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

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.

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.

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.

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).

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]

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.

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.

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.

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