Friday, September 28, 2012

Is Honey Bad for Infants - Fiction or Reality?

This is a common reference for many and the author correctly puts this warning to question. Is there a deeper, underlying purpose to place fear into consumers' mind over such a naturally, healthy product as honey? Where is the proof ? It appears the verdict is inconclusive...


Dr.Theodore Cherbuliez, MD, President of the Apitherapy Commission of Apimondia

The Western medical world is practically unanimous on the question of giving honey to infants less than one year old: the answer is NO!

It is well known that the infant’s gut does not contain enough acid to handle safely the toxins emitted by the spores.

And now the published evidence found so far in the English medical literature is inconclusive. A few anecdotic accounts do exist pointing to the risk that the honey could have been the culprit.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that honey should not be added to food, water, or formula that is fed to infants younger than 12 months of age. This technically, applies even to honey in baked or processed food goods. The AAP statement says "Raw or unpasteurized honey (Infants younger than 12 months should avoid all sources of honey)". AAP Pediatric Nutrition Handbook.

Reasoning like the following are offered: Honey may contain botulism spores, which can lead to botulism poisoning. There are some areas of the country (United States) where the possible contamination of honey with botulism spores is higher due to the soil. Soil contains botulism spores/bacteria and the flora that bees use to feed on grows in that soil. [How the contamination of the flora happens is not described.] Also, disturbed soil containing the spores may directly settle upon hives for example - and thus the spores themselves could contaminate the honey as well...

From the Center for Disease Control. CDC, we learn that an average of 145 cases of botulism are reported yearly, 95 of them concern infants. The others come from infected wounds or accidental intake of the toxin. The overall number of death from botulism, (3 to 5% of 145), is about 6.

In addition to soil and house dust, the spore can be found on floors, carpet, and countertop, even after cleaning. The following foods are potential carriers: chopped garlic, herbs, canned cheese sauce, chile peppers, tomatoes, carrot juice, baked potatoes wrapped in tin foil and, for Alaskans, one can add to the list, fermented fish and aquatic game foods. Honey can also contain the bacteria. Hence the recommendation: no honey for infants.

The reason for singling honey out of the list, is not revealed... 

However, and this is less speculative, the Commission wants to either have the honey rehabilitated or have it scientifically evaluated as dangerous for the young population. The members of the Commission master some eight languages and cultures, and will allow an exploration beyond the reach of the already vast realm of the English language.

We will keep our readers informed of our progress. Any suggestions or comments will be addressed and responded to, if you send your message to Th. Cherbuliez, MD at

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Propolis Protects Immune System from Vaccine Side Effects

The use of propolis as an adjuvant has been used for many years in alternative medicine. But recent studies have proven it enhances the effects of chemotherapy drug treatment and continues to reveal its capacity as the "natural protector" and natural choice for enhancing one's immune system...

Adjuvanticity of Epimedium Polysaccharide-Propolis Flavone On Inactivated Vaccines Against AI and ND Virus
Int J BiolMacro, 2012 Aug 27

The purpose of this research was to compare the activities of different dose of epimedium flavone-propolis flavone adjuvant (EPA). The inactivated avian influenza (AI) and Newcastle disease (ND) vaccine contained three dose of EPA were prepared. 
In AI vaccine vaccination experiment, three hundred 14-day-old chickens were randomly divided into 6 groups and inoculated with three EPA-AI vaccines taking oil adjuvant (OA), non-adjuvant (NA) vaccines and physiological saline as controls, repeated at 28-day-old. The lymphocyte proliferation and serum antibody titer were determined. 
In ND vaccine vaccination experiment, three hundred 14-day-old chickens were grouped, treated with three EPA-ND vaccines, and determined same to AI vaccine vaccination experiment, at 42-day-old the chickens were challenged with NDV. On day 15 after challenged, the immune protective effect was observed. 
The results showed that EPA could significantly promote lymphocyte proliferation and enhance serum antibody titer against AI and ND, and reduce the morbidity of chickens challenged with NDV after vaccinated with ND vaccine, especially the effect of medium dose was better than that of non-adjuvant and oil adjuvant. 
These results indicated that EPA could enhance the immune effect of inactivated AI vaccine and ND vaccine and would be expected as a new-type adjuvant

Monday, September 17, 2012

Propolis Stops Growth of Candida, Fungi and Yeasts

The antifungal properties of propolis are consistently present in all forms of propolis collected throughout the world. It's not surprising, as the beehive is a dark, damp, humid enclosure that cannot tolerate mold and fungi. That's why bees use it throughout the hive.

Yeasts as Important Agents of Onychomycosis: In Vitro Activity of Propolis Against Yeasts Isolated from Patients with Nail Infection

The purposes of this study were to determine the frequency of the yeast species obtained from patients with clinical features of onychomycosis and the in vitro antifungal susceptibility of the yeast species to propolis.

A prospective study was carried out at the Mycology Research Center in Iran from 2010 to 2011. Clinical diagnosis was performed by direct microscopic examination and culture. Different yeast species were identified by morphological and biochemical tests. An antifungal susceptibility test to fluconazole (FLU) and propolis by the broth microdilution method was performed on each isolate.

One hundred and twenty-eight fungal isolates were obtained. The most prevalent fungi were yeasts (81, 63.2%), dermatophytes (36, 28.1%), and nondermatophyte fungi (11, 8.6%). Fingernails were more affected than toenails (65.4% vs. 19.8%, respectively). The most frequently found species was Candida albicans (38.5%), followed by Candida spp. (23.1%), C. tropicalis (10.8%), C. kefyr (6.2%), C. krusei (3.1%), Malassezia globosa (4.6%), M. slooffiae (4.6%), and M. pachydermatis (1.5%). Of all yeast isolates (65), seven showed resistance to FLU. The average MIC of propolis for FLU-susceptible isolates was 5.8 μg/mL, whereas this value was 12.25 μg/mL for FLU-resistant isolates.

Our results proved that the propolis inhibits the growth of pathogenic yeasts and confirmed the efficiency of propolis as an anti-Candida and anti-Malassezia agent. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

5th Annual Romanian Apitherapy Congress Sept 21-23

Romania is one of the most open and advanced countries enabling physicians access without scrutiny to include alternative and complementary therapeutic protocols. It's very encouraging to interact with pharmacists, physicians, nurses, beekeepers and therapists...

The 5th Romanian Apitherapy Congress
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, September 21 to 23 

The theme of the Congress is “Apitherapy in the Clinical Practice". The congress is also open to participants from outside Romania and will be held in English and Romanian.

For more information: 

Event date: Friday, September 21, 2012 to Sunday, September 23, 2012
Country: Romania
Contact email:
Contact name: Dr Stefan Stangaciu

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Propolis Effective Against Gum Disease

Minimize visits to the dentist and start using propolis toothpaste everyday. If surgery is required, use propolis extract to heal the wounds faster. This has been validated through personal experience. Click on article link for a copy of the propolis extract formula used...  

Honeybee Propolis Extract in Periodontal Treatment: A Clinical and Microbiological Study of Propolis in Periodontal Treatment
Indian JDent Res, 2012 Mar. 23
This study was conducted to evaluate by clinical and microbiological parameters the effect of subgingival irrigation with propolis extract. 
Materials and Methods: 
Twenty patients diagnosed with chronic periodontitis, each presenting three non-adjacent teeth with deep pockets, were selected. Subgingival plaque sampling and clinical recording (at baseline) and scaling and root planing was performed. Two weeks later the selected periodontal sites were submitted to one of the following treatments: Irrigation with a hydroalcoholic solution of propolis extract twice a week for 2 weeks (group A); irrigation with a placebo twice a week for 2 weeks (group B); or no additional treatment (group C). Clinical and microbiological data was collected at baseline and after 4, 6, and 8 weeks.
A decrease in the total viable counts of anaerobic bacteria (P=.007), an increase in the proportion of sites with low levels (≤10 5 cfu/mL) of Porphyromonas gingivalis (P=.044), and an increase in the number of sites negative for bleeding on probing was observed in group A sites as compared to group B and C sites.
Subgingival irrigation with propolis extract as an adjuvant to periodontal treatment was more effective than scaling and root planing as assessed by clinical and microbiological parameters.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Royal Jelly Antimicrobial Properties Reduce Dental Plaque

Products of the beehive all possess antimicrobial properties but this is great news for individuals with bacterial infections in the mouth or even for holistic dentists who wish to reduce the use of antibiotics that destroy the oral flora. In fact, an ideal  mixture would include fresh royal jelly and a propolis extract to effectively destroy bacteria...

Hydroxy decenoic acid Down Regulates gtfB and gtfC Expression and Prevents Streptococcus mutans Adherence to the Cell Surfaces

10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid is the most active and unique component to the royal jelly that has antimicrobial properties.
Streptococcus mutans is associated with pathogenesis of oral cavity, gingivoperiodontal diseases and bacteremia following dental manipulations. In the oral cavity, S. mutans colonize the soft tissues including tongue, palate, and buccal mucosa. When considering the role of supragingival dental plaque in caries, the proportion of acid producing bacteria (particularly S. mutans), has direct relevance to the pathogenicity of the plaque.

The genes that encode glucosyltransferases (gtfs) especially gtfB and gtfC are important in S. mutans colonization and pathogenesis. This study investigated the hydroxy-decenoic acid (HDA) effects on gtfB and gtfC expression and S. mutans adherence to cells surfaces.

Streptococcus mutans was treated by different concentrations of HPLC purified HDA supplied by Iran Beekeeping and Veterinary Association. Real time RT-PCR and western blot assays were conducted to evaluate gtfB and gtfC genes transcription and translation before and after HDA treatment. The bacterial attachment to the cell surfaces was evaluated microscopically.

500 mug ml-1 of HDA inhibited gtfB and gtfC mRNA transcription and its expression. The same concentration of HDA decreased 60% the adherence of S. mutans to the surface of P19 cells.

Hydroxy-decenoic acid prevents gtfB and gtfC expression efficiently in the bactericide sub-concentrations and it could effectively reduce S. mutans adherence to the cell surfaces. In the future, therapeutic approaches to affecting S. mutans could be selective and it's not necessary to put down the oral flora completely.