Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Methylglyoxal is Associated with Bacteriostatic Activity of High Fructose Agave Syrups

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 0.11mg/kg, 0.10mg/kg, 0.09mg/kg for glyoxal, methylglyoxal (MGo) and diacetyl, respectively. The obtained results revealed high concentrations of methylglyoxal in HFASs (average 102±91mg/kg, range 15.6-315mg/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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Anti-Inflammatory Compound in Honey, Propolis May Help Treat Diabetic Nepropathy

Chrysin, an anti-inflammatory molecule, abrogates renal dysfunction in type 2 diabetic rats
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol, 2014 Aug 15;279(1):1-7
Diabetic nepropathy (DN) is considered as the leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) worldwide, but the current available treatments are limited. Recent experimental evidences support the role of chronic microinflammation in the development of DN. Therefore, the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) pathway has emerged as a new therapeutic target for the treatment of DN. We investigated the nephroprotective effects of chrysin (5, 7-dihydroxyflavone) in a high fat diet/streptozotocin (HFD/STZ)-induced type 2 diabetic Wistar albino rat model. Chrysin is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that is abundantly found in plant extracts, honey and bee propolis. The treatment with chrysin for 16weeks post induction of diabetes significantly abrogated renal dysfunction and oxidative stress. Chrysin treatment considerably reduced renal TNF-α expression and inhibited the nuclear transcription factor-kappa B (NF-кB) activation. Furthermore, chrysin treatment improved renal pathology and suppressed transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), fibronectin and collagen-IV protein expressions in renal tissues. Chrysin also significantly reduced the serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and IL-6. Moreover, there were no appreciable differences in fasting blood glucose and serum insulin levels between the chrysin treated groups compared to the HFD/STZ-treated group. Hence, our results suggest that chrysin prevents the development of DN in HFD/STZ-induced type 2 diabetic rats through anti-inflammatory effects in the kidney by specifically targeting the TNF-α pathway.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Propolis Can Extend the Shelf Life of Beef Patties

Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity of Commercial Propolis Extract in Beef Patties
The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of propolis extract (PE) to reduce lipid oxidation and microbial growth on beef patties during refrigerated storage. Beef patties were manufactured by incorporating PE in 4 different treatments: (1) Control (no PE addition); (2) commercial propolis 1 (2% w/w; CP1); (3) commercial propolis 2 (2% w/w; CP2); and (4) noncommercial propolis (2% w/w; NCP). Raw patties were wrapped with polyvinyl chloride and stored at 2 °C for 8 d. 
Total phenolic content (TPC), free-radical scavenging activity (FRS), and polyphenolic content of the PE were evaluated using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Lipid oxidation (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), conjugated dienes (CnDs), metmyoglobin (MetMb%), pH variation, and color (L*, a*, b*, C*, and h*), and microbial growth (mesophilic and psychrotrophic bacteria) of patty samples were measured. NCP treatment demonstrated the highest FRS (64.8% at 100 μg/mL), which correlated with TPC and the presence of polyphenolic compounds. 
Lipid oxidation (78.54%, TBARS; 45.53%, CnD; 58.57%, MetMb) and microbial mesophilic and psychrotrophic growth (19.75 and 27.03%, respectively) values were reduced by NCP treatment in refrigerated samples after 8 d. These results indicate that PE has great potential as a natural antioxidant and antimicrobial additive to extend the shelf life of beef patties.
Practical Application
In this work, the results indicate that propolis reduced lipid oxidation and microbial growth, thereby extending meat sample shelf life. Propolis should be considered for use as an alternative to commercially available antioxidants that are currently used in meat products.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Honey Beats Traditional Medication in Reducing Canker Sores

Efficacy of honey in comparison to topical corticosteroid for treatment of recurrent minor aphthous ulceration: A randomized, blind, controlled, parallel, double-center clinical trial
Quintessence Int, 2014 Jul 10
Background: Recurrent aphthous ulceration represents a very common mucosal disorder that general dentists may encounter on a daily basis, and for which there is no curative treatment. The best treatment that can be achieved is to avoid local traumatic precipitants, lessen the pain and duration of ulceration by suppressing the local immune response, and prevent secondary infection.
Objective: The objective of this study was to clinically determine the efficacy of honey as a topical treatment of recurrent minor aphthous ulceration in a Saudi cohort.
Method and Materials: A randomized, blind, controlled, parallel, double-center clinical trial was carried out. Honey was applied by patients four times a day for 5 days. Clinical parameters (ulcer size, pain scale, and degree of erythema and healing) were recorded both at baseline and during the follow-up period.
Results: There were 94 subjects, with 180 minor recurrent aphthous ulcerations. The ulcers were distributed as 67, 57, and 56 ulcers for honey, topical corticosteroid, and Orabase treatment, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between the honey group and the other two groups in terms of reduction of ulcer size, days of pain, and degree of erythema. No side effects were reported in any group.
Conclusion: Honey was found to be effective and safe in reducing minor aphthous ulcer pain, size, and erythema in a Saudi cohort.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Honey Wound Dressings Acceptable to Parents of NICU Babies

PB.09 A Feasibility Study of Active Manuka Honey Dressings on Babies Requiring Admission to NICU
Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed, 2014 Jun;99 Suppl 1:A35
OBJECTIVE:
Honey Dressings have been demonstrated to have important anti-infective and wound healing properties in adults and children. Mechanisms of action include an osmotic effect on bacteria and anti-inflammatory properties. They have yet to be adequately studied in newborn infants and this study aimed to determine if honey dressings are safe and acceptable to staff and parents. In this abstract we present the themes obtained from asking parents and staff what they thought of the dressings.
METHODS:
Questionnaires were distributed to parents of babies who had Active Manuka Honey Dressings applied to their wounds in a feasibility study. Similar questionnaires were given to staff that had used the dressings. Responses were grouped into themes reflecting similar comments.
RESULTS:
12 parents responded, giving responses grouped into the themes of 'natural product' and the 'effect on healing'. 46 staff commented and their responses were grouped into three themes: 'ease of application', 'smell' and 'effect on healing'. Some negative comments were also received covering 5 areas: 'properties of the dressings', 'wastage', 'inappropriate use', 'appearance' and 'lack of adhesion' under certain conditions.
CONCLUSION:
Honey Dressings appear to be acceptable to parents and staff with both groups saying that they felt the dressings helped the wounds heal more quickly. More research is required to fully assess the effectiveness and role of honey dressings in newborn infants.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Zealand Manuka Honey Network Proposed

Radio News Zealand, 7/15/2014
A coalition wants to build a manuka honey industry driven by Maori with the aim of increasing employment for rural tangata whenua on tribal land.
The Miere Coalition is talking to iwi across the country about developing a network that would work with Maori landowners, beekeepers and iwi on areas such as procurement and exporting.
Project director Victor Goldsmith said eight iwi had signed up to the idea of a network…

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Propolis Component Protests Thyroid and Liver in Same Way as Melatonin

Protective antioxidative effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) in the thyroid and the liver are similar to those caused by melatonin
Thyroid Res, 2014 Jun 5;7:5
BACKGROUND:
Whereas oxidative reactions occur in all tissues and organs, the thyroid constitutes such an organ, in which oxidative processes are indispensable for physiological functions. In turn, numerous metabolic reactions occurring in the liver create favourable conditions for huge oxidative stress. Melatonin is a well-known antioxidant with protective effects against oxidative damage perfectly documented in many tissues, the thyroid and the liver included. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a component of honeybee propolis, has been suggested to be also an effective antioxidant. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of CAPE on Fenton reaction-induced oxidative damage to membrane lipids (lipid peroxidation, LPO) in porcine thyroid and liver, and to compare the results with protective effects of melatonin.
METHODS:
Thyroid and liver homogenates were incubated in the presence of CAPE (500; 100; 50; 10; 5.0; 1.0 μM) or melatonin (500; 100; 50; 10; 5.0; 1.0 μM), without or with addition of FeSO4 (30 μM) + H2O2 (0.5 mM). The level of lipid peroxidation was measured spectrophotometrically and expressed as the amount of MDA + 4-HDA (nmol) per mg of protein.
RESULTS:
Whereas CAPE decreased the basal LPO in a concentration-dependent manner in both tissues, melatonin did not change the basal LPO level. When antioxidants were used together with Fenton reaction substrates, they prevented - in a concentration-dependent manner and to a similar extent - experimentally-induced LPO in both tissues.
CONCLUSIONS:
Protective antioxidative effects of CAPE in the thyroid and the liver are similar to those caused by melatonin. CAPE constitutes a promising agent in terms of its application in experimental and, possibly, clinical studies.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Propolis Beats Traditional Sanitizing Solution for Lettuce

Use of propolis in the sanitization of lettuce
Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Jul 9;15(7):12243-57
The present study aimed to determine the effectiveness of propolis in reducing the microbial load in ready-to-eat (RTE) and fresh whole head (FWH) lettuces (Lactuca sativa L.) type Batavia. Two sanitizing solutions were employed: sodium hypochlorite (SH) and propolis (PS), during 15 and 30 min. Tap water (TW) was used as a control. Regarding the mean reduction on aerobic mesophiles, psychrotrophic and fecal coliforms, the SH and PS treatments showed the same pattern of variation. In all cases, PS was slightly more effective in the microbiological reduction in comparison with commercial SH. Reductions between two and three log cycles were obtained with PS on aerobic mesophiles and psychrotrophic counts. The information obtained in the present study can be used to evaluate the potential use of propolis as product for sanitizing other vegetables and for developing other food preservation technologies, with impact on human health.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Propolis a Potential Therapeutic Compound for Anxiety and Depression

Antidepressant and anxiolytic-like activities of an oil extract of propolis in rats
Phytomedicine, 2014 Jul 7. pii: S0944-7113(14)00250-5
PURPOSE:
Propolis biological effects are mainly attributed to its polyphenolic constituents such as flavonoids and phenolic acids that were recently described in the chemical composition of an extract of propolis obtained with edible vegetal oil (OEP) by our group. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of OEP on the behavior of rats.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
An in vivo open field (OF), elevated Plus-maze (EPM), and forced swimming (FS) tests were performed to evaluate locomotor activity, anxiolytic- and antidepressant effects of the extract. Besides, oxidative stress levels were measured in rat blood samples after the behavioral assays by evaluation of the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and nitric oxide levels.
RESULTS:
OEP increased locomotion in the OF test (50mg/kg) and central locomotion and open arm entries in the OF and EPM tests (10-50mg/kg) and decreased the immobility time in the FS test (10-50mg/kg). Moreover, OEP reduced nitric oxide levels in response to swim stress induced in rats.
CONCLUSION:
OEP exerted stimulant, anxiolytic and antidepressant effects on the Central Nervous System and antioxidant activity in rats, highlighting propolis as a potential therapeutic compound for behavior impairment of anxiety and depression.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Propolis in Dentistry and Oral Cancer Management

N Am J Med Sci, 2014 Jun;6(6):250-9
Propolis, known as bee glue, is a wax-cum-resin substance, which is created out of a mix of buds from some trees with the substance secreted from the bee's glands. Its diverse chemical content is responsible for many valuable properties. Multiple applications of propolis have been studied and described in detail for centuries. However, currently available information on propolis is scarce. A literature search in the PubMed database was performed for English language articles, using the search terms propolis, oral health, dentistry, and oral cancer; no restrictions were used for publication dates. The aim of the article was to review propolis and its applications in dentistry including oral cancer…
Oral cancer is a public health problem. The use of natural substances such as propolis aims to search for chemoprevention with fewer side effects. Desirable effects of propolis on the treatment of oral cancer are regression of tumors by stimulating multicellular immunity, prevention of metastasis, speeding up apoptosis of cancer cells, mitosis-suppressing effect, anti-angiogenesis effect, immunomodulatory effect, and antioxidant effect. Propolis maintains high circulating levels of chemotherapeutic drugs such as 5-FU and MMC, thus reducing the dose of these drugs. When concurrently administered with propolis, the dose and side effects of these chemotherapeutic drugs are reduced; the cytopenia resulting from these drugs is ameliorated by administration of propolis via increasing WBC and RBC counts in peripheral blood. Propolis also has radioprotective effect. Flavonoid quercetin in propolis potentiates the growth-inhibitory activity on tumors.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Manuka Honey an Effective Oral Hygiene Measure

Evaluation of the effects of manuka honey on salivary levels of mutans streptococci in children: A pilot study
J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent, 2014 Jul-Sep;32(3):212-9
Background: There has been much debate in the past about whether honey is harmful to the teeth, mostly as part of the debate about raw sugar versus refined sugar and the results have been equivocal. However, what has not been taken into account is that honey varies markedly in the potency of its antibacterial activity. Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honey from New Zealand has been found to have substantial levels of non-peroxide antibacterial activity associated with an unidentified phytochemical component, denoted as Unique Manuka Factor (UMF).
Aims: Considering the potential antimicrobial effects of manuka honey, the present study attempted to investigate effects of twice daily use of manuka honey with UMF 19.5 on salivary levels of Mutans streptococci in children.
Study Design: The investigation was a stratified comparison of two parallel groups of children who either used manuka honey with regular tooth brushing regimen or continued only with regular tooth brushing regimen twice daily under professional supervision for a 21-day period. A total of three salivary samples were taken from each individual at baseline, day 10, and day 21; colony counts of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) were determined. All data was subjected to paired T-test and Wilcoxon's signed ranks sum for intra- and intergroup comparisons respectively.
Results: Children using manuka honey showed statistically significant reductions in salivary S. mutans after 10 and 21 days.
Conclusion: Manuka honey with UMF 19.5 may be considered as an effective adjunctive oral hygiene measure for reducing colony counts in children.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Romanian Bee Pollen Rich in Lutein

Predominant and Secondary Pollen Botanical Origins Influence the Carotenoid and Fatty Acid Profile in Fresh Honeybee-Collected Pollen
J. Agric. Food Chem, 2014, 62 (27), pp 6306–6316
Publication Date (Web): June 18, 2014
Total and individual carotenoids, fatty acid composition of total lipids, and main lipid classes of 16 fresh bee-collected pollen samples from Romania were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection and capillary gas chromatography with mass detection. Analyzed samples were found rich in lutein, whereas β-criptoxanthin and β-carotene were present in a wide range of amounts correlated with predominant botanical origin of the samples. High amounts of lutein were correlated with the presence of Callendula officinalis, Taraxacum officinale and Anthylis sp. The highest amount of total lipids was found in samples where pollen from Brassica sp. was predominant. Lipid classes were dominated by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids were determined in variable amounts. Lipid and carotenoid contents present great variability, explained by the various botanical species present in the samples.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

MANUKA - The Biography of an Extraordinary Honey

This book takes us on a journey, an amazing journey, of how a scientist in a small laboratory on an island at the end of the world discovered the magical healing powers of a honey. And not just any old honey - Manuka Honey...a honey that is only produced from an obscure plant, with the help of those extraordinary bees.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

New Zealand Exporters Demand Crackdown on Bogus Manuka Honey

NZ Exporters Demand Crackdown After Magazine Suggests Retailers Raking It In Selling Bogus Manuka
Manuka honey exporters want the Government to clamp down on "cowboys" bringing the $150 million-a-year industry into international disrepute.
"The whole thing is stupid - it's the whole New Zealand Inc reputation - the legislation is available," said Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association chief John Rawcliffe last night of a damning report into counterfeit product allegedly crowding British supermarket shelves.
"We have to do things correctly and we can really grow this industry. If we continue this way, we are going to make fools of ourselves," he said.
Mr Rawcliffe was responding from Bali to a special investigation by Britain's The Grocer trade magazine, which claims lack of clarity over what constitutes real manuka honey is allowing dodgy dealers to sell bogus product for up to $116 for a 500g jar, as endorsements from movie and sports stars fuel global demand.
Under a headline "The Great Manuka Honey Swindle", the magazine quotes a honey expert as claiming a leading British retailer has pocketed $39 million from selling jars of what it claims to be manuka honey but which is no better for consumers than a Scottish heather honey 90 per cent cheaper.
It asks whether retailers are deliberately misleading consumers or whether they are victims of confused claims about the disease-fighting properties of true manuka, which Hollywood A-lister Scarlett Johanssen swears by, as do tennis star Novak Djokovic and classical singer Katherine Jenkins.
The Grocer says only 1700 tonnes of true manuka honey are produced annually in New Zealand, yet 1800 tonnes of what purports to be the sweet elixir are sold in Britain among 10,000 tonnes globally.
Mr Rawcliffe said the annual production figure was more like 2400 tonnes but there were too many unscrupulous operators both here and overseas undermining the efforts of honest players…

Monday, July 07, 2014

Propolis Presented High Cytotoxic Potential for Human Tumor Cell Lines

Cytotoxicity of portuguese propolis: the proximity of the in vitro doses for tumor and normal cell lines
Biomed Res Int, 2014;2014:897361
With a complex chemical composition rich in phenolic compounds, propolis (resinous substance collected by Apis mellifera from various tree buds) exhibits a broad spectrum of biological activities. Recently, in vitro and in vivo data suggest that propolis has anticancer properties, but is the cytoxicity of propolis specific for tumor cells? To answer this question, the cytotoxicity of phenolic extracts from Portuguese propolis of different origins was evaluated using human tumor cell lines (MCF7-breast adenocarcinoma, NCI-H460-non-small cell lung carcinoma, HCT15-colon carcinoma, HeLa-cervical carcinoma, and HepG2-hepatocellular carcinoma), and non-tumor primary cells (PLP2). The studied propolis presented high cytotoxic potential for human tumor cell lines, mostly for HCT15. Nevertheless, excluding HCT15 cell line, the extracts at the GI50 obtained for tumor cell lines showed, in general, cytotoxicity for normal cells (PLP2). Propolis phenolic extracts comprise phytochemicals that should be further studied for their bioactive properties against human colon carcinoma. In the other cases, the proximity of the in vitro cytotoxic doses for tumor and normal cell lines should be confirmed by in vivo tests and may highlight the need for selection of specific compounds within the propolis extract.