Thursday, May 25, 2017

Royal Jelly Can Help Reduce Cholesterol

Effects of Royal Jelly on Cholesterol Levels

May 24, 2017

Scientists have revealed that a 3-month treatment with Royal Jelly can reduce triglyceride, LDL-cholesterol and subsequently the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Cholesterol is found in all cells and serves many functions throughout the body. Our bodies need cholesterol but too much can be harmful. Elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as the bad cholesterol, accumulates in the walls of blood vessels leading to formation of atherosclerotic plaques that narrow the vessels and inhibit blood flow. This process leads to cardiovascular disease.

Various classes of medication such as Statins, Niacin and Fibrates are administered to lower blood LDL cholesterol.

A recently published Pharmaceutical Biology article evaluated the hypocholesterolemic effects of Royal Jelly, a secretion produced by worker honey bees, on healthy subjects.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Indian Karanj Honey Shows Anti-Cancer Activity

Natural Predominance of Abscisic Acid in Pongammia pinnata ('Karanj') Honey Contributed to its Strong Antimutagenicity

J Agric Food Chem. 2017 May 23

Various samples of raw (unprocessed) floral honey collected from different geographical locations of India were assayed for its antimutagenicity against ethyl methanesulfonate in E. coli MG1655 cells through rifampicin resistance assay.

A monofloral honey ('Pongammia pinnata', local name 'Karanj') displayed maximum antimutagenicity (78.0 ± 1.7; P ≤ 0.05). Solid phase extraction (using amberlite XAD-2 resin) followed by HPLC resulted into different peaks displaying varying antimutagenicity. Peak at retention time (Rt) 27.9 min (henceforth called as P28) displayed maximum antimutagenicity and was further characterized to be abscisic acid (ABA) using ESI-MS and NMR. Its antimutagenicity was reconfirmed through human lymphoblast cell line (TK6) mutation assay using thymidine kinase (tk+/-) cell line.

Although ABA from this honey displayed strong antimutagenicity, it lacked any in-vitro antioxidant capacity indicating non-involvement of any radical scavenging in the observed antimutagenicity.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Propolis Component Protects Against Ulcerative Colitis

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester is protective in experimental ulcerative colitis via reduction in levels of pro-inflammatory mediators and enhancement of epithelial barrier function

Inflammopharmacology. 2017 May 20


Inhibition of the nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-κβ) pathway has been proposed as a therapeutic target due to its key role in the expression of pro-inflammatory genes, including pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and adhesion molecules. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agent, found in propolis, and has been reported as a specific inhibitor of NF-κβ. However, the impact of CAPE on levels of myeloperoxidases (MPO) and pro-inflammatory cytokines during inflammation is not clear. The aims of this study were to investigate the protective efficacy of CAPE in the mouse model of colitis and determine its effect on MPO activity, pro-inflammatory cytokines levels, and intestinal permeability.


Dextran sulphate sodium was administered in drinking water to induce colitis in C57/BL6 mice before treatment with intraperitoneal administration of CAPE (30 mg kg-1 day-1). Disease activity index (DAI) score, colon length and tissue histology levels of MPO, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and intestinal permeability were observed.


CAPE-treated mice had lower DAI and tissue inflammation scores, with improved epithelial barrier protection and significant reduction in the level of MPO and pro-inflammatory cytokines.


Our results show that CAPE is effective in suppressing inflammation-triggered MPO activity and pro-inflammatory cytokines production while enhancing epithelial barrier function in experimental colitis. Thus, we conclude that CAPE could be a potential therapeutic agent for further clinical investigations for treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases in humans.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Polyphenols as Possible Markers of Botanical Origin of Honey

J AOAC Int. 2017 May 19

In recent years, the botanical and geographical origin of food has become an important topic in the context of food quality and safety, as well as consumer protection, in accordance with international standards.

Finding chemical markers, especially phytochemicals, characteristic for some kind of food is the subject of interest of a significant number of researchers in the world. This paper is focused on the use of polyphenols as potential markers for the determination of botanical origin of honey. It includes a review of the polyphenols present in various honey samples and the methods for their separation and identification. Special emphasis in this paper is placed on the identification of honey polyphenols using advanced LC-MS techniques in order to find specific markers of botanical origin of honey.

In this regard, this study gives an overview of the literature that describes the use of LC-MS techniques for the isolation and determination of honey polyphenols. This review focuses on the research performed in the past two decades.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Propolis Interacts with Warfarin

Effects of propolis on warfarin efficacy

Kardiochir Torakochirurgia Pol. 2017 Mar;14(1):43-46


Warfarin is commonly used to avoid thromboembolism, predominantly for cardiovascular pathologies. However, the consumption of several herbal products is not permitted during its use due to the associated interactions. Propolis is a popular phytotherapy product made by honey bees. The use of propolis has been dramatically increasing in recent times.


To evaluate the possible interactions between propolis and warfarin in a mouse model with determination of the international normalized ratio (INR) values.


CD-1 mice were employed in the experimental model. The mice were warfarinized, and propolis was administered simultaneously. The INR values were obtained. All animals were sacrificed at the end of the study.


The baseline INR value was 0.8 ±0.1. After 72 h, the INR value increased as expected. The INR value was 7.28 ± 1.08 in the control group and 5.8 ± 2.88 in the propolis group. At the end of the study, the INR value was 1.3 ± 0.37. Propolis interacted with warfarin and caused a decrease in the INR value.


Propolis interactions, especially with warfarin, should be kept in mind and further studied. Healthcare specialists should be aware of this possible interaction between warfarin and propolis and inform patients about it.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Leptospermum Honey-Impregnated Dressings Help Treat Diabetic Charcot Deformity

Novel Use of Active Leptospermum Honey for Ringed Fixator Pin Site Care in Diabetic Charcot Deformity Patients

Foot Ankle Spec. 2017 May 1:1938640017709907


Open reduction with external fixation (OREF) utilizing fine wire ringed fixators for correction of Charcot deformity has gained popularity over the past decade. Pin site infections are a well-documented complication of external fixation as well as a driver of escalating health care costs. We aimed to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of a novel method of pin site care utilizing active Leptospermum honey-impregnated dressings (MediHoney) in diabetic patients undergoing deformity correction with OREF.


Twenty-one diabetic patients with Charcot deformities of the lower extremity were prospectively enrolled and followed for pin site complications following OREF for deformity correction. Active Leptospermum honey dressings were applied at metal-cutaneous interfaces at the end of the OREF procedure and replaced weekly for a total of 8 weeks. Patients were monitored for pin site infections from the time of surgery until external fixator removal. Sixteen consecutive patients receiving standard OREF for Charcot deformities were evaluated retrospectively to serve as a control group.


Of the 21 enrolled patients, 19 underwent OREF and followed up throughout the study period. Treated patients had a mean age of 58.5 years and mean body mass index measuring 33.3 kg/m2 as documented prior to surgery. The 15 patients with hemoglobin A1c labs drawn in the 3 months preceding surgery averaged 7.5. Fixators were removed at an average of 12.1 weeks after adequate bony healing. Of the 244 pin sites in 19 patients, 3 pin sites (1.2% of pins) in 2 patients (10.5% of patients) showed evidence of superficial infection. All infections resolved with oral antibiotics. Infection rates were significantly reduced when compared to the standard care control group.


Pilot data in a prospectively collected case series demonstrate safety and efficacy of active Leptospermum honey-impregnated dressings when used for fine wire ringed fixator pin site care in diabetic Charcot deformity patients. Further investigation in the form of a prospective randomized controlled study is warranted to demonstrate the potential value of this novel intervention.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Iranian Propolis May Help Treat Malaria

Anti-Plasmodial Assessment of Four Different Iranian Propolis Extracts

Arch Iran Med. 2017 May;20(5):270-281


Eradication of malaria will depend on discovery of new intervention tools such as anti-malarial drugs. Due to the increasing interest in the application of propolis against significant clinical pathogenic agents, the aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the anti-plasmodial effect of Iranian propolis extracts against chloroquine (CQ)-sensitive Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 and Plasmodium berghei (ANKA strain).


Crude samples of honeybee (Apis mellifera) propolis were collected from four provinces in northern (Kalaleh, Golestan), northeastern (Chenaran, Razavi Khorasan), central (Taleghan, Alborz) and western (Morad Beyg, Hamedan) areas of Iran with different types of flora. The dried propolis samples were extracted with three different solvents, including ethanol 70% (EtOH), ethyl acetate (EA) and dichloromethane (DCM).


All extracts were shown to have in vitro anti-plasmodial activity with IC50 ranging from 16.263 to 80.012 µg/mL using parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) assay. The DCM extract of Morad Beyg propolis indicated the highest anti-plasmodial activity (IC50: 16.263 ± 2.910 μg/mL; P = 0.027, Kruskal-Wallis H-test). The samples were also evaluated in mice for their in vivo anti-plasmodial effect. The curative effect against established infection (Rane test) showed that both extracts at all doses (50, 100, and 200 mg/kgBW) produced anti-plasmodial activity against the parasite. Furthermore, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), the quantity of flavonoids in DCM and EtOH 70% extracts were found to be 7.42% and 3.10%, respectively.


The potent anti-plasmodial activity of both EtOH 70% and DCM extracts of the propolis of Morad Beyg, Hamedan suggests further analyses of individual components to assess its utilization as anti-malarial drugs.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Easy-to-Make Pectin-Honey Hydrogel Enhances Wound Healing

A new, easy-to-make pectin-honey hydrogel enhances wound healing in rats

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 May 16;17(1):266


Honey, alone or in combination, has been used for wound healing since ancient times and has reemerged as a topic of interest in the last decade. Pectin has recently been investigated for its use in various biomedical applications such as drug delivery, skin protection, and scaffolding for cells. The aim of the present study was to develop and evaluate a pectin-honey hydrogel (PHH) as a wound healing membrane and to compare this dressing to liquid honey.


Thirty-six adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized and a 2 × 2 cm excisional wound was created on the dorsum. Animals were randomly assigned to four groups (PHH, LH, Pec, and C): in the PHH group, the pectin-honey hydrogel was applied under a bandage on the wound; in the LH group, liquid Manuka honey was applied; in the Pec group, pectin hydrogel was applied (Pec); and in the C group, only bandage was applied to the wound. Images of the wound were taken at defined time points, and the wound area reduction rate was calculated and compared between groups.


The wound area reduction rate was faster in the PHH, LH, and Pec groups compared to the control group and was significantly faster in the PHH group. Surprisingly, the Pec group exhibited faster wound healing than the LH group, but this effect was not statistically significant.


This is the first study using pectin in combination with honey to produce biomedical hydrogels for wound treatment. The results indicate that the use of PHH is effective for promoting and accelerating wound healing.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bee Venom Has Potential for Topical Uses

Evaluation of the skin phototoxicity and photosensitivity of honeybee venom

Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology


Bee (Apis mellifera L.) venom (BV) has been used as a cosmetic ingredient owing to its anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects. The aim of this study was to assess the skin safety of BV.


For this purpose, skin phototoxicity and sensitization tests were conducted in healthy male Hartley guinea pigs. The animals were divided into three groups (n=5) for the phototoxicity test: G1 (negative control), G2 (BV gel treatment), and G3 (positive control). After specified treatments, the animals were irradiated with ultraviolet A (15 J/cm2). The photosensitivity test was also performed in three groups: G4 (negative control, n=5), G5 (BV gel treatment, n=10), and G6 (positive control, n=5).


Erythema and edema were observed after 24, 48, and 72 hours in the positive control group, but not in the negative control and BV gel groups. Application of BV to the guinea pig skin had no toxic effects on any clinical signs, body weight, or mortality. In addition, it did not evoke a skin reaction in both either the skin phototoxicity and skin photosensitization tests.


Therefore, it can be concluded that BV has the potential to be developed as a drug ingredient for topical uses.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bee Stings Help Treat Lyme Disease

Lyme disease sufferer claims bee stings help control her symptoms

BBC, May 8, 2017

A woman with Lyme disease has claimed being stung by bees helps ease her symptoms.

Ingrid Watt, 36, who grew up in Orkney and now lives in Inverness, believes she has had the disease, which be transmitted to humans by tick bites, since she was 18.

Underlying health problems became worse five years ago and included reoccurring shingles and neurological issues.

She believes properties in the bee venom help control her Lyme disease.

Mrs Watt, who has tried mainstream GP-prescribed medicine, came across the alternative treatment while on a discussion forum used by other sufferers.

After further reading on the treatment, she began buying bees online. She says the insects involved are at the end of their lives and not endangered.

Using tweezers, her husband Darren puts bees on her back to sting her.

Mr Watt has this done 30 times every week.

She told BBC Radio Orkney: "At first we thought 'this is so crazy, what are we doing'.

"But within two weeks of having the bee therapy I feel I have more energy and less pain."...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Propolis Best for Preserving Knocked-Out Tooth

In vitro comparative evaluation of different storage media (hank's balanced salt solution, propolis, Aloe vera, and pomegranate juice) for preservation of avulsed tooth

Eur J Dent. 2017 Jan-Mar;11(1):71-75


Prognosis of the avulsed teeth is mostly affected by extraoral dry period and storage medium used to store teeth before reimplantation. However, ability of storage media can affect cell viability and success of treatment. Various storage media were tried with some success. The present study was undertaken to comparatively evaluate the efficacy of hank's balanced salt solution (HBSS), propolis, Aloe vera, and pomegranate juice (PJ) in preserving the vitality of periodontal ligament (PDL) cells of avulsed teeth.


Fifty orthodontically extracted sound teeth with healthy PDL were selected for the present study. Selected teeth were randomly divided into study groups (10 in each) and 5 each as positive and negative control groups. All the teeth were immersed immediately after extraction into respective storage media. Data were statistically analyzed using IBM SPSS software for Windows, Version 19.0., IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA. Analysis of variance and multiple range were done using Tukey's honestly significant difference with level of significance at 5% (P > 0.05).


Propolis (285,000 viable cells with standard deviation 4.11028 and standard error of 1.38097) showed more viable PDL cells followed by HBSS, A. vera, and PJ.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Manuka, Strawberry Tree Honey May Help Treat Cancer

Manuka and strawberry tree honey helps decrease colon cancer cell viability: In vitro study

By Gary Scattergood+, 11-May-2017

Strawberry tree honey and Manuka honey can induce cell death in colon cancer cells, an in vitro study has found.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Honeydew Honey Boosts Wound Healing

Honeydew honey: biological effects on skin cells

Mol Cell Biochem. 2017 May 11 [Epub ahead of print]

Honey is a natural product well known by humankind and now reconsidered for its use as topical agent for wound and burn treatments. Floral honey is made by honeybees from the nectar of blossoms, while honeydew honey is prepared from secretions of plants or excretions of plant-sucking insects.

Chemical composition is different between blossom and honeydew honeys and there is very few information about the biological properties of honeydew honey. So, this study was specifically designed to explore the potential wound healing effects of the honeydew honey. We used in vitro scratch wound healing model consisting of fibroblasts and keratinocytes.

Data showed that honeydew honeys is able to increase wound closure by acting both on fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Based on our findings, honeydew honey has the potential to be useful for clinical settings.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Brazilian Green Propolis Extract Boosts Anti-Cancer Drug

Brazilian Green Propolis Extract Synergizes with Protoporphyrin IX-mediated Photodynamic Therapy via Enhancement of Intracellular Accumulation of Protoporphyrin IX and Attenuation of NF-κB and COX-2

Molecules. 2017 May 4;22(5). pii: E732

Brazilian green propolis (BGP) is noted for its impressive antitumor effects and has been used as a folk medicine in various cultures for many years. It has been demonstrated that BGP could enhance the cytotoxic effect of cytostatic drugs on tumor cells. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a therapeutic approach used against malignant cells.

To assess the synergistic effect of BGP extract on protoporphyrin IX (PpIX)-mediated photocytotoxicity, MTT assays were performed using A431 and HeLa cells. TUNEL assay and Annexin V-FITC/PI staining were performed to confirm the induction of apoptosis. Western blotting analysis was performed to examine the pro-apoptotic proteins, anti-apoptotic proteins and inflammation related proteins in A431 cells. Intracellular accumulation of PpIX was examined by flow cytometry. The synergistic effect of BGP extract in PpIX-PDT was also evaluated with a xenograft model.

Our findings reveal that BGP extract increased PpIX-mediated photocytotoxicity in A431 and HeLa cells. PpIX-PDT with BGP extract treatment resulted in a decrease in Bcl-xL and an increase in NOXA, Bax and caspase-3 cleavage. The protein expression levels of p-IKKα/β, NF-κB and COX-2 were upregulated by PpIX-PDT but significantly attenuated when in combination with BGP extract. BGP extract was also found to significantly enhance the intracellular accumulation of PpIX in A431 cells. BGP extract increased PpIX-mediated photocytotoxicity in a xenograft model as well.

Our findings provide evidence for a synergistic effect of BGP extract in PpIX-PDT both in vitro and in vivo.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review of Use of Bee Venom to Treat Parkinson's Disease

Bee venom for the treatment of Parkinson's disease: How far is it possible?

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 May 3;91:295-302

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta leading to depletion of striatal dopamine and motor symptoms as bradykinesia, resting tremors, rigidity, and postural instability.

Current therapeutic strategies for PD are mainly symptomatic and may cause motor complications, such as motor fluctuations and dyskinesia. Therefore, alternative medicine may offer an effective adjuvant treatment for PD. Bee venom therapy (BVT) has long been used as a traditional therapy for several conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and skin diseases.

Experimental and clinical studies showed that BVT could be an effective adjuvant treatment for PD. Several mechanisms were suggested for these findings including the ability of BVT to attenuate neuroinflammation, inhibit apoptosis of dopaminergic neurons, protect against glutamate-induced neurotoxicity, and restore normal dopamine levels in the nigrostriatal pathway.

In this article, we reviewed and summarized the literature regarding the potential of BVT for the treatment of PD.