Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bee Products Popular as Dietary Supplements in Malaysia

Determinants of Dietary Supplements Use among Adolescents in Malaysia
Asia Pac J Public Health. 2014 Sep;26(5 Suppl):36S-43S

Dietary supplements use is relatively widespread in some countries but knowledge of supplements consumption in Malaysia is limited, more so among adolescents. This study aimed to investigate the determinants of dietary supplements use among Malaysian adolescents using multiple logistic regressions analysis. Data from the Malaysia School-based Nutrition Survey 2012 based on a 2-stage stratified sampling was used. The prevalence of vitamin/mineral supplements and food supplements intake among adolescents was 54.1% and 40.2%, respectively. Usage was significantly higher among younger adolescents and among boys. Dietary supplements were also taken mostly by those who thought they were underweight.
The most common vitamin/mineral supplements and food supplements consumed were vitamin C and bee products. The main reason for taking supplements was parents' instruction. These findings can be useful for developing health communications on supplement use targeted to adolescents and their parents.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bees Have Value in Medicine: Honey Helps Wounds Heal

Bees have value in medicine because their honey helps wounds heal. Honey is the thick liquid food bees make for themselves from flower nectar. At a time when drought, disease, parasites, pesticides, and Africanized swarms are killing off honey bees in large numbers around the world, it is important to consider the effects of bees beyond pollination.
Honey has antibacterial qualities and has been used in the practice of healing and medicine since ancient times. The Egyptians, Sumerians, Chinese, Greeks, and Romans all valued honey, and honey is mentioned in both the Bible and the Koran. While the healing powers of honey faded in comparison to the new antibiotics introduced in the 20th century, today’s antibiotic-resistant superbugs make any substance with bacteria-fighting properties worth a second look.
Honey is used effectively for wound care in hospitals and other medical settings around the world today. Derma Sciences, a Toronto-based company, manufactures a wound-care line called Medihoney, which includes honey from the blossoms of the manuka plant, Leptospermum scoparium, as an active ingredient in state-of-the-art wound dressings…

Monday, August 25, 2014

Florida Company Launches Energy Drink Made with Honey, Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly

EnerBee Organic Energy made with honey
FoodBev, 7/10/2014
Florida-based Natural Motives' EnerBee is an organic, lightly carbonated energy drink that contains honey, bee pollen and royal jelly…

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Eisai Launches Chocola BB Royal Jelly Drink in China

FooBev, 7/22/2014
Japan-based Eisai has launched Chocola BB Royal Drink in China.
The brand's latest beverage is designed to 'support beauty and wellness' and contains vitamin B6, royal jelly, taurine, collagen and goji berry…

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Antioxidant, Flavonoid Compounds of Sonication Propolis Extract Significantly Greater Than When Using Maceration

Antioxidant and anti-cancer cell proliferation activity of propolis extracts from two extraction methods
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(11):6991-5
Antioxidant activity, total phenolic, total flavonoid compounds and cytotoxicity to cancer cell lines of propolis extracts from two extraction methods were investigated in this study. Propolis was collected from Phayao province and extracted with 70% ethanol using maceration and sonication techniques. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH assay. Total phenolic and flavonoid compounds were also determined. Moreover, the cytotoxicity of propolis was evaluated using MTT assay.
The percentage propolis yield after extraction using maceration (18.1%) was higher than using sonication (15.7%). Nevertheless, antioxidant and flavonoid compounds of the sonication propolis extract were significant greater than using maceration. Propolis extract from sonication showed antioxidant activity by 3.30 ± 0.15 mg gallic acid equivalents/g extract. Total phenolic compound was 18.3 ± 3.30 mg gallic acid equivalents/g extract and flavonoid compound was 20.49 ± 0.62 mg quercetin/g extract. Additionally, propolis extracts from two extraction methods demonstrated the inhibitory effect on proliferation of A549 and HeLa cancer cell lines at 24, 48 and 72 hours in a dose-dependent manner. These results are of interest for the selection of the most appropriate method for preparation of propolis extracts as potential antioxidant and anticancer agents.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Nanoparticles and Bee Venom May Help Fight Cancer

Fighting Cancer with Scorpion and Honeybee Venom
Newsweek, 8/20/2014
…Pan’s group created spherical nanoparticles that contain TsAP-1, a toxic protein from the venom of the Brazilian yellow scorpion, which has a potentially fatal sting. His team also created a similar product with melittin, the main toxin in bee venom, that killed breast cancer cells but didn’t hurt body cells.
The particles work by binding to receptors that are only present in cancerous cells, and then exposing the tumor to the toxin…

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Proteomics analysis reveals protein expression differences for hypopharyngeal gland activity in the honeybee, Apis mellifera carnica Pollmann

BMC Genomics, 2014 Aug 8;15(1):665
BACKGROUND:
Most of the proteins contained in royal jelly (RJ) are secreted from the hypopharyngeal glands (HG) of young bees. Although generic protein composition of RJ has been investigated, little is known about how age-dependent changes on HG secretion affect RJ composition and their biological consequences. In this study, we identified differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) during HG development by using the isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) labeling technique. This proteomic method increases the potential for new protein discovery by improving the identification of low quantity proteins.
RESULTS:
A total of 1282 proteins were identified from five age groups of worker bees, 284 of which were differentially expressed. 43 (15.1%) of the DEPs were identified for the first time. Comparison of samples at day 6, 9, 12, and 16 of development relative to day 3 led to the unambiguous identification of 112, 117, 127, and 127 DEPs, respectively. The majority of these DEPs were up-regulated in the older worker groups, indicating a substantial change in the pattern of proteins expressed after 3 days. DEPs were identified among all the age groups, suggesting that changes in protein expression during HG ontogeny are concomitant with different states of worker development. A total of 649 proteins were mapped to canonical signaling pathways found in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), which were preferentially associated with metabolism and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. More than 10 key high-abundance proteins were involved in signaling pathways related to ribosome function and protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum. The results were validated by qPCR.
CONCLUSION:
Our approach demonstrates that HG experienced important changes in protein expression during its ontogenic development, which supports the secretion of proteins involved in diverse functions in adult worker beyond its traditional role in royal jelly production.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Brazilian Green Propolis Improves Immune Function in Aged Mice

J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2014 Jul;55(1):7-10
Aging weakened innate and adaptive immunity both quantitatively and qualitatively. Some components in propolis could stimulate immune function in young animals or cultured immune cells in vitro. Few studies had been carried out in the aged. The present study was to evaluate the effects of Brazilian green propolis supplementation on the immunological parameters in aged mice.
Eighty Kunming mice, aged 15-18 months, were randomly assigned to the control and three experimental groups supplemented with different doses (83.3, 157.4 and 352.9 mg/kg.bw respectively) of Brazilian green propolis. The experiment lasted for 4 weeks. Contents of total polyphenol, flavonoid, cinnamic acid and artepillin-C in Brazilian green propolis were analyzed. Splenic NK cytotoxic, T lymphocyte proliferation and antibody generation cells, as well as the phagocytosis of peritoneal macrophages, ear swelling, and serum contents of IgG, IgM, hemolysin and cytokines were measured.
After 4 weeks of treatment, the phagocytosis of peritoneal macrophages was enhanced in 157.4 mg/kg and 352.9 mg/kg groups. Ear swelling increased in all propolis treatmented groups. Antibodies specific to sheep erythrocytes were higher in the groups receiving 157.4 and 352.9 mg/kg.bw than that of control group. IgG level dramatically increased in the groups receiving 83.3 and 157.4 mg/kg.bw in comparison to the control group.
These results indicate that administration of Brazilian green propolis have a positive effect on innate and adaptive immunity in aged mice.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Component of Wild Bee Venom Exhibits Antimicrobial Activity

Interaction of a novel antimicrobial peptide isolated from the venom of solitary bee Colletes daviesanus with phospholipid vesicles and Escherichia coli cells
J Pept Sci. 2014 Aug 14
The peptide named codesane (COD), consisting of 18 amino acid residues and isolated from the venom of wild bee Colletes daviesanus (Hymenoptera : Colletidae), falls into the category of cationic α-helical amphipathic antimicrobial peptides. In our investigations, synthetic COD exhibited antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and Candida albicans but also noticeable hemolytic activity. COD and its analogs (collectively referred to as CODs) were studied for the mechanism of their action.
The interaction of CODs with liposomes led to significant leakage of calcein entrapped in bacterial membrane-mimicking large unilamellar vesicles made preferentially from anionic phospholipids while no calcein leakage was observed from zwitterionic liposomes mimicking membranes of erythrocytes. The preference of CODs for anionic phospholipids was also established by the blue shift in the tryptophan emission spectra maxima when the interactions of tryptophan-containing COD analogs with liposomes were examined.
Those results were in agreement with the antimicrobial and hemolytic activities of CODs. Moreover, we found that the studied peptides permeated both the outer and inner cytoplasmic membranes of Escherichia coli. This was determined by measuring changes in the fluorescence of probe N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine and detecting cytoplasmic β-galactosidase released during the interaction of peptides with E. coli cells. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that treatment of E. coli with one of the COD analogs caused leakage of bacterial content mainly from the septal areas of the cells

Monday, August 18, 2014

Propolis Market Research Report 2014

DUBLIN — Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Propolis (CAS 9009-62-5) Market Research Report2014" report to their offering. 
Propolis (CAS 9009-62-5) Market Research Report 2014 presents comprehensive data on propolis markets globally and regionally (Europe, Asia, North America etc.)
The report includes propolis description, covers its application areas and related patterns. It overviews propolis market, names propolis producers and indicates its suppliers…

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bee Peptide is Antifungal, Insecticidal

Dual function of a bee (apis cerana) inhibitor cysteine knot peptide that acts as an antifungal peptide and insecticidal venom toxin
Dev Comp Immunol. 2014 Aug 5. pii: S0145-305X(14)00206-7
Inhibitor cysteine knot (ICK) peptides exhibit ion channel blocking, insecticidal, and antimicrobial activities, but currently, no functional roles for bee-derived ICK peptides have been identified. In this study, a bee (Apis cerana) ICK peptide (AcICK) that acts as an antifungal peptide and as an insecticidal venom toxin was identified. AcICK contains an ICK fold that is expressed in the epidermis, fat body, or venom gland and is present as a 6.6-kDa peptide in bee venom. Recombinant AcICK peptide (expressed in baculovirus-infected insect cells) bound directly to Beauveria bassiana and Fusarium graminearum, but not to Escherichia coli or Bacillus thuringiensis. Consistent with these findings, AcICK showed antifungal activity, indicating that AcICK acts as an antifungal peptide. Furthermore, AcICK expression is induced in the fat body and epidermis after injection with B. bassiana. These results provide insight into the role of AcICK during the innate immune response following fungal infection. Additionally, we show that AcICK has insecticidal activity. Our results demonstrate a functional role for AcICK in bees: AcICK acts as an antifungal peptide in innate immune reactions in the body and as an insecticidal toxin in venom. The finding that the AcICK peptide functions with different mechanisms of action in the body and in venom highlights the two-pronged strategy that is possible with the bee ICK peptide.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Buzz Over Bee Venom in Cancer Research

CBS, 8/13/2014
Bee, snake or scorpion venom may sound more like a health nightmare than a cure, but they could in fact be used in cancer-fighting drugs, a new study suggests.
Injecting someone with pure venom could have disastrous health consequences, but researchers say they have found a way to avoid such issues. They separated the "useful" venom proteins and peptides, making them specifically target malignant cells while evading healthy ones, therefore eliminating harmful effects that the toxins would normally have on a person's health.
"We have safely used venom toxins in tiny nanometer-sized particles to treat breast cancer and melanoma cells in the laboratory," study author Dipanjan Pan of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said in a statement. "These particles, which are camouflaged from the immune system, take the toxin directly to the cancer cells, sparing normal tissue."…

Friday, August 15, 2014

New Zealand has Multi-Billion Dollar Potential from Pharmaceutical Honey Applications

Paving Way for Medical Honey Export
New Zealand has the potential to harvest multi-billion dollar returns from pharmaceutical honey applications, says Dr Shaun Holt, founder of Bay of Plenty-based Honey Lab.
The company focused almost exclusively on pharmaceutical applications for medical honey and bee venom, and devoted about 80 per cent of available funding to research, he said.
"Our aim is to develop intellectual property in terms of product research that we can license to major global pharmaceutical companies," said Dr Holt, who was also an adjunct professor at Victoria University of Wellington.
The company's products were produced from kanuka honey, rather than the manuka honey that is more commonly associated with medical benefits. However, Dr Holt said honey from both manuka and kanuka - which were largely endemic to New Zealand - contained significant anti-microbial qualities…

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thyme Honey Nasal Spray Helps Heal Chronic Rhinosinusitis

The effect of thyme honey nasal spray on chronic rhinosinusitis: a double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial
Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Aug 9. [Epub ahead of print]
Chronic rhinosinusitis is a common disease which causes persisting inflammatory conditions of one or more sinuses. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of thyme honey nasal spray as an adjunctive medication on chronic rhinosinusitis after functional endoscopic sinus surgery. This was a randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind clinical study. 64 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis undergoing functional endoscopic sinus surgery were enrolled in this study. Patients were randomized and blinded to receive either placebo or thyme honey nasal spray in addition to the standard regimen postoperatively.

Patients were visited on postoperative days 7, 30 and 60. The sino-nasal outcome test, endoscopic grading system and sinus CT-scan were scored before operation and on the day 60 after surgery. 54 patients completed the study. Significant improvement was observed in both treatment groups. There were no significant changes in SNOT-22, endoscopy and CT-scan scores between the two study groups. However, a greater reduction in endoscopic scores was shown in thyme honey group. The incidence of adverse effects was not significantly different between the groups, but synechiae formation and epistaxis were lower in treatment group. Thyme honey nasal spray seems to be a low-priced potential adjuvant remedy with excellent safety profile, to reduce inflammation and polyp formation and also fostering mucosal healing for patients suffering from chronic rhinosinusitis. However, further studies are recommended.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Oral Mucositis Can Be Treated by a Combination of Honey and Coffee

"Coffee plus Honey" versus "topical steroid" in the treatment of Chemotherapy-induced Oral mucositis
BMCComplement Altern Med, 2014 Aug 8;14(1):293
BACKGROUND:
Oral mucositis is one of the common complications of cancer chemotherapy and about 40% of the patients who take chemotherapy protocols, experience this irritating problem. The purpose of this study was to draw comparison between the therapeutic effects of our treatment modalities (topical steroid, honey, honey plus coffee) in patients suffering from oral mucositis.
METHODS:
This was a double blinded randomised clinical trial of a total of 75 eligible adult participants which they randomly fell into three treatment groups. For all the participants a syrup-like solution was prepared. Each 600 grams of the product consisted of "20 eight-mg Betamethasone solution ampoules" in the Steroid (S) group, "300 grams of honey plus 20 grams of instant coffee" in the Honey plus Coffee (HC) group, and "300 grams of honey" for the Honey (H) group. The participants were told to sip 10 ml of the prescribed product, and then swallow it every three hours for one week. Severity of lesions was clinically evaluated before the treatment and also one week after the initiation of the intervention. This study adhered to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and guidelines of Good Clinical Practice.
RESULTS:
This study showed that all three treatment regimens reduce the severity of lesions. The best reduction in severity was achieved in HC group. H group and S group took the second and third places. In other words, honey plus coffee regimen was the most effective modality for the treatment of oral mucositis.
CONCLUSION:
Oral mucositis can be successfully treated by a combination of honey and coffee as an alternative medicine in a short time. Further investigations are warranted in this field.Trial registration: Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials IRCT: 201104074737N3, (9 May 2011).