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
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.

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.

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.


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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.