Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Propolis Exhibits Strong Free Radical Scavenging Activity

No matter where the bees live, they know to collect the good stuff, just as they do with nectar & pollen.

"Chemical Characterization of Iraqi Propolis Samples and Assessing their Antioxidant Potentials"
Food and Chemical Toxicology, 20-June, 2011 
About this Journalauthors: 
Ghassan M. Sulaiman, Khulood W. Al Sammarrae, Ali H. Ad’hiah, Massimo Zucchetti, Roberta Frapolli, Ezia Bello, Eugenio Erba, Maurizio D’Incalci, Renzo Bagnati


Propolis samples, collected from different geographical locations in Iraq (Baghdad, Dahuk, Mosul and Salah ad-Din), were analyzed and assessed for their anti-oxidant activity.

Concentrations of phenolic compounds (flavonoids, phenolic acids and their esters) in propolis were estimated using high performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray mass spectrometry. Thirty-eight different compounds were identified and thirty-three of them were polyphenols. Other compounds were tentatively identified as clerodane diterpenoids, and one was considered unknown.


Semi-quantitative measurements showed that phenolic acids and their esters were the predominant constituents in propolis extracts, followed by flavones and flavonols, and then flavanones and dihydroflavonols.


Propolis samples were further spectrophotometrically characterized using the Folin-Ciocalteu reagent for the determination of total phenolic compounds. The free radical scavenging activities of propolis samples were also evaluated by using the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assay.


The results revealed that propolis extracts exhibited strong free radical scavenging activity."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Propolis Essential Oil Helps Decrease Anxiety

Propolis is a very rich resource of bioflavonoids, deserving much more research...

Therapeutic Effects of Propolis Essential Oil on Anxiety of Restraint Stress Mice
Hum Exp Toxicol, 2011 Jun 14


Current IssuePropolis has a broad spectrum of biological activities; however, whether its essential oils have neuroprotective effects is unknown. 


In this study, we found that propolis essential oil (PEO) could significantly reverse the anxiety-like behavior of restraint-stressed mice, and has no effect on locomotor activity. Furthermore, PEO significantly decreased the plasma levels of cortisol (CORT), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and malondialdehyde (MDA), whereas it increased the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in restraint-stressed mice. 


These results strongly suggest that PEO has therapeutic effects on anxiety through antagonizing the hyperfunction of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and improving the ability of antioxidation in brain tissue.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bee Venom May Help Treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

As it's frequently misdiagnosed for MS, it's really no surprise this research resembles results found for Multiple Schlerosis...  


Melittin Restores Proteasome Function in an Animal Model of ALS
J Neuroinflammation, 2011 Jun 20;8(1):69

JNIAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a paralyzing disorder characterized by the progressive degeneration and death of motor neurons and occurs both as a sporadic and familial disease.

Mutant SOD1 (mtSOD1) in motor neurons induces vulnerability to the disease through protein misfolding, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative damage, cytoskeletal abnormalities, defective axonal transport- and growth factor signaling, excitotoxicity, and neuro-inflammation.

Melittin is a 26 amino acid protein and is one of the components of bee venom which is used in traditional Chinese medicine to inhibit of cancer cell proliferation and is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects.

The purpose of the present study was to determine if melittin could suppress motor neuron loss and protein misfolding in the hSOD1G93A mouse, which is commonly used as a model for inherited ALS. Meltittin was injected at the ZuSanLi (ST36) acupuncture point in the hSOD1G93A animal model.

Melittin-treated animals showed a decrease in the number of microglia and in the expression level of phospho-p38 in the spinal cord and brainstem. Interestingly, melittin treatment in symptomatic ALS animals improved motor function and reduced the level of neuron death in the spinal cord when compared to the control group.

Furthermore, we found increased of alpha-synuclein modifications, such as phosphorylation or nitration, in both the brainstem and spinal cord in hSOD1G93A mice. However, melittin treatment reduced alpha-synuclein misfolding and restored the proteasomal activity in the brainstem and spinal cord of symptomatic hSOD1G93A transgenic mice.

Our research suggests a potential functional link between melittin and the inhibition of neuroinflammation in an ALS animal model.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Honey Found to Help Relieve Anxiety

Honey soothes throats, anxiety and coughing spells!! (the list is actually much longer)....

Honey Helps Relieve Anxiety


"Modifications of neurobehavioral activities related to single episodes of consumption of different doses of bee honey were examined in rats under conditions of the hole-board (HB) test (to evaluate the level of anxiety) and open-field (OF) test (where the intensities of locomotion, rearing, and grooming were measured).


Animals of all subgroups had free access to normal saline, while rats of the three experimental subgroups consumed bee honey in the doses of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 g per 1 kg body mass (in the form of 10, 20, and 40% solutions, respectively). Among the doses tested, only higher ones induced considerable changes in the behavioral indices. The highest dose (2.0 g/kg) provided a more than twofold increase in the number of examined holes in the HB test; in the OF test, it also increased the numbers of crossed squares, rearings, and grooming episodes by 30, 37, and 164%, respectively.


Thus, our experiments demonstrated a rather significant ability of the natural product tested to relieve anxiety and intensify motor, research/orientational, and grooming aspects of behavior even upon single acts of consumption. Possible neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the behavioral modifications observed are discussed."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Royal Jelly Protects Against Toxic Effect of Pesticide

Royal Jelly's rich composition is also known to protect against radiation treatments, improve metabolism and lower cholesterol levels...

Royal Jelly Protects Against Toxic Effect of Pesticide

The present study was undertaken to investigate the protective effect of royal jelly (RJ) against toxicity induced by a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide, lambda-cyhalothrin (LCT), in Swiss albino mice.

Animals were randomly divided into six groups of six animals each. The control group received distilled water alone, whereas mice in the treatment groups received RJ alone (100 or 250 mg/kg of body weight), LCT alone (668 ppm), or RJ+LCT for 21 days. All mice (100%) survived until the end of experiment and were sacrificed at the end of 24 hours.

Blood, bone marrow, and liver and kidney tissues were analyzed for aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, malondialdehyde (MDA), and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels and micronucleus (MN) frequency, chromosomal aberrations (CAs), and pathological damages.

Serum AST, ALT, BUN, and creatinine levels were elevated in mice treated with LCT alone compared with the other tested groups. LCT-induced oxidative damage caused a significant decrease in GSH levels and a significant rise in MDA levels of liver and kidney tissues. LCT alone-treated mice presented higher frequencies of MNs, CAs, and abnormal metaphases compared with the controls; moreover, the mitotic index was lower than in controls.

Oral treatment with RJ significantly ameliorated the indices of hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, lipid peroxidation, and genotoxicity induced by LCT. Both doses of RJ tested provided significant protection against LCT-induced toxicity, and its strongest effect was observed at the dose level of 250 mg/kg of body weight.

In vivo results suggest that RJ is a potent antioxidant against LCT-induced toxicity, and its protective effect is dose dependent.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Healing Properties Of Propolis Researched by Pharmaceutical Engineers

Ongoing pharmacological developments of Propolis in Asia ... one must ask why aren't the western medical institutions also pursuing this?

Healing Properties Of Propolis Researched by Pharmaceutical Engineers


ECAMThe healing properties of propolis a mixture of resin and wax made by honey bees to seal and sterilise their hives have been known for many years. But its use in medicine and food supplements has been limited because the sticky substance is not water soluble and has a strong, off-putting smell.

Now researchers at the University of Bradford's Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science have developed a way of purifying propolis that retains its medicinal properties, but makes it dissolve in water and eliminates its pungent smell. The technique has already led to the development of a new mouth ulcer gel and opens the door to a huge range of other pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications for the substance.

"Propolis is a complex chemical mix and a very useful natural product," explains Centre Director, Professor Anant Paradkar, who led the research. "Propolis has been shown to be anti-microbial, anti-fungal, a strong anti-oxidant, non-allergenic and can boost the immune system. It also promotes wound healing and has anaesthetic properties.

"There is a substantial market for propolis-based products particularly in China, the USA and South Asia. The main stumbling block in developing products has been the solubility and odour issues, which our formulation overcomes."

Professor Paradkar's team has been developing the new technique to purify propolis in collaboration with natural medicine manufacturer, Nature's Laboratory. The researchers have helped the company develop a new propolis-based mouth ulcer gel, which has better anaesthetic, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties than gels already on the market and is safe for use in children.

"A problem for mouth gels is that adhesion to the skin membrane inside the mouth is difficult because of the nature of the surface, the gel can simply slide off," says Professor Paradkar. "As propolis retains some of its stickiness even in a water soluble formulation, when it is applied to specific areas in the mouth, it adheres more effectively."

The Centre has gained funding for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Nature's Laboratory, to further develop the purification system for use at a larger scale and support the creation of new propolis-based products. The aim is, through the KTP, that the company will be able to set up a purification process to increase its own manufacturing capacity.

Sources: Bradford University



Friday, June 17, 2011

Propolis Source Demonstrates Anti-Aging Effects

The list keeps getting longer and yet so much we haven't discovered with Propolis, it's the NATURAL Protector...

Medical News TodayPoplar Tree Leaf Bud Extract Could Fight Skin Aging
Medical News Today, 6/8/2011



Antioxidants are popular anti-aging ingredients in skin creams, and now scientists are reporting a new source of these healthful substances - leaf buds of poplar trees. Their study appears in the ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Xavier Vitrac and colleagues note that there's a long history of using poplar buds to treat various health problems, such as colds, sinusitis, sunburn and arthritis. A substance found in beehives that is made from poplar buds (called propolis) also appears to have similar disease-fighting benefits. Propolis' effects seem to be due to poplar bud compounds, but very little is known about these substances. To see whether poplar buds are a good source of antioxidants for skin creams, the researchers decided to test an extract from the buds.

The group found that poplar bud extract had moderate antioxidant activity, and it demonstrated anti-aging effects on cells in the laboratory


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Honey Research for Antioxidant Effects against New Superbugs

Numerous groups around the world announcing research on the medicinal properties of honey against MSRA and other super bugs...

Scientists to Study Welsh Honey for New Superbug Drugs
Honey
Madeleine Brindley, WalesOnline, 6/13/2011

Beekeepers are being urged to send scientists a sample of their home produce as they search for a Welsh “super honey”.

A team at Cardiff University believe by studying locally-produced honey they may stumble across one which is capable of fighting antibiotic-resistant infections.
The researchers at the Welsh School of Pharmacy and the National Botanic Garden of Wales are working together to test the honey samples and screen them for new plant sources of medicines....



Mexican Honey Highly Variable in Antioxidant Properties


Antioxidant Activity of Artisanal Honey from Tabasco, Mexico
International Journal of Food Properties, Volume 14, Issue 2, 2011, Pages 459 - 470

Potential claims for honey, floral variety and their health properties are relevant for small farmers and artisan producers.

The antioxidant activity of honey samples from cacao farms, mangrove, citrus, and coconut groves from Mexico was established by applying a multiple-method approach, which included determination of the level of total phenolic compounds and total flavonoids...

No patterns could be found in relation to antioxidant activities and the agrifood system of origin, floral availability, collection location, or season. Artisan honey samples from Tabasco were highly variable in their antioxidant properties, possibly because of the biodiversity and seasonal variations, which contribute to their unique nature. The antioxidant tests used in this study could be useful to verify the antioxidant function of honey.




Tasmanian Beekeepers to Promote Medicinal Honey

ABC.net.au

Manuka in flowerA consortium of commercial beekeepers has been formed to promote medically active honeys and hive products from Tasmania.
It's called the Tasmanian Active Honey Group, and the word 'active' refers to medicinal properties such as anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory activity.
Julian Wolfhagen, from the Tasmanian Honey Company, one of the six businesses involved, says he wants to build consumer confidence in Tasmanian active hive products.
"Particularly in this case, where New Zealand has established itself clearly as the market leader, we need to get some group energy and pooling finances to launch the existence of a Tasmanian manuka."




Studying Bees and Benefits of Propolis

Studying bees and their reliance on Propolis should reinforce what we already know about its  importance to humans and animals... nice to see what she says about bee venom.

The Benefits of Studying Bees | ScienceLives | LiveScience
Marla Spivak getting ready to engage University of Minnesota bee colonies.


This ScienceLives article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.
Marla Spivak is a MacArthur Fellow and Distinguished McKnight Professor and Extension Entomologist in the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota. Her research and extension efforts focus on honeybee health, breeding, behavior and on the sustainable management of alternative pollinators. She has bred the MN Hygienic line of honeybees, which demonstrates resistance to diseases and Varroa mites. Her current line of study centers on propolis, a plant-derived resin collected by bees; specifically the benefits of propolis to the immune system of bees, and antimicrobial properties of propolis against bee and human pathogens. She obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Kansas under Orley Taylor in 1989 on the ecology of Africanized honeybees in Costa Rica. From 1989-1992, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Insect Science at the University of Arizona. She was hired as Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota in 1992. Below, Spivak answers the ScienceLives 10 Questions.


Name: Marla Spivak
Age: 55
Institution: University of Minnesota
Field of Study: Entomology — Bees

What inspired you to choose this field of study?
I read a book about honeybees when I was 18 years old that inspired me to learn more, so I went to work for a commercial beekeeper with over 2,000 colonies. Since then I've been interested in understanding bee biology, behavior and health, and ensuring my research has some application to beekeepers...

What are the societal benefits of your research?
Research on bees has clear benefits to society: Bees are the most important insect pollinators of many fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers. Promoting the health of bees involves promoting the health and stewardship of our urban, agricultural and natural ecosystems.
Who has had the most influence on your thinking as a researcher?
Steve Taber III, beekeeper and researcher, repeatedly told me to quit thinking like a human and to think like a bee. Orley "Chip" Taylor, my Ph.D. advisor, allowed me to disagree with him in my published findings. And my graduate students continue to push me into new research arenas, so I have to keep up with them.
What about your field or being a researcher do you think would surprise people the most?
Honeybee stings (venom) can benefit some human auto-immune disorders. Getting stung isn't all that bad....

Editor's Note: This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the federal agency charged with funding basic research and education across all fields of science and engineering. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. See the ScienceLives archive.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bee Venom Therapy May Help Treat Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, ALS

Bee Venom is powerful and if used correctly can do wonders to the body, this I have seen. In Paris, they've started a clinical study on the effects of BV for Parkinson's Disease...
Effects of Bee Venom on Glutamate-Induced Toxicity in Neuronal and Glial Cells
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM), 30 May 2011


Bee venom (BV), which is extracted from honeybees, is used in traditional Korean medical therapy. Several groups have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effects of BV in osteoarthritis both in vivo and in vitro.

Glutamate is the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). Changes in glutamate release and uptake due to alterations in the activity of glutamate transporters have been reported in many neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

To assess if BV can prevent glutamate-mediated neurotoxicity, we examined cell viability and signal transduction in glutamate-treated neuronal and microglial cells in the presence and absence of BV.

We induced glutamatergic toxicity in neuronal cells and microglial cells and found that BV protected against cell death. Furthermore, BV significantly inhibited the cellular toxicity of glutamate, and pretreatment with BV altered MAP kinase activation (e.g., JNK, ERK, and p38) following exposure to glutamate.

These findings suggest that treatment with BV may be helpful in reducing glutamatergic cell toxicity in neurodegenerative diseases.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Propolis Improves Good Cholesterol Count; Diminishes Risks of Atherosclerosis



Bee products are good for animals and humans. Note: they used the liquid version of Propolis, a concentrated extract... 



Ethanolic Extract of Propolis Promotes Reverse Cholesterol Transport and the Expression of ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter A1 and G1 in Mice


Abstract
The ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) is beneficial in increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (HDL-C) and diminishing risks of atherosclerosis. In this study, we examined the effects of EEP on reverse cholesterol transport in mice. 3H -cholesterol laden macrophage was injected intraperitoneally into mice fed by gastric gavage with EEP. Plasma lipid level was determined and 3H-cholesterol was traced in plasma, liver and feces. The effects of EEP on ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 and G1 (ABCA1 and ABCG1) and scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI) in mice liver and in cultured cells were also investigated. EEP administration led to a significant increase in HDL-C and peritoneal macrophage-original 3H-cholesterol in plasma, liver and feces. Liver protein expressions of ABCA1 and ABCG1 were increased but SR-B1 was not. In vitro experiments with HepG2 and Raw264.7 cell lines confirmed the above results. The finding of these studies shows that EEP-enhanced reverse cholesterol transport may have resulted from EEP stimulated plasma HDL level and hepatic ABCA1 and ABCG1 expression.



Introduction
Atherosclerosis is the principle cause of coronary artery disease and stroke. There is a strong inverse relation between plasma high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels and the incidence of atherosclerotic ardiovascular diseases...



http://www.springerlink.com/content/m53776l6n1g1v1j3/

Friday, June 10, 2011

Honey May Help Treat Painful Bladder Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis

Injecting honey directly into the problem; a homeopathic solution with a western approach... a good sign, yes?  


The Effect of Honey on Mast-Cell Degranulation: A Possible Role in Painful Bladder Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis
Medical News Today, 5/18/2011

"Mast cells, known for their role in allergies and anaphylaxis, have also been shown to mediate inflammation in the bladders of patients with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS).

Researchers from the United Kingdom explored the possibility that honey, known for its benefits in wound healing, cytokine interaction and anti-oxidant effects, could have an effect on mast-cell degranulation in patients with IC/PBS if used intravesically.

Authors measured spontaneous calcium ionophore A23187 and A23187-induced histamine release on cells from the LAD2 mast cell line, comparing the effects of a range of medicinal honeys to those of control preparations (including a clover nectar, sugar syrup and agents typically used to treat IC/PBS.

The honeys inhibited spontaneous and A23187-induced histamine release significantly better than the control preparations (ranging from 60 percent to 100 percent, compared to 40 percent inhibition with sugar syrup, 36 percent for clover nectar and a maximum inhibition of 24 percent with either drug at either dilution), suggesting that honey, delivered intravesically, may provide some level of success to patients suffering with IC/PBS."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Honey Reduces Impact of Intensive Road Cycling Training

Additionally in 2001, the National Honey Board reported improved endurance for cyclists, cutting 3 minutes off a 40mi race and improved post-workout recovery...

Honey Reduces Impact of Intensive Cycling Training on Spermatogenesis, Fertility

The Effects of Honey Supplementation on Seminal Plasma Cytokines, Oxidative Stress Biomarkers, and Anti-Oxidants During 8 Weeks of Intensive Cycling Training
J Androl, 2011 Jun 2

COVER IMAGE
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of natural honey supplementation on seminal plasma cytokines, oxidative stress biomarkers, and anti-oxidants during 8 weeks of intensive cycling training in male road cyclists.

Thirty-nine healthy non-professional male road cyclists aged 18-28 years participated in this study. The participants were randomly assigned to exercise+supplement (E+S,n=20), and exercise (E,n=19) groups. All subjects participated in 8 weeks of intensive cycling training. Ninety minutes before each training session, subjects in the E+S group supplemented with 70 g of honey, while subjects in the E group received 70 g of an artificial sweetener. All subjects had an initial sampling at baseline (T1). The next six semen collections were collected immediately (T2); 12 (T3); and 24 hours (T4) after the last training session in week 4; as well as immediately (T5); 12 (T6); and 24 hours (T7) after the last training session in week 8, respectively.

In the E group eight weeks of intensive cycling training significantly increased the seminal interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (P<0.008) and significantly decreased the levels of seminal superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and total anti-oxidant capacity (TAC) (P<0.008).

Significantly less elevation in the seminal IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, ROS, and MDA levels (P<0.008) and significant increase in the seminal SOD, catalase and TAC concentrations observed after the honey supplementation in the E+S group (P<0.008).

It may be possible that the honey supplementation following long-term intensive cycling training would be effective in attenuating the probable aggravating effects of intensive cycling training on spermatogenesis and fertility capacity in the road cyclists.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Strawberry Tree Honey Contains Highest Antioxidant Content

Just as Manuka Honey has antioxidant properties, other monofloral honeys offer promise for beekeepers in other part of the world with exceptional nectar sources rich in phenolic compounds... 


Antioxidant Profile of Strawberry Tree Honey and its Marker Homogentisic Acid in Several Models of Oxidative stress
About this Journal
Food Chemistry2011 May 25 

Abstract

The antioxidant activity of several honeys was evaluated considering the different contribution of entire samples. The strawberry tree honey emerged as the richest in total phenols and the most active honey in the DPPH and FRAP tests, and could protect cholesterol against oxidative degradation (140 °C).

Homogentisic acid (2,5-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, HGA), the main phenolic compound from strawberry tree honey, showed interesting antioxidant and antiradical activities, and protective effect against thermal-cholesterol degradation, comparable to those of well known antioxidants. Moreover, the pre-treatment with HGA significantly preserved liposomes and LDL from Cu2+-induced oxidative damage at 37 °C for 2 h, inhibiting the reduction of polyunsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol and the increase of their oxidative products. 

This phenol had no toxic effect in human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells within the concentration range tested (5–1000 μM). HGA was able to pass through the Caco-2 monolayers, the apparent permeability coefficients (Papp) in the apical-to-basolateral and basolateral-to-apical direction were 3.48 ± 1.22 × 10-6 and 2.18 ± 0.34 × 10-6 cm/s, respectively, suggesting a passive diffusion pathway as the dominating process. The results of the work qualify HGA as natural antioxidant, able to exert a significant in vitro protective effect and to contribute to the strawberry tree honey antioxidant activity.



Highlights


► Strawberry tree honey protected in DPPH/FRAP tests, and cholesterol from degradation.
► Homogentisic acid, main phenolic compound of strawberry tree honey. ► The phenol protected in DPPH/FRAP tests, and cholesterol/fatty acids from oxidation.
► Homogentisic acid showed no toxicity and passive diffusion in Caco-2 cell monolayers.
► Contribution of homogentisic acid to antioxidant activity of strawberry tree honey.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Antifungal Activity of Propolis against Vulvovaginal Candida Albicans

Propolis has been documented to work best in all the mucous linings of the body...

Antifungal Activity of Brazilian Propolis Microparticles against Yeasts Isolated from Vulvovaginal Candidiasis
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 201953

Abstract

Propolis, a resinous compound produced by Apis mellifera L. bees, is known to possess a variety of biological activities and is applied in the therapy of various infectious diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro antifungal activity of propolis ethanol extract (PE) and propolis microparticles (PMs) obtained from a sample of Brazilian propolis against clinical yeast isolates of importance in the vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). PE was used to prepare the microparticles. Yeast isolates (n = 8 9), obtained from vaginal exudates of patients with VVC, were exposed to the PE and the PMs. Moreover, the main antifungal drugs used in the treatment of VVC (Fluconazole, Voriconazole, Itraconazole, Ketoconazole, Miconazole and Amphotericin B) were also tested. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined according to the standard broth microdilution method. Some Candida albicans isolates showed resistance or dose-dependent susceptibility for the azolic drugs and Amphotericin B. Non-C. albicans isolates showed more resistance and dose-dependent susceptibility for the azolic drugs than C. albicans. However, all of them were sensitive or dose-dependent susceptible for Amphotericin B. All yeasts were inhibited by PE and PMs, with small variation, independent of the species of yeast. The overall results provided important information for the potential application of PMs in the therapy of VVC and the possible prevention of the occurrence of new symptomatic episodes.

1. Introduction

Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is a disease caused by abnormal growth of yeast-like fungi in the mucosa of the female genital tract, classified by the World Health Organization as a sexually transmitted disease of frequent sexual transmission [1]. VVC is caused mainly by the genus Candida, the major agent being Candida albicans, and the prevalence of this yeast can reach 85–95% [2]. Moreover, studies have shown the increasing infections by non-C. albicans species (C. tropicalis, C. glabrata, C. krusei, C. parapsilosis, C. pseudotropicalis, C. lusitaniae) in VVC [34]. Because the disease strikes millions of women annually, leading to great discomfort, interfering with sexual and affective relations and impairing work performance, it has been considered an important worldwide public health concern [2]. VVC is the first cause of vulvovaginitis in Europe and the second in the USA and Brazil. It represents 20–25% of the vaginal discharges of infectious nature. It is estimated that about 75% of the adult women show at least one episode of VVC during their lifetimes, 40–50% of those will experience new surges and 5% will reach the recurrent character (RVVC), defined as the occurrence of four or more symptomatic episodes in a one year interval [4].
In recent years, drug-resistance to antifungal agents and optimizing therapy of Candida infections have been broadly focused [5]. Moreover, the therapeutic arsenal available for the treatment of fungal infections is quite restricted... 
201953.fig.004

Conclusion

Considering the antifungal activity showed by PMs and that the high ethanol concentration is a disadvantage of PE, this report clearly showed that PMs arises as a possible agent for the treatment and especially the prevention of the new symptomatic episode the VVC. Moreover PMs have the advantage of to be incorporated in some dosage forms, like vaginal ointments, and to be administered into the vaginal mucosa more easily and safely.



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Malaysian Honey Boosts Sperm Count


Cover image for Vol. 43 Issue 3
This is a significant finding for those experiencing reproductive issues. Perhaps the next study will review the phenolic compounds in Malaysian honey and if it exists in all honeys...

Effect of Different Doses of Malaysian Honey on Reproductive Parameters in Adult Male Rats
Andrologia, 2011 May 19



The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different doses of Malaysian honey on male reproductive parameters in adult rats. 

Thirty-two healthy adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups (eight rats per group). Group 1 (control group) was given 0.5 ml of distilled water. Groups 2, 3 and 4 were given 0.2, 1.2 and 2.4 gkg(-1) body weight of honey respectively. 

The rats were treated orally by gavage once daily for 4 weeks. Honey did not significantly alter body and male reproductive organs weights. The rats in Group 3 which received honey at 1.2 gkg(-1) had significantly higher epididymal sperm count than those in Groups 1, 2 and 4. No significant differences were found for the percentage of abnormal sperm, elongated spermatid count, reproductive hormonal levels as well as the histology of the testis among the groups. 

In conclusion, Malaysian honey at a dose of 1.2gkg(-1) daily significantly increased epididymal sperm count without affecting spermatid count and reproductive hormones
These findings might suggest that oral administration of honey at this dose for 4weeks may enhance spermiogenesis in adult rats.