strong Th1 immune response to Leishmania, which modulates chemokines and their receptors expression, affecting their migratory capacity. There are no antileishmanial vaccines available and chemotherapy still relies on the potentially toxic pentavalent antimonials.

Propolis is a bee product with immunomodulatory and antiparasite activities, and researchers have been attracted to its potential for the development of new drugs.

This work investigated the effects of propolis on CCL5 and IFN-γ expression by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in order to evaluate a possible immunomodulatory action of propolis in patients with leishmaniasis compared to healthy control subjects.

PBMC were incubated in the absence or presence of propolis and the evaluation of a possible cytotoxicity of propolis was carried out using MTT assay. The expression level of CCL5 and IFN-γ was determined by real-time PCR.

Key Findings
Our data indicated that propolis modulates the immune response of leishmaniasis patients in vitro, affecting CCL5 and IFN-γ expression by PBMC.

Data suggested that propolis drives an anti-inflammatory response depending on concentration. Although propolis is a potential source of new and selective drugs for the treatment of leishmaniasis, its usefulness in the therapeutics should be further investigated.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Propolis Exhibits Cytotoxic Effect on Cervical Tumor Cells

Propolis always thrives in protecting the mucuous linings of the body from bacteria, viruses, fungi, inflammation and even tumor cell growth...

Chemical composition of the ethanolic propolis extracts and its effect on HeLa cells.

Propolis is a resinous hive product collected by honeybees from various plant sources. It is widely used in traditional medicine and is reported to have a broad spectrum of pharmacological effects (antibacterial, antihepatoxic, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, etc.). Thus the aim of this study was to assess cytotoxic effect of various ethanol propolis extractions on the cervical tumor cell line (HeLa) and compare it with their phenolic acids and flavonoids composition.

Twenty samples of raw propolis were collected from 17 localities of Croatia (I-XVII), 2 of Bosnia and Hercegovina (XVIII, XIX) and 1 of Macedonia (XX). Reverse phase HPLC was used to determine the chemical composition of polyphenols. Biological experiments were carried out in vitro on cervix adenocarcinoma cell line (HeLa).

Phenolic acids (ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid, caffeic acid) and flavonoids (tectochrysin, galangin, pinocembrin, pinocembrin-7-methylether, chrysin, apigenin, kaempferol, quercetin) have been determined using HPLC analysis in 20 ethanolic propolis extracts. All samples contain tectochrysin in ranges of 0.1988 mg/g (XVIII) to 1.2004 mg/g (III), while caffeic acid and quercetin have not been found. Flavonoid that is most abundant is galangin in ranges from 0.3706 mg/g (XVII) to 47.4879 mg/g (IX). The samples of propolis numbers I, VI and X applied in the investigated concentration range manifested significant reduction of cell growth. GI₅₀ value as indicator of cytotoxicity among propolis samples showed that propolis number VII is the most effective (GI₅₀=76 μg/ml) followed by propolis nos. XV, XVIII and I.

Antiproliferative and cytotoxic effect of propolis on the HeLa cells is not correlating with the concentration of particular components but on establishing the possible synergistic antiproliferative activity of individual phenolic acid and flavonoids. Differences in the chemical composition lead to diversity in biological activity of propolis samples.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mexican Honeys Prove Antioxidant, Antibacterial Action

It's reassuring to see Mexican researchers contributing to the body of science confirming the antibacterial and antioxidant properties in honey. Nutritionally speaking, I've often found Mexican Honey to be very flavorful, aromatic and with lots of tropical notes.  

Quality Parameters and Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties of Some Mexican Honeys
J Food Science, 2011 Dec 2

A total of 14 Mexican honeys were screened for quality parameters including color, moisture, proline, and acidity. Antioxidant properties of complete honey and its methanolic extracts were evaluated by the DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP assays. In addition, the antimicrobial activity of complete honeys against Bacillus cereus ATCC 10876, Listeria monocytogenes Scott A, Salmonella Typhimurium ATCC 14028, and Sthapylococcus aureus ATCC 6538 was determined.

Most of honeys analyzed showed values within quality parameters established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2001. Eucalyptus flower honey and orange blossom honey showed the highest phenolic contents and antioxidant capacity. Bell flower, orange blossom, and eucalyptus flower honeys inhibited the growth of the 4 evaluated microorganisms. The remaining honeys affected at least 1 of the estimated growth parameters (increased lag phase, decreased growth rate, and/or maximum population density). Microorganism sensitivity to the antimicrobial activity of honeys followed the order B. cereus; L. monocytogenes; Salmonella Typhimurium; S. aureus.

The monofloral honey samples from orange blossoms, and eucalyptus flowers demonstrated to be good sources of antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds. All the Mexican honey samples examined proved to be good sources of antioxidants and antimicrobial agents that might serve to maintain health and protect against several diseases

Practical Application
The results of the study showed that Mexican honeys display good quality parameters and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Mexican honey can be used as an additive in the food industry to increase the nutraceutical value of products.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Honey Recommended by Dr Weil

Though it's a good thing Dr. Weil recommends eating honey, it's about time! Apparently someone hasn't seen the latest research. There's no question it's better than refined sugar and artificial sweeteners simply due to its rich mineral content. Besides it's nutritional value, the therapeutic factors are even greater... 

Is Honey Healthier than Sugar?

Dr. Weil's Daily Tip, 2011, Dec

If you are trying to reduce your intake of refined sugar, honey is one alternative. Honey has some health benefits over sugar, as it:

  • Is sweeter than refined sugar, so you can use less.
  • Contains trace enzymes; minerals, including calcium, magnesium and potassium; amino acids; and vitamins, including a wide range of B vitamins such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine.

Raw honey may even help promote wound healing - research indicates it can be an excellent first aid measure when applied topically to burns, even very severe ones. (Don't treat a serious wound with the honey you get at the supermarket or health food store - you need a medicinal honey and someone with expertise to treat you.) 

But honey also has its drawbacks. Its sticky consistency contributes to cavity formation, and can be worse for the teeth than refined sugar. Honey also should never be given to infants under one year of age, as it may contain bacterial spores that can cause infant botulism, a rare but serious disease that affects the nervous system. While honey may not be much healthier than sugar, if you like it I recommend buying raw honey, which is tastier and has a better texture than heated and processed commercial honey.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Menopausal Syndrome

Hormonal influences from Royal Jelly are consistently showing up in studies with women and men. And it's frequently found to provide regulatory action -- auto-pilot to the rescue with an apiphytotherapy blend. 

Effectiveness of a Herbal Formula in Women with Menopausal Syndrome

Lady 4 is a combination of 4 natural components (evening primrose oil, damiana, ginseng, royal jelly) with a known history of traditional use for menopausal symptoms.

To study efficacy and safety of Lady 4 in women suffering from menopausal syndrome.

120 women with menopausal symptoms were randomised into an experimental group treated with 2 capsules of Lady 4 daily and a control group treated with placebo. The outcome was measured by the Menopause Rating Scale II (MRS-II).

There was a statistically significant improvement in the MRS-II score in both groups after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment, but the improvement was significantly better in the Lady 4 group. 86.7% in the Lady 4 group and 56.7% in the placebo group rated the therapy success as 'much improved' or 'very much improved'.

Lady 4 may be beneficial in the treatment of menopausal syndrome and can be used as a safe natural promoter of health and well-being in women during the menopausal transition.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Propolis Extract May Prevent Prostate Cancer

The anti-inflammatory action of Propolis is incredibly effective. You'll find it improving respiratory ailments, stimulating immune systems and Propolis is incredible. You'll find it improving respiratory ailments, stimulating immune systems and eliminating viruses or fungi. It can be safely applied to any part of the body of mammals, amphibians and reptiles. Best of all, it's truly a complementary addition to any protocol...  

Effect of Turkish Propolis Extracts on Proteome of Prostate Cancer Cell Line

Proteome Science 2011, Published: 2011, 7-December

Propolis is a natural, resinous hive product that has several pharmacological activities. Its composition varies depending on the vegetation, climate, season and environmental conditions of the area from where it was collected. Surface enhanced laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF MS) is a proteomic approach which has been used in cancer proteomics studies. Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in men. It has shown that nutritional supplements rich in polyphenolic compounds such as propolis play a significant role in prostate cancer chemoprevention. The aim of this study is to evaluate if protein expression profile in PC-3 prostate cancer cell lines could be differentiated when incubated with dimethyl sulfoxide and water extracts of Turkish propolis.

The antioxidant potentials of dimethyl sulfoxide and water extracts of propolis were found in correlation with the amount of total phenolic compounds of them. Dimethyl sulfoxide and water extracts of propolis of 20 ug/mL reduced the cell viability to 24.5% and 17.7 %, respectively. Statistically significant discriminatory peaks between control PC-3 cells and dimethyl sulfoxide extract of propolis-treated PC-3 cells were found to be the proteomic features at m/z 5143, 8703, 12661, 20184 and 32794, detected by CM10 ProteinChip, and the peak at m/z 3772, detected by Q10 ProteinChip. Between control PC-3 cells and water extract of propolis-treated PC-3 cells, statistically significant discriminatory peaks were found to be the proteomic features at m/z 15846, 16052 and 24658, detected by CM10 ProteinChip and the peaks at m/z 10348, 10899 and 11603, detected by Q10 ProteinChip.

It was concluded that dimethyl sulfoxide and water extracts of Turkish propolis may have anti-proliferative activity through differentiating protein expression profile in PC-3 prostate cancer cell lines along with their antioxidant capacity.

Friday, December 9, 2011

MS Gets Stung by Bee Venom Therapy

There are numerous studies being conducted worldwide on Bee Venom Therapy (BVT) for its therapeutic effects, ranging from Alzheimer's Disease and Arthritis to Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease. To better understand BVT,  it's best to contact an Apitherapy association. Visit for a global listing.

Multiple Sclerosis with Bee Venom Therapy, 2011, Dec
Bee Venom therapy, sometimes called Bee Sting therapy, is a form of Apitherapy that may be a helpful treatment for those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is characterized by destruction of the myelin protective sheath that covers the spinal cord and nerves. While it is not clear why MS occurs, some believe it is an auto immune problem in which the immune system starts attacking the central nervous system. The tears, rips, and open spots in the covering of the nerves can “short circuit” the electrical signals that the brain and body use to communicate with one another.

Those who have MS suffer from symptoms that include hot flashes, dizziness, and incoordination. MS is a degenerative disease, meaning it progressively gets worse. There is currently no cure for MS. There are several medications that may help with some of the symptoms, but they have side effects.  One of the treatments for MS, making a comeback from ancient Egyptian times, is bee venom therapy.

Why does bee venom help those with MS?

Bee venom therapy uses live honey bees for the benefits of their stingers. Some patients with MS who use bee venom therapy have noted decreased pain, increased coordination, and increased muscle strength.

So why would a bee sting help those with MS? Scientists believe it is because of two main ingredients in bee venom—adolapin and melittin. These compounds may reduce the pain and inflammation associated with MS. Bee venom therapy as a whole is thought to encourage the human body to release natural healing defenses to protect itself from the sting. These chemicals may heal other ailments in the body.

Pat Wagner, also known as “The Bee Lady” was diagnosed with MS at age 19. She claims on her website that bee venom therapy is the best treatment for MS. After receiving her initial bee stings, her hearing improved as well as her internal thermostat. She no longer felt chills, and she started moving around without her wheel chair. Her husband was so encouraged with her development that he bought a bee hive. She still uses bee venom therapy to this day.

Is there research on bee venom therapy and MS?

Currently there is very limited research that has been conclusive on bee venom therapy. The information about bee venom therapy being used for any form of treatment comes from case studies. There are reportedly thousands of patients using bee venom therapy as an alternative to medications typically taken for the treatment of MS.

Georgetown University just began a research project for bee venom therapy, funded by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. This study will be conducted for one year and will serve as the first of many research studies performed on the hypothesis of bee venom therapy for those with MS.

Bee Venom therapy Precautions

Some people are highly allergic to bee stings. The allergic reaction can result in anaphylactic shock and can result in death. Do not try to use bee venom if you are not sure if you are allergic to bee stings. Bee sting allergies, like all allergies, may develop over time. Just because you were not allergic at one time does not mean you are currently not allergic to bee stings. There are 10,000 health care professionals that specialize in bee venom therapy. Please consult one of these individuals before attempting bee sting therapy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Propolis and Cranberries Prevent Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Propolis proves its worth, once  again as an ideal complementary therapy against resistant strains of bacteria. With the restorative effectiveness of Propolis in the mucous linings of the body and coupled with Cranberry PACs, this study also reveals how Propolis enhances the effects of other treatment protocols.

Propolis Can Potentialise the Anti-Adhesion Activity of proanthocyanidins on Uropathogenic Escherichia coli in the Prevention of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

BMC Research Notes, 2011, Nov 29

Escherichia coli, the main bacteria found in recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI), is now frequently resistant to several currently used antibiotic treatments making new solutions essential. In this study, we evaluated the association of propolis and proanthocyanidins type A to reduce bacterial anti-adhesion activity of E. coli on urothelial cells.

This first double-blind, randomized, cross-over human trial included 5 volunteers that followed 6 different regimens with or without variable doses of cranberry and propolis with a washout period of at least 1 week between each regimen. Urine samples were collected at 0 h, 4-6 h, 12 h and 24 h after cranberry plus propolis or placebo capsule consumption. In vivo urinary bacterial anti-adhesion activity was assessed with a bioassay (a human T24 epithelial cell-line assay) and an in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans model. HPLC-PDA-MS was used to detect propolis and cranberry compounds in urine.

Bioassays indicated significant bacterial anti-adhesion activity in urine collected from volunteers who had consumed cranberry plus propolis powder compared to placebo (p < 0.001). This inhibition was clearly dose-dependent, increasing with the amount of PACs and propolis equivalents consumed in each regimen.

Results suggested that propolis had an additional effect with PACs and prevent a bacterial anti-adhesion effect over 1 day. An in vivo model showed that the E. coli strain presented a reduced ability to kill C. elegans after their growth in urine samples of patients who took cranberry plus propolis capsules. HPLC confirmed that propolis is excreted in urine.

This study presents an alternative to prevent recurrent UTI. Administration of PACs plus propolis once daily offers some protection against bacterial adhesion, bacterial multiplication and virulence in the urinary tract, representing an interesting new strategy to prevent recurrent UTI.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Propolis Alleviates Oxidative Stress from Carcinogens

Possessing anti-tumor, anti-carcinogenic properties, Propolis can help humans, mammals and even aquatic animals! Wikipedia states, "...chromium is recognized as a human carcinogen... exposure known to occur among workers who handle chromate-containing products as well as those who perform welding, grinding or brazing on stainless steel"...

Antioxidant Effect of Propolis Against Exposure to Chromium in Cyprinus carpio

The aim of the present study was to investigate the ameliorative properties of propolis against the toxic effects of chromium (VI) by examining oxidative damage markers such as lipid peroxidation and the antioxidant defence system components in carp (Cyprinus carpio).

The fish were exposed to sublethal concentrations of chromium. Propolis was simultaneously administered to chromium-exposed fish. Treatment was continued for 28 days, and at the end of this period, blood and tissue (liver, kidney, spleen, and gill) samples were collected. Levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and reduced glutathione (GSH) as well as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities were determined in blood and tissues for measurement of oxidant-antioxidant status.

The levels of MDA, as an index of lipid peroxidation, increased in blood and tissues. Antioxidant enzyme activities in blood and tissues were modified in chromium groups compared to controls. Simultaneous administration of propolis ameliorated these parameters.

The present results suggest that administration of propolis might alleviate chromium-induced oxidative stress.

Royal Jelly Possesses Skin-Whitening, Therapeutic Properties

perhaps a correlation between the naturally, occuring Pantothenic Acid in Royal Jelly and its affect on skin cell development...

Royal Jelly Reduces Melanin Synthesis Through Down-Regulation of Tyrosinase Expression

For cosmetic reasons, the demand for effective and safe skin-whitening agents is high. Since the key enzyme in the melanin synthetic pathway is tyrosinase, many depigmenting agents in the treatment of hyperpigmentation act as tyrosinase inhibitors.

In this study, we have investigated the hypo-pigmentary mechanism of royal jelly in a mouse melanocyte cell line, B16F1. Treatment of B16F1 cells with royal jelly markedly inhibited melanin biosynthesis in a dose-dependent manner. Decreased melanin content occurred through the decrease of tyrosinase activity. The mRNA levels of tyrosinase were also reduced by royal jelly.

These results suggest that royal jelly reduces melanin synthesis by down-regulation of tyrosinase mRNA transcription and serves as a new candidate in the design of new skin-whitening or therapeutic agents...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Honey Recommended over Sugar for Type 1 Diabetic Patients

Anectdotally accepted for years, now encouraging confirmation that honey is better than sugar -  even for diabetics...

Honey and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Source: Type 1 Diabetes - Complications, Pathogenesis, and Alternative Treatments
InTech Open, November 2011 

Aim of the Study
The aim of this work was to compare the effects of honey, sucrose and glucose on plasma glucose and C-peptide levels in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is by far the most common metabolic and endocrinal disease in children (Peters & Schriger, 1997). The major dietary component responsible for fluctuations in blood glucose levels is carbohydrate. The amount, source (Jenkins et al., 1981; Gannon et al., 1989) and type (Brand et al., 1985) of carbohydrate appear to have profound influence on postprandial glucose levels. The chronic hyperglycemia of diabetes is associated with long-term damage, dysfunction and failure of various organs especially the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels (American Diabetes Association, 2001)...

Honey is the substance made when the nectar and sweet deposits from plants are gathered, modified and stored in the honeycomb by honey bees. It is composed primarily of the sugars glucose and fructose; its third greatest component is water. Honey also contains numerous other types of sugars, as well as acids, proteins and minerals (White et al., 1962; White, 1980; White, 1975). The water content of honey ranges between 15 to 20% (average 17.2%). Glucose and fructose, the major constituents of honey, account for about 85% of the honey solids...

C-peptide is considered to be a good marker of insulin secretion and has no biologic activity of its own (Ido et al., 1997). Measurement of C-peptide, however, provides a fully validated means of quantifying endogenous insulin secretion. C-peptide is co-secreted with insulin by the pancreatic cells as a by-product of the enzymatic cleavage of proinsulin to insulin. Consequently, serum C-peptide level can be used as a true indicator of any change in the insulin level, which is the main determinant of plasma glucose level... 

Conclusions and recommendations
1. Honey has a lower glycemic and peak incremental indices compared to glucose and sucrose in both type 1 diabetic patients and non-diabetics. Therefore, we recommend using honey as a sugar substitute in type 1 diabetic patients.

2. In spite of its significantly lower glycemic and peak incremental indices, honey caused significant post-prandial rise of plasma C-peptide levels when compared to glucose and sucrose in non-diabetics; indicating that honey may have a direct stimulatory effect on the healthy beta cells of pancreas. On the other hand, C-peptide levels were not significantly elevated after honey ingestion when compared with either glucose or sucrose in type 1 diabetic patients. Whether or not ingestion of honey in larger doses or/and for an extended period of time would have a significant positive effect on the diseased beta cells, needs further studies.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Honey: The 'Bee Penicillin' That Could Even Beat MRSA

a well-researched author with concise references to the latest discoveries of the benefits of honey...

Honey: The 'Bee Penicillin' That Could Even Beat MRSA
By Gloria Havenhand, Daily Mail (UK), 11/19/2011

It is often hailed as a natural, healthy sweetener – but in most cases, honey bought from supermarkets today is simply sugar syrup with no nutritional value at all. To reap the true benefits of what was dubbed ‘the food of the gods’ by the Ancient Greeks, you have to look for the raw variety.

Perfectly clear honey has usually undergone a process of ultrafiltration and pasteurisation, which involves heating and passing it through a fine mesh, to ensure it remains runny at any temperature. This strips away many of the unique chemicals and compounds that make it a nutritious and healing health food…

Raw honey is particularly high in polyphenols, an antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, lowering blood cholesterol and combating heart disease. The darkest varieties of honey include heather and hedgerow honey, which have a polyphenol content of 201mg per gram. In contrast, rapeseed oil honey, known in supermarkets as ‘blossom honey’, trails behind at just 71mg per gram.

The white ring of pollen on the top contains B vitamins, Vitamins C, D and E as well as minerals and 31 other antioxidants, although to get close to your recommended daily amounts of each nutrient you need a pollen supplement…

The University of Waikato in New Zealand found that when raw honey was applied to MRSA infected antibiotic-resistant wounds, they became sterile and healed so quickly that patients could leave hospital weeks earlier. Scarring was minimised because peeling back a dressing glazed in honey – as opposed to a dry bandage – did not disturb the new tissue underneath. If you suffer a minor wound or burn, glaze a bandage with raw honey and cover. Change the glazed bandage every 24 hours and any cuts or signs of infection should disappear within a week (if not, see a doctor).

While manuka honey – a variety produced using only nectar and pollen from the manuka bush in New Zealand – gets the majority of press for being antibacterial, a good-quality raw UK honey will also be powerfully antibacterial and can kill E.coli and MRSA…

Raw honey’s anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe chronic skin conditions. Cleopatra famously bathed in milk and honey because of their skin-softening qualities – honey is a natural emollient as it is humectant (it attracts water). Melting half a jar of raw honey into a warm bath will promote healing in patients suffering with skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, too. Mixed with olive oil, raw honey applied to the scalp is also a great tonic for those suffering with a seborrheic dermatitis (a flaky scalp condition).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bee Venom May Help Treat Parkinson's Disease

Clinical trials are currently ongoing in Parisian Hospitals using Bee Venom in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease... 

Bee Venom Protects SH-SY5Y Human Neuroblastoma Cells from 1-Methyl-4-Phenylpyridinium-Induced Apoptotic Cell Death
Brain Research, 2011 Oct 6

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Recently, bee venom was reported to protect dopaminergic neurons in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine induced mice PD model, however, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood.

The objective of the present study is to investigate the neuroprotective mechanism of bee venom against Parkinsonian toxin, 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridine (MPP(+)), in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells.

Our results revealed that bee venom pretreatment (1-100ng/ml) increased the cell viability and decreased apoptosis assessed by DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activity assays in MPP(+)-induced cytotoxicity in SH-SY5Y cells. Bee venom increased the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression and decreased the pro-apoptotic Bax, cleaved PARP expressions.

In addition, bee venom prevented the MPP(+)-induced suppression of Akt phosphorylation, and the neuroprotective effect of bee venom against MPP(+)-induced cytotoxicity was inhibited by a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, LY294002.

These results suggest that the anti-apoptotic effect of bee venom is mediated by the cell survival signaling, the PI3K/Akt pathway. These results provide new evidence for elucidating the mechanism of neuroprotection of bee venom against PD.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Potent Antibacterial Components of Honey Reviewed

Honeybees continue to perplex medical researchers with something as pure and natural as honey... 

Antibacterial Components of Honey
IUBMB Life, 2011 Nov 17

The antibacterial activity of honey has been known since the 19th century. Recently, the potent activity of honey against antibiotic-resistant bacteria has further increased the interest for application of honey, but incomplete knowledge of the antibacterial activity is a major obstacle for clinical applicability.

The high sugar concentration, hydrogen peroxide, and the low pH are well-known antibacterial factors in honey and more recently, methylglyoxal and the antimicrobial peptide bee defensin-1 were identified as important antibacterial compounds in honey.

The antibacterial activity of honey is highly complex due to the involvement of multiple compounds and due to the large variation in the concentrations of these compounds among honeys. The current review will elaborate on the antibacterial compounds in honey.

We discuss the activity of the individual compounds, their contribution to the complex antibacterial activity of honey, a novel approach to identify additional honey antibacterial compounds, and the implications of the novel developments for standardization of honey for medical applications...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Basque Propolis Has Strong Activity Against Microbial Strains

Exciting new results of propolis antimicrobial and antifungal action against Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Salmonella enterica ...

The Antimicrobial Effects of Propolis Collected in Different Regions in the Basque Country (Northern Spain)

The antimicrobial activity of 19 propolis extracts prepared in different solvents (ethanol and propylene glycol) (EEP/PEP), was evaluated against some bacterial and fungal isolates using the agar-well diffusion method.

It was verified that all the samples tested showed antimicrobial activity, although results varied considerably between samples. Results revealed that both types of propolis extracts showed highly sensitive antimicrobial action against Gram-positive bacteria and fungi at a concentration of 20% (Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisae) with a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 mg/ml, with a moderate effect against Streptococcus pyogenes (MIC from 17 to 26 mg/ml).

To our knowledge, this is the first study showing elevated antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative bacteria [Salmonella enterica (MIC from 0.6 to 1.4 mg/ml)] and lesser activity against Helicobacter pylori (MIC from 6 to 14 mg/ml), while Escherichia coli was resistant.

This concluded that the Basque propolis had a strong and dose-dependent activity against most of the microbial strains tested, while database comparison revealed that phenolic substances were responsible for this inhibition, regardless of their geographical origin and the solvent employed for extraction. Statistical analysis showed no significant differences between EEP and PEP extracts.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bee Venom May Help Target Symptoms of Dementia and Depression

Apimen is a primary bee venom toxin and with the many other components in bee venom, make it a very sought-after honeybee product, such as its anti-inflammatory action in anti-aging skin creams...

Scientists Discover How to Design Drugs That Could Target Particular Nerve Cells
HealthCanal, 11/10/2011

The future of drug design lies in developing therapies that can target specific cellular processes without causing adverse reactions in other areas of the nervous system.

Scientists at the Universities of Bristol and Liège in Belgium have discovered how to design drugs to target specific areas of the brain.

The research, led by Professor Neil Marrion at Bristol’s School of Physiology and Pharmacology and published in this week’s Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS), will enable the design of more effective drug compounds to enhance nerve activity in specific nerves…

The researchers have been using a natural toxin found in bee venom, called apamin, known for its ability to block different types of SK channel. SK channels enable a flow of potassium ions in and out of nerve cells that controls activity. The researchers have taken advantage of apamin being able to block one subtype of SK channel better than the others, to identify how three subtype SK channels [SK1-3] can be selectively blocked.

Neil Marrion, Professor of Neuroscience at the University, said: “The problem with developing drugs to target cellular processes has been that many cell types distributed throughout the body might all have the same ion channels. SK channels are also distributed throughout the brain, but it is becoming obvious that these channels might be made of more than one type of SK channel subunit. It is likely that different nerves have SK channels made from different subunits. This would mean that developing a drug to block a channel made of only one SK channel protein will not be therapeutically useful, but knowing that the channels are comprised of multiple SK subunits will be the key.”

The study’s findings have identified how SK channels are blocked by apamin and other ligands. Importantly, it shows how channels are folded to allow a drug to bind. This will enable drugs to be designed to block those SK channels that are made of more than one type of SK channel subunit, to target the symptoms of dementia and depression more effectively

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Propolis Shows Anti-Inflammatory Action in Intestines

As usual, Propolis proves its functionality in a mucuos environment with anti-inflammatory activity. I wonder if CAPE will also exhert its anti-tumor properties at the same time...

Catechols in Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester are Essential for Inhibition of TNF-Mediated IP-10 Expression Through NF-κB-Dependent But HO-1- and p38-Independent Mechanisms in Mouse Intestinal Epithelial Cells

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an active constituent of honeybee propolis inhibiting nuclear factor (NF)-κB. The aims of our study were to provide new data on the functional relevance and mechanisms underlying the role of CAPE in regulating inflammatory processes at the epithelial interface in the gut and to determine the structure/activity relationship of CAPE.

Methods and results: 
CAPE significantly inhibited TNF-induced IP-10 expression in intestinal epithelial cells. Using various analogues, we demonstrated that substitution of catechol hydroxyl groups and addition of one extra hydroxyl group on ring B reversed the functional activity of CAPE to inhibit IP-10 production. The anti-inflammatory potential of CAPE was confirmed in ileal tissue explants and embryonic fibroblasts derived from TNF(ΔARE/+) mice. Interestingly, CAPE inhibited both TNF- and LPS-induced IP-10 production in a dose-dependent manner, independently of p38 MAPK, HO-1 and Nrf2 signaling pathways.

We found that CAPE did not inhibit TNF-induced IκB phosphorylation/degradation or nuclear translocation of RelA/p65, but targeted downstream signaling events at the level of transcription factor recruitment to the gene promoter.

This study reveals the structure-activity effects and anti-inflammatory potential of CAPE in the intestinal epithelium.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honey Reduces Growth & Virulence of E. coli

Honey has to be mankind's best food and medicine... even at low concentration it kills resistant bacteria...

Low Concentrations of Honey Reduce Biofilm Formation, Quorum Sensing, and Virulence in Escherichia coli O157:H7
Biofouling, 2011 Nov;27(10):1095-104

Bacterial biofilms are associated with persistent infections due to their high resistance to antimicrobial agents. Hence, controlling pathogenic biofilm formation is important in bacteria-related diseases.

Honey, at a low concentration of 0.5% (v/v), significantly reduced biofilm formation in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 without inhibiting the growth of planktonic cells. Conversely, this concentration did not inhibit commensal E. coli K-12 biofilm formation.

Transcriptome analyses showed that honey significantly repressed curli genes (csgBAC), quorum sensing genes (AI-2 importer and indole biosynthesis), and virulence genes (LEE genes). Glucose and fructose in the honeys were found to be key components in reducing biofilm formation by E. coli O157:H7 through the suppression of curli production and AI-2 import. Furthermore, honey, glucose and fructose decreased the colonization of E. coli O157:H7 cells on human HT-29 epithelial cells.

These results suggest that low concentrations of honey, such as in honeyed water, can be a practical means for reducing the colonization and virulence of pathogenic E. coli O157:H7.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Antibacterial Strength of Honey Outperforms Artificial Honey

It's best to set the record straight - natural honey is better than manmade honey...

Effect of Honey on Streptococcus mutans Growth and Biofilm Formation

Because of the tradition of using honey as an antimicrobial medicament, we investigated the effect of natural honey (NH) on Streptococcus mutans growth, viability and biofilm formation compared to an artificial honey (AH).

AH contained the sugars at the concentrations reported for NH. NH and AH concentrations were obtained by serial dilution with tryptic soy broth (TSB). Several concentrations of NH and AH were tested for inhibition of bacterial growth, viability and biofilm formation after inoculation with S. mutans UA159 in 96-well microtiter plates to obtain absorbance and CFU values.

Overall, NH supported significantly less bacterial growth compared to the AH at 25 and 12.5% concentrations. At 50 and 25% concentrations, both honey groups provided significantly less bacterial growth and biofilm formation compared to the TSB control.

For bacterial viability, all honey concentrations were not significantly different from the TSB control except for 50% NH. NH was able to decrease the maximum velocity of S. mutans growth compared to AH.

In summary, NH demonstrated more inhibition of bacterial growth, viability and biofilm compared to AH. This study highlights the potential antibacterial properties of NH, and could suggest that the antimicrobial mechanism of NH is not solely due to its high sugar content.

Honey Prevents Oral Mucositis

Honey is an all natural humectant, keeping 'things' moist, like skin, hair, face, throat, even baked goods like cupcakes!

Effect of topical honey on limitation of radiation-induced oral mucositis: an intervention study

The effectiveness of radiation therapy for oral cancer is often outweighed by an adverse effect mucositis, a painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the mouth. 

Drawing on research indicating that honey may promote wound healing, three scientists at Manipal University in Mangalore, India, studied its anti-inflammatory properties to see whether it might prevent severe oral mucositis in patients receiving radiation therapy. 
Their single-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial compared the effects of honey with those of Lignocaine, a local anaesthetic. Only one patient in the honey group developed intolerable oral mucositis. 

Because honey is readily available, affordable, and well accepted by patients, the investigators recommend its use in patients receiving radiation therapy for oral cancer.