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.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bee Venom May Help Treat Acne

Inhibitory effects of bee venom on Propionibacterium acnes-induced inflammatory skin disease in an animal model
Int J Mol Med, 2014 Nov;34(5):1341-8
Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a major contributing factor to the inflammatory component of acne. The many prescription medications for acne allow for a large number of potential combination treatments. However, several antibiotics, apart from their antibacterial effects, exert sideeffects, such as the suppression of host inflammatory responses. Purified bee venom (BV) is a natural toxin produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera L.). BV has been widely used as a traditional medicine for various diseases.
In the present study, to investigate the therapeutic effects of BV against P. acnes-induced inflammatory skin disease, P. acnes was intradermally injected into the ears of mice. After the injection, BV was applied to the skin surface of the right ear. Histological observation revealed that P. acnes induced a considerable increase in the number of infiltrated inflammatory cells. However, treatment with BV markedly reduced these reactions compared with the P. acnes-injected mice not treated with BV. Moreover, the expression levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interleukin (IL)-1β were significantly reduced in the BV-treated mice compared with the untreated P. acnes-injected mice. In addition, treatment with BV significantly inhibited Toll-like receptor (TLR)2 and CD14 expression in P. acnes-injected tissue. The binding activity of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and activator protein (AP)-1 was markedly suppressed following treatment with BV. The results from our study, using an animal model, indicate that BV exerts an inhibitory effect on inflammatory skin diseases.
In conclusion, our data indicate that BV has potential for use as an anti-acne agent and may be useful in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Quran: "From their bellies come a drink of various colors, wherein is healing for mankind"

Honey: the Antibiotic of Future
On Islam, 10/14/2014
Through the ages bees have played a significant role in Muslim cultures. In fact, the value of bees was so great that before an important battle Abu Bakr As-Sidiq told his general, Yazid Ibn Abi Sufian, "Do not burn bees and do not scatter them."
Surah 16, An-Nahl aka "The Bee", in the Qur'an also speaks of the importance of bees in Islam. In Surah 16, verse 69 states: "from their bellies come a drink of various colors, wherein is healing for mankind."
Many people interpret this "drink" to mean honey, however, bees also produce another healing drink in their bodies - Bee Venom (BV).
Bee Venom is a complex mixture used by the bees to protect their hives against predators. Bee Venom Therapy (BVT), also known as apitherapy, is a popular healing method that uses this venom.
BVT consists of using bee stings to treat symptoms of certain diseases. BVT can be performed by a doctor, a therapist, a beekeeper or a patient who is taught how to properly use the bees (Rothfeld)…

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Clinical Trial to Assess Effectiveness of Honey to Treat Dry, Sore, Red Eyes

By Sandra Hutchinson, Medical Xpress, 10/13/2014
Honey's antibacterial benefits are widely recognised but now a QUT team of optometry researchers is conducting clinical trials of the therapeutic effect of the sweet nectar as a remedy for dry, red and sore eyes, which are an irritating and chronic problem for one in three Australian adults.
Clinical Optometrist and dry eye researcher Dr Julie Albietz, from the QUT Health Clinics and the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, has studied the benefits of antibacterial medical honeys on the eye's surface tissues for more than a decade and will lead two trials comparing traditional eye lid hygiene and lubricant eye products with honey-based therapies for the management of dry eye symptoms and signs…

Monday, October 13, 2014

Manuka Honey is a Potential Root Canal Disinfectant

Comparison of the Antibacterial Efficacy of Manuka Honey Against E.faecalis and E.coli - An In vitro Study
J Clin Diagn Res. 2014 Aug;8(8):ZC29-31
To compare the antibacterial efficacy of Manuka honey against E.faecalis and E.coli.
Escherichia coli (ATCC-25922) and Enterococcus faecalis (ATCC-29212) were separately inoculated in the nutrient broth and incubated at 37(o)C for 24-48 hrs. Bacterial samples were kept in contact with each disinfectant solution for varying intervals of time. Once the test time had elapsed 10μL of the bacterial dilutions were plated on Mueller-Hinton agar and incubated for 24-48 hrs at 37°C to estimate the density. Study of the disinfection process with respect to time and Modeling was done.
The mean value of the antimicrobial activity of Manuka honey against E.coli and E.faecalis are 1.55 and 0.36 respectively and are relatively higher. It shows that there is a significant difference among the various root canal disinfectant groups against E. coli and E. feacalis. (p < 0.001)
CONCLUSION: Manuka honey is shown to be a potential root canal disinfectant against gram positive and gram negative bacterial pathogens.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Honey Can Be Used as Treatment for Dry Socket

Honey a sweet approach to alveolar osteitis: A study
Natl J Maxillofac Surg, 2014 Jan;5(1):31-4
Honey is one of the oldest known medicines. Its use has been rediscovered in later times by the medical profession, especially for dressing wounds. It has been reported from various clinical studies on the usages of honey as a dressing for infected wounds that the wound become sterile in 3-6 days, others have al so reported that the honey is effective in cleaning up infected wound.
The 54 patients of dry socket were selected from the from the outpatient department of oral and maxillofacial surgery. A diagnosis of dry socket was made clinically. This study was under taken to evaluate the effect of honey dressing in management of dry socket.
In this study there was significant reduction if inflammation, hyperemia, edema and exudation after honey dressing that results in soothing effect and reduction in pain and discomfort. There was al so significant reduction in CRP level post operative days .There was side effect of honey was observed in our study, so it can be used as alternative for the management of dry socket.
It has al so been reported that the honey dressing halt advancing necrosis. It has al so been found to act as barrier preventing wounds from becoming infected, preventing cross infection, and allowing burn wound to heal rapidly.
There are no side effects of honey. Excess use of euginol, can lead to necrosis of bone. The honey can be used as medicament for the management of dry socket.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Honey Helps Reduce Post-Tonsillectomy Pain

Efficacy of honey in reduction of post tonsillectomy pain, randomized clinical trial
Volume 78, Issue 11, November 2014, Pages 1886–1889
Tonsillectomy is one of the most common operations performed in pediatric population. One of the most prevalent tonsillectomy complications is early or delayed post-operative hemorrhage. Other important morbidity is post-operative pain. Historically, honey has been used for wound control, reducing the inflammation, and healing acceleration. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of honey on reducing pain after tonsillectomy in children 5–15 years old.
After tonsillectomy, 80 patients were randomly divided in two equal groups. Patients in the first group were treated with antibiotic and acetaminophen, while those in the second group were treated with antibiotic, acetaminophen and honey. Data was gathered via a questionnaire and observation of tonsillar bed healing. Data was analyzed by SPSS17 software and related tests.
Pain comparison between two groups showed that the average time required for pain relief in patients who received honey was less than the control. The pain intensity was higher during the first 9 days post-operatively in control group. Results also showed that acetaminophen consumption in patients who received honey is lower. In the case group, the average time to resume regular diet and the frequency of awakening at night is significantly less than the control group.
Honey administration after tonsillectomy has valuable effect in pain relief and it can be used as an adjunctive regimen after surgery for better pain control.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bee Products Honey, Propolis, Pollen May Help Treat Depression

Total monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibition by chestnut honey, pollen and propolis
Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry, October 2014, Vol. 29, No. 5 , Pages 690-694
Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are generally used in the treatment of depressive disorders and some neurodegenerative illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
The aim of this preliminary study was to investigate the MAO [MAO (E.C.] inhibiting effect of various apitherapeutic products, such as chestnut honey, pollen and propolis. Extracts’ MAO inhibition was measured using peroxidase-linked spectrophotometric assay in enzyme isolated from rat liver microsomes, and the values are expressed as the inhibition concentration (IC50) causing 50% inhibition of MAO. The antioxidant activity of the bee products was also determined in terms of total phenolic content (TPC) and ferric reducing/antioxidant power in aquatic extracts.
All samples exhibited substantial inhibition of MAO, propolis having the highest. Inhibition was related to samples’ TPCs and antioxidant capacities. These results show that bee products possess a sedative effect and may be effective in protecting humans against depression and similar diseases.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Propolis May Help Counter Toxic Effect of Cancer Treatment

Ameliorative effect of propolis against cyclophosphamide-induced toxicity in mice
Pharm Biol, 2014 Oct 7:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]
Context: Cyclophosphamide (CTX) is a common anticancer agent used for the treatment of several malignancies. However, upon treatment, it induces severe toxicity due to its oxidative stress capability. Propolis, a natural product collected by honey bees, has shown several biological activities, such as free radical scavenging and antioxidant agent.
Objective: This study elucidates the protective effects of propolis against CTX-induced changes in mice. Materials and methods: Forty-eight male Swiss albino mice were divided into four groups; group 1 was intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected with 200 µL of phosphate buffer saline (PBS), group 2 was injected with 100 mg/kg/d propolis, group 3 was injected with a single dose of CTX (200 mg/kg), and group 4 was injected with a single dose of CTX (200 mg/kg) followed by propolis (100 mg/kg) for 7 consecutive days. After 12 d, mice were bled and then sacrificed to analyze the hematological, biochemical, and histological parameters.
Results: The results indicated that CTX-injected mice showed an increase in the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), urea, and creatinine and a decrease in the total number of white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets. Moreover, dramatically changes in the histological architectures of the liver and kidney were observed. The mice that were injected with CTX/propolis showed an improvement in the levels of ALT, AST, urea, creatinine, WBCs, and platelets. Moreover, the histological picture of the liver and kidney was significantly improved.
Conclusions: In conclusion, propolis might be considered an effective agent in ameliorating the toxicity resulted from CTX treatment.