Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chestnut Honey Impregnated Hydrogel Boosts Diabetic Ulcer Healing

Chestnut Honey Impregnated Carboxymethyl Cellulose Hydrogel for Diabetic Ulcer Healing

Polymers 2017, 9(7), 248

Honey-based wound dressings have attracted a lot of attention from modern scientists owing to their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects without antibiotic resistance. Such dressings also promote moist wound healing, and have been considered natural, abundant, and cheap materials for folk marketing.

This study investigated the various behaviors and characteristics of chestnut honey-impregnated carboxymethyl cellulose sodium hydrogel paste (CH–CMC) as a therapeutic dressing, such as its moist retention, antibacterial activity for inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, and the rate of wound healing in db/db mice.

The results provide good evidence, suggesting that CH–CMC has potential as a competitive candidate for diabetic ulcer wound healing.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Diluted Bee Venom Acupuncture Helps Treat Arthritis Pain

Analgesic Effects of Diluted Bee Venom Acupuncture Mediated by δ-Opioid and α2-Adrenergic Receptors in Osteoarthritic Rats

Altern Ther Health Med. 2017 Jun 23

Context • Pain from osteoarthritis is associated with peripheral nociception and central pain processing. Given the unmet need for innovative, effective, and well-tolerated therapies, many patients, after looking for more satisfactory alternatives, decide to use complementary and alternative modalities. The analgesic mechanism of subcutaneous injections of diluted bee venom into an acupoint is thought to be part of an anti-inflammatory effect and the central modulation of pain processing.

Objectives • Using the rat model of collagenase-induced osteoarthritis (CIOA), the study intended to investigate the analgesic effects of bee venom acupuncture (BVA) as they are related to the acupuncture points and dosage used and to determine whether the analgesic mechanisms of BVA for pain were mediated by opioid or adrenergic receptors.

Design • Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to one of 19 groups, with n = 10 for each group.

Setting • The study was conducted at the East-West Bone and Joint Research Institute at Kyung Hee University (Seoul, South Korea).

Intervention • All rats were intra-articularly injected with collagenase solution in the left knee, followed by a booster injection performed 4 d after the first injection. For the groups receiving BVA treatments, the treatment was administered into the ST-36 acupoint, except for 1 group that received the treatment into a nonacupoint. Three BVA intervention groups received no pretreatment with agonists or antagonists; 1 of them received a dose of 1 mg/kg of bee venom into acupoint ST-36, 1 received a dose of 2 mg/kg into acupoint ST-36, and 1 received a dose of 1 mg/kg into a nonacupoint location. For the intervention groups receiving pretreatments, the opioid-receptor or adrenergic-receptor agonists or antagonists were injected 20 min before the 1-mg/kg BVA treatments.

Outcome Measures • Changes in the rats' pain thresholds were assessed by evaluation of pain-related behavior, using a tail flick latency unit.

Results • The pain reached its maximum value after 4 wk of CIOA induction. The 1-mg/kg ST-36 BVA treatment resulted in a more significant analgesic effect than nonacupoint BVA. Pain-related behavior was more effectively improved by treatment with 1 mg/kg of BVA than with 2 mg/kg of BVA. The analgesic effects of the BVA were not synergistic with the agonist pretreatments with the μ-, δ-, or κ-opioid receptors or with the α1-, α2-, and β-adrenergic receptors. The analgesic effects of the BVA were not decreased by the antagonist pretreatments for the μ- or κ-opioid receptors or for the α1- or β-adrenergic receptors. The ST-36-BVA-induced analgesia was inhibited by the antagonist pretreatments for the δ-opioid receptor and the α2-adrenergic receptor.

Conclusion • The ST-36 BVA treatment exerted an analgesic effect on CIOA-induced pain through the partial involvement of the δ-opioid and α2-adrenergic receptors.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Propolis Mouthwash Shows Antibacterial Action

Microbiological control and antibacterial action of a propolis-containing mouthwash and control of dental plaque in humans

Nat Prod Res. 2017 Jun 23:1-5

Propolis is a bee product with several biological properties. This study aimed at investigating a propolis-containing mouthwash, its organoleptic properties, microbial contamination and its antibacterial action in vitro. This mouthwash was assessed in vivo to control dental plaque in humans. The presence of microorganisms was analyzed and the minimum inhibitory concentration against Streptococcus mutans was determined.

A comparative study was done in vivo using propolis, chlorhexidine, and propolis plus chlorhexidine in lower concentrations for 14 days. Dental plaque was analyzed by the Patient Hygiene Performance (PHP) index. The odontological product was yellow, cloudy, free of microbial contamination, and exerted an inhibitory action in vitro. Individuals who used a propolis-containing mouthwash for 14 consecutive days in combination or not to chlorhexidine showed a similar PHP index to chlorhexidine alone.

The product exerted an antibacterial action in vitro and in vivo, exhibiting a positive action in the control of dental plaque.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ecuadorian Propolis Inhibits Leishmania amazonensis Growth

Chemical profile and anti-leishmanial activity of three Ecuadorian propolis samples from Quito, Guayaquil and Cotacachi regions

Fitoterapia. 2017 Jun 19. pii: S0367-326X(17)30545-2

Three propolis samples were collected from different regions of Ecuador (Quito, Guayaquil and Cotacachi) and their methanolic extracts were prepared. Preliminary information supplied by TLC and NMR data, allowed us to define two main types of propolis: Cotacachi propoli sample (CPS), rich in flavonoids and Quito and Guayaquil samples (QPS and GPS) containing triterpenic alcohols and acetyl triterpenes as the main constituents. Two different approaches based on RP-HPLC preparative procedure and NMR structural determination (CPS) and GC-MS analysis (QPS and GPS) were successfully used for the chemical characterization of their major compounds.

All three propolis extracts were able to inhibit Leishmania amazonensis growth but propolis sample rich in flavonoids was the most active (IC50=17.1±1.7μg/mL). In the literature this is the first study on propolis from Ecuador.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Anti-Ageing Effect of Propolis

Polyphenol profile by UHPLC-MS/MS, anti-glycation, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of several samples of propolis from the northeastern semi-arid region of Brazil

Pharm Biol. 2017 Dec;55(1):1884-1893


Propolis has promising biological activities. Propolis samples from the Northeast of Bahia, Brazil - sample A from Ribeira do Pombal and B, from Tucano - were investigated, with new information regarding their biological activities.


This paper describes the chemical profile, antioxidant, anti-glycation and cytotoxic activities of these propolis samples.


Ethanol extracts of these propolis samples (EEP) and their fractions were analyzed to determine total phenolic content (TPC); antioxidant capacity through DPPH•, FRAP and lipid peroxidation; anti-glycation activity, by an in vitro glucose (10 mg/mL) bovine serum albumine (1 mg/mL) assay, during 7 d; cytotoxic activity on cancer (SF295, HCT-116, OVCAR-8, MDA-MB435, MX-1, MCF7, HL60, JURKAT, MOLT-4, K562, PC3, DU145) and normal cell lines (V79) at 0.04-25 μg/mL concentrations, for 72 h. The determination of primary phenols by ultra high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) and volatile organic compounds content by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were also performed.


The EEP polar fractions exhibited up to 90% protection against lipid peroxidation. The IC50 value for anti-glycation activity of EEP was between 16.5 and 19.2 μg/mL, close to aminoguanidine (IC50 = 7.7 μg/mL). The use of UHPLC-MS/MS and GC-MS allowed the identification of 12 bioactive phenols in the EEP and 24 volatile compounds, all already reported.


The samples present good antioxidant/anti-glycation/cytotoxic activities and a plethora of biologically active compounds. These results suggest a potential role of propolis in targeting ageing and diseases associated with oxidative and carbonylic stress, aggregating value to them.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Honey to Address Mucositis

Dental Abstracts
Volume 62, Issue 4, July–August 2017, Pages 237–238

The treatment for advanced stage head and neck cancer typically involves radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or their combined use (radio/chemotherapy) in addition to surgical resection.

Radio/chemotherapy is unable to distinguish between normal human cells and malignant proliferating cancer cells and kills both types of cells equally. Oral mucosal cells have a high rate of proliferation and self-renewal and can become a target for radio/chemotherapy. The resulting mucositis is manifest as pain, erythema, and ulcers, leading to patient noncompliance with treatment.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Brazilian Red Propolis Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Brazilian red propolis effects on peritoneal macrophage activity: nitric oxide, cell viability, pro-inflammatory cytokines and gene expression

J Ethnopharmacol. 2017 Jun 14. pii: S0378-8741(17)30743-2


Propolis has been used in folk medicine since ancient times and it presented inhibitory effect on neutrophil recruitment previously. However, its effect on macrophage obtained from mice remains unclear.


to demonstrate BRP effects on LPS activated peritoneal macrophage.


Peritoneal macrophages, obtained from C57BL6 mice and activated with LPS, were treated with 50 to 80µg/mL of crude extract of Brazilian red propolis (BRP) during 48hours. Cell viability, levels of NO, 20 cytokines and expression of 360 genes were evaluated.


BRP 60µg/ml reduced NO production by 65% without affecting the cell viability and decreased production IL1α, IL1β, IL4, IL6, IL12p40, Il12p70, IL13, MCP1 and GM-CSF. Molecular mechanism beyond the anti-inflammatory activity may be due to BRP-effects on decreasing expression of Mmp7, Egfr, Adm, Gata3, Wnt2b, Txn1, Herpud1, Axin2, Car9, Id1, Vegfa, Hes1, Hes5, Icam1, Wnt3a, Pcna, Wnt5a, Tnfsf10, Ccl5, Il1b, Akt1, Mapk1, Noxa1 and Cdkn1b and increasing expression of Cav1, Wnt6, Calm1, Tnf, Rb1, Socs3 and Dab2.


Therefore, BRP has anti-inflammatory effects on macrophage activity by reducing NO levels and diminished release and expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine and genes, respectively.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bee Venom May Help Treat Behavioral Disorders

The role of apitoxin in alleviating propionic acid-induced neurobehavioral impairments in rat pups: The expression pattern of Reelin gene

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Jun 13;93:48-56

The efficacy of apitoxin (bee venom; BV) in ameliorating propionic acid (PPA) -induced neurobehavioral impacts was studied.

Sixty rat pups were enrolled in a split litter design to six groups: a control group, a PPA-treated group, a BV-treated group, a BV/PPA protective group, a PPA/BV therapeutic group, and a BV/PPA/BV protective and therapeutic group. Exploratory, social, locomotor, and repetitive/stereotype-like activities were assessed and prosocial, empathy, and acquired behavior were evaluated.

Levels of neurotransmitter including serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) were determined and a quantitative analysis of Reelin gene expression was performed. PPA treatment induced several behavioral alterations, as reduced exploratory activity and social behaviors, increased repetitive/stereotypic behaviors, and hyperactivity. In addition, a marked decline of neurotransmitters and down-regulation of Reelin mRNA expression were observed. BV exhibited high efficiency in ameliorating the PPA-induced neurobehavioral alterations, particularly when applied both before and after PPA administration.

Overall, the results implied that BV has merit as a candidate therapeutic treatment to alleviate PPA-induced neurobehavioral disorders.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Honey May Serve as Protective Agent for Peritoneal Adhesion

Comparison of honey and dextrose solution on post-operative peritoneal adhesion in rat model

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Jun 10;92:849-855


Peritoneal adhesion between abdominal organs is a complication of surgery. It causes major complications like pain, bowel obstruction, infertility and increases risk of death. Honey is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties potentially relevant for adhesive protection.


Thirty rats were divided into five groups: negative control without any surgical procedure (normal group), control group treated with normal saline, experimental group I treated with 1ml of 10% honey, experimental group II treated with honey at half concentration of group I (honey0.5), and positive control group receiving 1ml of dextrose 5%. Inflammatory, growth and angiogenesis factors (TNF-α, Il-6, IL-1β, TGF-β1 and VEGF) of the adhesion tissue were assessed using ELISA. Antioxidant factors (NO, GSH and MDA) were also assessed using biochemical procedures...


We find that honey can decrease inflammatory, growth and angiogenesis factors which can advance peritoneal adhesion and increase antioxidant factors. Honey could serve as a protective agent for peritoneal adhesion.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Honey Helps Relieve Pain of Menstrual Cramps

Comparison of the effect of honey and mefenamic acid on the severity of pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2017 Jun 16


Primary dysmenorrhea starts simultaneously with menstruation or before it and usually continues for 48-72 h. As a prevalence disorder, it affects about 80-97% of women in the reproductive age. The conventional treatment modalities of primary dysmenorrhea are associated with complications and side effects. In addition, there is a lack of knowledge of the effect of honey on the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of honey on the severity of pain in women with dysmenorrhea.


A randomized crossover clinical trial was conducted on 56 female students. Subjects were randomly assigned to two groups. Groups I and II received honey and mefenamic acid in the 'first treatment period', respectively. In the 'second treatment period', the intervention methods were reversed between the groups. Samples recorded the severity of pain during the first 3 days of menstruation.


There were no significant differences in the most severe level of pain in the first and second months of the first treatment period, and the first and second months of the second treatment period between the groups.


Honey and the mefenamic acid capsules led to the same amount of pain relief in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Honey is suggested to be used for pain relief due to its lower side effects and pharmacological complications.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Propolis Diterpenes as a Remarkable Bio-Source for Drug Discovery Development: A Review

Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1290

Propolis is one of the complex, but valuable, bio-sources for discovering therapeutic compounds. Diterpenes are organic compounds composed of four isoprene units and are known for their biological and pharmacological characteristics, such as antibacterial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory activities. Recently, advancements have been made in the development of antibacterial and anticancer leads from propolis-isolated diterpenes, and scrutiny of these compounds is being pursued. Thus, this review covers the progress in this arena, with a focus on the chemistry and biological activities of propolis diterpenes. It is anticipated that important information, in a comprehensive and concise manner, will be delivered here for better understanding of natural product drug discovery research. View Full-Text

Friday, June 16, 2017

Dietary Supplement with Propolis Helps Treat Urinary Infections

[Evaluation of the effects of a natural dietary supplement with cranberry, Noxamicina® and D-mannose in recurrent urinary infections in perimenopausal women].

Minerva Ginecol. 2017 Aug;69(4):336-341


The female genital apparatus, the urinary tract and the perineal supporting tissues share a common embryological origin, whose differentiation depends on the action of estrogens. In adult women, the progressive decline of the ovarian function, with the ensuing estrogen deprivation, reduces tissue tropism causing urogenital atrophy, which makes these organs much more susceptible to traumatisms and urinary infections. The disorders associated with changes in the urogenital tract of peri- and postmenopausal women have significant clinical relevance, both on account of their chronicity and high frequency of occurrence and on account of their having major repercussions on the quality of life of the women, who often have to call their doctor seeking relief for their symptoms. In general, these patients report having a significant number of episodes of cystitis per year.

With a view to verifying whether the use of a new dietary supplement (Kistinox® Forte sachets) containing cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), Noxamicina® (propolis extract) and D-mannose can be of use in the treatment of cystitis, with or without bacteriuria, through the elimination of urinary symptoms, a multicenter clinical study was conducted on 150 women aged 40 to 50 suffering from recurrent episodes of cystitis as attested by at least one positive urine culture during the six months preceding their recruitment.


The subjects were randomly assigned to two groups: Group A: 100 women were given Kistinox® Forte, 1 sachet per day during the first 10 days of the month, for 3 months; Group B: 50 women did not receive any treatment to serve as a control group.


The results of the present study show a complete remission of urinary symptoms in 92 women; a slight decrease in urinary symptoms was observed in 5 subjects, whereas 3 women who stopped the treatment after the first cycle were considered drop-outs.


This multicenter clinical study revealed the excellent efficacy and tolerability of Kistinox® Forte sachets in the treatment and prevention of urinary disorders in peri- and postmenopausal women. The posology of a sachet a day during the first 10 days of the month for 3 months was well tolerated by the patients, who did not report any disorder arising from the product.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Enzymes in Ethiopian Honey

Enzyme activity, amino acid profiles and hydroxymethylfurfural content in Ethiopian monofloral honey

Journal of Food Science and Technology, pp 1–10

The enzymes activity, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and amino acids in honeys are relatively low. However, they play very significant role for honey quality. In this study, enzymes, amino acids and HMF contents of Ethiopian monofloral honeys were investigated. Diastase, invertase and HMF were analyzed based on the Harmonized International Honey Commission method and amino acids using amino acids analyzer (HPLC).

Diastase activity ranged from 3.91 ± 0.730 (Schefflera abyssinica) to 13.6 ± 2.30 [Becium grandiflorum (L: Lalibella)]; invertase 36.5 ± 1.93 (Leucas abyssinica) to 4.85 ± 2.36 (Schefflera abyssinica); and HMF 0 ± 0 (Hypoestes and Leucas abyssinica) to 3.37 ± 1.73 (Croton macrostachyus). Significant variations were observed among Schefflera abyssinica honeys in diastase content, despite being from the same botanical origin. Significant variations were also observed among Becium grandiflorum honeys in invertase and diastase contents. Bees’ geographical race and location affected enzymes activities. Lower level of enzymes could be an intrinsic characteristic of Ethiopian honey.

Thus, enzymes activity alone cannot be a worthwhile indicator of quality for Ethiopian honey; besides diastase and invertase activity, the quality control of Ethiopian honeys should be supported by HMF parameters.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Portuguese Propolis Harvested in Springtime Shows Higher Antibacterial Activity

Antibacterial activity of propolis extracts from the south of Portugal

Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Jan;30(1):1-9.

To examine the antibacterial activity of diverse extracts of propolis harvested at winter and spring from several locations of Algarve, Portugal, against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria was the main goal of the present work. For such, the antibacterial activity was determined by agar diffusion.

The results showed that all tested bacterial strains showed susceptibility to diluted propolis extracts and in a dose-dependent manner. Two propolis samples collected at springtime showed higher antibacterial activity, in comparison with samples harvested at wintertime. Ethanolic and methanolic extracts have a very similar activity (P < 0.05). Helicobacter pylori strains J99 and 26695 were the most susceptible strains to the tested extracts (33.67±2.52 mm and 35.67±0.58mm, respectively).

This study constitutes the first approach of the biological activities of Portuguese propolis from the Algarve region and evidences its potential use to combat bacterial infections, in particular against the gastric pathogen H. pylori.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Metagenomes of Royal Jelly, Pollen, and Honey from Lavender, Chestnut, and Fir Honeydew

Deeper Insight in Beehives: Metagenomes of Royal Jelly, Pollen, and Honey from Lavender, Chestnut, and Fir Honeydew and Epiphytic and Endophytic Microbiota of Lavender and Rose Flowers

Genome Announc. 2017 Jun 1;5(22). pii: e00425-17

Microbiota of beehive products are very little known. We report here for the first time six metagenomes of royal jelly, pollen, and different types of honey from wild and cultivated lavender, chestnut, and fir honeydew. Four metagenomes of epiphytic and endophytic microbiota of lavender and rose flowers are also reported.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Propolis Varnish Prevents Cavities

The anti-caries activity and toxicity of an experimental propolis-containing varnish

Braz Oral Res. 2017 Jun 5;31:e45

We investigated the anti-caries effects of an experimental propolis varnish in vivo, and further tested its toxicity against fibroblasts. Fifty-six SPF female Wistar rats were infected with Streptococcus mutans UA159 (SM) and allocated into four groups (n = 14/group): G1, propolis varnish (15%/PV); G2, chitosan varnish (CV/vehicle); G3, gold standard (GS/Duraphat®); and G4, untreated. The animals received a single varnish application on their molars and were submitted to a high cariogenic challenge (Diet-2000, 56% sucrose, and 5% sucrose-added water, ad libitum) for 4 weeks.

Total cultivable microbiota and SM were counted, and smooth-surface and sulcal caries were scored. PV, CV and GS cytotoxic effects were tested against fibroblasts. The data were analyzed using ANOVA with the Tukey-Kramer test (p ≤ 0.05). Total microbiota and SM counts did not differ among the treatments (p = 0.78), or in relation to the untreated group (p = 0.52). PV reduced development of smooth-surface enamel caries compared with the untreated group (p = 0.0018), with no significant difference from GS (p = 0.92); however, the PV effects were no longer observed when the dentin was affected. Neither PV nor GS prevented enamel sulcal lesion onset, but GS significantly reduced the severity of dentinal sulcal lesions (p < 0.0001). No significant difference was observed in fibroblast viability between PV and GS (p < 0.0001).

In conclusion, PV prevented smooth-surface enamel caries and showed low cell toxicity. Nevertheless, due to the high cariogenic challenge, its effects were not sustained throughout the experiment. Further studies are encouraged to establish a protocol to sustain the long-term anti-caries activity of PV in the oral cavity.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Antimicrobial Activity of Hungarian Propolis

Comparative studies on polyphenolic profile and antimicrobial activity of propolis samples selected from distinctive geographical areas of Hungary

Food Sci Technol Int. 2017 Jun;23(4):349-357

The present paper reports about a comparative survey on the chemical composition, antioxidant activity and in vitro antimicrobial activity of selected propolis samples collected in Hungary. The total levels of polyphenolic compounds including flavonoids in ethanolic extracts of propolis were assessed. The major constituents of ethanolic extracts of propolis were analysed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis. Total phenolic content was determined spectrophotometrically using a Folin-Ciocalteu reagent.

Free radical scavenging activities were evaluated by means of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assay. In vitro inhibitory activity was investigated against eight different bacterial strains by agar well diffusion assay. An extensive comparison was carried out regarding general parameters and specific polyphenolic components. The experimental data led to the observation that there is considerable variability in terms of the quality and the biological value of the distinctive propolis samples. These findings confirm the hypothesis of the study; versatile experimental results are required for proper, well-reasoned, balanced and standardised industrial applications. The major flavonoid components were found to be chrysin and pinocembrin; however, versatile minor components were also detected.

The total polyphenol content of ethanolic extracts of propolis ranged between 104.6 mg/g and 286.9 mg/g (gallic acid equivalent). The radical scavenging activity of ethanolic extracts of propolis varied between 101.7 mg/g and 286.9 mg/g (ascorbic acid equivalent). As the quality of propolis depends on the season, vegetation and the area of collection, marked differences were found among the different products examined in terms of both composition and general characteristics. The studied samples exhibited significant differences in term of antimicrobial activities.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Brazilian Green Propolis in Diet May Help Treat Chronic Inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Brazilian Green Propolis Encapsulated in a γ-Cyclodextrin Complex in Mice Fed a Western-Type Diet

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 May 26;18(6)

Ageing is often accompanied by chronic inflammation. A fat- and sugar-rich Western-type diet (WTD) may accelerate the ageing phenotype. Cell culture studies have indicated that artepillin C-containing Brazilian green propolis exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. However, little is known regarding its anti-inflammatory potential in mouse liver in vivo. In this study, female C57BL/6NRj wild-type mice were fed a WTD, a WTD supplemented with Brazilian green propolis supercritical extract (GPSE) encapsulated in γ-cyclodextrin (γCD) or a WTD plus γCD for 10 weeks. GPSE-γCD did not affect the food intake, body weight or body composition of the mice. However, mRNA levels of the tumour necrosis factor α were significantly downregulated (p < 0.05) in these mice compared to those in the WTD-fed controls. Furthermore, the gene expression levels of other pro-inflammatory markers, including serum amyloid P, were significantly (p < 0.001) decreased following GPSE-γCD treatment. GPSE-γCD significantly induced hepatic ferritin gene expression (p < 0.01), which may contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties. Conversely, GPSE-γCD did not affect the biomarkers of endogenous antioxidant defence, including catalase, glutathione peroxidase-4, paraoxonase-1, glutamate cysteine ligase and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2). Overall, the present data suggest that dietary GPSE-γCD exhibits anti-inflammatory, but not antioxidant activity in mouse liver in vivo. Thus, GPSE-γCD has the potential to serve as a natural hepatoprotective bioactive compound for dietary-mediated strategies against chronic inflammation.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Kidney Injury Associated with the Number of Bee Stings

Acute kidney injury complicating bee stings - a review

Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2017 Jun 1;59:e25

Bee stings can cause severe reactions and have caused many victims in the last years. Allergic reactions can be triggered by a single sting and the greater the number of stings, the worse the prognosis. The poisoning effects can be systemic and can eventually cause death. The poison components are melitin, apamin, peptide 401, phospholipase A2, hyaluronidase, histamine, dopamine, and norepinephrine, with melitin being the main lethal component.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) can be observed in patients suffering from bee stings and this is due to multiple factors, such as intravascular hemolysis, rhabdomyolysis, hypotension and direct toxicity of the venom components to the renal tubules. Arterial hypotension plays an important role in this type of AKI, leading to ischemic renal lesion. The most commonly identified biopsy finding in these cases is acute tubular necrosis, which can occur due to both, ischemic injury and the nephrotoxicity of venom components. Hemolysis and rhabdomyolysis reported in many cases in the literature, were demonstrated by elevated serum levels of indirect bilirubin and creatine kinase.

The severity of AKI seems to be associated with the number of stings, since creatinine levels were higher, in most cases, when there were more than 1,000 stings. The aim of this study is to present an updated review of AKI associated with bee stings, including the currently advised clinical approach.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Chines Honey Component Shows Anti-Aging Effect

Sesquiterpene glucosides from Shenzhou honey peach fruit showed the anti-aging activity in the evaluation system using yeasts

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2017 Jun 6:1-5

One new (1, SZMT01) and one known (2) anti-aging substances were isolated from Shenzhou honey peach fruit. Their structures were elucidated by spectroscopic methods and chemical derivatization, and the result reveals that these two compounds are sesquiterpene glucosides. SZMT01 possesses a new glycosylation with an ester linkage at one terminal in an acyclic sesquiterpenoid which is the end of a double bond at another terminal. Both compounds extend the replicative lifespan of K6001 yeast strain at doses of 7.5 and 25 μM. Then, to understand the action mechanism involved, we performed an anti-oxidative experiment on SZMT01. The result revealed that treatment with SZMT01 increased the survival rate of yeast under oxidative stress. Moreover, the lifespans of sod1 and sod2 mutant yeast strains with a K6001 background were not affected by SZMT01. These results demonstrate that anti-oxidative stress performs important roles in anti-aging effects of SZMT01.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Honey Boosts Drug's Protection of Liver

Synergistic protective effect of picrorhiza with honey in acetaminophen induced hepatic injury

Indian J Exp Biol. 2016 Aug;54(8):530-6

Rhizome of picrorhiza along with honey prevents hepatic damage and cure the acetaminophen (paracetamol) induced hepatotoxicity by modulating the activity of hepatic enzymes.

Here, we studied the in vivo effects of Picrorhiza kurroa and honey on acetaminophen induced hepatotoxicity Balb/c mice model. Hepatic histopathological observations of acetaminophen fed (day-6) group showed more congestion, hemorrhage, necrosis, distorted hepatic architecture and nuclear inclusion. Such damages were recompensed to normal by picrorhiza or honey alone or both in combinations.

We observed increased activity of SGPT and SGOT in injured liver tissues, and that too was compensated to normal with picrorhiza or honey alone or both in combinations. We observed 1.27 and 1.23-fold enhanced activity of SGPT in serum and liver lysate, respectively while SGOT showed 1.66 and 1.11 fold enhanced activity. These two enzymes are signature enzymes of liver damage.

Thus, our results support that honey may be used with drug picrorhiza due to its synergistic role to enhance hepatoprotective and hepatoregenerative ability along with allopathic drugs to mitigate the hepatotoxic effects.

Monday, June 05, 2017

French Honeybees, Beebread and Beeswax Tested for Pesticides

Exposure assessment of honeybees through study of hive matrices: analysis of selected pesticide residues in honeybees, beebread, and beeswax from French beehives by LC-MS/MS

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 May 30

Apiculture and pollination services are seriously threatened by bee weakening and losses phenomena.

In this context, a survey was performed on samples from beehives across French areas during the 2012-2016 growing seasons, primarily taken from symptomatic colonies.

A total of 488 honeybees, beebread, and wax were analyzed for the presence of pesticide residues. A total of 13 analytes including neonicotinoids and pyrethroids insecticides together with some of their metabolites and the fungicide boscalid were screened within samples. Methodologies based on efficient modified quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe extractions followed by an LC-MS/MS quantification were implemented for each matrix.

Thirty-eight percent of the 125 bee samples, 61% of the 87 wax samples, and 77% of the 276 beebread samples contained at least one of the targeted pesticides. Beebread was the most contaminated matrix with an average of two pesticide detections by positive sample and a maximum of seven compounds for a sample. Neonicotinoids and boscalid were the most often detected pesticides, whatever the matrix.

The comparison of neonicotinoid detections in samples collected before and after the partial neonicotinoid ban in France displays a decrease in the frequency of detections for contamination levels lower than 1 ng/g in beebread. For higher levels and other matrices, no tendency can be drawn.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Medical Benefits of Honeybee Products

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2702106, 2 pages

The present Special Issue on medical benefits of honeybee products is dedicated to the memory of Professor Wojciech Krol (1956–2016) who was its initiator and first Lead Guest Editor. He specialized in flavons and flavonoids and his interests included propolis and other natural products. Through his studies of propolis, Professor Krol proved the anti-oxdative properties and possibilities of free radicals scavenging through ethanol extract of propolis (EEP) as well as the synergic antibacterial properties of streptomycin and coloxacine together with EEP. Professor W. Krol was also the Lead Guest Editor of the Special Issue “Propolis: Properties, Application, and Its Potential” published in 2013.

Honeybee products have a long medicinal history. All cultures have folk medicine traditions that include the use of honeybee products, that is, honey, bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, and bee venom. These products have been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and antioxidant activities. It has been also shown that natural honeybee products inhibit tumor cell growth and metastasis and induce apoptosis of cancer cells. Hence, these bioactive natural products may prove to be useful in cancer therapy.

For this special issue we invited researchers and scholars to submit original research reports and review articles in which they explore aspects of the biological activity of a wide range of honeybee products and their possible applications. A total of 46 papers were submitted out of which, after a rigorous peer-review process, 18 manuscripts have been selected because they represent rich and comprehensive new knowledge. Most of the articles in this special issue are of research character and they present the results of a variety of studies comprising different honeybee products. The accepted papers come from Malaysia, Korea, Lithuania, Chile, Japan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Poland...

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Metagenomes of Royal Jelly, Pollen, and Lavender, Chestnut, and Fir Honeydew Honeys

Deeper Insight in Beehives: Metagenomes of Royal Jelly, Pollen, and Honey from Lavender, Chestnut, and Fir Honeydew and Epiphytic and Endophytic Microbiota of Lavender and Rose Flowers

Genome Announc. 2017 Jun 1;5(22)

Microbiota of beehive products are very little known. We report here for the first time six metagenomes of royal jelly, pollen, and different types of honey from wild and cultivated lavender, chestnut, and fir honeydew. Four metagenomes of epiphytic and endophytic microbiota of lavender and rose flowers are also reported.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Beeswax-Based Nanoparticles Useful in Treatment of Skin Diseases

Topical Formulation Containing Beeswax-Based Nanoparticles Improved In Vivo Skin Barrier Function

AAPS PharmSciTech. 2017 Feb 17

Lipid nanoparticles have shown many advantages for treatment/prevention of skin disorders with damaged skin barrier function. Beeswax is a favorable candidate for the development of nanosystems in the cosmetic and dermatological fields because of its advantages for the development of products for topical application.

In the present study, beeswax-based nanoparticles (BNs) were prepared using the hot melt microemulsion technique and incorporated to a gel-cream formulation. The formulation was subsequently evaluated for its rheological stability and effect on stratum corneum water content (SCWC) and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) using in vivo biophysical techniques. BNs resulted in mean particle size of 95.72 ± 9.63 nm and zeta potential of -9.85 ± 0.57 mV. BN-loaded formulation showed shear thinning behavior, well adjusted by the Herschel-Bulkley model, and a small thixotropy index that were stable for 28 days at different temperatures. BN-loaded formulation was also able to simultaneously decrease the TEWL and increase the SCWC values 28 days after treatment.

In conclusion, the novel beeswax-based nanoparticles showed potential for barrier recovery and open the perspective for its commercial use as a novel natural active as yet unexplored in the field of dermatology and cosmetics for treatment of skin diseases with damaged skin barrier function.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Brazilian Green Propolis May Help Protect Liver Against Chronic Inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Brazilian Green Propolis Encapsulated in a γ-Cyclodextrin Complex in Mice Fed a Western-Type Diet

Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1141

Ageing is often accompanied by chronic inflammation. A fat- and sugar-rich Western-type diet (WTD) may accelerate the ageing phenotype. Cell culture studies have indicated that artepillin C-containing Brazilian green propolis exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. However, little is known regarding its anti-inflammatory potential in mouse liver in vivo.

In this study, female C57BL/6NRj wild-type mice were fed a WTD, a WTD supplemented with Brazilian green propolis supercritical extract (GPSE) encapsulated in γ-cyclodextrin (γCD) or a WTD plus γCD for 10 weeks. GPSE-γCD did not affect the food intake, body weight or body composition of the mice. However, mRNA levels of the tumour necrosis factor α were significantly downregulated (p < 0.05) in these mice compared to those in the WTD-fed controls. Furthermore, the gene expression levels of other pro-inflammatory markers, including serum amyloid P, were significantly (p < 0.001) decreased following GPSE-γCD treatment. GPSE-γCD significantly induced hepatic ferritin gene expression (p < 0.01), which may contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Conversely, GPSE-γCD did not affect the biomarkers of endogenous antioxidant defence, including catalase, glutathione peroxidase-4, paraoxonase-1, glutamate cysteine ligase and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2). Overall, the present data suggest that dietary GPSE-γCD exhibits anti-inflammatory, but not antioxidant activity in mouse liver in vivo.

Thus, GPSE-γCD has the potential to serve as a natural hepatoprotective bioactive compound for dietary-mediated strategies against chronic inflammation.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Review of Anti-Cancer Effect of Bee Venom

Melittin, a major peptide component of bee venom, and its conjugates in cancer therapy

Cancer Lett. 2017 May 20. pii: S0304-3835(17)30332-4

Melittin (MEL), a major peptide component of bee venom, is an attractive candidate for cancer therapy. This agent has shown a variety of anti-cancer effects in preclinical cell culture and animal model systems. Despite a convincing efficacy data against variety of cancers, its applicability to humans has met with challenges due to several issues including its non-specific cytotoxicity, degradation and hemolytic activity. Several optimization approaches including utilization of nanoparticle based delivery of MEL have been utilized to circumvent the issues.

Here, we summarize the current understanding of the anticancer effects of bee venom and MEL on different kinds of cancers. Further, we also present the available information for the possible mechanism of action of bee venom and/or MEL.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Stingless Bee Propolis May Help Treat Head and Neck Cancer

Cytotoxic Activity of Propolis Extracts from the Stingless Bee Trigona Sirindhornae Against Primary and Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer Cell Lines

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2017 Apr 1;18(4):1051-1055

Background: Propolis, a resinous substance produced by the honeybee, has a wide spectrum of potent biological activities. However, anti-cancer activity of propolis obtained from Trigona sirindhornae, a new species of stingless bee, has not yet been reported. This study concerned cytotoxicity of propolis extracts from T. sirindhornae against two head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines.

Materials and Methods: A dichloromethane extract of propolis (DMEP) was prepared generating 3 fractions: DMEP-A, DMEP-B, and DMEP-C. Genetically-matched HNSCC cell lines derived from primary (HN30) and metastatic sites (HN31) in the same patient were used to study cytotoxic effects of the DMEPs by MTT assays. The active compounds in the DMEPs were analyzed by reversephase high performance liquid chromatography.

Results: DMEP-A exhibited cytotoxic activity on HN30 cells with significantly decreased viability at 200 μg/ml compared with the control (p < 0.05). However, no significant cytotoxic effect was evident in HN31 cells. DMEP-B and DMEP-C significantly decreased the viability of both cell lines from 100–200 μg/ml and 50–200 μg/ml, respectively (p < 0.05). Interestingly, HN31 cells were more toxically sensitive compared with the HN30 cells when treated with DMEP-B and DMEP-C. IC50 values for DMEP-B with HN30 and HN31 cells were more than 200 μg/ml and 199.8±1.05 μg/ml, respectively. The IC50 of DMEP-C to HN30 and HN31 cells was found to be 114.3±1.29 and 76.33±1.24 μg/ml, respectively. Notably, apigenin, pinocembrin, p-coumaric acid, and caffeic acid were not detected in our propolis extracts.

Conclusion: T. sirindhornae produced propolis displays cytotoxic effects against HNSCC cells s. Moreover, DMEP-B and DMEP-C differentially inhibited the proliferation of a metastatic HNSCC cell line.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Honey and Royal Jelly Protect Against Kidney Damage

Effect of Honey and Royal Jelly against Cisplatin-Induced Nephrotoxicity in Patients with Cancer

J Am Coll Nutr. 2017 May 26:1-5


Cisplatin constitutes one of the most potent antineoplastic drugs; however, nephrotoxicity limited its eligibility for optimal clinical use. This study was designed to evaluate the role of honey and royal jelly with antioxidant properties in the protection of cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury in patients with cancer.


Patients with cancer assigned for cisplatin chemotherapy were randomly divided into bee honey and royal jelly groups pretreated before the initiation and during cisplatin chemotherapeutic regimen and control group on cisplatin only. Serum creatinine and urea levels were measured before and after the chemotherapeutic cycle and over 2 cycles.


Patients on crude bee honey and royal jelly capsules showed lower serum levels of renal injury products (creatinine and urea) compared to those in the control group. The changes in kidney parameters were significantly (p < 0.05) lower when compared within the bee honey group before and after cisplatin treatment. Royal jelly was found to be effective; however, the difference in creatinine and urea levels before and after chemotherapy was not statistically significant.


The use of bee honey and royal jelly as natural compounds is effective in reducing cisplatin nephrotoxicity and may offer a promising chance for clinically meaningful prevention. This study has potentially important implications for the treatment of cisplatin kidney side effects and is considered to be the first to investigate this effect of honey and royal jelly in human subjects. However, due to its small sample size, we recommend further investigation using a larger sample size.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thyme Honey Boosts Wound Healing

Evaluation of the Effects of Local Application of Thyme Honey in Open Cutaneous Wound Healing

Iran J Public Health. 2017 Apr;46(4):545-551.


Clinicians have been searching for ways to obtain "super normal" wound healing. Honey is a traditional remedy for the treatment of infected wounds. We aimed to evaluate the wound contraction and antibacterial properties of locally produced Thyme honey on managing full-thickness wounds in vivo.


This experimental study was conducted in 2015, in Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran on 54 adult male Wistar rats weighing 200-250 gr, and ages of 3-4 months. A square 1.5*1.5 wound was made on the back of the neck. The rats were divided into control and two experimental groups. Additionally, the control and experimental groups were separated into three subgroups corresponding to 4, 7, and 14 d of study. The control group did not receive any treatment. For histological studies, samples were taken from the wound and adjacent skin. This tissue was examined using histological staining (H&E). Wound surface and wound healing were evaluated. Data were analyzed by using one-way ANOVA with post hoc Tukey test and (P < 0.05) was significant.


The macroscopic and microscopic evaluations showed that the percentage of wound healing on different days in the control and experimental groups were significant (P < 0.05).


Using honey twice a day on open wounds will accelerate the healing process.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Acacia Honey Component Has Therapeutic Effects on Many Cancers

Sulfonation Disposition of Acacetin: In Vitro and In Vivo

J Agric Food Chem. 2017 May 25

Acacetin, an important component of acacia honey, exerts extensive therapeutic effects on many cancers. However, sulfonation disposition of acacetin has rarely been reported. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the sulfonation disposition of acacetin systematically. Results showed that acacetin-7-sulfate was the main metabolite mediated primarily by sulfotransferases (SULT) 1A1.

Dog liver S9 presented the highest formation rate of acacetin-7-sulfate. Compared with that in wild-type Friend Virus B (FVB) mice, plasma exposure of acacetin-7-sulfate decreased significantly in multiple drug resistance protein 1 knockout (Mrp1-/-) mice, while increased evidently in breast cancer resistance protein knockout (Bcrp-/-) mice. In Caco-2 monolayers, efflux and clearance of acacetin-7-sulfate reduced distinctly by the BCRP inhibitor Ko143 in apical side and by the MRP1 inhibitor MK571 in basolateral side.

In conclusion, acacetin sulfonation was mediated mostly by SULT1A1. Acacetin-7-sulfate was transported mainly by BCRP and MRP1. Hence, SULT1A1, BCRP and MRP1 were responsible for acacetin-7-sulfate exposure in vivo.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Bee Pollen Protects the Brain From Injury

Glutamate excitotoxicity induced by orally administered propionic acid, a short chain fatty acid can be ameliorated by bee pollen

Lipids Health Dis. 2017 May 22;16(1):96


Rodent models may guide investigations towards identifying either environmental neuro-toxicants or drugs with neuro-therapeutic effects. This work aims to study the therapeutic effects of bee pollen on brain glutamate excitotoxicity and the impaired glutamine-glutamate- gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) circuit induced by propionic acid (PPA), a short chain fatty acid, in rat pups.


Twenty-four young male Western Albino rats 3-4 weeks of age, and 45-60 g body weight were enrolled in the present study. They were grouped into four equal groups: Group 1, the control received phosphate buffered saline at the same time of PPA adminstration; Group 2, received 750 mg/kg body weight divided into 3 equal daily doses and served as acute neurotoxic dose of PPA; Group 3, received 750 mg/kg body weight divided in 10 equal doses of 75 mg/kg body weight/day, and served as the sub-acute group; and Group 4, the therapeutic group, was treated with bee pollen (50 mg/kg body weight) for 30 days after acute PPA intoxication. GABA, glutamate and glutamine were measured in the brain homogenates of the four groups.


The results showed that PPA caused multiple signs of excitotoxicity, as measured by the elevation of glutamate and the glutamate/glutamine ratio and the decrease of GABA, glutamine and the GABA/glutamate ratio. Bee pollen was effective in counteracting the neurotoxic effects of PPA to a certain extent.


In conclusion, bee pollen demonstrates ameliorating effects on glutamate excitotoxicity and the impaired glutamine-glutamate-GABA circuit as two etiological mechanisms in PPA-induced neurotoxicity.

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.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Malaysian Tualang and New Zealand Manuka Honeys May Help Treat Breast Cancer

Oral Administration of Tualang and Manuka Honeys Modulates Breast Cancer Progression in Sprague-Dawley Rats Model

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:5904361

Breast cancer has been recognized as the leading cause of death in women worldwide. Research has shown the importance of complementary and alternative therapies in cancer.

In this study, we investigated the antitumoural therapeutic effects of Malaysian Tualang honey (TH) and Australian/New Zealand Manuka honey (MH) against breast cancer in rats.

Thirty syngeneic virgin female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were induced by the carcinogen 1-methyl-1-nitrosourea (MNU) 80 mg/kg. The treatment started when first palpable tumour reached 10-12 mm in size by dividing rats into following groups: Group 0 (negative control); Group 1 (positive control); and Groups 2 and 3 which received 1.0 g/kg body weight/day of TH and MH, respectively, for 120 days.

The data demonstrate that cancer masses in TH and MH treated groups showed a lower median tumour size, weight, and multiplicity compared with the nontreated positive control (p < 0.05). Treatment also showed a dramatic slower growth rate (up to 70.82%) compared with the nontreated control (0%) (p < 0.05). The antitumoural effect was mediated through modulation of tumour growth, tumour grading, estrogenic activity, and haematological parameters.

Our findings demonstrate that systemic administration of TH and MH increases the susceptibility of expression of proapoptotic proteins (Apaf-1, Caspase-9, IFN-γ, IFNGR1, and p53) and decreases the expression of antiapoptotic proteins (TNF-α, COX-2, and Bcl-xL 1) in its mechanism of action. This highlights a potential novel role for TH and MH in alleviating breast cancer.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Honey May Help Treat Dermatitis

Honey is potentially effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis: Clinical and mechanistic studies

Immun Inflamm Dis. 2017 Jun;5(2):190-199


As manuka honey (MH) exhibits immunoregulatory and anti-staphylococcal activities, we aimed to investigate if it could be effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD).


Adult volunteers with bilateral AD lesions were asked to apply MH on one site overnight for seven consecutive days and leave the contralateral site untreated as possible. Three Item Severity score was used to evaluate the response. Skin swabs were obtained from both sites before and after treatment to investigate the presence of staphylococci and enterotoxin production. In addition, the ability of MH and its methanolic and hexane extracts to down regulate IL4-induced CCL26 protein release from HaCaT cells was evaluated by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Also, the ability of MH to modulate calcium ionophore-induced mast cell degranulation was assessed by enzyme immunoassay.


In 14 patients, AD lesions significantly improved post MH treatment versus pre-treatment as compared to control lesions. No significant changes in the skin staphylococci were observed after day 7, irrespective of honey treatment. Consistent with the clinical observation, MH significantly down regulated IL4-induced CCL26 release from HaCaT cells in a dose-dependent manner. This effect was partially lost, though remained significant, when methanolic and hexane extracts of MH were utilized. In addition, mast cell degranulation was significantly inhibited following treatment with MH.


MH is potentially effective in the treatment of AD lesions based on both clinical and cellular studies through different mechanisms. This needs to be confirmed by randomized and controlled clinical trials.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Possible Use of Propolis in Dentistry

Cytotoxic Effect of Chitosan-H, Resveratrol, β-Carotene and Propolis and their Chitosan Hydrogels on Balb/C Mouse 3T3 Fibroblast Cells

Background/purposes: The beneficial effect (bond strength and longevity) of the addition of different chitosan/antioxidant hydrogels to dental restoratives was reported. However, it still needs to be verified whether their presence would not damage the pulp cells. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the relative cytotoxic effect of resveratrol, propolis and β-carotene in relation to their respective chitosan/antioxidant hydrogels on mouse Balb/c mouse 3T3 fibroblast cells.

Materials and Methods: The mentioned hydrogels were prepared by the dispersion of the corresponding components in glycerol and acetic acid with the addition of the chitosan polymer. The cell survival rate was determined over a 24hour period according to the standard MTT assay.

Results and Conclusion: The Kruskal-Wallis Multiple-Comparison Test and Bonferroni test showed significant differences in the cell survival rates (p < 0.05) amongst resveratrol (31%), propolis (64%) and β-carotene (95%):Also amongst chitosan (114%), chitosan/resveratrol (87%) and resveratrol (31%); chitosan (114%), chitosan/β-carotene(100%) and β-carotene (95%); chitosan (114%), chitosan/propolis (95%) and propolis (64%).

To conclude, this study showed: 1) that chitosan-H has a positive effect on the cell survival rate of Balb/c mouse 3T3 fibroblast cells and therefore most probably also on human pulp fibroblast cells, 2) these chitosan hydrogels are safe to be used to improve the bond strength and longevity of a tooth dental material, and 3) it further proved that chitosan in itself improved the cell survival rate of various antioxidants. The mean cell survival rate was found to be: resveratrol (31%); propolis (64%); β-carotene (95%), chitosan+resveratrol (87%), chitosan+propolis (95%), chitosan+ β-carotene (100%) and chitosan (114%).

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Brazilian Propolis May Help Treat Diabetes

Strong Antihyperglycemic Effects of Water-Soluble Fraction of Brazilian Propolis and Its Bioactive Constituent, 3,4,5-Tri-O-caffeoylquinic Acid

Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Vol. 27 (2004) No. 11 P 1797-1803

To clarify the suppression of postprandial blood glucose rise via α-glucosidase (AGH) inhibitory action by natural compounds, propolis was examined in this study. A single oral administration of propolis extract (50% methanol fraction on XAD-2 column chromatography) in Sprague–Dawley rats demonstrated a potent antihyperglycemic effect with the significant AUC0—120 min reduction of 38% at a dose of 20 mg/kg compared to that of controls. Among the active compounds isolated from the fraction, 3,4,5-tri-caffeoylquinic acid was found to be a prominent candidate that exerts the effect and shows a strong maltase-specific inhibition with an IC50 value of 24 μM. In addition, the noncompetitive inhibition power apparently increased with the number of caffeoyl groups bound to quinic acid.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Honey as a Complementary Medicine

Integr Med Insights. 2017 Apr 24;12:1178633717702869

The beneficial effects of honey on human health have long been recognized. Today, many of those positive effects have been studied to elucidate its mode of action. This review briefly summarizes the best studied features of honey, highlighting it as an appealing alternative medicine.

In these reports, the health benefits of honey range from antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory activity to anticancer action, metabolic and cardiovascular benefits, prebiotic properties, human pathogen control, and antiviral activity. These studies also support that the honey's biological activity is mainly dependent on its floral or geographic origin. In addition, some promising synergies between honey and antibiotics have been found, as well as some antiviral properties that require further investigation.

Altogether, these studies show that honey is effectively a nutraceutical foodstuff.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Stingless Bee 'Geopropolis' Shows High Antioxidant, Antimicrobial Activity

Chemical Profile and Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Antimutagenic and Antimicrobial Activities of Geopropolis from the Stingless Bee Melipona orbignyi

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 May 3;18(5)

Geopropolis is a resin mixed with mud, produced only by stingless bees. Despite being popularly known for its medicinal properties, few scientific studies have proven its biological activities.

In this context, the objective of this study was to determine the chemical composition and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and antimicrobial activities of the Melipona orbignyi geopropolis. The hydroalcoholic extract of geopropolis (HEGP) was prepared and its chemical composition determined by high performance liquid chromatography coupled to diode array detector and mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-MS). The antioxidant activity was determined by the capture of free radicals and inhibition of lipid peroxidation in human erythrocytes. The anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated by the inhibition of the hyaluronidase enzyme and the antimutagenic action was investigated in Saccharomyces cerevisiae colonies. The antimicrobial activities were determined against bacteria and yeasts, isolated from reference strains and hospital origin.

The chemical composition of HEGP included flavonoids, derivatives of glycosylated phenolic acids and terpenoids. HEGP showed high antioxidant activity, it inhibited the activity of the inflammatory enzyme hyaluronidase and reduced the mutagenic effects in S. cerevisiae.

In relation to the antimicrobial activity, it promoted the death of all microorganisms evaluated. In conclusion, this study reveals for the first time the chemical composition of the HEGP of M. orbignyi and demonstrates its pharmacological properties.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Mono and Multifloral Bee Pollen Extracts Show Antioxidant Activity

Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of Mono- and Heterofloral Bee Pollen of Different Geographical Origins

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Apr 27;18(5)

Recent research shows variations in pollen chemical constituents and, consequently, in their therapeutic properties. Mono and multifloral bee pollen extracts were investigated for antioxidant and enzyme inhibitory activity properties, phenolic compounds and fatty acid composition.

Generally, Eucalyptus spp. and multifloral extracts exhibited potent inhibitory activity against α-amylase, acetylcholinesterase, tyrosinase, lipoxygenase, lipase and hyaluronidase. On the other hand, Miconia spp. demonstrated higher antihemolytic activity. Cocos nucifera and Miconia spp. extracts exhibited important antioxidant properties in the different assays (ABTS, DPPH, β-carotene/linoleic acid and reducing power). Moreover, these extracts had greater amounts of total phenols and flavonoids in comparison to others.

The increase in antioxidant activity (decrease in EC50 values) was accompanied by an increase in the amount of total phenols in the extracts.

The pollen extracts contained linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid as major fatty acids, followed by palmitic acid, and oleic acid. In this study, differences were observed in both chemical constituents and biological activities of the samples related to the geographical and botanical origin of bee pollen.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Bee Pollen May Help Treat Obesity, Dabetes

Pectic Bee Pollen Polysaccharide from Rosa rugosa Alleviates Diet-Induced Hepatic Steatosis and Insulin Resistance via Induction of AMPK/mTOR-Mediated Autophagy

Molecules. 2017 Apr 28;22(5)

Despite it is used as a nutraceutical against diabetes and obesity, the mechanism of action of bee pollen is still unclear.

Pectic bee pollen polysaccharide (RBPP-P) was isolated from Rosa rugosa, and its structure was characterized by 13C-NMR and Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Using high glucose and fatty acids-treated HepG2 cells and high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity mice, we detected its effect on insulin function and lipid metabolism based on autophagy.

RBPP-P contained arabinogalactan, rhamnogalacturonan I, and homogalacturonan domains. In vivo studies demonstrated that RBPP-P markedly ameliorated insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and liver steatosis in obese mice. The suppressive effects of RBPP-P on liver steatosis and triglyceride content were mediated by increased autophagy and lipase expression in liver. In AMPK knockdown cells (prkaa 1/2-/- MEF) and HFD-fed mice tissues (liver, gonadal white adipose, and inguinal white adipose), RBPP-P enhanced autophagy in AMPK/mTOR-dependent way in liver, but not in adipose tissue.

These findings demonstrated that bee pollen polysaccharide alleviated liver steatosis and insulin resistance by promoting autophagy via an AMPK/mTOR-mediated signaling pathway, suggesting that RBPP-P could be a novel therapeutic agent used for the treatment of obesity and diabetes.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Propolis Counteracts Some Threats to Honey Bee Health

Insects 2017, 8(2), 46

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are constantly dealing with threats from pathogens, pests, pesticides and poor nutrition. It is critically important to understand how honey bees’ natural immune responses (individual immunity) and collective behavioral defenses (social immunity) can improve bee health and productivity.

One form of social immunity in honey bee colonies is the collection of antimicrobial plant resins and their use in the nest architecture as propolis. We review research on the constitutive benefits of propolis on the honey bee immune system, and its known therapeutic, colony-level effects against the pathogens Paenibacillus larvae and Ascosphaera apis. We also review the limited research on the effects of propolis against other pathogens, parasites and pests (Nosema, viruses, Varroa destructor, and hive beetles) and how propolis may enhance bee products such as royal jelly and honey. Although propolis may be a source of pesticide contamination, it also has the potential to be a detoxifying agent or primer of detoxification pathways, as well as increasing bee longevity via antioxidant-related pathways.

Throughout this paper, we discuss opportunities for future research goals and present ways in which the beekeeping community can promote propolis use in standard colonies, as one way to improve and maintain colony health and resiliency.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Comparison of Medicinal Honey for Treatment of Pressure Ulcers

Comparative Effectiveness of Clostridial Collagenase Ointment to Medicinal Honey for Treatment of Pressure Ulcers

Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2017 Apr 1;6(4):125-134

Objective: Compare enzymatic debridement using clostridial collagenase ointment (CCO) with autolytic debridement using medicinal honey in the hospital outpatient setting for treating pressure ulcers (PUs).

Approach: Retrospective deidentified electronic health records from 2007-2013 were extracted from the U.S. Wound Registry. Propensity score matching followed by multivariable analyses was used to adjust for selection bias and assess treatment effects comparing CCO-treated versus honey-treated PUs. Key outcomes included 100% granulation and epithelialization at 1 year.

Results: Five hundred seventeen CCO-treated PUs (446 patients) were matched to corresponding honey-treated PUs (341 patients). The majority of PUs were stage III (CCO 56%, honey 55%). CCO users had significantly fewer total visits (9.1 vs. 12.6; p < 0.001), fewer total selective sharp debridements (2.7 vs. 4.4; p < 0.001), and fewer PUs receiving negative pressure wound therapy (29% vs. 38%; p = 0.002) compared with honey.

Innovation: CCO-treated PUs were 38% more likely to achieve 100% granulation compared to honey-treated PUs at 1 year, p = 0.018. Mean days to 100% granulation were significantly lower for CCO-treated PUs (255 vs. 282 days, p < 0.001). CCO-treated PUs were 47% (p = 0.024) more likely to epithelialize at 1 year compared to PUs treated with honey. Mean days to epithelialization were significantly lower for PUs treated with CCO at 1 year (288 vs. 308 days; p = 0.011).

Conclusion: All stages of PUs treated with CCO achieved faster rates of granulation and subsequent epithelialization compared to PUs treated with medicinal honey as measured by real-world data collected in the hospital outpatient department care setting.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Propolis of Australian Stingless Bees Shows Radical Scavenging Activity

Natural products isolated from Tetragonula carbonaria cerumen modulate free radical-scavenging and 5-lipoxygenase activities in vitro

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Apr 26;17(1):232


Propolis and cerumen are plant-derived products found in honeybees and stingless bees, respectively. Although propolis is an ancient folk medicine, the bioactivities of cerumen obtained from Australian native stingless bees (Tetragonula carbonaria) have not been widely studied. Therefore, we investigated selected anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of T. carbonaria cerumen.


A methanolic extract was prepared from the combined cerumen of 40 T. carbonaria hives, and HPLC was used to screen for chemical constituents that scavenged 2,2-azobis(2-methylpropionamidine) dihydrochloride (AAPH). The ability of cerumen extracts to scavenge 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and to interfere with leukotriene B4 (LTB4) production in ionomycin-stimulated human neutrophils was also examined.


The extract dose-dependently scavenged DPPH (EC50 = 27.0 ± 2.3 μg/mL); and inhibited the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX)-mediated oxidation of linoleic acid (IC50 = 67.1 ± 9.6 μg/mL). Pre-treatment of isolated human neutrophils with the methanolic cerumen extract additionally inhibited the ionomycin-stimulated production of LTB4 from these cells (IC50 = 13.3 ± 5.3 μg/mL). Following multi-solvent extraction, the free radical-scavenging and 5-LOX-inhibiting activities of the initial cerumen extract were retained in a polar, methanol-water extract, which contained gallic acid and a range of flavonone and phenolic natural products.


The findings identify free radical scavenging activity, and interference by extracts of T. carbonaria cerumen in 5-LOX-LTB4 signaling. Further investigation is needed to determine whether the extracts will provide therapeutic benefits for medical conditions in which oxidative stress and inflammation are implicated, including cardiovascular disease and impaired wound healing.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Understanding Biological Functions of Manuka Honey Post Ingestion

In vivo absorption and metabolism of leptosperin and methyl syringate, abundantly present in manuka honey

Molecular Nutrition & Food Research

Manuka honey, which shows strong non-peroxide-dependent antibacterial activity, contains unique components, such as methyl syringate 4-O-β-D-gentiobioside (leptosperin) and its aglycone, methyl syringate (MSYR). To determine the potential for biological activity evoked by the ingestion of leptosperin and MSYR, we investigated the absorption and metabolism of these components in manuka honey.

Methods and results

The incubation of MSYR with liver microsomes or S9 fractions in vitro resulted in the formation of MSYR-glucuronide (MSYR-GA), MSYR-sulfate (MSYR-S), and syringic acid as metabolites. Then, manuka honey (15 g) was fed to healthy human volunteers. MSYR-GA, MSYR-S, and MSYR were detected in both plasma and urine. Within plasma, their levels were highest within 0.5 h to 1 h post-ingestion, and most metabolites disappeared within 3 h. In conjunction with the disappearances, a significant amount of metabolites along with trace leptosperin was excreted in urine within 4 h. To elucidate the detailed metabolisms of leptosperin and MSYR, each compound was separately administered to mice. In each case, MSYR-GA, MSYR-S, and MSYR were detected in both plasma and urine.


This study shows the major molecular pathway for leptosperin and MSYR metabolism and could facilitate an understanding of biological functions of manuka honey post ingestion.