Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Propolis a Natural Preservative for Fruit Drinks

There's no better proof than more proof!  Turkish researchers confirm that Propolis effectively inhibits fungal growth in apple juice. Anyone that knows about Propolis won't find this surprising, since anti-fungal properties is a long proven quality of Propolis from all around the world...

Inhibitory Effect of Propolis on Patulin Production of Penicillium expansum in Apple Juice

In this research, reducing activity of Turkish propolis on patulin production of Penicillium expansum in apple juice was investigated. To compare the antifungal activity of propolis, sodium benzoate was also used as a positive control. Different concentrations of propolis (0.1, 1 and 2 mg/mL) and sodium benzoate (0.35 mg/mL) were added into apple juice after P. expansum inoculation. Apple juice samples were then mixed with propolis, and patulin content was determined in 1st, 24th and 48th hours. High-performance liquid chromatography equipped with diode array detector which is a reliable equipment for the determination of patulin in apple juice, were used after clean-up procedure. Considerable patulin reduction was achieved with the addition of propolis in the apple juice. The best result was obtained at 2 mg/mL propolis added group for 48 h incubation. It was concluded that propolis can be used as a natural antifungal agent for P. expansum inhibition instead of chemical preservatives.

Practical Application:
Propolis is a natural honeybee product, and it is rich in functional bioactive compounds. It can be used to inhibit the patulin-producing microorganism. The inhibitory effect of propolis in the apple juice showed that it is an effective natural inhibitor

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bee Venom Nanoparticles Kill HIV

This powerful product from honey bees has been used since Hippocrates for treating conditions such as arthritis and rhumatism and recently for Parkinsons. But this new research, using only Melittin, one of the many components of bee venom, is taking our understanding of its potential to another level...

Nanoparticles loaded with bee venom kill HIV

AntivirTher. 2013;18(1):95-103. doi: 10.3851/IMP2346. Epub 2012 Sep 6.

We investigated whether cytolytic melittin peptides could inhibit HIV-1 infectivity when carried in a nanoparticle construct that might be used as a topical vaginal virucide. Free melittin and melittin-loaded nanoparticles were prepared and compared for cytotoxicity and their ability to inhibit infectivity by CXCR4 and CCR5 tropic HIV-1 strains.

TZM-bl reporter cells expressing luciferase under the control of the HIV-1 promoter were incubated with HIV-1 NLHX (CXCR4) or HIV-1 NLYU2 (CCR5) viral strains and different doses of soluble CD4 (positive control) or free melittin to determine infectivity and viability. Melittin-loaded nanoparticles were formulated and different doses tested against VK2 vaginal epithelial cells to determine cell viability. Based on VK2 viability, melittin nanoparticles were tested for prevention of CXCR4 and CCR5 tropic HIV-1 infectivity and viability of TZM-bl reporter cells. Low-speed centrifugation was used to compare the ability of blank non-melittin nanoparticles and melittin nanoparticles to capture CCR5 tropic HIV-1.

As expected, the soluble CD4 positive control inhibited CXCR4 (50% inhibitory concentration [IC(50)] 3.7 μg/ml) and CCR5 (IC(50) 0.03 μg/ml) tropic HIV-1 infectivity... 
Furthermore, melittin nanoparticles captured more HIV-1 than blank nanoparticles.

These data illustrate the first proof-of-concept for therapeutic and safe nanoparticle-mediated inhibition of HIV-1 infectivity. Future investigations appear warranted to explore the antiviral prophylactic potential of melittin nanoparticles to capture, disrupt and prevent initial infection with HIV-1 or potentially other enveloped viruses.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bee Venom Used to Treat Hearing Impaired

One of the advantages of Apitherapy is that it can be used any where there are honey bees present. As a result, it's often one of the few choices of health care available in developing nations or regions lacking medical options. This double-sided coincidence also has a positive side, as we now find countries such as Romania and Hungary are at ease in using alternative therapies with Westernized medical treatments...

A hearing impaired Palestinian man receives treatment at a bee venom therapy center in Gaza City
AlertNet, 2013 April 8

A hearing impaired Palestinian man receives treatment at a bee venom therapy center in Gaza City April 8, 2013. The treatment, using the venom of honeybees, is known to be effective for diseases like epilepsy, spinal disorders, hearing problems and nasal allergy, according to Ratib Samoor, an agricultural engineer and owner of the center. The center, which was founded in 2003, treats dozens of Palestinians on a daily basis.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Honey Improves Fertility, Sexual Behavior of Cigarette Smokers

Honey, as well as propolis, have protective properties from toxins and cigarette smoke is loaded. It's highly recommended for toxic activities such as smoking and drinking, that individuals consume propolis and honey daily. 

Protective Effect of Honey Against Cigarette Smoke Induced-Impaired Sexual Behavior and Fertility of Male Rats
Toxicol IndHealth, April 2013 vol. 29 no. 3 264-271

Cigarette smoking is associated with sexual dysfunction and impaired fertility in males. The aim of this study was to determine the potential protective effect of honey against the toxic effect of cigarette smoke (CS) on sexual behavior and fertility of male rats.

Thirty-two adult Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups (8 rats/group) as control, honey (H), CS and H plus CS (H + CS) groups. Rats in control and CS groups received oral administration of distilled water daily while rats in H and H + CS groups received honey (1.2 g/kg body weight/day) by oral gavage. Rats in CS and H + CS groups were also exposed to CS for 8 min 3 times/day. From 10 to 13 weeks of treatment, each male rat was cohabited with 3 untreated female rats for sexual behavioral and reproductive performance studies.

Honey significantly increased the percentages of rats achieving intromission and ejaculation as well as increased mating and fertility indexes of male rats exposed to CS. Thus, honey has a protective effect against CS-induced impaired sexual behavior and fertility in male rats.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Polyphenolic Content in Honey Has Medicinal Benefits

Honey with its long history in tradition, now has proof confirming its claims. Honeybees transform a plant product, nectar, without removing the good stuff. Phenolic content is what makes honey is so adaptable to so many therapies. Thanks to New Zealand beekeepers who've worked hard to make Manuka Honey acceptable in surgical settings. The fact is, there are a lot of monofloral honeys worldwide that have equal or superior health benefits. The march continues...

Honey as a Source of Dietary Antioxidants: Structures, Bioavailability and Evidence of Protective Effects Against Human Chronic Diseases
Curr MedChem 2013, vol 20, issue 5, pages 621-638

In the long human tradition honey has been used not only as a nutrient but also as a medicine. Its composition is rather variable and depends on the floral source and on external factors, such as seasonal, environmental conditions and processing.

In this review, specific attention is focused on absorption, metabolism, and beneficial biological activities of honey compounds in human. Honey is a supersaturated solution of sugars, mainly composed of fructose (38%) and glucose (31%), containing also minerals, proteins, free amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and polyphenols. Among polyphenols, flavonoids are the most abundant and are closely related to its biological functions. Honey positively affects risk factors for cardiovascular diseases by inhibiting inflammation, improving endothelial function, as well as the plasma lipid profile, and increasing low-density lipoprotein resistance to oxidation. Honey also displays an important antitumoral capacity, where polyphenols again are considered responsible for its complementary and overlapping mechanisms of chemopreventive activity in multistage carcinogenesis, by inhibiting mutagenesis or inducing apoptosis.

Moreover, honey positively modulates the glycemic response by reducing blood glucose, serum fructosamine or glycosylated hemoglobin concentrations and exerts antibacterial properties caused by its consistent amount of hydrogen peroxide and non-peroxide factors as flavonoids, methylglyoxal and defensin-1 peptide.

In conclusion, the evidence of the biological actions of honey can be ascribed to its polyphenolic contents which, in turn, are usually associated to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, as well as to its cardiovascular, antiproliferative and antimicrobial benefits.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Propolis Proven Cytotoxic on Colon Cancer Cells

Rich in flavonoids, Propolis consistenly exhibits strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, anti-tumoral activity. This study effectively identifies the active flavonoids and phenolic acids which produced these positive results... 

Chemical Composition, Cytotoxic and Antioxidative Activities of Ethanolic Extracts of propolis on HCT-116 Cell Line


Propolis is a complex resinous sticky substance that honeybees collect from buds and exudates of various plants. Due to propolis versatile biological and pharmacological activities, it is widely used in medicine, cosmetics and food industry. The aim of this study was to evaluate cytotoxic and antioxidative effects of various ethanolic extracts of propolis (EEP) on human colon cancer cell line (HCT-116) and compare it with their composition. HPLC-DAD method was used to determine the chemical composition of propolis samples.

The most abundant flavonoids in all samples were chrysin, pinocembrin and galangin (12.697- 40.811 µg mg-1). On the other hand, main phenolic acids were caffeic, ferulic and isoferulic acid. Dose and time-dependent inhibition of cell growth of HCT-116 cells was observed in all propolis samples, with IC50 values ranging from 26.33 to 143.09 µg mL-1. Differences in cytotoxic activity of propolis samples were associated with differences in their composition. Our results showed that all EEP samples reduced both superoxide anion radical and nitrite levels and also had strong DPPH scavenging activity.

All tested propolis samples had pronounced cytotoxic and antioxidative activities.