Friday, October 31, 2014

Propolis the Cure for Colds and Flu (Turkish)

Ankara Arıcılar Birliği Başkanı, Fer Bal’ın sahibi Selçuk Solmaz,  İskender’in yaralı askerleri için kullandığı ‘Propolis’in yeniden keşfedildiğini ve mucizeler sunmaya başladığını söyledi. Propolis’in  grip, nezle gibi hastalıklarda çok etkili olduğunu anlatan Solmaz’a göre, “Herkesin çantasında mutlaka bir Propolis olmalı”.  Bağışıklık sistemini de güçlendiren Propolis, arıların dünyasıyla ilgili.  Arıların, bal yaparken kovanlarını dış etkenlere karşı korumak için ürettikleri bir madde. Yani, herhangi bir çatlak ya da sızıntıya, yağmura ve soğuğa karşı kovanını Propolis üreterek koruyor.  Bunu yaparken de, bitki reçinesi, sakızları ve tomurcuklarından yararlanıyor.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Australia Researching Therapeutically Active Honey

Manuka honey may be liquid gold
The Land, 29 Oct, 2014
AUSTRALIAN beekeepers could be set for a boom, earning up to $30 per kilogram for honey, if new research confirms honey produced from various species of Australian manuka trees have antibacterial properties.
Honey is increasingly being used for the treatment of wounds and skin infections due to its potent antibacterial and healing properties, including major infections like Golden Staph, E-coli and superbugs which are now becoming untreatable with modern antibiotics.
Currently, the majority of medical grade honey is sourced from New Zealand, where two species of Leptospermum (the manuka tree) are earning the industry an estimated $75 million a year. This is likely increase to $1 billion over the next 10 years.
Australia has 83 different species of manuka, leaving the door ajar for our beekeepers to seriously grow their profit margins if this project can systematically identify which species make the most therapeutically active honey and where they are located in Australia.
The research is being led by the ithree institute at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). It is funded by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), Capilano Honey Ltd and Comvita Ltd under the Honey Bee & Pollination R&D Program, which is jointly funded by RIRDC and Horticultural Australia Limited (HAL)…

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Beehives Have Medical Specialists That Prescribe Antibiotic Honey to Sick Workers

Sick honeybees may be nursed by doctors
BBC, 10/25/2014
They are among the most industrious creatures on the planet, but honeybees still struggle when they’re ill. Once a disease takes hold inside a hive, the bees can become sluggish and disorientated, and many may die.
Now it seems honeybees may have a way of helping to keep their workforce healthy - by employing bees that feed "medicinal honey" to other members of the hive.
A group of worker bees called "nurse bees", if they are infected with a parasite, selectively eat honey that has a high antibiotic activity, according to Silvio Erler of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Halle, Germany and his colleagues. 
These bees are also responsible for feeding honey to the larvae and distributing it to other members of the colony. So it's possible they are the hive's doctors, prescribing different types of honey to other bees depending on their infection. If that is true, it could be a big part of how bees fight disease.
In Erler's study, nurse bees infected with a gut parasite called Nosema ceranae were given a choice of honeys. Three were made from the nectar of plants - black locust, sunflower and linden trees - while a fourth was honeydew honey made from the secretions of scale insects or aphids. Each of the honeys was known to have antibiotic activity.
Bees with greater levels of infection tended to eat more of the sunflower honey, which had the strongest antimicrobial activity. It reduced the level of infection in the bees that ate it by 7%, compared to the honey from the linden trees.
"Honeys are full of micronutrients, alkaloids and secondary plant compounds that are good for both bees and humans alike," says Mike Simone-Finstrom of North Carolina State University in Raleigh. One study suggested they can increase the activity of honeybees' immunity genes, boosting their ability to fight disease.
A separate study from September by Erler's group suggests that different honeys are effective against different diseases. While sunflower honey is good at preventing the growth of bacteria that cause American foulbrood in bees, it is less effective against bacteria associated with European foulbrood. However, linden honey was more effective against these bacteria…

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Study a First Test of Australian Honey's Medicinal Potential

Medical Xpress, 10/27/2014
Manuka honey from New Zealand is already established as a valuable antibacterial agent, particularly for treating slow-healing wounds. Now scientists will test the potential of honey derived from related trees in Australia to meet the increasing worldwide demand for medical honey.
"Antibiotic resistance is an urgent world health problem," said project leader Professor Liz Harry from UTS's ithree institute. "In the face of the declining power of antibiotics, honey is increasingly being used as a gel or dressing to treat chronic (slow-healing) wounds.
"Honey has several properties that make it ideal as a treatment for chronic wounds: it has potent antibacterial activity and bacteria don't appear to become resistant to it. This makes sense since honey has evolved for millions of years to resist spoiling – it is the only food that can't be spoiled.
"Manuka honey is a known potent antibacterial honey that is commonly used in these products, but there are legitimate concerns that the demand for manuka honey may outweigh its supply.
"This is the first comprehensive, Australia-wide survey of manuka (Leptospermum) honey to identify all possible sources and provide as much medicinal honey as possible. New Zealand has two types of Leptospermum tree, Australia has more than 80."…

Monday, October 27, 2014

Honey Has More Impact on Slow Growing Bacteria Than Antibiotics

Evaluation of bactericidal activity of Hannon honey on slowly growing bacteria in the chemostat
Drug Healthc Patient Saf. 2014 Oct 15;6:139-44
There is renewed interest in the therapeutic use of honey, including use in the treatment of infected wounds and burn patients. In this study, we have assessed the antibacterial activity of Libyan floral Hannon honey on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, both known to infect wounds.
The effects of four concentrations (5%-30%) of honey were compared with that of four antibiotics (ampicillin, tetracycline, polymyxin, and ciprofloxacin) on the growth of these bacteria at early log, mid log, and late log phases. It has been shown that E. coli and S. aureus are to some degree susceptible during mid log phase compared with late log phase, demonstrated by their complete resistance to antibiotics. Chemostat culture was used to investigate the effect of honey on E. coli grown at a steady state with specific growth rates between 0.1 to 0.5 hour(-1).
The rate of killing was distinctively clear during the two stages of growth monitored: there was a relatively moderate reduction at the slow growth phase (0.1 to 0.3 hour(-1)), while a dramatic reduction was obtained at the fast growth phase (0.3 to 0.5 hour(-1)), reaching a complete reduction at 0.5 hour(-1). These results complement data using the cup-cut technique.
The antibacterial effect of honey was concentration and time dependent, the bactericidal effect was indeed observed at low concentrations, it demonstrates that the honey has more impact on slow growing bacteria than antibiotics have. We suggest that more reduction could be achieved at higher concentrations of honey. These results may have important clinical implications, such as for the management of wound and burn patients.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review: Bioactivity and Chemical Synthesis of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester and Its Derivatives

Molecules 2014, 19(10), 16458-16476
Published: 13 October 2014
Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), as one of the main active ingredients of the natural product propolis, shows the unique biological activities such as anti-tumor, anti-oxidation, anti-inflammatory, immune regulation, and so on. These have attracted the attention of many researchers to explore the compound with potent biological activities. This review aims to summarize its bioactivities, synthetic methods and derivatives, which will be helpful for further study and development of CAPE and its derivatives.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Honey Might Have Positive Effect on Children with Leukemia

Febrile neutropenia (FN) is a common and serious side effect of chemotherapy. Current management of FN is expensive and may induce side effects. Honey is a natural substance produced by honeybees. It possesses antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticancer effects. In addition, honey is not expensive. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of 12-week honey consumption on children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) particularly with regards of FN episodes. This randomized crossover clinical trial included 40 patients of both sexes, aged 2.5 to 10 years. They were randomized into two equal groups [intervention to control (I/C) and control to intervention (C/I)]. The dietary intervention was 12-week honey consumption in a dose of 2.5g//kg body weight per dose twice weekly. The intervention resulted in a significant decrease of FN episodes and duration of hospital admission. Furthermore, the intervention improved the levels of hemoglobin and did not lead to any serious side effect. As a possible effect of honey withdrawal in the I/C group, the Hb%, the absolute neutrophil count and the platelet count decreased. This small clinical trial suggests that honey consumption might have positive effects on FN and hematologic parameters of children with ALL.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Propolis May Help Treat Amyloidosis

Inhibitory Activities of Propolis and Its Promising Component, Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester, against Amyloidogenesis of Human Transthyretin
J Med Chem. 2014 Oct 20
Transthyretin (TTR) is a homotetrameric serum protein associated with amyloidoses such as familial amyloid polyneuropathy and senile systemic amyloidosis. The amyloid fibril formation of TTR can be inhibited through stabilization of the TTR tetramer by the binding of small molecules. In this study, we examined the inhibitory potency of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) and its derivatives. Thioflavin T assay showed that CAPE suppressed the amyloid fibril formation of TTR. Comparative analysis of the inhibitory potencies revealed that phenethyl ferulate was the most potent among the CAPE derivatives. The binding of phenethyl ferulate and the selected compounds to TTR were confirmed by the 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid displacement and X-ray crystallography. It was also demonstrated that Bio 30, which is a CAPE-rich commercially available New Zealand propolis, inhibited TTR

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Honey Component Methylglyoxal May Help Treat HIV-1

Anti-HIV-1 Activity of Eight Monofloral Iranian Honey Types
PLoS One. 2014 Oct 21;9(10):e108195
Monofloral Iranian honeys from eight floral sources were analyzed to determine their anti-HIV-1 activities as well as their effects on lymphocyte proliferation. The Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) used in this study were prepared from five healthy volunteers who were seronegative for HIV, HCV, HBV and TB.
The anti-HIV-1 activity of eight different honeys was performed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and high pure viral nucleic acid kit. The results demonstrated that monofloral honeys from Petro selinum sativum, Nigella sativa, Citrus sinensis, Zataria multiflora, Citrus aurantium and Zizyphus mauritiana flowers had potent anti-HIV-1 activity with half maximal effective concentration (EC50) values of 37.5, 88, 70, 88, 105 and 5 µg/ml respectively. However, monofloral Iranian honeys from Astragalus gummifer and Chamaemelum nobile flowers had weak anti-HIV-1 activity. The frequency and intensity of CD4 expression on PBMCs increased in the presence of all honey types. CD19 marker were also increased after the treatment with monofloral honeys from Z.multiflora and N. sativa.
The anti-HIV-1 agent in monofloral honeys from P.sativum, N. sativa, Z. multiflora and Z. mauritiana flowers was detected by spectroscopic analysis as methylglyoxal. Time of drug addition studies demonstrated that the inhibitory effect of methylglyoxal is higher on the late stage of HIV-1 infection.
The result demonstrated that methylglyoxal isolated from monofloral honey types is a good candidate for preclinical evaluation of anti-HIV-1 therapies.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Manuka Trees Vary in Ability to Create Bioactive Honey

Waikato Scientists Uncovering the Secrets of Manuka Trees
Voxy, Tuesday, 21 October, 2014
The results of a University of Waikato study surveying the flowers of mānuka trees around the North Island has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The research conducted by the University of Waikato honey chemistry team was led by Associate Professor Merilyn Manley-Harris.
"Mānuka honey contains bioactivity that originates from a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) in the nectar of the mānuka flower. However not all mānuka trees produce the same amounts of DHA and therefore mānuka trees are not necessarily equal in their ability to create bioactive honey," says Assoc Prof Manley-Harris.
The Waikato honey team spent the past few years surveying the flowers of mānuka trees around the North Island and testing their nectar for DHA.
Throughout the study the team classified the nectars as high, medium or low based upon the quantity of DHA in the nectar. Variations from low, to moderate or high were observed between years for the same trees in some locations and differences between regions in the North Island were also observed. "Perhaps most significantly trees within a 100 metre radius in one location showed variation from low to high."…

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Polish Herbhoneys Show Antibacterial Activity

Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of Polish herbhoneys
Food Chem. 2015 Mar 15;171:84-8
The present study focuses on samples of Polish herbhoneys (HHs), their chemical composition and antimicrobial activity. A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method was used to analyse eight samples of herbal honeys and three samples of nectar honeys. Their antimicrobial activities were tested on selected Gram-positive (Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus schleiferi) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria, as well as on pathogenic fungi Candida albicans.
Ether extracts of HHs showed significant differences in composition but the principal groups found in the extracts were phenolics and aliphatic hydroxy acids typical of royal jelly and unsaturated dicarboxylic acids.
In spite of the differences in chemical composition, antimicrobial activity of the extracts of HHs against all the tested microorganisms except E. coli was observed.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Manuka Honey Component Shows Antibacterial Activity in Wound Dressing

Investigation into the potential use of poly(vinyl alcohol)/methylglyoxal fibres as antibacterial wound dressing components
J Biomater Appl. 2014 Oct 16
As problems of antibiotic resistance increase, a continuing need for effective bioactive wound dressings is anticipated for the treatment of infected chronic wounds. Naturally derived antibacterial agents, such as Manuka honey, consist of a mixture of compounds, more than one of which can influence antimicrobial potency. The non-peroxide bacteriostatic properties of Manuka honey have been previously linked to the presence of methylglyoxal.
The incorporation of methylglyoxal as a functional antibacterial additive during fibre production was explored as a potential route for manufacturing wound dressing components. Synthetic methylglyoxal and poly(vinyl alcohol) were fabricated into webs of sub-micron fibres by means of electrostatic spinning of an aqueous spinning solution. Composite fabrics were also produced by direct deposition of the poly(vinyl alcohol)-methylglyoxal fibres onto a preformed spunbonded nonwoven substrate. Attenuated total reflectance fourier transform infrared and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopies confirmed the presence of methylglyoxal within the resulting fibre structure.
The antibacterial activity of the fibres was studied using strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Strong antibacterial activity, as well as diffusion of methylglyoxal from the fibres was observed at a concentration of 1.55 mg/cm2.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bees Prefer Fresh Pollen Stored for Less Than Three Days

Hive-stored pollen of honey bees: Many lines of evidence are consistent with pollen preservation, not nutrient conversion
Mol Ecol. 2014 Oct 15
Honey bee hives are filled with stored pollen, honey, tree resins, and wax, all antimicrobial to differing degrees. Stored pollen is the nutritionally rich currency used for colony growth, and consists of 40-50% simple sugars.
Many studies speculate that prior to consumption by bees, stored pollen undergoes long-term nutrient conversion, becoming more nutritious "bee bread" as microbes pre-digest the pollen. We quantified both structural and functional aspects associated with this hypothesis using behavioral assays, bacterial plate counts, microscopy, and 454 amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene from both newly-collected and hive-stored pollen.
We found that bees preferentially consume fresh pollen stored for less than three days. Newly-collected pollen contained few bacteria, values which decreased significantly as pollen was stored >96 hours. The estimated microbe to pollen grain surface area ratio was 1:1,000,000 indicating a negligible effect of microbial metabolism on hive-stored pollen. Consistent with these findings, hive-stored pollen grains did not appear compromised according to microscopy. Based on year round 454 amplicon sequencing, bacterial communities of newly-collected and hive-stored pollen did not differ, indicating the lack of an emergent microbial community co-evolved to digest stored pollen.
In accord with previous culturing and 16S cloning, acid resistant and osmotolerant bacteria like Lactobacillus kunkeei were found in greatest abundance in stored pollen, consistent with the harsh character of this microenvironment.
We conclude that stored pollen is not evolved for microbially mediated nutrient conversion, but is a preservative environment due primarily to added honey, nectar, bee secretions and properties of pollen itself.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

UK Medical Group Recommends Honey and Lemon Over Cough Medicines

Cough medicines 'a waste of money'
Telegraph, 10/15/2014
The Royal College of GPs says people are better off using home remedies containing lemon and honey to treat a short-term cough
Cough medicines are a waste of money and people are better off drinking home remedies with lemon or honey, a leading body of doctors has claimed.
The Royal College of General Practitioners backed NHS advice which states that there is "little evidence" to suggest some cough medicines have any effect.
Dr Tim Ballard, vice chairman of the RCGP, said: "The medical evidence behind cough medicines is weak and there is no evidence to say that they will reduce the duration of illnesses – as such, GPs are unlikely to prescribe them."
He added that while some patients do find such medicines beneficial, patients who have had a cough for less than three weeks should seek advice from their local pharmacist. 
Cough medicines, which usually cost between £3 and £5 for a small bottle, are part of an over-the-counter health care industry worth £3 billion a year.
But the NHS Choices website advises: "There's little evidence to suggest cough medicines actually work, although some ingredients may help treat symptoms associated with a cough, such as a blocked nose or fever."
The webpage adds that the "simplest and cheapest" treatment for a "short-term cough" may be a homemade remedy containing lemon and honey…

Friday, October 17, 2014

Methylglyoxal is Associated with Bacteriostatic Activity of High Fructose Agave Syrups

Food Chem. 2014 Dec 15;165:444-50
Three α-ketoaldehydes, potentially present in high fructose agave syrups (HFASs) as intermediates of the Maillard reaction, were determined. A previously reported HPLC-FLD procedure based on pre-column derivatisation with 4-methoxy-o-phenylenediamine was adopted, yielding the method quantification limits 0.11 mg/kg, 0.10mg/kg, 0.09 mg/kg for glyoxal, methylglyoxal (MGo) and diacetyl, respectively. The obtained results revealed high concentrations of methylglyoxal in HFASs (average 102 ± 91 mg/kg, range 15.6-315 mg/kg) as compared to commercial Mexican bee honeys or corn syrups. Hydrogen peroxide was generated in all HFASs upon dilution, yet to less extent than in bee honeys. HFASs presented bacteriostatic activity against Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli; catalase addition had minimum effect on the assay results in syrups with elevated MGo. Principal component analysis revealed direct association between growth inhibition and MGo. It is concluded that elevated concentration of MGo in HFASs is at least in part responsible for their non-peroxide bacteriostatic activity.