Monday, December 30, 2013

Propolis and Curcumin Outperform Steroid in Repairing Nerve Damage

A new study finds that using Propolis or Curcumin outperforms steroid use in boosting the return of functional nerve usage after a crush injury of the Sciatic nerve. A postive advance in using traditional solutions as an alternative to steroids...

An Experimental Comparison of the Effects of Propolis, Curcumin, and Methylprednisolone on Crush Injuries of the Sciatic Nerve

Propolis and curcumin have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and neuroprotective features. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of propolis and curcumin on nerve healing in rat sciatic nerve crush injuries and to compare these effects with results obtained using steroid treatment.

In the sham group, the right sciatic nerves of rats were dissected and exposed, and the skin was closed without any additional manipulation. In the control group (group C), after the right sciatic nerves of rats were exposed, crush damage was inflicted using a surgical clamp. In the control-methylprednisolone group, crush injuries were inflicted on sciatic nerves as in group C. After injury, 1-mg/kg methylprednisolone was administered daily for 6 days and was then tapered for 4 days. In the curcumin group, crush injuries were inflicted on sciatic nerves as in group C. Then, 100-mg/kg curcumin was given every day. In the propolis group, crush injuries were inflicted on sciatic nerves as in group C. Then, 200-mg/kg propolis was given every day. Rats were evaluated after 28 days using functional (walking track analysis and electrophysiological measurements), histomorphometric, electron microscopic, and muscle weight measurements.

Compared to the control groups, the curcumin and propolis groups had better functional (walking track analysis and electrophysiological) results after experimental peripheral nerve crush injury.


Curcumin and propolis, 2 traditional drugs, had a positive effect on nerve crush injuries. We are convinced that they can be used to support routine treatment in such nerve injuries.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bee Venom Restores Hormonal Imbalance

Interestingly enough, this effect was observed with women undergoing bee venom therapy (BVT) for other maladies, such as Multiple Sclerosis. While receiving BVT, they became pregnant, which they had found to be impossible prior to BVT sessions. It's good to see that even side effects of honey bees have a positive touch ...

Effect of bee venom on IL-6, COX-2 and VEGF levels in polycystic ovarian syndrome induced in Wistar rats by estradiol valerate

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a low-grade inflammatory disease characterized by hyperandrogenemia, hirsutism, chronic anovulation and vascular disorder. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are triggered by inflammatory stimuli and lead to angiogenesis and pathogenesis of the ovary. Honeybee venom (HBV) contains an array of biologically active components possessing various pharmaceutical properties. This study was designed to assess the possibility of HBV application as an anti-inflammatory therapeutic agent to suppress levels of the main inflammatory mediators IL-6, COX-2 and VEGF.
To induce PCOS, 1 mg of estradiol valerate (EV) per 100 g of body weight was subcutaneously (SC) injected into eight-week-old rats. After 60 days, 0.5 mg/kg of HBV was administered Intraperitoneal (IP) for 14 consecutive days, and the results of PCOS treatment were investigated. Rats were then anesthetized with CO2, and the ovaries were surgically removed. Serum IL-6 was detected by the ELISA kit. Immunoexpression of COX-2 and VEGF were examined in three groups: EV-induced PCOS, HBV-treated PCOS and control animals.

Thickness of theca layer, number and diameter of cysts and levels of IL-6 significantly decreased in HBV group relative to PCOS group. The immunohistochemical analysis showed an increase in COX-2 and VEGF expression in PCOS group whereas HBV-treated rats presented weak and irregular immunostaining.

Based on the results presented in this study, we can conclude that anti-inflammatory effects of HBV can restore metabolic and reproductive features of PCOS. Decreased levels of IL-6, COX-2, VEGF and serum androgens, and increased number of corpora lutea are suggestive of therapeutic effects of HBV on PCOS. We have established that this effect of HBV is mediated by suppression of inflammatory and angiogenic factors.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Higher Levels of Royal Jelly Component found in Western China

Since 98% of the world's supply of Royal Jelly comes from China, this study is significant on two aspects. Royal Jelly, made by worker bees for the queen, rely on pollen to produce this special gelatin. Geographic location is very important. But the other significant development is the type of honey bee used. This study reviewed three varieties of Apis mellifera, including a hybrid. Using 10-HDA is an important measure of quality, due to its ability to aid neurogenesis... 

Geographical Influences on Content of 10-Hydroxy-trans-2-Decenoic Acid in Royal Jelly in China

The content of 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA), a marker compound in royal jelly (RJ), is the most important criterion in grading RJ for commercial trade and varies with its origin. To identify the effect of geographical origin on 10-HDA content in RJ, 138 samples were collected from 19 provinces of China (divided into three groups) produced by either Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola, 1806 or a hybrid of A. m. ligustica and Apis mellifera carnica Pollman, 1879 and analyzed for moisture, sugar, crude protein, ash, acid, and 10-HDA concentration.

The results show that RJ from western China has a significantly higher 10-HDA level (2.01 ± 0.05%) than those from northeastern (1.87 ± 0.05%) and eastern (1.75 ± 0.03%) China. RJ secreted by hybrid bees contained more 10-HDA (1.89 ± 0.03%) than that secreted by A. m. ligustica (1.78 ± 0.03%). The 10-HDA content of RJ produced during flowering of rape (Brassica campestris L.), lime (Tilia amurensis Ruprecht), and vitex (Vitex negundo L. variety heterophylla (Franch.) Rehder) was 1.92,1.80, and 1.68%, respectively.
The results would be helpful during the process of price determination of RJ by providing some basis of geographical, bee strain, and botanical information for commercial trade.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bee Products Reduce Toxic Damage from Agrichemicals

A common thread found in all bee products is antioxidant potency. This study found their effects reversed oxidatitve damage caused by agrichemical contamination in an aquacultural setting. The results are evident, not only with aquatic life but in this study they also included a common ground water contaminant, which is known for causing infant birth defects. Bee products are a natural protective addition for creatures with or without legs...

Bee Products Prevent Agrichemical-Induced Oxidative Damage in Fish

In southern South America and other parts of the world, aquaculture is an activity that complements agriculture. Small amounts of agrichemicals can reach aquaculture ponds, which results in numerous problems caused by oxidative stress in non-target organisms. Substances that can prevent or reverse agrichemical-induced oxidative damage may be used to combat these effects. This study includes four experiments.

In each experiment, 96 mixed-sex, 6-month-old Rhamdia quelen (118±15 g) were distributed into eight experimental groups: a control group that was not exposed to contaminated water, three groups that were exposed to various concentrations of bee products, three groups that were exposed to various concentrations of bee products plus tebuconazole (TEB; Folicur 200 CE™) and a group that was exposed to 0.88 mg L-1 of TEB alone (corresponding to 16.6% of the 96-h LC50).

We show that waterborne bee products, including royal jelly (RJ), honey (H), bee pollen (BP) and propolis (P), reversed the oxidative damage caused by exposure to TEB. These effects were likely caused by the high polyphenol contents of these bee-derived compounds. The most likely mechanism of action for the protective effects of bee products against tissue oxidation and the resultant damage is that the enzymatic activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) are increased.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thyme Honey Validated to Possess Wound Healing Capacities

Ironically, this has been proven and practiced in France at the Central Hospital Unit in Limoges. Prof. Descottes conducted numerous double-blind studies that confirmed Thyme Honey's ability to heal wounds better and faster than pharmaceutically prescribed treatments as well as other monofloral honeys. He also proved that other honeys can heal wounds too, but that Thyme honey was the best...

Honey-induced macrophage stimulation: AP-1 and NF-κB activation and cytokine production are unrelated to LPS content of honey
Int Immunopharmacol, 2013 Oct 11

Honey is well known for its wound healing properties although the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying honey-stimulated healing process are still poorly understood. The present study was intended to characterize the stimulation of Raw 264.7 murine macrophages in response to thyme honey.
Honey induces significant increase in PGE2 production, and overexpression of both COX-2 and TNF-α (p < 0.001). This increase was concomitant with overexpression and activation of the AP-1 and NF-κB transcription factor subunits. The small LPS content of honey could not, by itself, account for the reported observations.

These results suggest that other thyme honey components participate in the stimulation of cytokine production required for effective wound healing process.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Honey Boosts GI Tract Villi Growth without Adverse Effects

Of importance in this study are the effects of not only the intestines but vital organs, as well. Feeding honey vs cane syrup from infancy to adolescence produced no harmful side effects, which is what our elders have always encouraged - honey is good food and good medicine...  

Comparative effect of cane syrup and natural honey on abdominal viscera of growing male and female rats

The high intake of refined sugars, mainly fructose has been implicated in the epidemiology of metabolic diseases in adults and children. With an aim to determine whether honey can substitute refined sugars without adverse effect, the long-term effects of natural honey and cane syrup have been compared on visceral morphology in growing rats fed from neonatal age.

Honey increased the caecum and pancreas weights in male rats, which could enhance enzymatic activities of pancreas and digestive functions by intestinal microflora of caecum.

Villi growth reviewed from each group

Unlike honey, cane syrup caused fatty degenerations in the liver of both male and female rats. Honey enhanced intestinal villi growth, and did not cause pathology in the rodents' abdominal viscera, suggesting potential nutritional benefit as substitution for refined sugars in animal feed.
Arrows point to fat droplets in liver of cane syrup-fed subjects

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bees Selectively Choose Antimicrobial Propolis Components

This is an amazing study which identifies the honey bees ability to discern between plants which can best maintain the health of the beehive. Carefully selecting the antimicrobial properties of specific resins provides additional confidence in that honey bees have an inate ability to choose only the "good stuff" which goes into propolis...

Metabolomics reveals the origins of antimicrobial plant resins collected by honey bees
PLoS One, 2013 Oct 18

The deposition of antimicrobial plant resins in honey bee, Apis mellifera, nests has important physiological benefits. Resin foraging is difficult to approach experimentally because resin composition is highly variable among and between plant families, the environmental and plant-genotypic effects on resins are unknown, and resin foragers are relatively rare and often forage in unobservable tree canopies. Subsequently, little is known about the botanical origins of resins in many regions or the benefits of specific resins to bees.

We used metabolomic methods as a type of environmental forensics to track individual resin forager behavior through comparisons of global resin metabolite patterns. The resin from the corbiculae of a single bee was sufficient to identify that resin's botanical source without prior knowledge of resin composition. Bees from our apiary discriminately foraged for resin from eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), and balsam poplar (P. balsamifera) among many available, even closely related, resinous plants. Cottonwood and balsam poplar resin composition did not show significant seasonal or regional changes in composition. Metabolomic analysis of resin from 6 North American Populus spp. and 5 hybrids revealed peaks characteristic to taxonomic nodes within Populus, while antimicrobial analysis revealed that resin from different species varied in inhibition of the bee bacterial pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae.

resin gatherer in the beehive
We conclude that honey bees make discrete choices among many resinous plant species, even among closely related species. Bees also maintained fidelity to a single source during a foraging trip. Furthermore, the differential inhibition of P. larvae by Populus spp., thought to be preferential for resin collection in temperate regions, suggests that resins from closely related plant species many have different benefits to bees.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bee Products Protect Humans from Neurodegenerative Diseases

Consuming several bee products provides a synergistic effect, whereby the benefits of each are enhanced when taken ensemble. This has been established in previous studies and this new study reaffirms that Apitherapy protects and prevents even neurodegenerative illnesses...

Total monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibition by chestnut honey, pollen and propolis

Abstract Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are generally used in the treatment of depressive disorders and some neurodegenerative illnesses, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

The aim of this preliminary study was to investigate the MAO [MAO (E.C.] inhibiting effect of various apitherapeutic products, such as chestnut honey, pollen and propolis.

Extracts' MAO inhibition was measured using peroxidase-linked spectrophotometric assay in enzyme isolated from rat liver microsomes, and the values are expressed as the inhibition concentration (IC50) causing 50% inhibition of MAO. The antioxidant activity of the bee products was also determined in terms of total phenolic content (TPC) and ferric reducing/antioxidant power in aquatic extracts.

All samples exhibited substantial inhibition of MAO, propolis having the highest. Inhibition was related to samples' TPCs and antioxidant capacities.

These results show that bee products possess a sedative effect and may be effective in protecting humans against depression and similar diseases.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Shingles Treated Successfully with Bee Venom Therapy

As ironic as it may seem, Bee Venom Therapy provides relief from pain and not vice versa. This case study is only one of many that have had incredible results with bee venom. It's truly a potent medical development with numerous applications...

Bee Venom Treatment for Refractory Postherpetic Neuralgia: A Case Report

Bee venom has been reported to have antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects in experimental studies. However, questions still remain regarding the clinical use of bee venom. This report describes the successful outcome of bee venom treatment for refractory postherpetic neuralgia.

A 72-year-old Korean man had severe pain and hypersensitivity in the region where he had developed a herpes zoster rash 2 years earlier. He was treated with antivirals, painkillers, steroids, and analgesic patches, all to no effect.

The patient visited the East-West Pain Clinic, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, to receive collaborative treatment. After being evaluated for bee venom compatibility, he was treated with bee venom injections. A 1:30,000 diluted solution of bee venom was injected subcutaneously along the margins of the rash once per week for 4 weeks.

Pain levels were evaluated before every treatment, and by his fifth visit, his pain had decreased from 8 to 2 on a 10-point numerical rating scale. He experienced no adverse effects, and this improvement was maintained at the 3-month, 6-month, and 1-year phone follow-up evaluations.

Bee venom treatment demonstrates the potential to become an effective treatment for postherpetic neuralgia. Further large-sample clinical trials should be conducted to evaluate the overall safety and efficacy of this treatment.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Propolis Improves Bone Fracture Healing

Propolis, a natural protector for all species, works equally well both internally and externally. This study confirms yet another important aspect of one of its many flavonoids, CAPE, which strengthens the body's capacity to heal bone fractures faster, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties...

Influence of caffeic acid phenethyl ester on bone healing in a rat model

To examine the effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE; a component of honey bee-hive propolis with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer properties) on bone regeneration and fibrotic healing in a rat model.

Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 63; mean age 7 weeks; weight 280-490 g) were randomly divided into three groups: A, cranial defect with no bone healing treatment (n = 21); B, cranial defect treated with CAPE (n = 21); C, cranial defect treated with CAPE and β-tricalcium phosphate/hydroxyl apatite (n = 21). Rats were anaesthetized with ketamine (8 mg/100 g) by intraperitoneal injection and a cranial critical size bone defect was created. Following surgery, CAPE (10 µmol/kg) was administered by daily intraperitoneal injection. Seven rats in each group were killed at days 7, 15 and 30 following surgery. Bone regeneration, fibrotic healing and osteoblast activity were evaluated by histopathology.

Statistically significant differences in healing were found between all groups. There were no statistically significant within-group differences between day 7 and 15. At day 30, bone healing scores were significantly higher in groups B and C compared with group A.

CAPE significantly improved bone-defect healing in a rat model, suggesting that CAPE has beneficial effects on bone healing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bee Venom Therapy Relieves Pain, Numbness

New evidence that bee venom therapy or api-puncture provides physiological benefits. This study confirms that the negative side effects of a chemotherapy drug used in treating colorectal cancer, which causes pain, numbness or hypersensitivity (neuropathy), is improved when bee venom therapy is applied. Even though bee venom may produce fear in some, it actually provides relief for many. From arthritis to multiple sclerosis and sports injuries to pain management, bee venom therapy has been documented to provide relief and improve conditions. Very positive news for many neuropathy victims...

Effect of bee venom acupuncture on oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia in rats

Oxaliplatin, a chemotherapy drug, often leads to neuropathic cold allodynia after a single administration. Bee venom acupuncture (BVA) has been used in Korea to relieve various pain symptoms and is shown to have a potent antiallodynic effect in nerve-injured rats.

We examined whether BVA relieves oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia and which endogenous analgesic system is implicated. The cold allodynia induced by an oxaliplatin injection (6 mg/kg, i.p.) was evaluated by immersing the rat's tail into cold water (4°C) and measuring the withdrawal latency. BVA (1.0 mg/kg, s.c.)
at Yaoyangguan (GV3), Quchi (LI11), or Zusanli (ST36) acupoints significantly reduced cold allodynia with the longest effect being shown in the GV3 group. Conversely, a high dose of BVA (2.5 mg/kg) at GV3 did not show a significant antiallodynic effect. Phentolamine ( α -adrenergic antagonist, 2 mg/kg, i.p.) partially blocked the relieving effect of BVA on allodynia, whereas naloxone (opioid antagonist, 2 mg/kg, i.p.) did not. We further confirmed that an intrathecal administration of idazoxan ( α 2-adrenergic antagonist, 50  μ g) blocked the BVA-induced anti-allodynic effect.

These results indicate that BVA alleviates oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia in rats, at least partly, through activation of the noradrenergic system. Thus, BVA might be a potential therapeutic option in oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Honey and Curcuma Starch Create Effective Antifungal Agent

Propolis is usually identified as having strong anti-fungal properties. However, this study finds a positive coorrelation in using the synergistic antifungal properties found in honey and curcuma, to create a cost-effective, Api-Phytotherapeutic treatment to combat antifungal resistance...

In vitro activity of natural honey alone and in combination with curcuma starch against Rhodotorula mucilaginosa in correlation with bioactive compounds and diastase activity

To evaluate the in vitro activity and synergism of the combinations of natural honey and curcuma starch against Rhodotorula mucilaginosa in correlation with total phenolic, flavonoid contents, and diastase activity.

The Folin-Ciocalteu test was used to determine the total polyphenols content and the flavonoid content was analyzed using by the aluminum chloride method. The antifungal activity of the natural honey, determined by an agar well diffusion assay and agar incorporation method.

Total phenolic content varied from (63.930.11) to (95.366.08) mg GAE/100 g
honey as gallic acid equivalent. Total flavonoids content varied from (5.41±0.04) to (9.94±0.54) mg CE/100 g. Diastase activity values were between (7.3±2.8) and (26±2.8). The zone inhibition diameter for the six honey samples without starch ranged between 6 and 20 mm. When starch was mixed with honey and then added to well, a zone inhibition increase diameter 7 and 21 mm. The percentage increase was noticed with each variety and it ranged between 5% and 62.5%. The minimal inhibitory concentrations for the
six varieties of honey without starch against Rhodotorula mucilaginosa ranged between 28% and 36% (v/v). When starch was incubated with honey and then added to media, a minimal inhibitory concentration drop has been noticed with each variety. It ranged between 6.66 % and 20% (w/v). No significant correlation was established between diastase activity and bioactive compounds.

The mixture of curcuma starch and honey could lead to the development of new combination antibiotics against Rhodotorula infections.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bee Venom Cosmetic Helps Treat Acne

Bee venom is on the rise as a new cosmetic ingredient, rejuvenating skin as an alternative to injections of Botox®, is now proven to stop the growth of acne. It's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a promising new compound...

Effects of cosmetics containing purified honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) venom on acne vulgaris
J Integr Med, 2013, Sept.

Acne vulgaris is a chronic dermatologic problem with multiple factors involved in its pathogenesis. Alternative solutions to acne treatment were instigated by antibiotic resistance despite of its extensive use. Purified bee venom (PBV) has been proposed as a promising candidate for that purpose. The present study was designed to confirm the antibacterial effect of PBV and access the efficacy of cosmetics containing PBV in subjects with acne vulgaris.

The skin bacterium Propionibacterium acnes was incubated with PBV at various concentrations and bacterial growth was evaluated using the colony forming unit (CFU) assay. The mechanism of PBV employed in killing P. acnes was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition, a total of 12 subjects were randomized in a double-blind, controlled trial to receive either cosmetics containing PBV or cosmetics without PBV for two weeks. Evaluations included lesion counts and skin microorganism.

PBV exhibited antimicrobial activity in a concentration-dependent manner, reducing the number of P. acnes CFU by approximately 6 logs at a concentration of 0.5 mg. When PBV concentration was higher than 1.0 mg, no P. acnes colonies were spotted on an agar. TEM and SEM of untreated P. acnes illustrated the normal pleomorphic structure, whereas the PBV-treated bacterium lost the integrity of surface architecture. Significant difference (P=0.027) in the grading levels based on numbers of lesion counts for inflammatory and noninflammatory was observed in favour of the PBV group compared with the control group. In terms of average decrement of skin
microorganism, subjects receiving cosmetics containing PBV experienced a significant 57.5% decrease of adenosine triphosphate levels, whereas participants receiving cosmetics without PBV experienced a nonsignificant decrease of 4.7%.

These results show that the in vitro actions of antimicrobial activity of PBV were translated in vivo. Cosmetics containing PBV provided a certain degree of efficacy in terms of lesion counts and skin microorganism concentration compared with cosmetics without PBV in subjects with acne vulgaris. PBV may be a good candidate compound for developing therapeutic drug for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Propolis Effective in Destroying Colorectal Cancer Cells

Propolis is a natural protector and a vital, complementary ingredient for all medicinal disciplines. This study confirms it increases cell death in colon cancer. Once again, Propolis to the rescue! Eat your fiber and take your propolis...

Propolis Augments Apoptosis Induced by Butyrate via Targeting Cell Survival Pathways
PLoS One, 2013 Sept

Diet is one of the major lifestyle factors affecting incidence of colorectal cancer (CC), and despite accumulating evidence that numerous diet-derived compounds modulate CC incidence, definitive dietary recommendations are not available.

We propose a strategy that could facilitate the design of dietary supplements with CC-preventive properties. Thus, nutrient combinations that are a source of apoptosis-inducers and inhibitors of compensatory cell proliferation pathways (e.g., AKT signaling) may produce high levels of programmed death in CC cells.

Here we report the combined effect of butyrate, an apoptosis inducer that is produced through fermentation of fiber in the colon, and propolis, a honeybee product, on CC cells. We established that propolis increases the apoptosis of CC cells exposed to butyrate through suppression of cell survival pathways such as the AKT signaling. The programmed death of CC cells by combined exposure to butyrate and propolis is further augmented by inhibition of the JNK signaling pathway. Analyses on the contribution of the downstream targets of JNK signaling, c-JUN and JAK/STAT, to the apoptosis of butyrate/propolis-treated CC cells ascertained that JAK/STAT signaling has an anti-apoptotic role; whereas, the role of cJUN might be dependent upon regulatory cell factors.

Thus, our studies ascertained that propolis augments apoptosis of butyrate-sensitive CC cells and re-sensitizes butyrate-resistant CC cells to apoptosis by suppressing AKT signaling and downregulating the JAK/STAT pathway.

Future in vivo studies should evaluate the CC-preventive potential of a dietary supplement that produces high levels of colonic butyrate, propolis, and diet-derived JAK/STAT inhibitors.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Richest Source of Pantothenic Acid Found in Royal Jelly

It's true, Royal Jelly has something special! Numerous articles have reported that Royal Jelly possesses certain values and now this study validates it's rich, natural source of Pantothenic Acid (B5). As stated by Wikipedia, "For many animals, pantothenic acid is an essential nutrient"... 

HPLC determination of pantothenic acid in royal jelly
J Analytical Methods, 2013, July 9

Although royal jelly constitutes one of the richest natural sources of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), a reliable and validated chromatographic method to determine this analyte in this matrix has yet to be described in literature. In this work we present an original RP-HPLC procedure to measure the concentration of pantothenic acid in royal jelly. A sample pre-treatment is needed to prevent the interference of high protein concentration in the matrix.

The method has been validated in terms of LoD, LoQ, linearity, precision (repeatability and reproducibility) and bias. 

Finally, the whole procedure was tested on a number of samples of royal jelly from different origin, providing concentration values spanning from 120±30 to 565±40 mg Kg-1 of pantothenic acid.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Combining Honey and Garlic Boosts Antibacterial Effects

Honey and propolis are extremely complementary with herbal remedies. After all, bee products are plant-based, so it's not suprising that combining the beneficial effects of garlic with honey will improve the effects of both. This is known as Api-Phytotherapy and even though this is from the stingless bee, it's antibacterial properties are similar to honey from Apis mellifera...

Combined antibacterial activity of stingless bee (Apis mellipodae) honey and garlic (Allium sativum) extracts against standard and clinical pathogenic bacteria
Asian Pac Jrl Trop Biomed, 2013 Sep;3(9):725-31

To investigate the synergic antibacterial activity of garlic and tazma honey against standard and clinical pathogenic bacteria.

Antimicrobial activity of tazma honey, garlic and mixture of them against pathogenic bacteria were determined. Chloramphenicol and water were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration of antimicrobial samples were determined using standard methods.

Inhibition zone of mixture of garlic and tazma honey against all tested pathogens was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) greater than garlic and tazma honey alone. The diameter zone of inhibition ranged from (18±1) to (35±1) mm for mixture of garlic and tazma honey, (12±1) to (20±1) mm for tazma honey and (14±1) to (22±1) mm for garlic as compared with (10±1) to (30±1) mm for chloramphenicol. The combination of garlic and tazma honey (30-35 mm) was more significantly (P≤0.05) effective against Salmonella (NCTC 8385), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), Lyesria moncytogenes (ATCC 19116) and Streptococcus pneumonia (ATCC 63). Results also showed considerable antimicrobial activity of garlic and tazma honey. MIC of mixture of garlic and tazma honey at 6.25% against total test bacteria was 88.9%. MIC of mixture of garlic and tazma honey at 6.25% against Gram positive and negative were 100% and 83.33%, respectively. The bactericidal activities of garlic, tazma honey, and mixture of garlic and tazma honey against all pathogenic bacteria at 6.25% concentration were 66.6%, 55.6% and 55.6%, respectively.

This finding strongly supports the claim of the local community to use the combination of tazma honey and garlic for the treatment of different pathogenic bacterial infections. Therefore, garlic in combination with tazma honey can serve as an alternative natural antimicrobial drug for the treatment of pathogenic bacterial infections. Further in vivo study is recommended to come up with a comprehensive conclusion. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Propolis Antifungal Action Effective Against Vaginal Infections

The use of propolis as an antifungal agent has been documented in numerous studies and the increasing interest in the pharmaceutical industry to develop a clinical solution is not surprising since the non-toxic effects of propolis outweigh the negative side effects of drugs. Fortunately, propolis already exists as an ovule on the market... 

Evaluation of Mucoadhesive Gels with Propolis (EPP-AF) in Preclinical Treatment of Candidiasis Vulvovaginal Infection

Vulvovaginal candidiasis is the second cause of vaginal infection in the USA. Clinical treatment of C. albicans infections is routinely performed with polyenes and azole derivatives. However, these drugs are responsible for undesirable side effects and toxicity. In addition, C. albicans azole and echinocandin resistance has been described.

Propolis is a bee product traditionally used due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and other properties. Therefore, the present work aimed to evaluate different propolis presentations in order to evaluate their in vitro and in vivo efficacy.

The methodologies involved antifungal evaluation, chemical analysis, and the effects of the rheological and mucoadhesive properties of propolis based gels. The obtained results demonstrated the fungicide action of propolis extracts against all three morphotypes (yeast, pseudohyphae, and hyphae) studied. The highest level of fungal cytotoxicity was reached at 6-8 hours of propolis cell incubation. Among the based gel formulations developed, the rheological and mucoadhesive results suggest that propolis based carbopol (CP1%) and chitosan gels were the most pseudoplastic ones. CP1% was the most mucoadhesive preparation, and all of them presented low thixotropy.

Results of in vivo efficacy demonstrated that propolis based gels present antifungal action similar to clotrimazole cream, suggesting that future clinical studies should be performed. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Honey - Coffee 'Jam' Outperforms Steroid for Persistent Coughs

Honey as a cough suppressant has been studied, documented and authenticated for mild upper respiratory coughs. Now this double-blind study used a honey - coffee jam to significantly reduce persistent post-infectious coughs when compared to prednisolone, a steroid. Once again, honey helps and heals as a complementary, adjuvant solution without negative side effects...

Honey Plus Coffee Versus Systemic Steroid in the Treatment of Persistent Post-Infectious Cough: A Randomised Controlled Trial
Prim Care Respir J, 2013 Aug 21

Persistent post-infectious cough (PPC) is a cough that remains after a common cold or an upper respiratory tract infection for more than three weeks or perhaps for many months. Two of the suggested treatments for PPC are systemic steroid and honey plus coffee.

The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare scientifically the therapeutic effects of these two regimens.

A double-blind randomised controlled trial was conducted from 2008 to 2011 at the Baqiyatallah University Hospital, Tehran, Iran. Included in the study were 97 adults who had experienced PPC for more than three weeks. Patients with other causes of chronic cough, systemic disease, or abnormal routine laboratory tests were excluded. The participants were distributed into three groups. A jam-like paste was prepared which consisted of honey plus coffee for the first group ('HC'), prednisolone for the second group (steroid, 'S'), and guaifenesin for the third group (control, 'C'). The participants were told to dissolve a specified amount of their product in warm water and to drink the solution every eight hours for one week. All the participants were evaluated before treatment and one week after completion of treatment to measure the severity of their cough. The main outcome measure was the mean cough frequency before and after one week's treatment calculated by a validated visual analogue cough questionnaire score.

There were 97 adult patients (55 men) enrolled in this study with the mean of age of 40.1 years old. The mean (+/- SD) cough scores pre- and post-treatment were: HC group 2.9 (0.3) pre-treatment and 0.2 (0.5) post-treatment (p < 0.001); steroid ('S') group 3.0 (0.0) pre-treatment and 2.4 (0.6) post-treatment (p < 0.05); control ('C') group 2.8 (0.4) pre-treatment and 2.7 (0.5) post-treatment (p > 0.05). Analysis of variance showed a significant difference between the mean cough frequency before and after treatment in the HC group versus the S group (p < 0.001). Honey plus coffee was found to be the most effective treatment modality for PPC

A combination of honey and coffee can be used as an alternative medicine in the treatment of PPC.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Scottish Honey Stops Bacterial Growth in Wounds

Good honey heals wounds and certain monofloral honeys heal even better. It's important that studies are exposing other honeys that possess antimicrobial activity useful in wound management. Of course, it starts with good beekeeping habits...

The Antimicrobial Activity of Honey Against Common Equine Wound Bacterial Isolates

Veterinary Journal, 2013 Aug 17

Delayed healing associated with distal limb wounds is a particular problem in equine clinical practice. Recent studies in human beings and other species have demonstrated the beneficial wound healing properties of honey, and medical grade honey dressings are available commercially in equine practice. Equine clinicians are reported to source other non-medical grade honeys for the same purpose.

This study aimed to assess the antimicrobial activity of a number of honey types against common equine wound bacterial pathogens. Twenty-nine honey products were sourced, including gamma-irradiated and non-irradiated commercial medical grade honeys, supermarket honeys, and honeys from local beekeepers.

To exclude contaminated honeys from the project, all honeys were cultured aerobically for evidence of bacterial contamination. Aerobic bacteria or fungi were recovered from 18 products. The antimicrobial activity of the remaining 11 products was assessed against 10 wound bacteria, recovered from the wounds of horses, including methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Eight products were effective against all 10 bacterial isolates at concentrations varying from < 2% to 16% (v/v). Overall, the Scottish Heather Honey was the best performing product, and inhibited the growth of all 10 bacterial isolates at concentrations ranging from < 2% to 6% (v/v). Although Manuka has been the most studied honey to date, other sources may have valuable antimicrobial properties. 

Since some honeys were found to be contaminated with aerobic bacteria or fungi, non-sterile honeys may not be suitable for wound treatment. Further assessment of gamma-irradiated honeys from the best performing honeys would be useful

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Honey Protects Liver from Melamine Toxicity

Great news: Propolis has also been found to detoxify the liver. Taking both honey and propolis together also creates a synergistic effect, whereby the benefits of each are enhanced when taken together. Imagine if industrial workers were given a simple dose of honey & propolis before going to work...

Bees' Honey Protects the Liver of Male Rats against Melamine Toxicity
BioMed Research Intl, 2013, June 22

The protective effect of natural bees' honey to the liver of male albino rats against melamine toxicity was studied.

Melamine supplementation at a dose of 20000 ppm in the diet for 28 days induced adverse effects on the liver, decreased serum total protein and increased liver enzyme: alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase. Histological changes of the melamine supplemented group showed necrosis in the hepatic tissues around the central veins of the liver and precipitation of melamine crystals. Treating the male albino rats (that were presupplemented regularly with 20000 ppm melamine) with natural bees' honey at a dose of 2.5 g/kg body weight for 28 days improved both liver functions and increased serum protein.
In addition, a positive impact on the shape of the cells after treatment with honey compared to the positive melamine supplemented group was observed. 

In conclusion, the results of this study revealed that the use of natural bees' honey has the ability to protect the liver of rats against the toxic effects of melamine.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bee Venom Aids Wound Healing, Cell Regeneration

This study finds Bee Venom has the potential to advance wound healing practices and we find yet another medicinal use for honey bee products. From these results, it appears one could combine bee venom, propolis and honey to create a super wound healing agent... 

Effects of honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom on keratinocyte migration in vitro
Pharmacogn Mag, 2013, July 9

Since the ancient times the skin aging application of honeybee venom (BV) is practiced and persisted until nowadays. The present study evaluated the effect of the honeybee venom (BV) on keratinocyte migration in wound healing model in vitro.

To access BV further as a cosmetic ingredient and a potential external application for topical uses, we performed studies to investigate the biologic effect of BV treatment on keratinocyte proliferation and migration in vitro.

BV cytotoxicity was assessed by using a 3-[4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay over 24 h. To assess BV genotoxicity, damage to human epidermal keratinocyte (HEK) was evaluated using the Comet assay. HEK migration was evaluated using a commercial wound healing kit. The skin pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-8 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were examined to evaluate the pro-inflammatory response to BV.

BV effect on keratinocyte migration
It was found that BV [< 100 ug/ml] was not cytotoxic and stimulated more HEK proliferation and migration compared to negative control, and did not induce DNA damage. There were also decreases in IL-8 and TNF-α expression levels in HEK at all time points.


These findings highlight the potential of topical application of BV for promoting cell regeneration and wound treatment.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Royal Jelly Improves Sperm Kinematics

Studies of Royal Jelly continue to reveal existence of its protective properties, as well as its consistent ability to enhance sexual function, from women to men and even rams...

Royal Jelly improves the sperm parameters of ram semen during liquid storage and serves as an antioxidant source
SmallRuminant Research  2013, July

The current study was carried out to investigate the protective effects of the Royal Jelly (RJ) supplementation on the sperm kinematics, plasma membrane functionality, the level of produced nitric oxide (NO) and total antioxidant capacity during the liquid storage of ram semen at 4 °C, for various periods of time (0, 24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 h).

Semen samples were collected from four rams and pooled, diluted with Tris–egg yolk extender without RJ (control) or supplemented with different concentrations of RJ (0, 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2%), at a final concentration of 200 × 106 sperm/mL. Sperm viability, kinematics and membrane functionality were determined by nigrosin–eosin staining, computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA), and by using the hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOST), respectively. Additionally, the oxidative and nitrosative status were evaluated after the RJ supplementation. The RJ supplementation resulted in a significant (P < 0.05) increase of sperm viability with the highest increase at 1% RJ concentration for 120 h. A significant protective effect of RJ on sperm membrane functionality was obtained at lower concentrations (0.5 and 1%) and in all incubated time points. The most prominent protective effect of RJ on sperm motility parameters was found on the progressive velocity (VSL) as after 72 h storage, no significant reduction was found in comparison to the 50% reduction in the control group. The produced NO level during storage time was reduced by addition of RJ at low concentrations (0.5 and 1%).

Our data suggest that the RJ supplementation at lower concentrations (0.5 and 1%) improves the ram sperm kinetics and plasma membrane functionality during the liquid and cold storage. Moreover, the protective effect of RJ might be attributed to its antioxidative/antinitrosative capacities.