Thursday, July 02, 2015

Lactic Acid Bacterial Isolates from Bee Pollen Increase Immune Responsiveness

Lactobacillus kunkeei YB38 from honeybee products enhances IgA production in healthy adults

J Appl Microbiol. 2015 Jun 29. doi: 10.1111/jam.12889. [Epub ahead of print]

AIMS:

To identify lactic acid bacterial isolates that promote IgA production in honeybee products and honeybees (Apis mellifera).

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Pyrosequencing analysis of the microbiota of honeybee products and honeybees revealed the predominance of Lactobacillus kunkeei in honey, bee pollen, bee bread, and royal jelly. L. kunkeei was isolated from bee pollen, bee bread, and honey stomach, and its effect on IgA production was evaluated in vitro. Heat-killed YB38 and YB83 isolates from bee pollen promoted IgA production in mouse Peyer's Patch cells and had little mitogenic activity or effect on IL-2 production in mouse spleen cells in comparison with Listeria monocytogenes, which does exhibit mitogen activity. A pilot study in 11 healthy adults showed that 4-week intake of 1,000 mg/day heat-killed YB38 increased SIgA concentrations and secretion in saliva with no adverse effects.

CONCLUSION:

Heat-killed L. kunkeei YB38 from bee pollen increases IgA production and may safely improve immune responsiveness.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

This is the first report of microbiota analysis of royal jelly and the immune efficacy of L. kunkeei from honeybee products in humans.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Canadian Company Launches Beeswax Food Wrap


Abeego natural beeswax food wrap

FoodBev Media, 5/12/2015

Canadian company Abeego has launched an all-natural beeswax food wrap that claims to keep food fresh longer.

The reusable Abeego products are an environmentally-friendly replacement for disposable plastic wraps and bags. Their design extends the life of fresh food, preserves natural flavours and creates less food waste.

Abeego, invented in the home of Toni Desrosiers and Colin Johnston of Victoria, British Columbia, was born from the question ‘how did we store food before plastic wrap?’

Toni used her background in holistic nutrition to research the history of food preservation and look for a solution in nature. She found it in Beeswax, a material that’s been used around the world for hundreds of years...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kanuka Honey is an Effective Treatment for Rosacea


Randomised controlled trial of topical kanuka honey for the treatment of rosacea

BMJ Open. 2015 Jun 24;5(6):e007651

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the efficacy of topical 90% medical-grade kanuka honey and 10% glycerine (Honevo) as a treatment for rosacea.

DESIGN:

Randomised controlled trial with blinded assessment of primary outcome variable.

SETTING:

Outpatient primary healthcare population from 5 New Zealand sites.

PARTICIPANTS:

138 adults aged ≥16, with a diagnosis of rosacea, and a baseline blinded Investigator Global Assessment of Rosacea Severity Score (IGA-RSS) of ≥2. 69 participants were randomised to each treatment arm. 1 participant was excluded from the Honevo group, and 7 and 15 participants withdrew from the Honevo and control groups, respectively.

INTERVENTIONS:

Participants were randomly allocated 1:1 to Honevo or control cream (Cetomacrogol), applied twice daily for 8 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The primary outcome measure was the proportion of participants who had a ≥2 improvement in the 7-point IGA-RSS at week 8 compared to baseline. Secondary outcomes included change in IGA-RSS and subject-rated visual analogue score of change in severity (VAS-CS) on a 100 mm scale (0 mm 'much worse', 100 mm 'much improved') at weeks 2 and 8.

RESULTS:

24/68 (34.3%) in the Honevo group and 12/69 (17.4%) in the control group had a ≥2 improvement in IGA-RSS at week 8 compared to baseline (relative risk 2.03; 95% CI 1.11 to 3.72, p = 0.020). The change in IGA-RSS for Honevo compared to control at week 2 minus baseline was -1 (Hodges-Lehman estimate, 95% CI -1 to 0, p=0.03), and at week 8 minus baseline was -1 (Hodges-Lehman estimate, 95% CI -1 to 0, p = 0.005). The VAS-CS at week 2 was 9.1 (95% CI 3.5 to 14.7), p = 0.002, and at week 8 was 12.3 (95% CI 5.7 to 18.9)¸ p < 0.001 for Honevo compared to control.

CONCLUSIONS:

Honevo is an effective treatment for rosacea.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Royal Jelly Has Potential to Manage Chronic Human Diseases Like Hyperglycemia (Type 2 Diabetes), Hypertension, and Breast and Skin Cancers

Probiotics in Milk as Functional Food: Characterization and Nutraceutical Properties of Extracted Phenolics and Peptides from Fermented Skimmed Milk Inoculated with Royal Jelly

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

This study evaluated the biological properties of milk fermented with Lactobacillus acidophilus with and without several amounts of royal jelly including: total viable count, pH, titratable acidity, antioxidant activity and inhibitory activities of angiotensin 1-converting enzyme (ACE), α-amylase, and growth of colorectal (SW480) and skin (MV3) cancer cell lines. The bound phenolic extract after acid hydrolysis had better biological properties. The antioxidant activities increased after 4 h of fermentation time in skimmed milk fortified with royal jelly. Contents of aromatic compounds decreased along fermentation time in skimmed milk with royal jelly. The in vitro inhibitory activities against skin and colorectal cancer growth of fermented skimmed milk were not dependent on fermentation time and concentration of royal jelly. Results revealed the accumulation of hydrolytic bioactive peptides with inhibitory activity of ACE at 24 h.

Practical Applications

Inoculated skimmed milk with different ratios of royal jelly has potential application to manage chronic human diseases including hyperglycemia (type 2 diabetes), hypertension, and breast and skin cancers.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Brazilian Propolis May Help Prevent Cognitive Dysfunction

Ethanol extract of Brazilian propolis ameliorates cognitive dysfunction and suppressed protein aggregations caused by hyperhomocysteinemia

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2015 Jun 19:1-6. [Epub ahead of print]

Homocysteine (Hcy) has been proposed to be a risk factor for cognitive dysfunction. We investigated the effects and the underlying mechanisms of action of propolis, which has antioxidant activity on Hcy-induced oxidative stress in vitro and in vivo.

For the in vitro assays, neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y and glioblastoma U-251MG cells were cultured with Hcy and various concentrations of propolis. Cell death and reactive oxygen species production were significantly suppressed by propolis in dose-dependent manner, compared with Hcy alone. For the in vivo assays, mice were fed a propolis-containing diet and Hcy thiolactone in water. Cognitive function was evaluated using the Morris water maze test. Propolis suppressed cognitive dysfunction caused by hyperhomocysteinemia.

Accumulation of aggregated protein in brain was accelerated in hyperhomocysteinemia, and the accumulation was suppressed by propolis. Hyperhomocysteinemia, however, did not enhance the oxidative stress in brain. In vitro amyloid formation assay showed that Hcy accelerated lysozyme aggregation and propolis inhibited the aggregation.

Oral feeding of homocysteine thiolactone caused the cognitive dysfunction in mice. Brazilian Propolis ameliorated the cognitive dysfunction and suppressed the protein aggregation in hippocampus.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activities of Egyptian Bee Pollen and Propolis Extracts

Phenolic Extract from Propolis and Bee Pollen: Composition, Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activities

Journal of Food Biochemistry

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

Bee products (e.g., propolis and bee pollen) are traditional healthy foods. In this study, antioxidant properties and in vitro antibacterial activity of honeybee pollen and propolis methanol extracts were determined. Propolis with higher phenolic content showed significant greater activity over pollen extracts. Caffeic acid, ferulic acid, rutin, and p-coumaric acid were detected as main phenolic compounds in propolis extract. 3,4-Dimethoxycinnamic acid was the major phenolic component in pollen extract. Propolis extract (5 μg/mL) exhibited 28% antiradical action against 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals. The scavenging activity of propolis and pollen extracts against 2,2′-Azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6 sulfonic acid) (ABTS) reached a maximum of 94.3 and 76.5%, respectively, at an extract concentration of 25 μg/mL. Stabilization factor of propolis extract was 13.7, while it was 6 for pollen. Results revealed that both extracts showed highly antibacterial action against gram-positive bacteria with a minimal inhibitory concentration ranging from 0.2 to 0.78 mg/mL. To best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing elevated antibacterial activity against gram-negative bacteria Salmonella enterica.

Practical Applications

Besides their potential pharmaceutical use, propolis and pollen could be efficient protective agents for use as natural antioxidant and antibacterial additives in food systems. It has been observed that the biological activities of propolis and pollen depend on their chemical composition, which, in turn, depends on geographical diversity and the genetic variety of the queens. On the basis of the present study, propolis extract showed higher antioxidant and antibacterial activities compared with the pollen extract. This may be due to its higher amounts in caffeic, ferulic and p-coumaric acids. To our knowledge, this is the first report comparing the antioxidant and antibacterial activities of Egyptian bee pollen and propolis extracts and their chemical constituents.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bee Venom May Help Prevent Memory Loss in Alzheimer's Disease

Bee venom ameliorates lipopolysaccharide-induced memory loss by preventing NF-kappaB pathway

Journal of Neuroinflammation 2015, 12:124

Accumulation of beta-amyloid and neuroinflammation trigger Alzheimer's disease. We previously found that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) caused neuroinflammation with concomitant accumulation of beta-amyloid peptides leading to memory loss.

A variety of anti-inflammatory compounds inhibiting nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) activation have showed efficacy to hinder neuroinflammation and amyloidogenesis. We also found that bee venom (BV) inhibits NF-κB.

Methods: A mouse model of LPS-induced memory loss used administration of BV (0.8 and 1.6 μg/kg/day, i.p.) to ICR mice for 7 days before injection of LPS (2.5 mg/kg/day, i.p.).

Memory loss was assessed using a Morris water maze test and passive avoidance test. For in vitro study, we treated BV (0.5, 1, and 2 μg/mL) to astrocytes and microglial BV-2 cells with LPS (1 μg/mL).

Results: We found that BV inhibited LPS-induced memory loss determined by behavioral tests as well as cell death.

BV also inhibited LPS-induced increases in the level of beta-amyloid (Aβ), β-and γ-secretases activities, NF-κB and its DNA-binding activity and expression of APP, and BACE1 and neuroinflammation proteins (COX-2, iNOS, GFAP and IBA-1) in the brain and cultured cells. In addition, pull-down assay and molecular modeling showed that BV binds to NF-κB.

Conclusions: BV attenuates LPS-induced amyloidogenesis, neuroinflammation, and therefore memory loss via inhibiting NF-κB signaling pathway.

Thus, BV could be useful for treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Propolis: A Complex Natural Product with a Plethora of Biological Activities That Can Be Explored for Drug Development

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:206439

The health industry has always used natural products as a rich, promising, and alternative source of drugs that are used in the health system. Propolis, a natural resinous product known for centuries, is a complex product obtained by honey bees from substances collected from parts of different plants, buds, and exudates in different geographic areas. Propolis has been attracting scientific attention since it has many biological and pharmacological properties, which are related to its chemical composition.

Several in vitro and in vivo studies have been performed to characterize and understand the diverse bioactivities of propolis and its isolated compounds, as well as to evaluate and validate its potential. Yet, there is a lack of information concerning clinical effectiveness. The goal of this review is to discuss the potential of propolis for the development of new drugs by presenting published data concerning the chemical composition and the biological properties of this natural compound from different geographic origins.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Safe Concentrations for Use of Red Propolis

Antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity of red propolis: an alert as to its safe use

J Appl Microbiol. 2015 Jun 18

AIMS: Red propolis is a resinous product popularly consumed in Brazil since it improves health and it is considered a nutraceutical. The objective of this study was to test the antimicrobial activity of eight samples of red propolis from Brazil and Cuba in order to assess the possibility of application of this natural product as an antimicrobial agent, along with a study of its cytotoxic activity against non-tumor cell lines to evaluate at which concentrations it could be safely used.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The chemical profile of the samples was evaluated by UHPLC-MS. All the samples presented activity against all the bacteria tested using agar diffusion and serial dilution in broth and displaying a better activity for most Gram negative bacteria with MIC in the range between 6.25 μg.mL-1 to 500 μg.mL-1 . However our studies also revealed an inherent cytotoxic effect against HaCaT human keratinocytes and BALBc 3T3.

CONCLUSIONS: In order to have a non-cytotoxic and safe use of red propolis, it is necessary to use a concentration below the IC50 cytotoxic values.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF STUDY: The traditional use of propolis does not necessarily guarantee its safety. The evaluation of the safety of bioactive natural products should always be considered together with the evaluation of the activity

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Vitex Honey May Help Prevent Liver Damage

Antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity of vitex honey against paracetamol induced liver damage in mice

Food Funct. 2015 Jun 18

Fourteen vitex honeys from China were investigated to evaluate its antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity against paracetamol-induced liver damage. All honey samples exhibited high total phenolic content (344-520 mg GAE per kg), total flavonoid content (19-31 mg Rutin per kg), and strong antioxidant activity in DPPH radical scavenging, ferric reducing antioxidant power and Ferrous ion-chelating ability.

Nine phenolic acids were detected in vitex honey samples, in which caffeic acid was the main compound. Honey from Heibei Zanhuang (S2) ranked the highest antioxidant activity was orally administered to mice (5 g kg-1, 20 g kg-1) for 70 days.

In high-dose (20 g kg-1), vitex honey pretreatment resulting in significant increase in serum oxygen radical absorbance capacity (15.07%) and decrease in Cu2+-mediate lipoprotein oxidation (80.07%), and suppression in alanine aminotransferase (75.79%) and aspartate aminotransferase (74.52%), enhancement in the superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities and reduction in malondialdehyde (36.15%) and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (19.6%) formation compared with paracetamol-intoxicated group.

The results demonstrated the hepatoprotection of vitex honey against paracetamol-induced liver damage might attribute to its antioxidant and/or perhaps pro-oxidative property.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Honey Promotes Healing Over Bare Bone

Topical Honey for Scalp Defects: An Alternative to Surgical Scalp Reconstruction

Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2015 Jun 5;3(5):e393

This case report discusses the use of medical-grade honey as solitary treatment for a large scalp defect due to surgical excision of necrotizing fasciitis. Honey promoted granulation and epithelialization over bare bone, which has been previously undocumented in the literature.

We discuss the proposed mechanisms of honey as a wound-healing agent and the evidence for its use, and we propose that honey may be considered a therapeutic option for scalp wounds-especially in patients who are poor surgical candidates.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bee Venom May Help Treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)



Bee venom suppresses testosterone-induced benign prostatic hyperplasia by regulating the inflammatory response and apoptosis

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015 Jun 17

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is a common disorder in aging men, involves inflammation that is associated with an imbalance between cell proliferation and cell death. Because current BPH drug treatments have undesirable side effects, the development of well-tolerated and effective alternative medicines to treat BPH is of interest. Bee venom (BV) has been used in traditional medicine to treat conditions, such as arthritis and rheumatism, and pain. Although inflammation has been associated with BPH and BV has strong anti-inflammatory effects, the effects of BV on BPH are not fully understood. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the efficacy of BV against testosterone-induced BPH in rats.

BV decreased prostate weight compared to the untreated group. In addition, BV suppressed serum dihydrotestosterone concentration levels and the levels of proliferating cell nuclear antigen in the histological analysis. Furthermore, BV significantly decreased the levels of the apoptotic suppressors, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, and increased the levels of the proapoptotic factors, Bax and caspase-3 activation. These results suggested that BV suppressed the development of BPH and has good potential as a treatment for BPH.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Royal Jelly May Be Alternative Treatment for Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

The Lyophilization Process Maintains the Chemical and Biological Characteristics of Royal Jelly

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:825068

The alternative use of natural products, like royal jelly (RJ), may be an important tool for the treatment of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. RJ presents a large number of bioactive substances, including antimicrobial compounds.

In this study, we carried out the chemical characterization of fresh and lyophilized RJ and investigated their antibacterial effects with the purpose of evaluating if the lyophilization process maintains the chemical and antibacterial properties of RJ. Furthermore, we evaluated the antibacterial efficacy of the main fatty acid found in RJ, the 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10H2DA).

Chromatographic profile of the RJ samples showed similar fingerprints and the presence of 10H2DA in both samples. Furthermore, fresh and lyophilized RJ were effective against all bacteria evaluated; that is, the lyophilization process maintains the antibacterial activity of RJ and the chemical field of 10H2DA. The fatty acid 10H2DA exhibited a good antibacterial activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Therefore, it may be used as an alternative and complementary treatment for infections caused by antibiotic-resistant S. pneumoniae.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Oak, Chestnut and Heather Honeys Show Highest Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Honey shows potent inhibitory activity against the bovine testes hyaluronidase

J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2015 Jun 15:1-4

The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-hyaluronidase activities of honeys from different botanical origins honeys in order to determine their anti-inflammatory properties.

The total phenolic contents, total flavonoids and total tannin levels of six types of honey, chestnut, oak, heather, pine, buckwheat and mixed blossom, were determined. Concentration-related inhibition values were tested turbidimetrically on bovine testis hyaluronidase (BTHase) as IC50 (mg/mL).

All honeys exhibited various concentration-dependent degrees of inhibition against BTHase.

Inhibition values varied significantly depending on honeys' levels of phenolic contents, flavonoid and tannin. The honeys with the highest anti-hyaluronidase activity were oak, chestnut and heather.

In conclusion, polyphenol-rich honeys have high anti-hyaluronidase activity, and these honeys have high protective and complementary potential against hyaluronidase-induced anti-inflammatory failures.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Can apitherapy treat the symptoms of Lyme disease?


It's summertime — but the living won't be easy if you come across a tick infected with Lyme disease.

Mother Nature Network, 6/16/2015

Diagnosis and treatment

An accurate diagnosis of Lyme is critical before using apitherapy to treat Lyme, said Keller, who lives on Long Island, New York, where she is an apitherapy practitioner, acupuncturist and beekeeper. Before a person seeks apitherapy, he should visit the doctor and ask the doctor to send a blood sample to a lab to confirm the patient has Lyme, Keller said. Information about testing for lyme is available from IGene-X, Inc., a research lab specializing in state-of-the art testing for Lyme and associated tick-borne diseases.

Practitioners of apitherapy usually mix bee products and/or bee venom in some combination with raw honey and apply them topically as a salve or a cream. The salve or cream can be applied to tick bites and other problem areas such as a cut, scrape, scratch, bug bite, psoriasis, eczema, toe fungus, or hemmorrhoids, Keller said. Apitherapy is also used to treat multiple sclerosis, shingles and other neurologic problems, musculoskeletal issues, such as many forms of arthritis, traumas, sprains and fractures and tumors, both benign and malignant. Bee venom eyedrops can be used for ophthalmic symptoms, Keller said.