Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Royal Jelly Proteins Mapped via Phosphorylation

With this new mapping of royal jelly proteins, future studies will examine not only the antimicrobial aspects of this magnificent product produced for the queen, but numerous other beneficial effects already documented.

In-Depth Phosphoproteomic Analysis of Royal Jelly Derived from Western and Eastern Honeybee Species
J. Proteome Res., 2014, 13 (12), pp 5928–5943

The proteins in royal jelly (RJ) play a pivotal role in the nutrition, immune defense, and cast determination of honeybee larvae and have a wide range of pharmacological and health-promoting functions for humans as well. Although the importance of post-translational modifications (PTMs) in protein function is known, investigation of protein phosphorylation of RJ proteins is still very limited.

To this end, two complementary phosphopeptide enrichment materials (Ti4+-IMAC and TiO2) and high-sensitivity mass spectrometry were applied to establish a detailed phosphoproteome map and to qualitatively and quantitatively compare the phosphoproteomes of RJ produced by Apis mellifera ligustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc). In total, 16 phosphoproteins carrying 67 phosphorylation sites were identified in RJ derived from western bees, and nine proteins phosphorylated on 71 sites were found in RJ produced by eastern honeybees. Of which, eight phosphorylated proteins were common to both RJ samples, and the same motif ([S-x-E]) was extracted, suggesting that the function of major RJ proteins as nutrients and immune agents is evolutionary preserved in both of these honeybee species

All eight overlapping phosphoproteins showed significantly higher abundance in Acc-RJ than in Aml-RJ, and the phosphorylation of Jelleine-II (an antimicrobial peptide, TPFKLSLHL) at S6 in Acc-RJ had stronger antimicrobial properties than that at T1 in Aml-RJ even though the overall antimicrobial activity of Jelleine-II was found to decrease after phosphorylation. The differences in phosphosites, peptide abundance, and antimicrobial activity of the phosphorylated RJ proteins indicate that the two major honeybee species employ distinct phosphorylation strategies that align with their different biological characteristics shaped by evolution. The phosphorylation of RJ proteins are potentially driven by the activity of extracellular serine/threonine protein kinase FAM20C-like protein (FAM20C-like) through the [S-x-E] motif, which is supported by evidence that mRNA and protein expression of FAM20C-like protein kinase are both found in the highest level in the hypopharyngeal gland of nurse bees.

Our data represent the first comprehensive RJ phosphorylation atlas, recording patterns of phosphorylated RJ protein abundance and antibacterial activity of some RJ proteins in two major managed honeybee species. These data constitute a firm basis for future research to better understand the biological roles of each RJ protein for honeybee biology and human health care.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Propolis Stimulates Hair Growth

This is my favorite product from honey bees! It's protective, preventive properties are well-documented but hair growth is a new application. It's no wonder that propolis research is on a steady climb worldwide...

Stimulatory Effect of Brazilian Propolis on Hair Growth through Proliferation of Keratinocytes in Mice
J. Agric. Food Chem., 2014, 62 (49), pp 11854–11861

Propolis is a natural honeybee hive product with the potential for use in the treatment of dermatological conditions, such as cutaneous abrasions, burns, and acne. In this study, we investigated whether propolis stimulates hair growth in mice. 

Ethanol-extracted propolis, which contains various physiologically active substances such as caffeic acid and kaempferol, stimulated anagen induction in shaved back skin. Anagen induction occurred without any detectable abnormalities in the shape of the hair follicles (HFs), hair stem cells in the bulge, proliferating hair matrix keratinocytes in the hair bulb, or localization of versican in the dermal papilla.

Propolis treatment also stimulated migration of hair matrix keratinocytes into the hair shaft in HFs during late anagen in the depilated back skin. Organotypic culture of skin containing anagen stage HFs revealed significant stimulation of hair matrix keratinocyte proliferation by propolis. Furthermore, propolis facilitated the proliferation of epidermal keratinocytes. 

These results indicate that propolis stimulates hair growth by inducing hair keratinocyte proliferation.




Friday, December 12, 2014

Muscle Mass Restored with Fresh Bee Pollen

Recognized for many years as a nutritional supplement for athletes, this new study reveals that fresh bee pollen improved metabolism and muscle mass in aged rats. An important revelation for an aging population where malnutrition often surfaces.

Bee Pollen Improves Muscle Protein and Energy Metabolism in Malnourished Old Rats through Interfering with the Mtor Signaling Pathway and Mitochondrial Activity
Nutrients. 2014 Dec 1;6(12):5500-16

Although the management of malnutrition is a priority in older people, this population shows a resistance to refeeding. Fresh bee pollen contains nutritional substances of interest for malnourished people. The aim was to evaluate the effect of fresh bee pollen supplementation on refeeding efficiency in old malnourished rats.

Male 22-month-old Wistar rats were undernourished by reducing food intake for 12 weeks. The animals were then renourished for three weeks with the same diet supplemented with 0%, 5% or 10% of fresh monofloral bee pollen. Due to changes in both lean mass and fat mass, body weight decreased during malnutrition and increased after refeeding with no between-group differences (p < 0.0001).


Rats refed with the fresh bee pollen-enriched diets showed a significant increase in muscle mass compared to restricted rats (p < 0.05). The malnutrition period reduced the muscle protein synthesis rate and mTOR/p70S6kinase/4eBP1 activation, and only the 10%-pollen diet was able to restore these parameters. Mitochondrial activity was depressed with food restriction and was only improved by refeeding with the fresh bee pollen-containing diets.

In conclusion, refeeding diets that contain fresh monofloral bee pollen improve muscle mass and metabolism in old, undernourished rats.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Recalcitrant Psoriasis Treated Effectively with Apitherapy

Apitherapy is the use of one or more products from honey bees to heal or prevent diseases. This abstract doesn't specify which bee products were used, but individual studies concerning the dermatological therapeutic effects of propolis, honey, royal jelly and bee venom are numerous. In general, studies in Apitherapy show a 'synergistic effect' when multiple bee products are combined, providing a more potent solution.

Efficacy of the Apitherapy in the treatment of recalcitrant localized plaque psoriasis and evaluation of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) serum level: a Double blind randomized clinical trial
J Dermatolog Treat. 2014 Nov 26:1-19.

Background
No universal consensus about optimal modality for treating the recalcitrant localized plaque psoriasis (RLPP).

Objective
To evaluate the immunological and clinical therapeutic effect of using Apitherapy in the treatment of RLPP.

Methods
Randomized fifty patients with RLPP received Apitherapy (n = 25) and placebo (n = 25) every week. Both treatments were injected into lesions at weekly intervals for a maximum of 12 treatments. Following up was 6 months later. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) level was measured at pre-study and at 12th week.

Results
A significant difference was found between the therapeutic responses of RLPP to Apitherapy and placebo group (P < 0.001). In the Apitherapy group, complete response was achieved in 92 % of patients. There was statistically significant decrease in TNF-α in Apitherapy group versus placebo group. No recurrence was observed in Apitherapy group.

Conclusion
Apitherapy is effective and safe treatment for recalcitrant localized plaque psoriasis, when other topical or physical therapies have failed.




Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chronic Periodontitis Treated Effectively with Propolis

This clinical study verifies other results which have proven propolis effective as an adjuvant and even as a primary solution for a variety of oral conditions. Regular use of propolis in toothpaste or chewing gum would be well-advised to avoid these issues. 

Propolis as an Adjuvant in the Treatment of Chronic Periodontitis - A Clinicomicrobiologic Study
J Clin Diagn Res. 2014 Sep;8(9):ZC41-4

OBJECTIVES:
This study was aimed at the clinical and microbiological evaluation of the efficacy of subgingivally delivered Indian propolis extract as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (SRP) in the treatment of periodontitis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Twenty patients diagnosed with chronic periodontitis presenting a minimum of two pockets (probing depth ≥5 mm) were selected. Sites were assigned randomly into control sites (n=20) which received SRP alone or test sites (n=20) which received SRP and locally delivered propolis. At selected sites, the clinical parameters were assessed and subgingival plaque samples were collected at baseline, 15 days and one month. The samples were cultured anerobically for periodontal pathogens.

RESULTS:
The results indicated that there was a significant improvement in both clinical and microbiological parameters (p < 0.01) in the test sites compared to the control sites at the end of the study.

CONCLUSION:
Subgingival delivery of propolis showed promising results as an adjunct to SRP in patients with chronic periodontitis when assessed by clinical and microbiological parameters.

Click here to download the complete study.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Honey Consumption Reduces Chemotherapy Side Effects

This clinical study reaffirms that honey is medicine. It's therapeutic value improved the health of children suffering from Leukemia. It also enhanced hemoglobin levels, decreased hospital stay and chemotherapy side effects. Whether ill or well, consuming honey has important advantages to improving and maintaining one's health, while preventing unwanted illnesses.

Clinical Trial: The Effects of Honey on Febrile Neutropeniain Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Febrile neutropenia (FN) is a common and serious side effect of chemotherapy. Current management of FN is expensive and may induce side effects. Honey is a natural substance produced by honeybees. It possesses antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticancer effects. In addition, honey is not expensive. 

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of 12-week honey consumption on children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) particularly with regards of FN episodes. This randomized crossover clinical trial included 40 patients of both sexes, aged 2.5 to 10 years. They were randomized into two equal groups [intervention to control (I/C) and control to intervention (C/I)]. 

The dietary intervention was 12-week honey consumption in a dose of 2.5g//kg body weight per dose twice weekly. The intervention resulted in a significant decrease of FN episodes and duration of hospital admission. Furthermore, the intervention improved the levels of hemoglobin and did not lead to any serious side effect. As a possible effect of honey withdrawal in the I/C group, the Hb%, the absolute neutrophil count and the platelet count decreased. 

This small clinical trial suggests that honey consumption might have positive effects on FN and hematologic parameters of children with ALL.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Anti-Acne Solution Found with Bee Venom

Yet another study confirming the beneficial effects of bee venom in treating acne. Bee venom which has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties has advantages over acne medication, as it doesn't exhibit negative side-effects. With the addition of little propolis and honey, this would be a very effective skin treatment.

Inhibitory effects of bee venom on Propionibacterium acnes-induced inflammatory skin disease in an animal model
Int J Mol Med, 2014 Nov;34(5):1341-8

Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a major contributing factor to the inflammatory component of acne. The many prescription medications for acne allow for a large number of potential combination treatments. However, several antibiotics, apart from their antibacterial effects, exert side‑effects, such as the suppression of host inflammatory responses. Purified bee venom (BV) is a natural toxin produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera L.). BV has been widely used as a traditional medicine for various diseases.

In the present study, to investigate the therapeutic effects of BV against P. acnes-induced inflammatory skin disease, P. acnes was intradermally injected into the ears of mice. After the injection, BV was applied to the skin surface of the right ear. Histological observation revealed that P. acnes induced a considerable increase in the number of infiltrated inflammatory cells. However, treatment with BV markedly reduced these reactions compared with the P. acnes-injected mice not treated with BV. Moreover, the expression levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interleukin (IL)-1β were significantly reduced in the BV-treated mice compared with the untreated P. acnes-injected mice. 

In addition, treatment with BV significantly inhibited Toll-like receptor (TLR)2 and CD14 expression in P. acnes-injected tissue. The binding activity of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and activator protein (AP)-1 was markedly suppressed following treatment with BV. The results from our study, using an animal model, indicate that BV exerts an inhibitory effect on inflammatory skin diseases.

In conclusion, our data indicate that BV has potential for use as an anti-acne agent and may be useful in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.



Monday, October 27, 2014

Honey and Milk Effective For Coughs As OTC Medication

Interesting results from a study using a honey and milk mixture which performed as good as over-the-counter medication. Previous studies have also confirmed that honey alone works better at treating acute coughs as OTC medication.

Effect of multiple honey doses on non-specific acute cough in children. An open randomised study and literature review
Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2014 Sep 5. pii: S0301-0546(14)00129-3

BACKGROUND:
Honey is recommended for non-specific acute paediatric cough by the Australian guidelines. Current available randomised clinical trials evaluated the effects of a single evening dose of honey, but multiple doses outcomes have never been studied.

OBJECTIVES:
To evaluate the effects of wildflower honey, given for three subsequent evenings, on non-specific acute paediatric cough, compared to dextromethorphan (DM) and levodropropizine (LDP), which are the most prescribed over-the-counter (OTC) antitussives in Italy.

METHODS:
134 children suffering from non-specific acute cough were randomised to receive for three subsequent evenings a mixture of milk (90ml) and wildflower honey (10ml) or a dose of DM or LDP adjusted for the specific age. The effectiveness was evaluated by a cough questionnaire answered by parents. Primary end-point efficacy was therapeutic success. The latter was defined as a decrease in cough questionnaire score greater than 50% after treatment compared with baseline values.

RESULTS:
Three children were excluded from the study, as their parents did not complete the questionnaire. Therapeutic success was achieved by 80% in the honey and milk group and 87% in OTC medication group (p=0.25).

CONCLUSIONS:
Milk and honey mixture seems to be at least as effective as DM or LDP in non-specific acute cough in children. These results are in line with previous studies, which reported the health effects of honey on paediatric cough, even if placebo effect cannot be totally excluded.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Propolis Detoxifies Cancer Drug Side Effects

A consistent thread in all studies involving bee propolis is its complementary effects, whether it enhances the drug or protects the body from negative side effects. This study determined that propolis detoxified the liver and kidney from the toxic effects of this cancer drug. Ironically, propolis is also proven to enhance the tumor destructive power of breast cancer medication. It would be well-recommended for anyone preparing to undergo chemotherapy, to take propolis daily before, during and after treatment...

Ameliorative effect of propolis against cyclophosphamide-induced toxicity in mice
Pharm Biol, 2014 Oct 7:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Context
Cyclophosphamide (CTX) is a common anticancer agent used for the treatment of several malignancies. However, upon treatment, it induces severe toxicity due to its oxidative stress capability. Propolis, a natural product collected by honey bees, has shown several biological activities, such as free radical scavenging and antioxidant agent.

Objective
This study elucidates the protective effects of propolis against CTX-induced changes in mice. Materials and methods: Forty-eight male Swiss albino mice were divided into four groups; group 1 was intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected with 200 µL of phosphate buffer saline (PBS), group 2 was injected with 100 mg/kg/d propolis, group 3 was injected with a single dose of CTX (200 mg/kg), and group 4 was injected with a single dose of CTX (200 mg/kg) followed by propolis (100 mg/kg) for 7 consecutive days. After 12 d, mice were bled and then sacrificed to analyze the hematological, biochemical, and histological parameters.

Results
The results indicated that CTX-injected mice showed an increase in the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), urea, and creatinine and a decrease in the total number of white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets. Moreover, dramatical changes in the histological architectures of the liver and kidney were observed. The mice that were injected with CTX/propolis showed an improvement in the levels of ALT, AST, urea, creatinine, WBCs, and platelets. Moreover, the histological picture of the liver and kidney was significantly improved.


Conclusions
In conclusion, propolis might be considered an effective agent in ameliorating the toxicity resulted from CTX treatment.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Honey Outperforms Sugars As Anti-Cancer Agent

This study confirms that the holistic capacity of honey, which is rich in sugars, cannot be duplicated to possess the same anticancer effects as lab-created honey. Honey has unique origins from the nectar sources to the transitional processes that honey bees use to make it medicinal and nutritional. Honey is good medicine.

EFFECT OF SUGAR CONCENTRATION MIMICKING COMPOSITION OF SUGARS IN HONEY ON N-METHYL-N-NITROSOUREA (MNU)-INDUCED BREAST CARCINOMA IN RATS
Pathology: October 2014 - Volume 46

Aim
High concentration of sugar is carcinogenic. Honey which is rich in sugars has been shown to have anti-cancer effect. There is no study reported on the effect of sugars mimicking the concentration of sugars of honey (honey-mimic) in inhibiting breast carcinoma in rats. The aim of the study is to investigate if honey-mimic has similar effect as natural honey on experimental breasts tumor induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) in rats.

Methods
Honey-mimic was made by mixing proportions of fructose, glucose, sucrose and maltose mimicking the sugar composition of honey based on published method. Forty Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 4 groups with 10 animals per each group. Group 1 rats did not receive MNU injection (negative control). Group 2, 3, 4 rats received a single intraperitoneal dose (80 mg/kg body weight) of MNU injection. The size and development of the tumors were monitored. When the tumor size reached 10-12 mm2 in diameter, rats of Group 3 were given oral honey-sugar mimic 1.0 g/kg while Group 4 was given honey 1.0 g/kg body weight daily. Group 2 was not given honey-sugar mimic nor natural honey (positive control). All rats were allowed to feed on rat chowder ad lib. After 120 days, all rats were sacrificed and tumors were harvested for gross and histopathological examinations
.
Results
The mean number of tumors developed per rat in groups 2, 3, 4 was 4.9 +/- 0.60, 3.6 +/- 0.40 and 3.4 +/- 0.30, respectively. The mean tumor weight and volume in the negative and positive control group were significantly larger at 11.85 +/- 1.01 g and 8.50 +/- 0.40 cm3, respectively; while in the test groups (Groups 3 and 4) were 6.45 +/- 0.60 g and 4.50 +/- 0.20 cm3; 4.34 +/- 0.35 g and 2.50 +/- 0.20 cm3 (p < 0.05), respectively. Histopathological grading revealed that the majority of rats which received honey-sugar mimic and honey were of grade 1 and 2 compared to control, which were of grade 3.

Conclusion
Sugar concentration mimicking composition of sugars in natural honey has some anti-carcinogenesis modulation properties but not as effective as honey.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Study Confirms Propolis is a Safe, Antidiabetic Agent

This is an amazing discovery for diabetics, as the use of propolis aids the body by regulating the immune system to protect it. As it's been described, honey bees make propolis from a naturopathic formula, which protects the liver, pancreas and kidneys. 

Significance of propolis administration for homeostasis of CD4+CD25+ immunoregulatory T cells controlling hyperglycemia
Springer Plus, 2014 Sept 15; 3:526  

In the present study, we examined the effect of ethanolic soluble derivative of propolis (EEP) extract on immunological function in diabetic mouse models with the aim of highlighting the role of regulatory T cell, the change of cell surface molecule, and in vivo productions of IFN-gamma. Murine models of diabetes mellitus (DM) were created by injecting normal mice with S961 peptide. 

Normal BALB/c mice were injected intraperitoneally with peptide S961 300 mg/kg body weight (BW) twice a day for eight days. On day 15, the spleen was isolated; then, cell surface molecules and regulatory T cells were analyzed using flow cytometry. 

The histopathological changes were monitored in the liver of treated and control mice. Afterward, we tested the ability of propolis as an immunomodulator that initiate normality metabolism and homeostasis. 

The propolis decreased blood sugar levels and increased the number of naive T cells expressing CD62L molecule by suppressing the development of effector cells in diabetic mice. However, the propolis stimulated development of effector cells, which was indicated by increasing the number of CD4+CD25+ T cells in normal mice. 

Moreover, the propolis increased the production of IFN-gamma in normal mice, whereas in mouse models of diabetes mellitus propolis tends to suppress the production of IFN-gamma. The histological analysis of the liver shows that at a dose of 50-200 mg/kg BW propolis does not show a toxic effect so that the dose is categorized safe.

Therefore, the ethanolic soluble derivative of propolis (EEP) extract warrant for further exploited as an antidiabetic agent that safe for human.


Click here to download complete study.



Monday, September 15, 2014

PMS Reduced by Consuming Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is a hormone-rich substance that is encouraged for women, whether during pregnancy or in menopause. This triple-blind study reinforces the benefits women gain when consuming royal jelly to diminish PMS. Studies dating back to the 70's, identified that a blend of bee pollen and royal jelly reduced symptoms of PMS and menopause. In fact, royal jelly plays an important role in regulating hormones, not only for women, but for men as well. 

Effect of Royal Jelly on premenstrual syndrome among Iranian medical sciences students: A randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled study
Complement Ther Med. 2014 Aug;22(4):601-6

BACKGROUND:
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may have negative effects on women's health and sometimes need therapeutic non-pharmacological management.

OBJECTIVES:
To determine the effect of oral consumption of 1000mg Royal Jelly capsule on premenstrual syndrome.

METHOD:
This is a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, which was conducted in Tehran University of Medical Sciences female dormitories between December 2011 and October 2012. The study population comprised 110 medical sciences student with PMS, whom were randomly assigned to an intervention or a control group. Each participant in the intervention group took one Royal jelly capsule orally per day, starting on the first day of menstruation and continued the same treatment daily throughout two consecutive menstrual cycles, while participants in the intervention group took placebo capsules as same method. The outcome measure in this study was PMS score as obtained through the Premenstrual Profile 2005.

RESULTS:
The mean of personal characteristics and baseline level of the premenstrual score before intervention did not differ between groups. After two consecutive months consumption of Royal Jelly, PMS score had decreased from 23.17±17.43 to 11.42±14.58 (mean change: 11.75; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 8.31-15.19) and in Placebo, PMS score changed from 21.48±16.39 to 20.27±15.76 (mean change: 1.20; 95% CI: -1.69 to 4.10). Also difference between mean changes was significant (mean difference: 10.54; 95% CI: 6.10-14.98).

CONCLUSIONS:
The results of the study have demonstrated that 2 months consumption of Royal Jelly was effective in reducing PMS

Monday, September 8, 2014

Reduced Toxicity Achieved in Liver, Spleen & Pancreas with Apitherapy

A fantastic study revealing the "synergistic effects" of an Apitherapy diet, combining multiple bee products enhances the effects of each individual product thereby boosting the overall results. This study reaffirms the previous results which identified the detoxing effects of honey and propolis on liver and kidneys.

Effect of Apitherapy Formulations against Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Toxicity in Wistar Rats after Three Weeks of Treatment
Molecules 2014, 19(9), 13374-13


The human body is exposed nowadays to increasing attacks by toxic compounds in polluted air, industrially processed foods, alcohol and drug consumption that increase liver toxicity, leading to more and more severe cases of hepatic disorders. The present paper aims to evaluate the influence of the apitherapy diet in Wistar rats with carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity, by analyzing the biochemical determinations (enzymatic, lipid and protein profiles, coagulation parameters, minerals, blood count parameters, bilirubin levels) and histopathological changes at the level of liver, spleen and pancreas.
Liver samples

The experiment was carried out on six groups of male Wistar rats. Hepatic lesions were induced by intraperitoneal injection of carbon tetrachloride (dissolved in paraffin oil, 10% solution). Two mL per 100 g were administered, every 2 days, for 2 weeks. Hepatoprotection was achieved with two apitherapy diet formulations containing honey, pollen, propolis, Apilarnil, with/without royal jelly.
Spleen samples

Biochemical results reveal that the two apitherapy diet formulations have a positive effect on improving the enzymatic, lipid, and protein profiles, coagulation, mineral and blood count parameters and bilirubin levels. The histopathological results demonstrate the benefits of the two apitherapy diet formulations on reducing toxicity at the level of liver, spleen and pancreas in laboratory animals.
Pancreas samples

To download the full whitepaper, click here.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Propolis Detoxifies Kidney of Aluminum Chloride

Yet another study confirming the protective effects of propolis, detoxifying kidneys from aluminum chloride. Other studies have shown its ability to detoxify the liver. This characteristic is also seen with consuming honey which aids in detoxifying the liver. Bee products are protective with no negative side effects and propolis is one of the most important products from honeybees.

Role of propolis (bee glue) in improving histopathological changes of the kidney of rat treated with aluminum chloride
Environ Toxicol. 2014 Sep;29(9):1000-10

Humans are frequently exposed to aluminum from various food additives, therapeutic treatments and the environment, and it can be potentially toxic. This study is aimed to elucidate the protective effects of propolis against aluminum chloride (AlCl3 )-induced histopathological and immunohistochemical changes in kidney tissues of rats. 

Sixty Wistar Albino male rats (average weight 250-300 g) were divided into three equal groups. The first served as a negative control. The second received AlCl3 (34 mg/kg bw, 1/ 25 LD 50). The third were administered AlCl3 (34 mg/kg bw, 1/ 25 LD 50) plus propolis (50 mg/kg bw). Doses were given once daily via a gavage for 8 weeks every day. The results showed that shrunken glomeruli, intraglomerular congestion, loss of apical microvilli, degeneration of mitochondria and widened rough endoplasmic reticulum were also observed in the Proximal Convoluted Tubules of these animals.

Treatment with propolis ameliorated the harmful effects of AlCl3 ; this was also proved histopathologically by the noticeable improvement in the renal tissues. There were also significant variations in the expressed of ki-67 and p53 proteins. It can be concluded that propolis may be promising as a natural therapeutic agent in AlCl3 -induced renal toxicity and oxidative stress in rat kidneys.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Neurodegenerative Diseases Prevented by Bee Venom

Bee venom and its numerous components are revealing many uses in treating health conditions. Incorporating other bee products during such a treatment would generate additional benefits, namely "synergistic effects", whereby each product enhances the properties of the others, such as royal jelly & propolis.

Neuroprotective effects of melittin on hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptotic cell death in neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:286, Published: 5 August 2014
Background
Free radicals are involved in neuronal cell death in human neurodegenerative diseases. Since ancient times, honeybee venom has been used in a complementary medicine to treat various diseases and neurologic disorders. Melittin, the main component of honeybee venom, has various biologic effects, including anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory activities.

Methods
We investigated the neuroprotective effects of melittin against H2O2-induced apoptosis in the human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. The neuroprotective effects of melittin on H2O2-induced apoptosis were investigated using a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenylterazolium bromide assay, caspase 3 activity, 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining, a lactate dehydrogenase release assay, Western blots, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.

Results
The H2O2-treated cells had decreased cell viability with apoptotic features and increased production of caspase-3. On the other hand, melittin treatment increased cell viability and decreased apoptotic DNA fragmentation. Melittin attenuated the H2O2-induced decrease in mRNA and protein production of the anti-apoptotic factor Bcl-2. In addition, melittin inhibited both the H2O2-induced mRNA and protein expression of Bax-associated pro-apoptotic factor and caspase-3.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that melittin has potential therapeutic effects as an agent for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Honey and Coffee Outperform Steroid Against Oral Mucositis

Honey protects the body from the good and bad of our nutritional food chain. This study reveals that honey, combined with coffee, does a better job than the topical steroid solution. 

"Coffee plus Honey" versus "topical steroid" in the treatment of Chemotherapy-induced Oral mucositis
BMC Complement Altern Med, 2014 Aug 8;14(1):293

BACKGROUND:
Oral mucositis is one of the common complications of cancer chemotherapy and about 40% of the patients who take chemotherapy protocols, experience this irritating problem. The purpose of this study was to draw comparison between the therapeutic effects of our treatment modalities (topical steroid, honey, honey plus coffee) in patients suffering from oral mucositis.

METHODS:
This was a double blinded randomised clinical trial of a total of 75 eligible adult participants which they randomly fell into three treatment groups. For all the participants a syrup-like solution was prepared. Each 600 grams of the product consisted of "20 eight-mg Betamethasone solution ampoules" in the Steroid (S) group, "300 grams of honey plus 20 grams of instant coffee" in the Honey plus Coffee (HC) group, and "300 grams of honey" for the Honey (H) group. The participants were told to sip 10 ml of the prescribed product, and then swallow it every three hours for one week. Severity of lesions was clinically evaluated before the treatment and also one week after the initiation of the intervention. This study adhered to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and guidelines of Good Clinical Practice.

RESULTS:
This study showed that all three treatment regimens reduce the severity of lesions. The best reduction in severity was achieved in HC group. H group and S group took the second and third places. In other words, honey plus coffee regimen was the most effective modality for the treatment of oral mucositis.

CONCLUSION:
Oral mucositis can be successfully treated by a combination of honey and coffee as an alternative medicine in a short time. Further investigations are warranted in this field.Trial registration: Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials IRCT: 201104074737N3, (9 May 2011).


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Anti-Aging Compounds Verified in Royal Jelly

With other studies documenting the anti-aging properties of royal jelly and human trials showing its benefits for age-related conditions, this new study identifies the exact proteins in royal jelly that make it the right product for a long, healthy life.

Royal Jelly-Mediated Prolongevity and Stress Resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans Is Possibly Modulated by the Interplays of DAF-16, SIR-2.1, HCF-1, and 14-3-3 Proteins


Recent studies suggest that royal jelly (RJ) and its related substances may have antiaging properties. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects remain elusive. 

We report that the effects of RJ and enzyme-treated RJ (eRJ) on life span and health span in Caenorhabditis elegans (C elegans) are modulated by the sophisticated interplays of DAF-16, SIR-2.1, HCF-1, and 14-3-3 proteins. Dietary supplementation with RJ or eRJ increased C. elegans life span in a dose-dependent manner. The RJ and eRJ consumption increased the tolerance of C elegans to oxidative stress, ultraviolet irradiation, and heat shock stress. Our genetic analyses showed that RJ/eRJ-mediated life-span extension requires insulin/IGF-1 signaling and the activities of DAF-16, SIR-2.1, HCF-1, and FTT-2, a 14-3-3 protein. Earlier studies reported that DAF-16/FOXO, SIR-2.1/SIRT1, FTT-2, and HCF-1 have extensive interplays in worms and mammals. Our present findings suggest that RJ/eRJ-mediated promotion of longevity and stress resistance in C elegans is dependent on these conserved interplays. 

From an evolutionary point of view, this study not only provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms of RJ's action on health span promotion in C elegans, but also has imperative implications in using RJ/eRJ as nutraceuticals to delay aging and age-related disorders.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mustard Bee Pollen Contains Rich Nutraceuticals, Antioxidants

Honey bees are documented to have the ability to choose ingredients that are fresh and nutritionally potent. This study confirms Indian Mustard bee pollen contains certain flavonoids, also found in propolis, that possess high levels of antioxidant activity. Along with 50% carbohydrates, 18% proteins and 10% fats (by weight), this bee pollen proves to be a healthy source of nutrition for honey bees and consumers alike.

Investigation of the nutraceutical potential of monofloral Indian mustard bee pollen
J Integr Med., 2014 July;12(4):379-89

OBJECTIVE:
This study was designed to investigate the nutraceutical potential of monofloral Indian mustard bee pollen (MIMBP).

METHODS:
The nutritional value of MIMBP was examined in terms of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and energy value. Its chemical composition in terms of total polyphenol and flavonoid content was determined. MIMBP was screened for free flavonoid aglycones by developing and validating a high-performance liquid chromatography-photo diode array (HPLC-PDA) method. MIMBP was analyzed for in vitro antioxidant effect in terms of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging activity.

RESULTS:
MIMBP was found to be comprised of proteins ((182.2±5.9) g/kg), fats ((137.7±6.8) g/kg) and carbohydrates ((560.6±17.4) g/kg), which result in its high energy value ((17 616.7±78.6) kJ/kg). MIMBP was found to contain polyphenols ((18 286.1±374.0) mg gallic acid equivalent/kg) and flavonoids ((1 223.5±53.1) mg quercetin equivalent/kg). The HPLC-PDA analysis revealed the presence of kaempferol ((65.4±0.5) mg/kg) and quercetin ((51.4±0.4) mg/kg) in MIMBP, which can be used as markers for determining the quality of bee pollen. The MIMBP extract showed DPPH free radical-scavenging activity with a half maximal inhibitory concentration of 54.79 μg/mL.

CONCLUSION:
The MIMBP was found to be a rich source of nutrients providing high caloric value, which makes it a candidate for a potential nutraceutical agent. The study also illustrated the high antioxidant content of MIMBP, especially in the principle polyphenols and flavonoids, which suggests its potential role in the prevention of free radical-implicated diseases. The DPPH-scavenging effect of MIMBP further confirmed its antioxidant potential. Additionally, we developed a simple, specific and accurate HPLC-PDA method for the identification and quantification of free flavonoid aglycones. This can be applied in future screenings of the quality of pollen collected by honeybees.

Click here to download the entire study.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Propolis Exhibits Melatonin Effect - Protects Thyroid, Liver

Protective effects of propolis are well-documented in humans and animals. This study confirms the important benefits of this particular component. Coincidentally, another study found that consuming propolis with CAPE is more effective than consuming CAPE separately. 

Protective antioxidative effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) in the thyroid and the liver are similar to those caused by melatonin
Thyroid Res, 2014 June

BACKGROUND:
Whereas oxidative reactions occur in all tissues and organs, the thyroid constitutes such an organ, in which oxidative processes are indispensable for physiological functions. In turn, numerous metabolic reactions occurring in the liver create favourable conditions for huge oxidative stress. Melatonin is a well-known antioxidant with protective effects against oxidative damage perfectly documented in many tissues, the thyroid and the liver included. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a component of honeybee propolis, has been suggested to be also an effective antioxidant. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of CAPE on Fenton reaction-induced oxidative damage to membrane lipids (lipid peroxidation, LPO) in porcine thyroid and liver, and to compare the results with protective effects of melatonin.

METHODS:
Thyroid and liver homogenates were incubated in the presence of CAPE (500; 100; 50; 10; 5.0; 1.0 μM) or melatonin (500; 100; 50; 10; 5.0; 1.0 μM), without or with addition of FeSO4 (30 μM) + H2O2 (0.5 mM). The level of lipid peroxidation was measured spectrophotometrically and expressed as the amount of MDA + 4-HDA (nmol) per mg of protein.

RESULTS:
Whereas CAPE decreased the basal LPO in a concentration-dependent manner in both tissues, melatonin did not change the basal LPO level. When antioxidants were used together with Fenton reaction substrates, they prevented - in a concentration-dependent manner and to a similar extent - experimentally-induced LPO in both tissues.

CONCLUSIONS:
Protective antioxidative effects of CAPE in the thyroid and the liver are similar to those caused by melatonin. CAPE constitutes a promising agent in terms of its application in experimental and, possibly, clinical studies.



Monday, July 28, 2014

Shelf Life Extended By Using Propolis as Natural Antioxidant

Normally, studies conducted on the antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of propolis are for improving the health of humans and other living beings. This study applies these properties in a practical manner - as a natural food preservative.

Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity of Commercial Propolis Extract in Beef Patties

Abstract:
The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of propolis extract (PE) to reduce lipid oxidation and microbial growth on beef patties during refrigerated storage. Beef patties were manufactured by incorporating PE in 4 different treatments: (1) Control (no PE addition); (2) commercial propolis 1 (2% w/w; CP1); (3) commercial propolis 2 (2% w/w; CP2); and (4) noncommercial propolis (2% w/w; NCP). Raw patties were wrapped with polyvinyl chloride and stored at 2 °C for 8 d.

Total phenolic content (TPC), free-radical scavenging activity (FRS), and polyphenolic content of the PE were evaluated using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Lipid oxidation (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), conjugated dienes (CnDs), metmyoglobin (MetMb%), pH variation, and color (L*, a*, b*, C*, and h*), and microbial growth (mesophilic and psychrotrophic bacteria) of patty samples were measured. NCP treatment demonstrated the highest FRS (64.8% at 100 μg/mL), which correlated with TPC and the presence of polyphenolic compounds.

Lipid oxidation (78.54%, TBARS; 45.53%, CnD; 58.57%, MetMb) and microbial mesophilic and psychrotrophic growth (19.75 and 27.03%, respectively) values were reduced by NCP treatment in refrigerated samples after 8 d. These results indicate that PE has great potential as a natural antioxidant and antimicrobial additive to extend the shelf life of beef patties.

Practical Application:
In this work, the results indicate that propolis reduced lipid oxidation and microbial growth, thereby extending meat sample shelf life. Propolis should be considered for use as an alternative to commercially available antioxidants that are currently used in meat products.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Survey Reveals Honey Heals Babies, Parents Okay

The beneficial effects of honey and its healing properties are well-documented. This study reveals the acceptance by parents and staff in the effectiveness of the healing properties of a honey wound dressing.

A Feasibility Study of Active Manuka Honey Dressings on Babies Requiring Admission to NICU

OBJECTIVE:
Honey Dressings have been demonstrated to have important anti-infective and wound healing properties in adults and children. Mechanisms of action include an osmotic effect on bacteria and anti-inflammatory properties. They have yet to be adequately studied in newborn infants and this study aimed to determine if honey dressings are safe and acceptable to staff and parents. In this abstract we present the themes obtained from asking parents and staff what they thought of the dressings.

METHODS:
Questionnaires were distributed to parents of babies who had Active Manuka Honey Dressings applied to their wounds in a feasibility study. Similar questionnaires were given to staff that had used the dressings. Responses were grouped into themes reflecting similar comments.

RESULTS:
12 parents responded, giving responses grouped into the themes of 'natural product' and the 'effect on healing'. 46 staff commented and their responses were grouped into three themes: 'ease of application', 'smell' and 'effect on healing'. Some negative comments were also received covering 5 areas: 'properties of the dressings', 'wastage', 'inappropriate use', 'appearance' and 'lack of adhesion' under certain conditions.

CONCLUSION:
Honey Dressings appear to be acceptable to parents and staff with both groups saying that they felt the dressings helped the wounds heal more quickly. More research is required to fully assess the effectiveness and role of honey dressings in newborn infants.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bee Product Stops Renal Disease Failure in Diabetics

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

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

ABSTRACT

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

Diabetic nepropathy (DN) is considered as the leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) worldwide, but the current available treatments are limited. Recent experimental evidences support the role of chronic microinflammation in the development of DN. Therefore, the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) pathway has emerged as a new therapeutic target for the treatment of DN. 

We investigated the nephroprotective effects of chrysin (5, 7-dihydroxyflavone) in a high fat diet/streptozotocin (HFD/STZ)-induced type 2 diabetic Wistar albino rat model. Chrysin is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that is abundantly found in plant extracts, honey and bee propolis. The treatment with chrysin for 16 weeks post induction of diabetes significantly abrogated renal dysfunction and oxidative stress. Chrysin treatment considerably reduced renal TNF-α expression and inhibited the nuclear transcription factor-kappa B (NF-кB) activation. Furthermore, chrysin treatment improved renal pathology and suppressed transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), fibronectin and collagen-IV protein expressions in renal tissues. Chrysin also significantly reduced the serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and IL-6. Moreover, there were no appreciable differences in fasting blood glucose and serum insulin levels between the chrysin treated groups compared to the HFD/STZ-treated group. 

Hence, our results suggest that chrysin prevents the development of DN in HFD/STZ-induced type 2 diabetic rats through anti-inflammatory effects in the kidney by specifically targeting the TNF-α pathway.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Honey Improves Frozen Sperm Perfomance

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

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

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

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Thirty semen samples were collected from 30 infertile patients. After assessment of semen analysis, semen samples were divided into 3 aliquots (0.7ml for each) and mixed with 1 ml of cryopreservation solution (G1, control) alone, or enriched with 5% honey (G2) or with 10% honey (G3) for cryopreservation. Cryopreservation was done at -196°C in liquid nitrogen and thawing was performed after six months. Direct swim up technique was used for in vitro sperm preparation post-thawing. Sperm parameters were assessed and data were statistically analyzed pre- and post-thawing.

RESULTS:
Results appeared that the percentage of sperm motility for G1 and G2 groups were significantly reduced (P < 0.05) post-thawing when compared to pre-cryopreservation. However, there was no significant difference in the total motility (%) of the post-thaw sperm between the G1 and G2 groups. While there was significant increased (P < 0.05) in the percentage of normal sperm morphology for G1 and G3 groups post-thawing. Post-thawing normal sperm morphology (%) for G3 group was significantly increased (P < 0.05) as compared to G1 and G2 groups. In contrast non significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed between G1 and G2 groups. Significant reduction (P < 0.05) was seen in the sperm concentration for all groups post-thawing as compared to pre-cryopreservation groups. After thawing the results reveal significant reduction (P < 0.05) in the sperm agglutination (%) for G3 group as compared to G1 and G2 groups.

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