Friday, May 29, 2015

Bee Venom Enhances Immune System, Prevents Infection

Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Venom Reinforces Viral Clearance during the Early Stage of Infection with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus through the Up-Regulation of Th1-Specific Immune Responses

Toxins (Basel). 2015 May 22;7(5):1837-53

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a chronic and immunosuppressive viral disease that is responsible for substantial economic losses for the swine industry.

Honeybee venom (HBV) is known to possess several beneficial biological properties, particularly, immunomodulatory effects. Therefore, this study aimed at evaluating the effects of HBV on the immune response and viral clearance during the early stage of infection with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) in pigs.

HBV was administered via three routes of nasal, neck, and rectal and then the pigs were inoculated with PRRSV intranasally. The CD4+/CD8+ cell ratio and levels of interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-12 were significantly increased in the HBV-administered healthy pigs via nasal and rectal administration. In experimentally PRRSV-challenged pigs with virus, the viral genome load in the serum, lung, bronchial lymph nodes and tonsil was significantly decreased, as was the severity of interstitial pneumonia, in the nasal and rectal administration group. Furthermore, the levels of Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-12) were significantly increased, along with up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β) with HBV administration.

Thus, HBV administration-especially via the nasal or rectal route-could be a suitable strategy for immune enhancement and prevention of PRRSV infection in pigs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Brazilian brown propolis shows antibacterial capacity against E. faecalis

In vitro effectiveness of Brazilian brown propolis against Enterococcus faecalis

Braz Oral Res. 2015;29(1):1-6

The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro antimicrobial activity of Brazilian brown propolis as an intracanal medication against Enterococcus faecalis. Thirty dentin discs prepared from intact freshly extracted bovine maxillary central incisors were infected with E. faecalis for 21 days. The specimens were distributed into six groups according to the medicament used as follows: G1- calcium hydroxide paste; G2- Carbowax 400 (control group); G3- 20% brown propolis paste; G4- 40% brown propolis paste; G5- 20% brown propolis paste + calcium hydroxide paste; and G6- 40% brown propolis paste + calcium hydroxide paste. The experimental pastes were placed into the canal lumen and left for 14 days. After each period, irrigation was performed with sterile saline to remove the medicament, and the canals were dried with sterile paper points. The dentin chips were removed from the canals with sequential sterile round burs at low speed and were immediately collected in separate test tubes containing BHI broth. The tubes were incubated at 37°C, and microbial growth was analyzed by spectrophotometry after 15 days. All the experimental medications significantly reduced the number of viable bacteria. The G4 and G5 pastes were more effective than the G1 paste, with 35.8%, 41%, and 21.3% antibacterial activity, respectively. Brazilian brown propolis shows antibacterial capacity against E. faecalis. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sudanese Honey Shows High Radical-Scavenging Activity

Comprehensive Evaluation of Antioxidant Properties and Volatile Compounds of Sudanese Honeys

Journal of Food Biochemistry
Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Honey samples were collected from different floral and geographical origins. The total phenolic, flavonoid, carotenoid, antioxidant contents, FRAP/DPPH (ferric reducing antioxidant power/1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazy) assays and the color characteristics were determined spectrophotometrically.

The honey samples exhibited high radical-scavenging activity (DPPH%) ranging from 50.41 ± 0.8 to 70.5 ± 0.9%, FRAP from 556.9 ± 15.0 to 1,340.2 ± 8.7 mM and phenolic from 79.4 ± 1.9 to −232.7 ± 0.2 mg GAE/100 g. The volatiles were identified by means of solid phase microextraction–gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS). Alcohols, aldehydes, acids, ketones, terpenes, phenols and hydrocarbon represented the most abundant compounds in honeys among the 69 volatile components identified. Correlation between phytochemical and antioxidant assay parameters was found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05). In addition, principal component analysis based on the data of GC-MS was employed to study and obtain the important volatile classes that contributed to the differentiation of the honey samples analyzed.

Remarkable variations were observed in the phytochemical, antioxidant and volatile compounds from different botanical origins.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Summary of Adverse Events Associated with Bee Venom Therapy

Risk Associated with Bee Venom Therapy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

PLoS One. 2015 May 21;10(5):e0126971


The safety of bee venom as a therapeutic compound has been extensively studied, resulting in the identification of potential adverse events, which range from trivial skin reactions that usually resolve over several days to life-threating severe immunological responses such as anaphylaxis. In this systematic review, we provide a summary of the types and prevalence of adverse events associated with bee venom therapy.


We searched the literature using 12 databases from their inception to June 2014, without language restrictions. We included all types of clinical studies in which bee venom was used as a key intervention and adverse events that may have been causally related to bee venom therapy were reported.


A total of 145 studies, including 20 randomized controlled trials, 79 audits and cohort studies, 33 single-case studies, and 13 case series, were evaluated in this review. The median frequency of patients who experienced adverse events related to venom immunotherapy was 28.87% (interquartile range, 14.57-39.74) in the audit studies. Compared with normal saline injection, bee venom acupuncture showed a 261% increased relative risk for the occurrence of adverse events (relative risk, 3.61; 95% confidence interval, 2.10 to 6.20) in the randomized controlled trials, which might be overestimated or underestimated owing to the poor reporting quality of the included studies.


Adverse events related to bee venom therapy are frequent; therefore, practitioners of bee venom therapy should be cautious when applying it in daily clinical practice, and the practitioner's education and qualifications regarding the use of bee venom therapy should be ensured.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Honey Can Heal Wounds Quickly: Study

Daily Times, 5/22/2015

ISLAMABAD: Honey has the power to heal wounds faster, besides making them smaller, says a new study.

It has been used to treat wounds in human being since ancient Egypt, but University of Sydney researchers tested the efficacy of Manuka honey in the first ever clinical-trial on horses.
Manuka honey is made by bees in New Zealand that only frequent the manuka bush, “Wounds in horses, particularly leg wounds, have long healing periods, but we found applying a manuka honey gel throughout healing led to 27 percent faster healing times,” said university’s lead researcher Andrea Bischofberger.

Bischofberger says that “with its faster wound healing times and its bandage-free application, the Manuka honey gel solution is an extremely versatile and affordable topical wound “Wounds in horses which received no treatment took an average of 64 days to heal, while those treated with Manuka honey gel took 47 days to heal,” said Bischofberger, according to a Sydney release.

“In our pilot study we used pure honey, but in our second study we used a water-based Manuka honey gel of 66 percent honey. When applied for 12 days, we found these wounds healed just as well as those treated with pure honey”, added a researcher...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Video: Manuka Honey is Earning Praise for Its Healing Benefits

New York Daily News

This honey is on the money.

Manuka honey — a super-expensive version of the ancient sweetener that’s packed with 100 times more of an antibacterial compound than regular honey — has become the trendy treatment for strep throat, dry skin, infections, gum pain, burns and even zits.

Tennis champ Novak Djokovic wrote in his memoir that eating two spoonfuls a day give him a boost on the court. Gwyneth Paltrow singled it out on her lifestyle site, Goop. And Scarlett Johansson told that when she spreads a bit of manuka honey on her skin, she gets “an amazing glow.”

"It's a natural cure for anything from acne to a cut on the leg," says celeb facialist Joanna Vargas, who works with fresh-faced stars Julianne Moore, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Karlie Kloss and uses manuka in her face masks.

Vargas says a thin layer — about a teaspoon’s worth — atop the skin for 10 minutes is all you need.

But manuka honey’s restorative properties apparently go deeper than the surface thanks to high levels of methylglyoxal, the antimicrobial that acolytes swear gives the honey a variety of health benefits.

“Other honeys don’t have as much potency against infectious agents,” says Dr. Julia Tzu of Wall Street Dermatology, who notes that manuka has components that fight the antibiotic-resistant skin infection MRSA.

Thai Stingless Bee Propolis Shows High Antibacterial Activity

Antibacterial Compounds from Propolis of Tetragonula laeviceps and Tetrigona melanoleuca (Hymenoptera: Apidae) from Thailand

PLoS One. 2015 May 18;10(5):e0126886

This study investigated the chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of propolis collected from two stingless bee species Tetragonula laeviceps and Tetrigona melanoleuca (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Six xanthones, one triterpene and one lignane were isolated from Tetragonula laeviceps propolis. Triterpenes were the main constituents in T. melanoleuca propolis.

The ethanol extract and isolated compounds from T. laeviceps propolis showed a higher antibacterial activity than those of T. melanoleuca propolis as the constituent α-mangostin exhibited the strongest activity. Xanthones were found in propolis for the first time; Garcinia mangostana (Mangosteen) was the most probable plant source. In addition, this is the first report on the chemical composition and bioactivity of propolis from T. melanoleuca.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bee Venom Component May Help Prevent Kidney Damage

Phospholipase A2 inhibits cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury by modulating regulatory T cells by the CD206 mannose receptor

Kidney Int. 2015 May 20

Previously, we found that Foxp3-expressing CD4+ regulatory T (Treg) cells attenuate cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury in mice and that bee venom and its constituent phospholipase A2 (PLA2) are capable of modulating Treg cells. Here we tested whether PLA2 could inhibit cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury.

As a result of treatment with PLA2, the population of Treg cells was significantly increased, both in vivo and in vitro. PLA2-injected mice showed reduced levels of serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, renal tissue damage, and pro-inflammatory cytokine production upon cisplatin administration. These renoprotective effects were abolished by depletion of Treg cells. Furthermore, PLA2 bound to CD206 mannose receptors on dendritic cells, essential for the PLA2-mediated protective effects on renal dysfunction. Interestingly, PLA2 treatment increased the secretion of IL-10 in the kidney from normal mice. Foxp3+IL-10+ cells and CD11c+IL-10+ cells were increased by PLA2 treatment. The anticancer effects of repeated administrations of a low dose of cisplatin were not affected by PLA2 treatment in a tumor-bearing model.

Thus, PLA2 may prevent inflammatory responses in cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury by modulating Treg cells and IL-10 through the CD206 mannose receptor.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Propolis Component May Help Treat Advanced Oral Cancer Patients

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Is a Potential Therapeutic Agent for Oral Cancer

Int J Mol Sci. 2015 May 12;16(5):10748-10766

Head and neck cancers, which affect 650,000 people and cause 350,000 deaths per year, is the sixth leading cancer by cancer incidence and eighth by cancer-related death worldwide. Oral cancer is the most common type of head and neck cancer. More than 90% of oral cancers are oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The overall five-year survival rate of OSCC patients is approximately 63%, which is due to the low response rate to current therapeutic drugs.

In this review we discuss the possibility of using caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) as an alternative treatment for oral cancer. CAPE is a strong antioxidant extracted from honeybee hive propolis. Recent studies indicate that CAPE treatment can effectively suppress the proliferation, survival, and metastasis of oral cancer cells. CAPE treatment inhibits Akt signaling, cell cycle regulatory proteins, NF-κB function, as well as activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Therefore, CAPE treatment induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in oral cancer cells.

According to the evidence that aberrations in the EGFR/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling, NF-κB function, COX-2 activity, and MMPs activity are frequently found in oral cancers, and that the phosphorylation of Akt, EGFR, and COX-2 correlates to oral cancer patient survival and clinical progression, we believe that CAPE treatment will be useful for treatment of advanced oral cancer patients.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Kanuka Honey Use Leads to Reduction in Weight, Improvements in Lipid Parameters in Type 2 Diabetes

The effect of a cinnamon-, chromium- and magnesium-formulated honey on glycaemic control, weight loss and lipid parameters in type 2 diabetes: an open-label cross-over randomised controlled trial

Eur J Nutr. 2015 May 19. [Epub ahead of print]


This randomised controlled trial assessed the acute and long-term effects of daily supplementation of kanuka honey, formulated with cinnamon, chromium and magnesium on glucose metabolism, weight and lipid parameters in individuals with type 2 diabetes.


Twelve individuals with type 2 diabetes received 53.5 g of a formulated honey and a control (non-formulated) kanuka honey in a random order for 40 days, using cross-over design. Fasting glucose, insulin, HbA1c, lipids and anthropometric measures were measured at baseline and end of treatment. A meal tolerance test was performed at baseline to assess acute metabolic response.


There was no statistically significant difference in acute glucose metabolism between treatment groups, as measured by the Matsuda index and AUC for glucose and insulin. After the 40-day intervention with honey, fasting glucose did not differ significantly between the two treatments (95 % CI -2.6 to 0.07). There was no statistically significant change in HbA1c or fasting insulin. There was a statistically significant reduction in total cholesterol by -0.29 mmol/L (95 % CI -0.57 to -0.23), LDL cholesterol by -0.29 mmol/L (95 % CI -0.57 to -0.23) and weight by -2.2 kg (95 % CI -4.2 to -0.1). There was a trend towards increased HDL and reduced systolic blood pressure in the intervention treatment.


The addition of cinnamon, chromium and magnesium supplementation to kanuka honey was not associated with a significant improvement in glucose metabolism or glycaemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Use of the formulated honey was associated with a reduction in weight and improvements in lipid parameters, and should be investigated further.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Kanuka Honey May Help Cure Rosacea

Kanuka - the new superhoney for your face

Stuff, 5/18/2015

Kanuka honey is vying with its more famous cousin manuka to be a new medical miracle.

It could also be a major new earner for the Kiwi economy.

A Wellington based pharmaceutical research company has just produced a product based on Kanuka honey which it claims provides a natural cure for rosacea, a chronic red facial rash that most often affects those over 30 with fair skin.

Experts estimate rosacea affects up to 10 per cent of New Zealanders - and is a medical condition afflicting people around the world.

The company, HoneyLab, has filed for patents and is already looking at new ills that Kanuka can cure...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Propolis May Be Helpful for Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Evaluation of protective effect of propolis on parotid salivary glands in gamma-irradiated rats

J Contemp Dent Pract. 2014 Jan 1;15(1):8-11


One of the most significant side effects of radiotherapy for head and neck cancers is xerostomia as a result of salivary gland damage. Considering pharmaco- logical effects of propolis, we evaluated its protective effect on salivary glands subjected to radiotherapy of head and neck cancer patients.


Twenty-one male albino rats (8-11 W, 190 ± 5 gm) were divided into three groups of seven animals. Scintigraphy was performed in all the groups. Then groups 1 (S) and 2 (SR) received normal saline injections and group 3 (PR) received propolis injection over 3 days. After that groups 2 and 3 were exposed to gamma radiation and all the rats underwent scintigraphic assessment on third day and 70th day after irradiation. The lips and tongues of rats in groups 2 and 3 were examined for mucositis daily in first 10 days. At the end, the parotid glands of all rats were examined histologically.


Scintigraphy results of third and 70th day after irradiation showed statistically significant differences between PR and SR as well as SR and S. However, there was no significant difference between the PR and S groups. Histopathologic assessment demonstrated significant difference between SR, PR and S.


These results suggest that propolis has protective effects on salivary gland function in animal models whilst it did not prevent radiation-induced histologic changes in tissues. Further investigations are needed to elucidate mechanisms of propolis actions. Clinical significance: Regarding to the results of this study, propolis may be useful in reduction xerostomia due to radiation to salivary glands and may be helpful for head and neck cancer patients.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Propolis Component May Help Prevent Damage to Inner Ear

Future opportunities in preventing ototoxicity: Caffeic acid phenethyl ester may be a candidate (Review)

Mol Med Rep. 2015 May 14

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an important active component of propolis, which is derived from honeybee hives. It has received increasing attention in a variety of medical and pharmaceutical research, due to its anti‑oxidant, antiproliferative, anti‑inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal activity, in addition to its antineoplastic properties.

Besides the use of CAPE as an antioxidant and anti‑inflammatory agent in a number of in vivo studies of ear disease, its beneficial effects have been reported in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, allergies, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease and neurological disease. CAPE influences a number of biochemical pathways, as well as several targets involved in ear diseases, in particular, in ototoxicity.

The protective effects of CAPE in ototoxicity, which may be induced by a number factors, including lipopolysaccharides, hydrogen peroxide and streptomycin, are evaluated and discussed in the present review.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Royal Nectar Bee Venom Eye Cream Review

Truth in Aging, May 13, 2015


Easily absorbs into skin for an immediate tightening, smoothing feeling


Does not noticeably improve sagginess, deep wrinkles or dark circles, contains perfume

Our Take

A refreshing eye cream that leaves skin feeling smooth, but does not address more serious anti-aging concerns..

Friday, May 15, 2015

'Wax Bloom' on Beeswax Cultural Heritage Objects

Exploring the causes of the phenomenon

Magn Reson Chem. 2015 Apr 27

The term 'wax bloom' is used to describe a thin whitish crystalline layer that develops on the surface of beeswax objects under specific conditions. This phenomenon is undesirable, especially in the cases of objects with aesthetic or informational value, such as wax sculptures or historical seals. A combination of solid-state NMR and FTIR measurements allowed to obtain fairly detailed insight into the problem and to suggest a probable mechanism of its development. Secondary crystallization of unsaturated hydrocarbons from beeswax was determined as a primary cause. After the macroscopic solidification of beeswax from the melt, these molecules remain for months in a highly mobile, liquid-like state. This facilitates their diffusion to the surface, where they eventually crystallize, forming the 'wax bloom' effect. Although these results are of particular interest with respect to the conservation of beeswax artifacts, they are relevant to this material in general and help with understanding its unique properties.