Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Royal Jelly Helps Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers

The Efficacy of Topical Royal Jelly on Diabetic Foot Ulcers Healing: A Case Series
J Res Med Sci, 2011 Jul;16(7):904-9.


Foot ulcers and infections are the major sources of morbidity in individuals with diabetes mellitus. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of topical Royal Jelly (a worker honey bee product) on healing diabetic foot ulcers.


Diabetic patients with foot ulcers that were referred to our clinic at Khorshid Hospital, Isfahan, Iran; were evaluated three times a week and treated according to standard treatments consisted of offloading, infection control, vascular improvement and debridement if required. In addition, all ulcers were measured and then topical sterile 5% Royal Jelly was applied on the total surface area of the wounds. Eventually, they were covered with sterile dressings. Each patient was followed for a period of three months or until the complete healing.


A total of eight patients were enrolled in this study. Of these, two had two ulcers and, therefore, ten ulcers were evaluated. Two ulcers were excluded. Seven of the remained eight ulcers healed. Mean duration of complete healing was 41 days. One ulcer did not completely heal but improved to 40% smaller in length, 32% in width and 28% in depth. The mean length, width and depth reduction rates were 0.35 mm/day, 0.28 mm/day and 0.11 mm/day, respectively.


Royal Jelly dressing may be an effective method for treating diabetic foot ulcers besides standard treatments.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Honey Polyphenols Needed for Anti-Bacterial Action of Hydrogen Peroxide

Unraveling a Mechanism of Honey Antibacterial Action: Polyphenol/H2O2-Induced Oxidative Effect on Bacterial Cell Growth and on DNA Degradation
Food Chemistry, Available online 24 January 2012

Several compounds with antibacterial activities were identified in honey. However, a mechanism by which they lead to bacterial growth inhibition and bacterial death remains still unknown.

We recently found that honeys possess DNA degrading activity mediated by honey hydrogen peroxide and an unknown honey component(s). Here we provide evidence that active honeys (MIC90 of 6.25% to 12.5% v/v) possessed significantly higher levels of phenolics (p<0.02) of higher radical scavenging activities (p<0.005) than honeys of average activity.

Removal of H2O2 by catalase eliminated bacteriostatic activities caused by both phenolics and H2O2 suggesting that the growth inhibition resulted from the coupling chemistry between these compounds. Both phenolics and H2O2 were involved in DNA degradation by honeys. Treatment of plasmid DNA with H2O2 alone did not affect the DNA integrity but H2O2 removal from honey by catalase prevented DNA degradation. Polyphenols extracted from honeys degraded plasmid DNA in the presence of H2O2 and Cu (II) in the Fenton-type reaction. The extent of DNA degradation was inversely related to the polyphenol concentration in this system as well as in honeys. At low content, honey polyphenols exerted pro-oxidant activity damaging to DNA.
In conclusion, honey phenolics with pro-oxidant activities were necessary intermediates that conferred oxidative action of H2O2. Phenolic/H2O2-induced oxidative stress constituted the mechanism of honey bacteriostatic and DNA damaging activities.


A coupling chemistry between polyphenols and H2O2 was the mechanism underlying DNA degradation by honey. Honey polyphenols emerged as active intermediates that were necessary to confer oxidative action of hydrogen peroxide. The antioxidant/prooxidant properties of honey polyphenols play a critical role in bacterial DNA degradation.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Malaysian Honey Protects Against UVB Radiation Damage

Tualang Honey Protects Keratinocytes from Ultraviolet Radiation Induced Inflammation and DNA Damage
Photochemistry and Photobiology, Accepted Article

Malaysian tualang honey possesses strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Here, we evaluated the effect of tualang honey on early biomarkers of photocarcinogenesis employing PAM212 mouse keratinocyte cell line.

Keratinocytes were treated with tualang honey (1.0%, v/v) before a single UVB (150 mJ/cm2) irradiation. We found that treatment of tualang honey inhibited UVB-induced DNA damage, and enhanced repair of UVB-mediated formation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) and 8-oxo-7, 8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG).

Treatment of tualang honey inhibited UVB-induced nuclear translocation of NF-κB, activation of IKKα; and degradation of IκBα in murine keratinocyte cell line. Treatment of tualang honey also inhibited UVB-induced inflammatory cytokines and inducible nitric oxide synthase protein expression. Furthermore, treatment of tualang honey inhibited UVB-induced COX-2 expression and PGE2 production.

Taken together, we provide evidence that treatment of tualang honey to keratinocytes affords substantial protection from the adverse effects of UVB radiation via modulation in early biomarkers of photocarcinogenesis and provide suggestion for its photochemopreventive potential.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Propolis Modulates Immune/Inflammatory Response

The Effects of Propolis and Its Isolated Compounds on Cytokine Production by Murine Macrophages
Phytotherapy Research, Early View

Since propolis and phenolic compounds, such as cinnamic and coumaric acids, have several biological properties, their immunomodulatory effect on cytokine production (IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10) was investigated.

Peritoneal macrophages from BALB/c mice were incubated with propolis, coumaric and cinnamic acids in different concentrations and the concentrations that inhibited cytokine production were tested before or after macrophage challenge with LPS, to evaluate a possible immunomodulatory action. Propolis and the acids stimulated IL-1β production, while IL-6 production was significantly inhibited after incubation with propolis (5, 50 and 100 µg/well), coumaric and cinnamic acids (50 and 100 µg/well).

In LPS-challenge protocols, inhibitory concentrations of cinnamic and coumaric acids after LPS incubation prevented efficiently its effects on IL-6 production, whereas propolis inhibited LPS effects both before and after its addition. Propolis, coumaric and cinnamic acids (50 and 100 µg/well) inhibited IL-10 production as well. Both acids showed a similar inhibitory activity on IL-10 production when added after LPS challenge, while propolis counteracted LPS action when added before and after LPS incubation.

Propolis modulated the immune/inflammatory response, depending on the concentration. Its efficiency may occur due to the synergistic effect of its compounds, and cinnamic and coumaric acids may be involved in the action of propolis on cytokine production.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Flavonoid Content of Mexican Propolis Studied

Structural and Genetic Alterations of Fungal Cells Caused by Mexican Propolis
Science against Microbial Pathogens: Communicating Current Research and Technological Advances, VOL. 2 (pp. 693-1348)

In order to study the antifungal activity of propolis ethanol extracts (PEE) from Apis mellifera bees from Mexico we used optical microscopy and we were able to see that PEE induced inhibition of germ tube formation of C. albicans.

Ultrastructural findings were seen using transmission electron micrographs of ultrathin sections of Candida albicans revealed that these cells suffered vacuolization, increased formation of storage granules as well as alteration and disruption of the outer structures of yeast, with release of intracellular material. In order to describe the molecular mechanism of action, we evaluate gene expression.

We were able to identify some over- and under-expressed genes. ADH1 y PIK1 genes were under-expressed in a manner dependent on concentration and exposure time. On the other hand, our team has determined the chemical profile of several Mexican propolis, with interesting results as the diversity of content and different levels of antifungal and antibacterial activities…

In summary, we succeeded in establishing the chemical content of propolis, with a significant presence of flavonoid type compounds, a prerequisite for such high activity. Similarly, we must remember that the characteristic flora of each region determines the type of propolis bees collect in that locality, and this accounted for the differences in the antimicrobial activity which we found in this study.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Volatile Organic Compounds Could Contribute to Biomedical Activities of Honey

Volatile Compounds in Honey: A Review on Their Involvement in Aroma, Botanical Origin Determination And Potential Biomedical Activities
Int J Mol Sci, 2011;12(12):9514-32, Epub 2011 Dec 20

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in honey are obtained from diverse biosynthetic pathways and extracted by using various methods associated with varying degrees of selectivity and effectiveness. These compounds are grouped into chemical categories such as aldehyde, ketone, acid, alcohol, hydrocarbon, norisoprenoids, terpenes and benzene compounds and their derivatives, furan and pyran derivatives. They represent a fingerprint of a specific honey and therefore could be used to differentiate between monofloral honeys from different floral sources, thus providing valuable information concerning the honey's botanical and geographical origin.

However, only plant derived compounds and their metabolites (terpenes, norisoprenoids and benzene compounds and their derivatives) must be employed to discriminate among floral origins of honey. Notwithstanding, many authors have reported different floral markers for honey of the same floral origin, consequently sensory analysis, in conjunction with analysis of VOCs could help to clear this ambiguity. Furthermore, VOCs influence honey's aroma described as sweet, citrus, floral, almond, rancid, etc. Clearly, the contribution of a volatile compound to honey aroma is determined by its odor activity value.

Elucidation of the aroma compounds along with floral origins of a particular honey can help to standardize its quality and avoid fraudulent labeling of the product. Although only present in low concentrations, VOCS could contribute to biomedical activities of honey, especially the antioxidant effect due to their natural radical scavenging potential.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Propolis Boosts Protection of Liver, Kidneys and Brain

Combined Treatment of HEDTA and Propolis Prevents Aluminum Induced Toxicity in Rats
Food Chem Toxicol, 2012 Jan 11

A study was undertaken to evaluate protective effect of chelating agent, N-(2-hydroxy ethyl ethylene diamine triacetic acid) [HEDTA] with and without propolis against aluminum (Al) induced toxicity in liver, kidney and brain.

Toxicity was induced by single administration of aluminum nitrate at a dose of 32.5mg/kg (½ of LD(50)). HEDTA (20mg/kg, ip), propolis (200mg/kg, po), and combination of HEDTA and propolis, respectively, were administered for 3days after 24h of Al exposure. Significant enhancement in AST, ALT, uric acid, urea, cholesterol, and triglyceride contents was found in serum, whereas albumin was decreased after Al exposure. Hepatic, renal, and neuronal LPO were found significantly increased after Al exposure, whereas it inhibited AChE activity in forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain.

Al caused significant alteration in the activity of adenosine triphosphatase, superoxide dismutase and catalase and fall in GSH contents in hepatic, renal and nervous tissues. However, individual treatment of HEDTA and propolis restored biochemical parameters towards control but combined treatment of HEDTA and propolis offered better protection in comparison to monotherapy.

Combined treatment of HEDTA and propolis preserved histological features, mitigated oxidative stress and improved liver, kidney and brain function tests more profoundly.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Propolis Extract has Anti-Ageing, Anti-Wrinkle Properties

OLEOS Uncovers Extract Harvested by Bees for Anti-Aging
Cosmetics Design, 1/20/2012

Oleos has carried out an eco-extraction process on waxes, vitamins, acids and unsaponifiable matter from Propolis, a resinous substance harvested by bees that contains anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle properties…

Monday, January 23, 2012

185 Organic Compounds Identified in Royal Jelly

Gas Chromatographic-Mass Spectrometric Investigation of Volatile and Extractable Compounds of Crude Royal Jelly
J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci, 2011 Dec 30

Using headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) followed by diethyl ether and methanol extraction, it was possible to isolate as many as 185 organic compounds out of 17 samples of crude royal jelly (RJ). Of the above compound number, 169 compounds were positively identified by means of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

The volatile fraction of RJ consists of 25 different compounds where approximately 47% of the total ion current (TIC) of volatile compound chromatograms were composed of substances characterized by bactericidal (phenols) and repelling (octanoic acid and 2-heptanone) activities. Preliminary investigations have shown that RJ stored for 10 months at -18°C and 4°C keeps its composition of volatile compounds unchanged, however, at the same time at room temperature RJ phenol contents is decreased twice, whereas the fraction of aliphatic acids is increased 2.8 times due to the presence of both acetic and butyric acids.

The chromatogram of RJ ether extracts showed 85 different compounds, however about 88% of TIC consisted exclusively of 8 compounds, i.e. 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic, 10-hydroxydecanoic, 3,10-dihydroxydecanoic, 8-hydroxyoctanoic, 2-decene-1,10-dioc and (Z)-9-hydroxy-2-decenoic acids. Nine aliphatic acids, which were detected for the first time, are the homologues of hydroxy- and oxo-acids identified earlier in RJ. In the RJ methanol extracts 82 compounds were identified, mainly carbohydrates and their derivatives.

Approximately 87% of TIC consisted of fructose, glucose and sucrose. Special attention was paid to discrepancies between obtained and literature data concerning the presence of free amino acids in RJ. It was suggested that these inconsistencies can be explained by the differences in the methods of RJ collection and/or sample preparation.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Manuka Honey Effective in Treating Pilonidal Sinus Disease

Manuka Honey as an Effective Treatment for Chronic Pilonidal Sinus Wounds
J Wound Care, 2011 Nov;20(11):528-33

Objective: A retrospective study to investigate the effectiveness of topical manuka honey in the treatment of chronic or recurrent pilonidal sinus disease (PSD), assessing the ability of this simple dressing technique to achieve complete wound healing, the time taken to achieve healing and the recurrence rate.

Method: All patients who received manuka honey dressing therapy following surgical intervention for chronic or recurrent PSD were identified over a 4-year period. In a retrospective review of case notes, data were collected on patient sex, age, nature of surgical procedures performed, time to achieve complete wound healing, and recurrences after completion of honey therapy.

Results: Seventeen patients were eligible for inclusion in the study. Mean time to commence honey therapy post-surgery was 93 days (5-517 days; median 33 days); 15 patients achieved complete wound healing, in a mean time of 65 days (14-264 days; median 49 days). Honey was discontinued in one patient due to an adverse event, and two patients experienced recurrence several months after completing honey therapy.

Conclusion: Manuka honey dressing therapy provides an effective topical treatment for chronic/recurrent PSD. Further research is necessary to determine the optimum dressing protocol.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Honey Boosts Effectiveness of Anti-Viral Drug

Effects of Honey to Acyclovir in the Rabbit Eye Transport Kinetics (Chinese)
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi, 2011 Oct;36(19):2723-6


Using pharmacokinetics to explore the mechanism of honey to enhance the efficacy of acyclovir (ACV) treatment of herpes simplex keratitis (HSK), providing the basis for combination of the prescription of two drugs and dosage regimen designed.


Single dosages of 5% honey and 0% honey Meyasu eye ointment are injected into rabbit eyes. The aqueous humor of rabbit eye is measured at different times, specifically the content of ACV in aqueous humor by HPLC. Mathematical models are established, from which pharmacokinetic parameters are extracted and compared by mathematics and statistics methods.


Both the 5% and 0% honey Meyasu eye ointment in rabbit eyes are belong to a two-compartment model. The absorption half-life of the 5% Meyasu eye ointment in aqueous humor is as 2.30 times longer, the distribution half-life is 2.12 times longer, the peak concentration is 1.17 times longer, the peak time is 1.36 times longer, AUC is 1.41 times longer when compared to the 0% Meyasu eye ointment.


Honey can significantly increase the ACV concentration and bioavailability in the eye, extend the action time of ACV in target cells and increase the retention capacity of ACV in the target tissue; thereby improving treatment success.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Honey Demonstrates Strong Antimutagenicity

Suppression of Error Prone Pathway is Responsible for Antimutagenic Activity of Honey
Food and Chemical Toxicology, In Press, Accepted Manuscript

Honey, both unifloral (Syzygiumcumuni) and bifloral, demonstrated strong antimutagenicity against physical (UV, γ) and chemical (Ethylmethane sulfonate) mutagens as ascertained by rpoB/RifR and Ames tests.

The effect of honey was evaluated in radiation (UV or γ) exposed E. coli cells for SOS response, a well known error prone repair pathway known to significantly contribute to mutagenicity by quantifying LexA repressor level, measuring cell filamentation frequency, and prophage induction by SIVET (Selectable – In - Vivo Expression Technology) assay. LexA was almost completely degraded, phenotypically long filamentous cells (∼30 μm) were formed, and SIVET induction frequency was increased in radiation exposed E. coli cultures, however these changes were significantly inhibited in presence of honey confirming its strong antimutagenic nature. Further, rpoB/RifR mutation frequency upon UV exposure in E. coli recA- cells was found to be negligible, whereas, E. coliumuC- and umuD- knockouts showed comparatively higher mutation frequency. Honey did not show any effect on mutagenesis in these knockouts, indicating the SOS dependence of the observed mutagenesis.

Honey was also found to suppress EMS induced mutagenesis but through SOS independent mechanism.

Phenolics present in honey were found to be one of the important factors contributing to the antimutagenicity of honey.


► Pollen analysis indicated commercial Indian honey as unifloral and bifloral.
► It showed broad spectrum antimutagenicity by Ames and E .colirpoB/RifR tests.
► Honey suppressed E. coli SOS response, an error-prone repair process.
► Error-prone repair is one of the major causes of mutagenesis.
► Honey inhibited LexA degradation, cell filamentation and prophage induction.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Manuka Honey Used to Treat Heartburn

Manuka Honey - No Longer a Product to Spread on Your Toast

MONTEREY, Calif., Jan. 17, 2012 -- /PRNewswire/ -- As the body of science and a wave of credible information spreads across America about the medicinal characteristics of manuka honey from New Zealand, retailers are searching for manuka-based products to place on their shelves. (See Dr. Oz, December 16, 2011.)

Currently most manuka honey sold in the United States is food-grade and sold in jars or pots and is either eaten or mixed into warm water and consumed as a healthy drink.

Medical Grade Manuka Honey is produced to a specific set of standards that separates it from food grade manuka honey.

Ndal Labs (pronounced en-dall Labs) has delivered to the consumer a breakthrough, patent-pending formula that is made from all-natural ingredients and taps the power of Medical Grade Manuka Honey to great effect in its ManukaGuard(R) Nutralize heartburn product.

ManukaGuard® Nutralize is the first gastro-intestinal product using Medical Grade Manuka Honey to come to the American marketplace…

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

10th German Apitherapy Congress and Expo, 20-24 April 2012, Passau, Germany

The 10th German Apitherapy Congress and Api-Expo 2012 will take place from 20 to 24 April 2012 in Passau, Germany. The event will be in English and German.

Prior to the Congress, a Workshop for Apitherapy beginners will be organized and after the Congress a Post-Congress Workshops will take place.

Speakers are now invited to send their abstracts to be evaluated by the scientific committee.

For more information about the event, you can check the following website: http://www.apitherapie.de/en/dab-ev/startseite.html, or write an email to drstangaciu@gmail.com.

Event date: Friday, April 20, 2012 to Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Country: Germany
Contact email: drstangaciu@gmail.com
Event URL: http://www.apitherapie.de/en/dab-ev/startseite.html

Contact name: Stefan Stangaciu

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Honey Used to Treat Foot and Mouth Disease

Use of Ethnoveterinary Remedies in the Management of Foot and Mouth Disease Lesions in a Dairy Herd
Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med, 2011;8(2):165-9

An outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) affecting 95 (57.2%) out of 166 cattle occurred in a medium-scale dairy farm in Kikuyu district, Kenya. Ethnoveterinary remedies of natural Soda ash solution (97% sodium bicarbonate), honey and finger millet flour were used to manage the FMD lesions.

The lesions were washed with soda ash solution to remove the necrotic tissue after which raw honey and finger millet flour were applied to the cleaned lesions. The lesions were examined daily and those with necrotic material washed again with the Soda ash solution. Honey and finger millet flour were applied daily for three days.

There was rapid healing of the lesions with the animals resuming feeding after three days. The fast healing of the lesions vindicates the use of these cheap, locally available and easy to apply products in the management of FMD lesions. However, more studies are needed to evaluate further their potencies.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gamma Irradiation Maintains Antioxidant Properties of Malaysian Tualang Honey

Gamma Irradiation Increases the Antioxidant Properties of Tualang Honey Stored Under Different Conditions
Molecules 2012, 17(1), 674-687

This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of evaporation, gamma irradiation and temperature on the total polyphenols, flavonoids and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging activities of Tualang honey samples (n = 14) following storage over three, six or twelve months. The mean polyphenol concentrations of the six gamma irradiated honey samples at three, six and twelve months, respectively, were 96.13%, 98.01% and 102.03% higher than the corresponding values of the eight non-gamma irradiated samples. Similarly, the mean values for flavonoids at three, six and twelve months were 111.52%, 114.81% and 110.04% higher, respectively, for the gamma irradiated samples. The mean values for DPPH radical-scavenging activities at three, six and twelve months were also 67.09%, 65.26% and 44.65% higher, respectively, for the gamma irradiated samples. These data indicate that all gamma irradiated honey samples had higher antioxidant potential following gamma irradiation, while evaporation and temperature had minor effects on antioxidant potential…


Our study clearly demonstrates that over twelve months, different storage conditions had little effect on the polyphenol and flavonoid contents and DPPH radical-scavenging activities in Tualang honey samples. However, gamma irradiation had the potential to maintain these properties successfully. The most notable finding of our study was that evaporation, the type of container (dark or clear bottles) and temperature showed minor effects on the phenolic and flavonoid contents and DPPH radical-scavenging activities, while gamma irradiation played a major role in influencing the antioxidant properties of honey. Longer storage durations were associated with gradual decreases in the polyphenol and flavonoid contents and radical-scavenging activities of honey samples stored in different ways. Further research is now required to reveal the mechanism underlying the increase in polyphenol content and radical-scavenging activities of gamma irradiated Tualang honey samples.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Propolis an Effective Alternative to Traditional Anti-Fungal Agent

Brazilian Green Propolis Extracts Improve Tinea pedis interdigitalis and Tinea corporis
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Online Ahead of Print: January 9, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Is Propolis Safe as an Alternative Medicine?

J Pharm Bioallied Sci, 2011 Oct;3(4):479-95

Propolis is a resinous substance produced by honeybees as defense against intruders. It has relevant therapeutic properties that have been used since ancient times. Nowadays, propolis is of increasing importance as a therapeutic, alone or included in many medicines and homeopathic products or in cosmetics. Propolis is produced worldwide and honeybees use the flora surrounding their beehives for its production. Therefore its chemical composition may change according to the flora. The phenolic and volatile fractions of propolis have been revised in the present study, as well as some of the biological properties attributed to this natural product. An alert is given about the need to standardize this product, with quality control. This has already been initiated by some authors, mainly in the propolis from the poplar-type. Only this product can constitute a good complementary and alternative medicine under internationally acceptable quality control…


Propolis is a heterogeneous product constituted by several groups of compounds. Moreover, the chemical composition depends strongly on the phytogeographic characteristics of the collection site, as honey bees can only use the plant species existing in their habitats. Their chemical variability can give rise to diverse types of biological activities or diverse structures may present similar properties. Therefore, to make a standardization and quality control of this product is very difficult, particularly if we take into account the quantification of the active substances. Popova et al. [67] have proposed to specify multiple standards for different propolis types according to their plant source and corresponding chemical profile. Popova et al. [141] has already made a standardization for the poplar-type propolis from Europe, Asia, and Americas. More recently, Popova et al. [67] have validated a spectrophotometric method for the quantification of prenylated flavanones in the 'Pacific' propolis from Taiwan. In addition, it is necessary to connect a particular chemical propolis type to a specific type of biological activity for formulating recommendations for the practitioners. Only by following this scheme will it be possible for people to choose and make more efficient use of the beneficial properties of propolis, in respect to complementary and alternative medicine. [142]

In spite of propolis being commonly used in cosmetic and medicinal preparations owing to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anesthesic properties, it is not completely innocuous because 1.2 to 6.6 patients who were patch-tested for dermatitis were sensitive to propolis. The main allergens were 3-methyl-2-butenyl caffeate and phenylethyl caffeate, that is, components present in the poplar-type propolis. [143] Clinical allergy in humans is presented as contact dermatitis or oral mucositis, beekeepers being the most affected. Nevertheless there has been a recent rise in this incidence among biocosmetic users, on account of the increasing popularity of natural products such as propolis. [144] According to these authors, patients with an allergy to propolis may be at risk of cross-sensitization with balsam of Peru, a common allergen found in flavoring agents, perfumed products, certain spices, and products that contain the peel of citrus fruit.

Therefore, propolis is a complex natural product with a great diversity of chemical structures and subsequent biological activities, nevertheless, it is not completely innocuous and care must been taken, mainly when such a product has a great diversity of origins. An absence of quality control may be pernicious to human health.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Beneficial Effects of Propolis on Human Health and Neurological Diseases

Front Biosci (Elite Ed), 2012 Jan 1;4:779-93

Propolis is a natural product, collected by honeybees Apis mellifera, from various plant sources. Propolis is extensively used in foods and beverages because it improves human health. It contains more than 300 natural compounds such as polyphenols, phenolic aldehydes, sequiterpene-quinones, coumarins, amino acids, steroids and inorganic compounds.

Propolis exhibits a broad spectrum of biological and pharmacological properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antitumor, anticancer, antiulcer, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective actions. The chemical composition and beneficial properties of propolis vary greatly depending on the phytogeographical areas, seasonal collection time, and botanical source. Polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables are beginning to receive increased attention due to their vital role in protecting neural cells from oxidative stress and neuroinflammation associated with normal aging and chronic age-related diseases.

Propolis is one of the most abundant sources of polyphenols (mainly flavonoids and phenolic acids). This overview is an attempt to discuss the molecular mechanism underlying the potential beneficial effects of propolis on human health and neurological diseases.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Firm to Announce Honey Dressings for Veterinary Wound Care

Links Medical Products Announces Advanced Wound Care Dressings for Veterinary Use
New sterile medical-grade Manuka Honey products to launch at NAVC Conference

IRVINE, Calif., Jan 09, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Links Medical Products Inc. (LMP) announced they will present their new medical-grade Manuka honey dressings, for use in advanced veterinary wound care, at the 2012 NAVC veterinary conference in Orlando, FL.

Made with 100% active medical-grade Manuka honey, the products provide veterinarians with dressings to help manage and treat animal wounds and burns and to speed healing.

Extensive research demonstrates medical-grade Manuka honey offers bacteriostatic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to promote accelerated wound healing. And the high osmotic activity of Manuka honey maintains a moist wound healing environment and helps clean and debride wounds while controlling malodors.*

The new, sterile, medical-grade Manuka products include

-- MANUKA SA(TM), a super absorbent, medical-grade Manuka honey impregnated, non-tacky, polymer dressing for full thickness wounds with moderate to heavy drainage

-- MANUKA IG(TM), a non-adherent contact layer dressing, with non-tacky surface, for light to moderate drainage

-- MANUKA FILL(TM), 100% active medical-grade Manuka honey in an easy to use tube for direct application to wounds or to a dressing for a variety of partial or hard to dress areas and full-thickness wounds with low to moderate levels of exudate, including burns, skin tears, and small abrasions…

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Propolis Component May Help Treat Neurodegenerative Disorders

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Protects Nigral Dopaminergic Neurons Via Dual Mechanisms Involving Heme Oxygenase-1 and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
British Journal of Pharmacology, Accepted manuscript online: 6 JAN 2012

Background and purpose: Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a component of propolis from honeybee that can induce expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Because HO-1 induction has been suggested to protect dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, we examined the effect of CAPE in experimental models of dopaminergic neurodegeneration.

Experimental approach: Neuroprotective effect of CAPE was investigated in rat organotypic midbrain slice cultures and in vivo experimental mouse model of dopaminergic neurodegeneration by intranigral injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and intrastriatal injection of 6-hydroxydopamine.

Key results: CAPE protected dopaminergic neurons in slice cultures from interferon-γ/ LPS-induced injury. The effect of CAPE was inhibited by zinc protoporphyrin IX, an HO-1 inhibitor, and by neutralizing antibody against brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). A p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor SB203580 prevented activation of NF-E2-related factor 2, attenuated increased expression of HO-1 and BDNF, and blocked neuroprotective action of CAPE. In LPS-injected mouse model, daily intraperitoneal administration of CAPE protected dopaminergic neurons, upregulated HO-1 and BDNF, and reduced the increase of activated microglia/macrophages. Neuroprotective effect of CAPE against LPS-induced injury was prevented by zinc protoporphyrin IX or anti-BDNF antibody. CAPE protected dopaminergic neurons and alleviated methamphetamine-induced rotational behavior also in 6-hydroxydopamine hemi-parkinsonian mice.

Conclusions and implications: CAPE is a novel type of neuroprotective agent whose actions are mediated by both HO-1 and BDNF. These findings may provide a novel clue to develop neuroprotective pharmaceuticals for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bee Venom Therapy May Help Manage Chronic Pain

Repetitive Treatment with Diluted Bee Venom Reduces Neuropathic Pain Via Potentiation of Locus Coeruleus Noradrenergic Neuronal Activity and Modulation of Spinal NR1 Phosphorylation in Rats
J Pain, 2012 Jan 2

We previously demonstrated that a single injection of diluted bee venom (DBV) temporarily alleviates thermal hyperalgesia, but not mechanical allodynia, in neuropathic rats.

The present study was designed to determine whether repetitive injection of DBV produces more potent analgesic effects on neuropathy-induced nociception and whether those effects are associated with increased neuronal activity in the locus coeruleus (LC) and with the suppression of spinal NMDA receptor NR1 subunit phosphorylation (pNR1).

DBV (.25 mg/kg) was administered subcutaneously twice a day for 2 weeks beginning on day 15 post-chronic constrictive injury surgery. Pain responses were examined and potential changes in LC Fos expression and spinal pNR1 expression were determined. Repetitive DBV administration significantly reduced mechanical allodynia, as well as thermal hyperalgesia. The activity of LC noradrenergic neurons was increased and spinal pNR1 expression was significantly suppressed by repetitive DBV as compared with those of vehicle or single DBV injection. These suppressive effects of repetitive DBV on neuropathic pain and spinal pNR1 were prevented by intrathecal pretreatment of idazoxan, an alpha-2 adrenoceptor antagonist.

These results indicate that repetitive DBV produces potent analgesic effects on neuropathic pain and this is associated with the activation of the LC noradrenergic system and with a reduction in spinal pNR1.

PERSPECTIVE: The results of current study demonstrate that repetitive administration of DBV significantly suppresses neuropathic pain. Furthermore, this study provides mechanistic information that repetitive treatment of DBV can produce more potent analgesic effect than single DBV treatment, indicating a potential novel strategy for the management of chronic pain.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Honey, Bee Venom Used for Medicinal Purposes in Mideast

Sticky Patch for Yemen Honey Exports
By Gillian Duncan, The National, Jan 6, 2012

The uprising in Yemen not only disrupted gas exports and pushed the country's crumbling economy closer to the brink - it also affected sales of another prized commodity.

Honey produced in the caves of Yemen's mountainous hinterlands is exported all over the world.

"Many people like that kind of honey. It has a delicious taste. One kilogram costs around Dh3,500 [US$952]," said Abdul Aziz Bamadhaf, the general manager of Bees Kingdom in Abu Dhabi. For about the same price per kilo you could buy several varieties of truffle or some Caspian black caviar…

Honey has been a staple of the Middle East diet, and used for medicinal purposes, for centuries.

Mr Bamadhaf's business produces a powder from bee venom, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

"You can only use one gram per 50kg of honey and you have to mix it properly because one gram of bee venom is around 250 bites. It can kill someone. They can make 30,000 injections from just one gram," he says.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Cuban Linen Vine Honey Shows High Antioxidant Activity

Radical-Scavenging Activity, Protective Effect Against Lipid Peroxidation and Mineral Contents of Monofloral Cuban Honeys 
Plant Foods Hum Nutr, 2012 Jan 3

Several monofloral Cuban honeys were analyzed to determine their free radical-scavenging activity and from this the total antioxidant content was estimated. The protective effect against lipid peroxidation in an in vitro model of rat liver homogenates was evaluated and, lastly, the mineral content of the honeys, which can be related to the maintenance of intracellular oxidative balance, was determined.

The scavenging capacities against hydroxyl and superoxide radicals were determined using the spin-trapping technique and the hypoxanthine/xanthine oxidase assay, respectively. Lipid peroxidation was evaluated through the production of TBARS and hydroperoxides. All honeys tested showed potential antioxidant activity with Linen vine displaying the highest scavenging capacity towards the DPPH, hydroxyl and superoxide radicals, while the least efficient was Christmas vine honey. Honeys also inhibited, in a concentration-dependent mode, lipid peroxidation in rat liver homogenates, with Linen vine resulting the best while the least effective was Christmas vine honey.

The ability to scavenge free radicals and protect against lipid peroxidation may contribute to the ability of certain Cuban honeys to help in preventing/reducing some inflammatory diseases in which oxidative stress is involved. A total of eight minerals were identified and quantified as follows: cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, iron, manganese, lead, and zinc. Minerals found in higher concentrations were iron, zinc and manganese.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Honey Protects Against Effects of Radiation Therapy

Systematic Review and Meta-analysis on the Use of Honey to Protect from the Effects of Radiation-Induced Oral Mucositis
Advances in Skin & Wound Care, January 2012 - Volume 25 - Issue 1 - p 23–28

Recently, 4 separate human controlled trials reported that honey appeared to protect from the effects of radiation-induced oral mucositis formation, a complication of radiation therapy that is responsible for pain and overall reduction in quality of life.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, the authors examined 3 of these controlled trials (n = 120) that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria to determine whether honey had protective effects against radiation-induced oral mucositis. The meta-analysis demonstrated an overall relative risk reduction of 80% in the honey treatment group compared with the control. Although favorable, the data must be approached with caution because of lack of description of the method of randomization and potential bias in all 3 of the individual studies included in the meta-analysis.

The results are promising, and further studies are needed to strengthen the current evidence prior to a firm clinical recommendation being given.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Propolis Component Helps Synthesize Anti-Cancer Agent

Design, Synthesis and Evaluation of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester-Based Inhibitors Targeting a Selectivity Pocket in the Active Site of Human Aldo-Keto Reductase 1B10
European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, In Press, Accepted Manuscript

Inhibitors of a human aldo-keto reductase, AKR1B10, are regarded as promising therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, but those with both high potency and selectivity compared to the structurally similar aldose reductase (AKR1B1) has not been reported.

In this study, we have found that, among honeybee propolis products, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) inhibited AKR1B10 (IC50=80 nM) with 7-fold selectivity over AKR1B1. Based on a model of docked CAPE in AKR1B10, its derivatives were designed, synthesized and evaluated for inhibitory potency. Among them, 3-(4-hydroxy-2-methoxyphenyl)acrylic acid 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)propyl ester (10c) was the most potent competitive inhibitor (Ki=2.6 nM) with 790-fold selectivity for AKR1B10 over AKR1B1. Molecular docking of 10c and site-directed mutagenesis of AKR1B10 residues suggested that the interactions between the 2-methoxy and 3-hydroxy groups of 10c and the enzyme's Val301 and Gln114, respectively, are important for the inhibitor's selectivity.

Additionally, the sub-μM concentration of 10c significantly suppressed the farnesal metabolism and cellular proliferation in AKR1B10-overexpressing cells.


• AKR1B10 inhibitors are regarded as promising therapeutics for cancer treatment.
• Caffeic acid phenethyl ester was found to be a good lead for inhibitor synthesis.
• A synthesize derivative shows a Ki of 2.6 nM and high selectivity for AKR1B10.
• It effectively inhibits cellular metabolism and proliferation mediated by AKR1B10.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Bad Back? Bee Venom Could Help

Independent (South Africa), January 3, 2012

London - Bee venom is being used as a treatment for chronic back pain. In a clinical trial, patients who have had lower back pain for three or more months will be given injections of the venom.

In the trial at Kyung Hee University Hospital in South Korea, half the patients will have the venom, while the others will be given ibuprofen.

In a small study reported this month in the Journal of Pharmacopuncture, patients who had been hospitalised with lower back pain were given acupuncture or acupuncture plus bee venom; the venom treatment was more effective…

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Propolis is One of the Most Abundant Sources of Flavonoids

Beneficial Effects of Propolis on Human Health and Neurological Diseases
Front Biosci (Elite Ed), 2012 Jan 1;4:779-93

Propolis is a natural product, collected by honeybees Apis mellifera, from various plant sources. Propolis is extensively used in foods and beverages because it improves human health. It contains more than 300 natural compounds such as polyphenols, phenolic aldehydes, sequiterpene-quinones, coumarins, amino acids, steroids and inorganic compounds.

Propolis exhibits a broad spectrum of biological and pharmacological properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antitumor, anticancer, antiulcer, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective actions. The chemical composition and beneficial properties of propolis vary greatly depending on the phytogeographical areas, seasonal collection time, and botanical source. Polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables are beginning to receive increased attention due to their vital role in protecting neural cells from oxidative stress and neuroinflammation associated with normal aging and chronic age-related diseases.

Propolis is one of the most abundant sources of polyphenols (mainly flavonoids and phenolic acids). This overview is an attempt to discuss the molecular mechanism underlying the potential beneficial effects of propolis on human health and neurological diseases.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Propolis Boosts Vaccine’s Immune-Enhancing Effect

Study on the Immune Enhancement of Different Immunoadjuvants Used in the Pentavalent Vaccine for Turbots
Fish & Shellfish Immunology, In Press

In this study, we investigated the immune enhancing effects of different adjuvants used in a pentavalent vaccine for turbots. The pentavalent vaccine consisted of inactive bacterial cells from five common pathogenic strains (Vibrio anguillarum, Vibrio scophtalmi, Edwardsiella tarda, Vibrio harveyi and Vibrio alginolyticus) and the adjuvants were astragalus polysaccharides (APS), propolis, and the Freund’s complete adjuvant (FCA).

Turbots were immunized with the pentavalent vaccine alone or with one of the adjuvants, and the immune efficiency was evaluated by measuring the activities of lysozyme (LSZ) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and serum antibody titers. Fish were also challenged with the pathogens after immunization and the relative percent survival (RPS) was assessed.

Our results showed that APS, propolis, and FCA had significant immune-enhancing effects on turbots as shown by the higher titers of antibodies against the pathogens, increased LSZ and SOD activities, and enhanced RPS after challenge with pathogens.

Among the three adjuvants, FCA had the most significant immune synergistic effects with the vaccine, and APS and propolis had lower and similar immune synergies.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Honey Has Anti-Diabetic Effect

Oligosaccharides Might Contribute to the Antidiabetic Effect of Honey: A Review of the Literature
Molecules, 2011 Dec 28;17(1):248-66

Evidence shows that honey improves glycemic control in diabetes mellitus. Besides its hypoglycemic effect, studies indicate that honey ameliorates lipid abnormalities in rats and humans with diabetes. The majority of these studies do not examine the mechanisms by which honey ameliorates glycemic and/or lipid derangements.

The gut microbiota is now recognized for its ability to increase energy harvest from the diet and alter lipid metabolism of the host. Recently available data implicate a causal role of these gut microbes in the pathophysiology of obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes mellitus.

In this review, we present some of the latest findings linking gut microbiota to pathogenesis of obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes mellitus. The review also underlines data that demonstrate the beneficial effects of oligosaccharides on various abnormalities commonly associated with these disorders.

Based on the similarities of some of these findings with those of honey, together with the evidence that honey contains oligosaccharides, we hypothesize that oligosaccharides present in honey might contribute to the antidiabetic and other health-related beneficial effects of honey.

We anticipate that the possibility of oligosaccharides in honey contributing to the antidiabetic and other health-related effects of honey will stimulate a renewed research interest in this field.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Beekeepers Have Low Incidence of Cancer

Honeybees Health Benefits and Cancer
Inform Africa, December 25, 2011

…Beekeepers have the lowest incidence of cancer of all the occupations worldwide. This fact was acknowledged in the annual report of the New York Cancer Research Institute in 1965. Almost half a century ago, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 9(2), Oct., 1948, published a report by William Robinson, M.D., et al., in which it was claimed that bee pollen added to food (in the ratio of 1 part to 10,000) prevented or delayed the appearance of malignant mammary tumour.

L.J. Hayes, M.D had the courage to announce, “Bees sterilise pollen by means of a glandular secretion antagonistic to tumours.” Other doctors, including Sigmund Schmidt, M.D., and Ernesto Contreras, M.D., seem to agree that something in pollen works against cancer.

Dr W. Schweisheimer also said that scientists at the Berlin Cancer Institute in Germany had never encountered a beekeeper with cancer. A French study concerning the cause of death of 1,000 beekeepers included only case of a beekeeper that died of cancer. The incidence of cancer-caused deaths in a group of French farmers was 100 times higher than the group of beekeepers.

Till date, no study has faulted the fact that beekeepers have very low, almost negligible incidence of cancer worldwide. Due to the weight of this fact and coupled with his experience, John Anderson, Professor of beekeeping, University of Aberdeen, unequivocally declared: “Keep bees and eat honey if you want to live long. Beekeepers live longer than anyone else”.

But why and how do bee stings prevent or heal cancer? First, the major component of bee sting venom is mellitin, which has powerful bacterial and cytotoxic properties. The mellitin in bee venom activates two main glands – adrenal cortex and the hypophysis, which in turn begin to secrete hormones that have strong anti-inflammatory effect. Cancer and many other degenerative diseases are often preceded by inflammation. Bee venom also stimulates the immune system and cancer is less likely to gain a foothold in those with strong immune system.

Nothing promotes blood circulation better than the bee venom, which dissolves plaque in blood vessels and flush it out to ensure free flow of blood. Bee venom contains proteins and amino acids (18 of the 20 obligatory amino acids). When small doses of bee venom gets into the blood they compensate for the deficit of amino acids, make active hormones and vitamins, lower the level of cholesterol and have a positive effect on fat metabolism…