Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chinese Use Bee Venom to Treat MS, Arthritis

Global Times, 4/22/2014
Lying on her bed in the Beijing Apitherapy Hospital, Liu Yu, 27, gritted her teeth as she was stung repeatedly by bees.
Using tweezers to hold a bee above Liu's neck, attending doctor Wang Menglin allowed the insect to sting her jugular acupoints, and leave behind its stinger and venom sac on the skin.
"The devil of disease is more horrible than the stings of bees," said Liu, who takes an average of 80 stings over her entire body during her daily treatment.
In 2010, after experiencing numbness in her legs, Liu was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), an often debilitating disease in which one's own immune system eats away at the protective myelin sheath that covers the nerves. There is no known cure for MS, but Liu sought treatment at West China Hospital of Sichuan University. After being injected with hormones for five days, Liu's condition worsened. She lost faith in Western medicine.
Based on a few recommendations, Liu then turned to the Beijing Apitherapy Hospital in Shunyi district, where she met  with Wang. After a month and a half of treatment in 2010, Liu was back on her feet.
"The treatment is definitely painful, but after being stung, I feel better and there is no pain in my legs," said Liu.
"Apitherapy is a comprehensive treatment for more than 30 diseases. This biological therapy of traditional Chinese medicine includes bee sting acupuncture and injections of bee venom," said Wang, who is also the director of the Beijing Apitherapy Institution.
The active substance in bee venom is said to strengthen the immune system by stimulating the acupoints and spreading to the surrounding area. Apitherapy is especially effective for people suffering from forms of arthritis, according to Wang…

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pilot Study to Examine Use of Bee Venom to Treat Chronic Neck Pain

Bee venom acupuncture, NSAIDs or combined treatment for chronic neck pain: study protocol for a randomized, assessor-blind trial
7th Space, 4/21/2014
Chronic neck pain (CNP) is a common painful medical condition with a significant socioeconomic impact. In spite of widespread usage, the effectiveness and safety of combined treatments between conventional and complementary alternative medical treatment modalities has not been fully established in a rigorous randomized clinical trial (RCT).
This pilot study will provide the clinical evidence to evaluate the feasibility and refine the protocol for a full-scale RCT on combined treatment of bee venom acupuncture (BVA) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients with CNP…

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pollen Test Not Best Way to Detect Fake Manuka Honey

Warning on pollen test to tackle phoney honey
New Zealand Farmer, 4/20/2014
The Ministry of Primary Industries has been warned by a top British food scientist that it is in danger of taking a wrong step in the battle against fake manuka honey producers.
Dr Adrian Charlton from Britain's Food and Environment Research Agency food laboratory in York, where over 500 scientists work to protect the public from adulterated and mislabelled food, warned MPI not to tell the world's food watchdogs to test the authenticity of manuka honey by microscopic pollen analysis.
Charlton, speaking at an Auckland seminar attended by manuka honey producers, was commenting on a proposal by MPI that a definition of what manuka honey is be based on "pollen count", the measurement of the concentration of pollen trapped in honey.
A definition of manuka honey is being sought as part of a strategy to tackle fakery in the manuka honey business, which is blighting the industry's reputation and hindering its ability to become a half-billion-dollar-a-year export industry for New Zealand.
But Charlton said: "Pollen analysis is subjective and, in this case, is not fit for purpose."
It was less accurate than other forms of testing as human error crept in, and honey could have pollen added by unscrupulous producers in order to turn their ordinary pot of honey into fake manuka which could be sold for a much higher price.
Another issue with pollen testing was that kanuka and manuka pollen is extremely hard to tell apart, he said.
Producers also note that a pollen test would not differentiate Australian jellybush honey from manuka, opening the door to the Aussies to cash in on the manuka name.
Charlton said that MPI should focus on defining what manuka honey is and let the world's scientists and testing laboratories work out the best methods for testing…

Monday, April 21, 2014

Honeybee Drone Milk May Help Treat Male Infertility

Androgenic effect of honeybee drone milk in castrated rats: Roles of methyl palmitate and methyl oleate
Volume 153, Issue 2, 28 April 2014, Pages 446–453
Numerous honeybee (Apis mellifera) products have been used in traditional medicine to treat infertility and to increase vitality in both men and women. Drone milk (DM) is a relatively little-known honeybee product with a putative sexual hormone effect. The oestrogenic effect of a fraction of DM has recently been reported in rats. However, no information is available on the androgenic effects of DM. The purpose of the present study was to determine the androgen-like effect of DM in male rats and to identify effective compounds.
Materials and methods
A modified Hershberger assay was used to investigate the androgenic effect of crude DM, and the plasma level of testosterone was measured. The prostatic mRNA and protein expression of Spot14-like androgen-inducible protein (SLAP) were also examined with real-time PCR and Western blot techniques. GC–MS and NMR spectroscopic investigations were performed to identify the active components gained by bioactivity-guided fractionation.
Results
The crude DM increased the relative weights of the androgen-dependent organs and the plasma testosterone level in castrated rats and these actions were flutamide-sensitive. DM increased the tissue mRNA and protein level of SLAP, providing further evidence of its androgen-like character. After bioactivity-guided fractionation, two fatty acid esters, methyl palmitate (MP) and methyl oleate (MO), were identified as active compounds. MP alone showed an androgenic effect, whereas MO increased the weight of androgen-sensitive tissues and the plasma testosterone level only in combination.
Conclusion
The experimental data of DM and its active compounds (MO and MP) show androgenic activity confirming the traditional usage of DM. DM or MP or/and MO treatments may project a natural mode for the therapy of male infertility.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gelam Honey and Ginger Evaluated for Treatment of Diabetes

Effect of the Combination of Gelam Honey and Ginger on Oxidative Stress and Metabolic Profile in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Sprague-Dawley Rats
BioMed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014)
Diabetic complications occur as a result of increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) due to long term hyperglycaemia. Honey and ginger have been shown to exhibit antioxidant activity which can scavenge ROS. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant and antidiabetic effects of gelam honey, ginger, and their combination.
Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 2 major groups which consisted of diabetic and nondiabetic rats. Diabetes was induced with streptozotocin intramuscularly (55 mg/kg body weight). Each group was further divided into 4 smaller groups according to the supplements administered: distilled water, honey (2 g/kg body weight), ginger (60 mg/kg body weight), and honey + ginger. Body weight and glucose levels were recorded weekly, while blood from the orbital sinus was obtained after 3 weeks of supplementation for the estimation of metabolic profile: glucose, triglyceride (TG), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), reduced glutathione (GSH): oxidized glutathione (GSSG), and malondialdehyde (MDA).
The combination of gelam honey and ginger did not show hypoglycaemic potential; however, the combination treatment reduced significantly () SOD and CAT activities as well as MDA level, while GSH level and GSH/GSSG ratio were significantly elevated () in STZ-induced diabetic rats compared to diabetic control rats.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Study Finds Royal Jelly is Natural Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

Natural Society, 4/16/2014
New research in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine indicates royal jelly has the ability to help maintain blood sugar levels while controlling oxidative stress. In other words, royal jelly may be one of many natural alternatives for preventing and even reversing Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes affects approximately 8.3 percent of the U.S. population, with an estimated 25.8 million people diagnosed with the preventable disease. Stopping diabetes before it starts is a matter of proper nutrition and dietary control. Once diagnosed, it can still be overcome with lifestyle choices, and a new study says royal jelly could aid in the fight…

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bee Venom Component May Help Treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Melittin ameliorates the inflammation of organs in an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis animal model
Exp Neurobiol, 2014 Mar;23(1):86-92
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a selective loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord, brainstem, and motor cortex, leading to weakness of the limb and bulbar muscles. Although the immediate cause of death in ALS is the destruction of motor neurons, ALS is a multi-organ disease that also affects the lungs, spleen, and liver. Melittin is one of components of bee venom and has anti-neuroinflammatory effects in the spinal cord, as shown in an ALS animal model.
To investigate the effects of melittin on inflammation in the lungs and spleen, we used hSOD1(G93A) transgenic mice that are mimic for ALS. Melittin treatment reduced the expression of inflammatory proteins, including Iba-1 and CD14 by 1.9- and 1.3-fold (p < 0.05), respectively, in the lungs of symptomatic hSOD1(G93A) transgenic mice. In the spleen, the expression of CD14 and COX2 that are related to inflammation were decreased by 1.4 fold (p < 0.05) and cell survival proteins such as pERK and Bcl2 were increased by 1.3- and 1.5-fold (p < 0.05) in the melittin-treated hSOD1G93A transgenic mice.
These findings suggest that melittin could be a candidate to regulate the immune system in organs affected by ALS.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Propolis Component May Help Treat Wide Range of Inflammatory Disorders

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE): Scavenger of Peroxynitrite In Vitro and In Sepsis Models
Shock, 2014 Mar 21
Excessive free radical production by immune cells has been linked to cell death and tissue injury during sepsis. Peroxynitrite is a short-lived oxidant and a potent inducer of cell death that has been identified in several pathological conditions. CAPE is an active component of honeybee products and exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory activities. The present study examined the ability of CAPE to scavenge peroxynitrite in RAW 264.7 murine macrophages stimulated with LPS/IFN-γ, was used as an in vitro model. Conversion of 123-dihydrorhodamine (123-DHR) to its oxidation product 123-rhodamine was used to measure peroxynitrite production. Two mouse models of sepsis (endotoxemia and cecal ligation and puncture), were used as in vivo models. The level of serum 3-nitrotyrosine, an in vivo marker of peroxynitrite.
The results demonstrated that CAPE significantly improved the viability of LPS/IFN-γ-treated RAW 264.7 cells and significantly inhibited nitric oxide production with effects similar to those observed with an inhibitor of inducible nitric oxide synthase (1400W). In addition, CAPE exclusively inhibited the synthesis of peroxynitrite from the artificial substrate SIN-1 and directly prevented the peroxynitrite-mediated conversion of dihydrorhodamine-123 to its fluorescent oxidation product rhodamine-123. In both sepsis models, CAPE inhibited cellular peroxynitrite synthesis, as evidenced by the absence of serum 3-nitrotyrosine, an in vivo marker of peroxynitrite. Thus, CAPE attenuates the inflammatory responses that lead to cell damage and, potentially, cell death through suppression of the production of cytotoxic molecules such as nitric oxide and peroxynitrite.
These observations provide evidence of the therapeutic potential of CAPE treatment for a wide range of inflammatory disorders.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Does Bee Sting Therapy Help Ease MS Symptoms?

Bio News Texas, 4/15/2014
Can bee venom be an effective therapy for treating symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and other disorders? The Lombard, Illinois, based American Apitherapy Society, which celebrates its 25 Year Anniversary this year, serves as a clearing-house for information for persons interested in Apitherapy, alternative form of health care that uses bee hive products — including honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom — to treat many illnesses and to alleviate pain from injuries both chronic and acute. The organization reaches beyond the conventional Western medical model with a holistic approach to health and healing.
The Society notes that currently the most popular and well-known applications for honey bee venom therapy in the United States are for people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and many forms of arthritis. They note that there is some scientific data supporting the use of Apitherapy for treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia, and that several articles were written in the first half of the 20th-Century about using bee venom in the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as some recent and ongoing research investigating Apitherapy’s effect in MS, and that many anecdotal reports suggest that bee venom might have some usefulness in the treatment of various infectious, auto-immune, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal diseases and in neuropathic pain and other chronic pain conditions…

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

(VIDEO) Romania Keeps Ancient Tradition of Bee Medicine Alive

BUCHAREST, April 13 — Bee venom to combat multiple sclerosis, pollen for indigestion, honey to heal wounds — the humble bee has been a key source of alternative medicines since ancient times, and Romania is working to keep the tradition of “apitherapy” alive…

Monday, April 14, 2014

Man Says Bee Venom Therapy Helps Treat His Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Alternative therapy helps MS patient pursue lost passion
By Brandon Dumsky, The Examiner, 4/12/2014
John O’Brien of Blue Springs loved running, but a debilitating disease has prevented him to enjoy his passion for nearly 25 years.
That is until now. O’Brien has just participated in a marathon for the first time in decades – ever since the early 1970s, when the former smoker was introduced to running by his daughter.
…In 1990, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease in which your body’s immune system eats away the protective sheath, called myelin, that covers nerves. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, some symptoms include balance problems, muscle weakness, blurry vision and coordination difficulties. A cure has not been found for the autoimmune disease.
“It was devastating,” said O’Brien of the day he was told the diagnosis. “I sunk into a major depression.”
A year later, O’Brien took an early retirement from his computer programming position and has since relied on disability and his pension as sources of income. Since his diagnosis, he has used a walking cane for mobility, and for some years, he became wheelchair-bound due to his progressive form of MS. He also said he experienced “intense bouts of fever” from his condition.
“I would get limp and sometimes couldn’t even blink.”
In 1998, a person introduced him to apitherapy, the medicinal use of products made by honeybees. This includes bee venom usage, according to the American Apitherapy Society.
Using bee venom for the first time to treat John’s MS was a turning point for him, say the O’Briens. Laura said he was ailing severely due to his MS before the apitherapy treatments…

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Researcher Wins Awards for Research Combatting MRSA with Manuka Honey

Cardiff Met researcher wins top industry award for combatting MRSA with manuka honey
Cardiff University, 4/12/2014
Professor Rose Cooper, Professor of Microbiology at Cardiff School of Health Sciences (CSHS), has been recognised for her extensive research into the antibacterial qualities of manuka honey, specifically in combatting hospital-borne bacteria like MRSA...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Apitherapy is Popular in Romania

Romania Keeps Ancient Tradition of Bee Medicine Alive
Isabelle Wesselingh, AFP News, 4/10/2014
Bee venom to combat multiple sclerosis, pollen for indigestion, honey to heal wounds -- the humble bee has been a key source of alternative medicines since ancient times, and Romania is working to keep the tradition of "apitherapy" alive.
The tradition goes back to ancient Greece when Hippocrates applied honey to treat wounds, and the Romans saw pollen as "life-giving".
In the past of India, China and Egypt, a resinous substance collected by bees from the buds of certain trees, known as "propolis", was popular as an antiseptic.
"The hive is the oldest and healthiest natural pharmacy," said Cristina Mateescu, director general of the Institute for Apicultural Research and Development in Bucharest.
Today in the wilderness of Romania's Carpathian mountains, honey bee products are still a familiar part of traditional medicine…
- Apitherapy pioneer -
Every town in Romania has its "plafar" -- natural pharmacies selling products made from plants, honey, beeswax and propolis.
"Romania is a pioneer of apitherapy, which it recognised very early as a component of scientific medicine," said US professor Theodor Charbuliez, head of the Apimondia Commission of Apitherapy, a group that brings together thousands of practitioners from around the world…

Friday, April 11, 2014

Manuka-Type Honeys May Be Used as Topical Anti-Biofilm Treatment Management of Wound Healing

Manuka-type honeys can eradicate biofilms produced by Staphylococcus aureus strains with different biofilm-forming abilities
PeerJ 2014 Mar 25;2:e326
Chronic wounds are a major global health problem. Their management is difficult and costly, and the development of antibiotic resistance by both planktonic and biofilm-associated bacteria necessitates the use of alternative wound treatments. Honey is now being revisited as an alternative treatment due to its broad-spectrum antibacterial activity and the inability of bacteria to develop resistance to it. Many previous antibacterial studies have used honeys that are not well characterized, even in terms of quantifying the levels of the major antibacterial components present, making it difficult to build an evidence base for the efficacy of honey as an antibiofilm agent in chronic wound treatment. Here we show that a range of well-characterized New Zealand manuka-type honeys, in which two principle antibacterial components, methylglyoxal and hydrogen peroxide, were quantified, can eradicate biofilms of a range of Staphylococcus aureus strains that differ widely in their biofilm-forming abilities. Using crystal violet and viability assays, along with confocal laser scanning imaging, we demonstrate that in all S. aureus strains, including methicillin-resistant strains, the manuka-type honeys showed significantly higher anti-biofilm activity than clover honey and an isotonic sugar solution. 
We observed higher anti-biofilm activity as the proportion of manuka-derived honey, and thus methylglyoxal, in a honey blend increased. However, methylglyoxal on its own, or with sugar, was not able to effectively eradicate S. aureus biofilms. We also demonstrate that honey was able to penetrate through the biofilm matrix and kill the embedded cells in some cases. As has been reported for antibiotics, sub-inhibitory concentrations of honey improved biofilm formation by some S. aureus strains, however, biofilm cell suspensions recovered after honey treatment did not develop resistance towards manuka-type honeys. New Zealand manuka-type honeys, at the concentrations they can be applied in wound dressings are highly active in both preventing S. aureus biofilm formation and in their eradication, and do not result in bacteria becoming resistant. Methylglyoxal requires other components in manuka-type honeys for this anti-biofilm activity.
Our findings support the use of well-defined manuka-type honeys as a topical anti-biofilm treatment for the effective management of wound healing.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Antibacterial Effects Observed for Australian Stingless Bee Propolis Extracts

Anti-staphylococcal activity of C-methyl flavanones from propolis of Australian stingless bees (Tetragonula carbonaria) and fruit resins of Corymbia torelliana (Myrtaceae)
Fitoterapia, 2014 Apr 3. pii: S0367-326X(14)00098-7
Propolis of Australian stingless bees (Tetragonula carbonaria, Meliponini) originating from Corymbia torelliana (Myrtaceae) fruit resins was tested for its antimicrobial activities as well as its flavonoid contents.
This study aimed at the isolation, structural elucidation and antibacterial testing of flavanones of C. torelliana fruit resins that are incorporated into stingless bee propolis. Flavanones of this study were elucidated by spectroscopic and spectrometric methods including UV, 1D and 2D NMR, EI-MS, ESI-MS and HR-MS. The results indicated known C-methylated flavanones namely, 1 (2S)-cryptostrobin, its regioisomer 2 (2S)- stroboponin, 3 (2S)- cryptostrobin 7-methyl ether, and 6 (2S)- desmethoxymatteucinol, and known flavanones 4 (2S)- pinostrobin and 5 (2S)- pinocembrin as markers for C. torelliana fruit resins and one propolis type.
Ethanolic preparations of propolis were shown to be active against Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923) and to a lesser extent against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 27853). C. torelliana flavananones inhibited the growth of S. aureus therefore contributing to the antibacterial effects observed for Australian stingless bee propolis extracts.