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.