Sunday, April 19, 2015

Guillain-Barré Syndrome Following Bee Venom Acupuncture

Intern Med. 2015;54(8):975-8

Bee venom acupuncture has been widely used in Oriental medicine with limited evidence of effectiveness. Most of the complications due to bee venom acupuncture are local or systemic allergic reactions. However, serious medical and neurological complications have also been reported. We herein describe the treatment of a 68-year-old woman who developed progressive quadriplegia 10 days after receiving multiple honeybee venom sting acupuncture treatments. The electrophysiological findings were consistent with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). The temporal relationship between the development of GBS and honeybee venom sting acupuncture is suggestive of a cause-and-effect relationship, although the precise pathophysiology and causative components in honeybee venom need to be verified.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The True Relationship Between the Level of Non-Peroxide Activity and Methylglyoxal in Manuka Honey

New Zealand Beekeeper, April 2015

Peter Molan, formerly Professor in Biological Sciences and Director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato (now retired)

There has been up until now a major misunderstanding of the relationship between different levels of antibacterial activity in manuka honey. It has always been assumed that, for example, a honey with a non-peroxide antibacterial activity (NPA) of 20 is twice as potent as one with a rating of NPA 10, but that is in fact not correct. The fallacy is due to it not being taken into account that the NPA rating starts at 8, not zero, a rating of 8 being the minimum level of activity that can be detected in the assay. This is the same situation as temperature measured on the Fahrenheit scale. A temperature of 100°F (38°C) is not twice as warm as 50°F (10°C), because the Fahrenheit scale starts at 32°F, not zero (see Figure 1), whereas a temperature of 100°C is exactly twice as warm as 50°C because the Centigrade scale starts at zero...

It is my opinion, formed from consideration of all the points made here, that it would be best by far for the rating of activity in manuka honey to be done by the whole industry as originally stated by MPI in their guidelines, which was that only the content of methylglyoxal be shown. This would then simply require education of consumers to have them realise that the antibacterial potency is directly proportional to the level of methylglyoxal. Although in New Zealand and Australia there may be restrictions on marketers making reference to antibacterial activity, it could be done by non-commercial educators like myself. In other countries the ANZFS Code does not apply, so there would be no restriction on such educating. Rating the content of methylglyoxal would overcome the problem of marketers using misleading rating numbers that are not actually for NPA. (The MPI guidelines will now allow numbers to mean anything the marketer defines them as meaning, which could be nothing to do with NPA.) It would also curb the freedom of marketers to mislead consumers by giving rating numbers that are actually higher than the true equivalent to NPA ratings. Additionally it would allow consumers to see the actual value of honey on sale rated “MGO 80” when they see it up against manuka honey  on sale with methylglyoxal ratings of 800 to 1,200. Furthermore, rating the methylglyoxal content of manuka honey will let consumers see that honey rated as NPA 5 (83 mg/kg methylglyoxal) has only one tenth of the activity of honey rated NPA 20 (830 mg/kg methylglyoxal).

Friday, April 17, 2015

Royal Jelly Has Potent Anti-Inflammatory Effects Compared to Aspirin

Effect of royal jelly on formalin induced-inflammation in rat hind paw

Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod. 2015 Feb 20;10(1)


Royal Jelly (RJ), a food item secreted by worker honeybees, is a mixture that contains protein, glucose, lipid, vitamins, and minerals; it is widely used as a commercial medical product. Previous studies have shown that RJ has a number of physiological effects, such as anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antiallergic and antioxidant activities.


In the present study, the anti-inflammatory properties of RJ were investigated in formalin-induced rat paw edema.


In this study, 30 male Wistar albino rats were divided into five equal groups (n = 6) as follows: test groups received different doses (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, ip) of RJ and a negative control group received normal saline (5 mL/kg) and a positive control group received aspirin (300 mg/kg, i.p). Edema was induced on the right hind paw of the rat by a subplantar injection of 100 µL of formalin (2.5%) after 30 minutes. Paw edema was measured in the rats received the drugs, saline and aspirin before and after the formalin injection during 5 hours, using a plethysmometer.


The results showed that RJ has a dose-dependent anti-inflammatory effect and the highest anti-inflammatory effect was observed in the doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg.


Royal jelly has potent anti-inflammatory effects compared to aspirin and it could be used in the treatment of inflammation. However, further studies are required to determine the active components in RJ responsible for this effect and its mechanism of action.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Amino Acid Concentrations Higher in Beebread Than in Pollen

Methods for comparing nutrients in beebread made by africanized and European honey bees and the effects on hemolymph protein titers

J Vis Exp. 2015 Mar 17;(97)

Honey bees obtain nutrients from pollen they collect and store in the hive as beebread. We developed methods to control the pollen source that bees collect and convert to beebread by placing colonies in a specially constructed enclosed flight area. Methods were developed to analyze the protein and amino acid composition of the pollen and beebread. We also describe how consumption of the beebread was measured and methods used to determine adult worker bee hemolymph protein titers after feeding on beebread for 4, 7 and 11 days after emergence. Methods were applied to determine if genotype affects the conversion of pollen to beebread and the rate that bees consume and acquire protein from it. Two subspecies (European and Africanized honey bees; EHB and AHB respectively) were provided with the same pollen source. Based on the developed methods, beebread made by both subspecies had lower protein concentrations and pH values than the pollen.

In general, amino acid concentrations in beebread made by either EHB or AHB were similar and occurred at higher levels in beebread than in pollen. Both AHB and EHB consumed significantly more of the beebread made by AHB than by EHB. Though EHB and AHB consumed similar amounts of each type of beebread, hemolymph protein concentrations in AHB were higher than in EHB. Differences in protein acquisition between AHB and EHB might reflect environmental adaptations related to the geographic region where each subspecies evolved. These differences could contribute to the successful establishment of AHB populations in the New World because of the effects on brood rearing and colony growth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Aloe Vera and Honey May Help Treat Tumors

Oral Administration of Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. (Xanthorrhoeaceae) and Honey Improves the Host Body Composition and Modulates Proteolysis Through Reduction of Tumor Progression and Oxidative Stress in Rats

J Med Food. 2015 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Oxidative stress has a dual role in cancer; it is linked with tumorigenic events and host wasting, as well as senescence and apoptosis. Researchers have demonstrated the importance of coadjuvant therapies in cancer treatment, and Aloe vera and honey have immunomodulatory, anticancer, and antioxidant properties. The preventive and therapeutic effects of Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. (Xanthorrhoeaceae) and honey in tumor progression and host wasting were analyzed in Walker 256 carcinoma-bearing rats. The animals were distributed into the following groups: C=control-untreated, W=tumor-untreated, WA=treated after tumor induction, A=control-treated, AW=treated before tumor induction, and AWA=treated before and after tumor induction. Proteolysis and oxidative stress were analyzed in the tumor, liver, muscle, and myocardial tissues.

The results suggest that the Aloe vera and honey treatment affect the tumor and host by different mechanisms; the treatment-modulated host wasting and cachexia, whereas it promoted oxidative stress and damage in tumor tissues, particularly in a therapeutic context (WA).

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course and Conference May 15-17, 2015 in New York

Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course And Conference (CMACC)

May 15-17, 2015

Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel

135-20 39th Avenue.

Flushing, NY 11354


Monday, April 13, 2015

Honey and Royal Jelly May Be Alternatives to Acyclovir in Treatment of Herpes Simplex Virus

Antiviral Activities of Honey, Royal Jelly, and Acyclovir Against HSV-1

Wounds. 2014 Feb;26(2):47-54


Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) belongs to the Herpesviridae family and genus simplex virus. This virus is usually acquired during childhood and is transmitted through direct mucocutaneous contact or droplet infection from infected secretions. The aim of the present study was to compare antiviral effects of honey, royal jelly, and acyclovir on herpes simplex virus-1 in an extra-somatic environment.


Vero cells were cultured in the Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium (DMEM) along with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) in 12-welled microplates. Various dilutions of honey, royal jelly, and acyclovir (5, 10, 50, 100, 2500, 500, and 800 μg/mL) were added to the Vero cells along with a 100-virus concentration of TCID50. The plaque assay technique was used to evaluate the antiviral activities.


The results showed that honey, royal jelly, and acyclovir have the highest inhibitory effects on HSV-1 at concentrations of 500, 250, and 100 μg/mL, respectively. In addition, honey, royal jelly, and acyclovir decreased the viral load from 70 795 to 43.3, 30, and 0 PFU/mL at a concentration of 100 μg/mL, respectively.


The results of the present study showed that honey and royal jelly, which are natural products with no reports about their deleterious effect at least in laboratory conditions, can be considered alternatives to acyclovir in the treatment of herpetic lesions. However, it should be pointed out that further studies are necessary to substantiate their efficacy because hard evidence on their effectiveness is not available at present.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Honey Effective in Management of Chronic Foot Ulcers

The Efficacy and Safety of Natural Honey on the Healing of Foot Ulcers: A Case Series

Wounds. 2015 Apr;27(4):103-114

This clinical observation investigated the efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and acceptability of natural honey on the healing of a variety of chronic foot ulcers at the primary care level.


 A total of 12 patients with foot ulcers utilizing natural honey as an effective alternative to more expensive, advanced wound products were followed. Cases were referred to Umgwailinah Primary Health Care Center, Doha, Qatar from different health centers and from Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar. There were also self-referred cases. After rinsing the site with normal saline, natural honey was applied and the wound was covered by glycerin-impregnated gauze (Adaptic Non-Adhering Dressing, Systagenix, San Antonio, TX) to prevent the absorption of honey into the cotton gauze and away from the wound site. Patients were followed on a daily basis for an average of 4 weeks.


 All ulcers healed with no contractures or scars with a mean healing time of 3 weeks. There was a 75% reduction in the dressing budget of the health center and a high level of satisfaction among both health professionals and patients. Patients' pain levels were reduced significantly after using natural honey, as evidenced by the use of the Visual Analog Scale.


 The use of natural honey in the management of chronic foot ulcers proved to be efficacious, cost-effective, and acceptable by both clinicians and patients.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Use of Leptospermum Honey Prevents Need for Surgical Debridement of Wounds

Using active leptospermum honey in the debridement process: 6 challenging cases from the inner city

Ostomy Wound Manage. 2015 Apr;61(4):63-6

The use of honey-based dressings has been documented for thousands of years. Recent studies suggest their effectiveness may be, in part, related to their ability to facilitate autolytic debridement.

Six patients who presented with multiple comorbidities and risk factors for delayed healing whose wounds required debridement were managed with active Leptospermum honey (ALH) to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this treatment modality. The 6 patients ranged in age from 39 to 81 years.

The ALH was covered with a foam dressing; both dressings were changed approximately every 3 days. After 9 to 20 days of use, wounds were completely, or almost completely, debrided, and a 75% concomitant average increase in the amount of granulation tissue in the wound bed was observed. No adverse events were noted.

The use of ALH in this case series was effective, and no surgical debridement was needed. Research to compare the efficacy of ALH to other debridement methods is warranted.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Honey/Polyvinyl Alcohol/Chitosan Nanofibers Hold Potential as Effective Wound Dressing

High concentration honey chitosan electrospun nanofibers: Biocompatibility and antibacterial effects

Carbohydr Polym. 2015 May 20;122:135-43

Honey nanofibers represent an attractive formulation with unique medicinal and wound healing advantages...

In this work, chitosan and honey (H) were cospun with polyvinyl alcohol (P) allowing the fabrication of nanofibers with high honey concentrations up to 40% and high chitosan concentrations up to 5.5% of the total weight of the fibers using biocompatible solvents (1% acetic acid). The fabricated nanofibers were further chemically crosslinked, by exposure to glutaraldehyde vapor, and physically crosslinked by heating and freezing/thawing. The new HP-chitosan nanofibers showed pronounced antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus but weak antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli. The developed HP-chitosan nanofibers revealed no cytotoxicity effects on cultured fibroblasts.

In conclusion, biocompatible, antimicrobial crosslinked honey/polyvinyl alcohol/chitosan nanofibers were developed which hold potential as effective wound dressing.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Dark Honeys Such as Oak, Chestnut and Heather, Have High Therapeutic Potential

An investigation of Turkish honeys: Their physico-chemical properties, antioxidant capacities and phenolic profiles

Food Chem. 2015 Aug 1;180:133-41

This study investigated some physico-chemical and biochemical characteristics of different honey types belonging to Turkish flora. Sixty-two honey samples were examined on the basis of pollen analyses, including 11 unifloral honeys (chestnut, heather, chaste tree, rhododendron, common eryngo, lavender, Jerusalem tea, astragalus, clover and acacia), two different honeydew honeys (lime and oak), and 7 different multifloral honeys. Electrical conductivity, moisture, Hunter color values, HMF, proline, diastase number, and sugar analyses of the honey samples were assessed for chemical characterization. Some phenolic components were analyzed by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) to determine honeys' phenolic profiles. Total phenolic compounds, total flavonoids, ferric reducing antioxidant capacity (FRAP) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging activity were measured as antioxidant determinants. The study results confirm that physico-chemical and biological characteristics of honeys are closely related to their floral sources, and that dark-colored honeys such as oak, chestnut and heather, have a high therapeutic potential.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Honey dilution impact on in vitro wound healing: Normoxic and hypoxic condition

Wound Repair and Regeneration

Accepted Article (Accepted, unedited articles published online and citable. The final edited and typeset version of record will appear in future.)

Honey is known as a popular healing agent against tropical infections and wounds. However, the effects of honey dilutions on keratinocyte (HaCaT) wound healing under hypoxic condition is still not explored.

In this study, we examined whether honey dilution have wound healing potential under hypoxic stress. The anti-oxidant potential and healing efficacy of honey dilution on in vitro wound of human epidermal keratinocyte (HaCaT cells) under hypoxia (3% O2) and normoxia is explored by NBT assay. The cell survival % quantified by MTT assay to select 4 honey dilutions like 10, 1, 0.1 and 0.01 v/v % and the changes in cellular function was observed microscopically. Further, the cell proliferation, migration, cell-cell adhesion and relevant gene expression were studied by flow-cytometry, migration/scratch assay, immuno- cytochemistry and RT-PCR respectively. The expression pattern of cardinal molecular features viz. E-cadherin, cytoskeletal protein F-actin, p63 and hypoxia marker Hif 1 α were examined.

Honey dilution in 0.1% v/v combat wound healing limitations in vitro under normoxia and hypoxia (3%). Its wound healing potential was quantified by immuno-cytochemistry and real-time PCR for the associated molecular features that were responsible for cell proliferation and migration. Our data showed that honey dilution can be effective in hypoxic wound healing. Additionally, it reduced superoxide generation and supplied favorable bio-ambience for cell proliferation, migration and differentiation during hypoxic wound healing. These findings may reveal the importance of honey as an alternative and cost effective therapeutic natural product for wound healing in hypoxic condition. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Efficacy of parenteral administration of bee venom in experimental arthritis in the rat: A comparison with methotrexate

Toxicon. 2015 May;98:75-88

The use of bee venom (BV) to treat inflammation and pain in arthritis has become increasingly common. This study aimed to compare the effects of BV and methotrexate (MTX), the most used disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug, in arthritic rats. Edema, erythema, cyanosis, hyperalgesia, reduction of the body mass gain, high circulating tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and anti-type II collagen antibodies (AACII), and altered activity of basic (APB) and neutral (APN) aminopeptidases and dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV) are present in arthritic rats. MTX and/or BV do not affect AACII in healthy or arthritic individuals, but restores TNF-α to normal levels in arthritic rats. BV restores body mass gain to normal levels and MTX ameliorates body mass gain. BV contains DPPIV. BV restores APN in synovial fluid (SF) and in soluble fraction (S) from synovial tissue (ST), and DPPIV in solubilized membrane-bound fraction (M) from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). MTX restores APN of SF, as well as ameliorates APB of S-PBMCs, APN of S-ST and DPPIV of M-PBMCs. The combination therapy does not overcome the effects of BV or MTX alone on the peptidase activities. Edema is ameliorated by MTX or BV alone. MTX, but not BV, is effective in reducing hyperalgesia. Data show that anti-arthritic effects of BV at non-acupoints are not negligible when compared with MTX.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Three Valuable Peptides from Bee and Wasp Venoms for Therapeutic and Biotechnological Use: Melittin, Apamin and Mastoparan

Toxins (Basel). 2015 Apr 1;7(4):1126-1150

While knowledge of the composition and mode of action of bee and wasp venoms dates back 50 years, the therapeutic value of these toxins remains relatively unexploded.

The properties of these venoms are now being studied with the aim to design and develop new therapeutic drugs. Far from evaluating the extensive number of monographs, journals and books related to bee and wasp venoms and the therapeutic effect of these toxins in numerous diseases, the following review focuses on the three most characterized peptides, namely melittin, apamin, and mastoparan.

Here, we update information related to these compounds from the perspective of applied science and discuss their potential therapeutic and biotechnological applications in biomedicine.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

East African Company Produces Beeswax, Honey, Propolis, Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly

Nzuki’s real deal in bees is sweeter than honey 

Standard Digital, 4/4/2015

Bees are not just about honey as one determined “farmer-prenuer” has set out to demonstrate in an ambitious bee keeping project adopting modern technologies.

In the neighbourhood of former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s expansive Yatta farm, a quiet revolution is taking place in a humble adjacent farm.

Chris Nzuki, formerly a senior agronomist with several leading organisations in Africa, is the man behind the revolution, being championed by one of the most important insects in human life — bees.

Just one kilo of royal jelly, the secretion used in nutrition of the queen bee and the larvae, goes for Sh42,000 in the market. A kilo of propolis, a resinous mixture collected from trees buds and sap flow costs Sh750, a kilo of pollen costs Sh650 and a kilo of wax Sh500. A kilo of honey goes for Sh300 and is therefore the cheapest of products derived from bee keeping.

Nzuki has decided to set his sights on all line products of bee keeping especially the least popular ones like the royal jelly and pollen.