Monday, September 22, 2014

Beekeeper Cured of Life Threatening Allergy After Three Years of 'Sting' Treatment

The Telegraph, 8/7/2014
An amateur beekeeper who developed a life threatening allergy to bees has been cured after more than three years of treatment.
Simon Russ, a biology teacher, had been a beekeeper for seven years when a single sting sent him into anaphylactic shock and left him in hospital fighting for his life.
Determined to continue his hobby Mr Russ, 49, went through a painstaking course of immunotherapy.
At first he could only cope with one 10 millionth of a sting.
But over the course of three years he was injected with a dose of venom every few weeks, which gradually increased in strength, until he could cope with two stings…

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Romanian Apitherapy Congress, Expo and Workshops

October 17-21, Aro-Palace Hotel , Brasov , Romania
Scientific Program, October 17-19, 2014
Speakers and authors that will present their work during the Congress:
Dr. Andres Castillo Montenegro (Ecuador), President of the International Federation of Apitherapy.
Eng. Jose Cabrera Cabrera (Ecuador), Secretary of the International Federation of Apitherapy.
Drd. Stefan Stangaciu , President of the Romanian and German Apitherapy Societies. Secretary General of the International Federation of Apitherapy
Prof. Dr. Farm. Viorica Istudor (UMF Bucharest), Vice-President of the Romanian Apitherapy Society.
Dr. Cristina Aosan , Vice-President of the Romanian Apitherapy Society and Member in the Apitherapy Commission of Apimondia - Natural treatment including Apitherapy for a group of Pregnant Women with Multiple Sclerosis…

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Honey Beats Sugar in Anti-Cancer Properties

Pathology: October 2014 - Volume 46
Aim: High concentration of sugar is carcinogenic. Honey which is rich in sugars has been shown to have anti-cancer effect. There is no study reported on the effect of sugars mimicking the concentration of sugars of honey (honey-mimic) in inhibiting breast carcinoma in rats. The aim of the study is to investigate if honey-mimic has similar effect as natural honey on experimental breasts tumor induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) in rats.
Methods: Honey-mimic was made by mixing proportions of fructose, glucose, sucrose and maltose mimicking the sugar composition of honey based on published method. Forty Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 4 groups with 10 animals per each group. Group 1 rats did not receive MNU injection (negative control). Group 2, 3, 4 rats received a single intraperitoneal dose (80 mg/kg body weight) of MNU injection. The size and development of the tumors were monitored. When the tumor size reached 10-12 mm2 in diameter, rats of Group 3 were given oral honey-sugar mimic 1.0 g/kg while Group 4 was given honey 1.0 g/kg body weight daily. Group 2 was not given honey-sugar mimic nor natural honey (positive control). All rats were allowed to feed on rat chowder ad lib. After 120 days, all rats were sacrificed and tumors were harvested for gross and histopathological examinations.
Results: The mean number of tumors developed per rat in groups 2, 3, 4 was 4.9 +/- 0.60, 3.6 +/- 0.40 and 3.4 +/- 0.30, respectively. The mean tumor weight and volume in the negative and positive control group were significantly larger at 11.85 +/- 1.01 g and 8.50 +/- 0.40 cm3, respectively; while in the test groups (Groups 3 and 4) were 6.45 +/- 0.60 g and 4.50 +/- 0.20 cm3; 4.34 +/- 0.35 g and 2.50 +/- 0.20 cm3 (p < 0.05), respectively. Histopathological grading revealed that the majority of rats which received honey-sugar mimic and honey were of grade 1 and 2 compared to control, which were of grade 3.
Conclusion: Sugar concentration mimicking composition of sugars in natural honey has some anti-carcinogenesis modulation properties but not as effective as honey.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Malaysian Tualang Honey May Help Treat Breast Cancer

Pathology: October 2014 - Volume 46
Introduction: Recent studies have shown that honey has anticancer properties in tissue culture and in-vivo animal experiment against different types of cancers. Only a few studies suggested that honey might be useful in modulating experimental breast carcinoma in vivo.Aim: To study the inhibitory effects of Malaysian Jungle Tualang honey (TH) on N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced rat mammary carcinogenesis.
Methods: Fifty female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 5 groups with 10 animals each (n = 10); Group 1 did not receive MNU and did not receive honey (negative control); Group 2 received MNU but not honey (positive control). Groups 3, 4 and 5 were fed orally with 0.2, 1.0 or 2.0 g/kg body weight of Tualang Honey daily respectively from day 0 of the experimentation. Cancer induction using MNU was done on the 7th day and development of mammary cancer masses was charted. All rats in all groups were given rat chowder ad lib. The rats in Groups 3, 4 and 5 continued to receive honey until the 120th day when they were sacrificed and subjected to autopsy. The tumors were harvested for gross and histopathological examinations.
Results: The total number of tumors developed in all groups was 105. The mean number of tumors developed per rat in Groups 2, 3, 4, 5 was 4.6 +/- 0.60, 1.9 +/- 0.40, 2.3 +/- 0.30, and 1.7 +/- 0.50, respectively. Honey was found to reduce the number of tumor masses, tumor incidence and tumor size; the mean size was <=2.5 cm3, smaller than control, <=8.5 cm3. The number of tumors developed in treatment groups was also significantly fewer (p < 0.05). Histopathological grading revealed that the majority of honey-treated group tumors were of grade 1 = (32/62) (51.61%) and 2 = (18/62)(29.03%).
Conclusion: Tualang honey has an inhibitory effect on breast carcinogenesis in rats when given one week prior to tumor induction.(C) 2014 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Determination of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Honey

Determination of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in tea, herbal drugs and honey
Honey was previously considered to be one of the main food sources of human pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) exposure in Europe. However, comprehensive analyses of honey and tea sampled in the Berlin retail market revealed unexpected high PA amounts in teas. Our study comprised the analysis of 87 honey as well as 274 tea samples including black, green, rooibos, melissa, peppermint, chamomile, fennel, nettle and mixed herbal tea or fruit tea...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Propolis Extract May Help Treat Diabetes

Significance of propolis administration for homeostasis of CD4+CD25+ immunoregulatory T cells controlling hyperglycemia
7th Space, 9/15/2014
In the present study, we examined the effect of ethanolic soluble derivative of propolis (EEP) extract on immunological function in diabetic mouse models with the aim of highlighting the role of regulatory T cell, the change of cell surface molecule, and in vivo productions of IFN-gamma. Murine models of diabetes mellitus (DM) were created by injecting normal mice with S961 peptide.
Normal BALB/c mice were injected intraperitoneally with peptide S961 300 mg/kg body weight (BW) twice a day for eight days. On day 15, the spleen was isolated; then, cell surface molecules and regulatory T cells were analyzed using flow cytometry…

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Manuka Honey Does Not Decrease Pain of Radiation-Induced Esophagitis for Lung Cancer Patients

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - September 14, 2014) - Patient-reported data indicates that when Manuka honey is prescribed for esophagitis pain during radiation therapy (RT), it is not more effective than standard medical care, according to research presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO's) 56th Annual Meeting.
Esophagitis, inflammation that damages tissues of the esophagus and causes discomfort, is a common and temporary side effect experienced by the majority of lung cancer patients undergoing RT. Small studies have previously been conducted to evaluate if honey can prevent the loss of the normal surface of the mouth or throat caused by RT. It is important to reduce esophagitis pain so that patients' do not forgo eating; maintaining patients' positive nutritional status is vital during cancer treatment.
This study assessed the use of Manuka honey, a honey from New Zealand that is a standardized, medical grade honey. The randomized, phase II trial enrolled 163 lung cancer patients at 13 cancer centers who were undergoing concurrent chemotherapy and RT. Of the study group, ≥ 30 percent of the patients had received 60 Gy of RT to the espophagus (V60). There were no statistically significant differences in pretreatment characteristics within the study group.
Patients were assigned to three groups based upon treatment for esophagitis -- 56 patients in Arm 1 received standard supportive care; 53 patients in Arm 2 received 10 ml of Manuka honey orally, four times per day; and 54 patients in Arm 3 received one lozenge, consisting of 10 ml of dehydrated Manuka honey, four times per day. The honey was administered on the first day of treatment and continued throughout RT.
After four weeks of RT treatment with and without Manuka honey, patients were asked to assess their pain during swallowing using the Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) scale, with a zero indicating "no pain," a five indicating "moderate pain," and a 10 indicating "worst possible pain." The study was designed to detect a 15 percent relative reduction of change in NPRS score, corresponding to a mean change score of 3.1 in Arms 2 and 3, as compared with Arm 1. The study concluded that there was no significant difference in levels of pain reported by patients within the three groups (mean change scores of 2.7, 2.1 and 2.1, respectively; p = 0.73 for Arm 1 vs. Arm 2, p = 0.68 Arm 1 vs. Arm 3)…

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lactic Acid Bacterial Symbionts in Honeybees Show Strong Antimicrobial Activity

Lactic Acid Bacterial Symbionts in Honeybees - An Unknown Key to Honey's Antimicrobial and Therapeutic Activities
Int Wound J. 2014 Sep 8. doi: 10.1111/iwj.12345
Could honeybees' most valuable contribution to mankind besides pollination services be alternative tools against infections? Today, due to the emerging antibiotic-resistant pathogens, we are facing a new era of searching for alternative tools against infections. Natural products such as honey have been applied against human's infections for millennia without sufficient scientific evidence. A unique lactic acid bacterial (LAB) microbiota was discovered by us, which is in symbiosis with honeybees and present in large amounts in fresh honey across the world. This work investigates if the LAB symbionts are the source to the unknown factors contributing to honey's properties. Hence, we tested the LAB against severe wound pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) among others.
We demonstrate a strong antimicrobial activity from each symbiont and a synergistic effect, which counteracted all the tested pathogens. The mechanisms of action are partly shown by elucidating the production of active compounds such as proteins, fatty acids, anaesthetics, organic acids, volatiles and hydrogen peroxide. We show that the symbionts produce a myriad of active compounds that remain in variable amounts in mature honey. Further studies are now required to investigate if these symbionts have a potential in clinical applications as alternative tools against topical human and animal infections.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) Symbionts from Honey Bees May Offer Alternative to Antibiotics

A pilot study investigating lactic acid bacterial symbionts from the honeybee in inhibiting human chronic wound pathogens
Int Wound J. 2014 Sep 8. doi: 10.1111/iwj.12360
Treatment and management of chronic wounds is a large burden on the health sector and causes substantial suffering for the patients. We believe that 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) symbionts isolated from the honey crop of the honeybee are important players in the antimicrobial action of honey, by producing antimicrobial substances and can be used in combination with heather honey as an effective treatment in wound management.
A total of 22 patients with chronic ulcers were included; culture-dependent and molecular-based (MALDI-MS and 16S rRNA gene sequencing) techniques were used to identify bacteria from chronic wounds. These clinical isolates were used for in vitro antimicrobial testing with standardised viable LAB and sterilised heather honey mixture. Twenty of the patients' wounds were polymicrobial and 42 different species were isolated. Patient isolates that were tested in vitro were inhibited by the LAB and honey combination with inhibitory zones comparable with different antibiotics.
LAB and heather honey in combination presents a new topical option in chronic wound management because of the healing properties of honey, antimicrobial metabolite production from the LAB and their bactericidal effect on common chronic wound pathogens. This new treatment may be a stepping stone towards an alternative solution to antibiotics.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Milk and Honey Mixture as Effective as OTC Medication For Treating Acute Cough in Children

Effect of multiple honey doses on non-specific acute cough in children. An open randomised study and literature review
Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2014 Sep 5. pii: S0301-0546(14)00129-3
Honey is recommended for non-specific acute paediatric cough by the Australian guidelines. Current available randomised clinical trials evaluated the effects of a single evening dose of honey, but multiple doses outcomes have never been studied.
To evaluate the effects of wildflower honey, given for three subsequent evenings, on non-specific acute paediatric cough, compared to dextromethorphan (DM) and levodropropizine (LDP), which are the most prescribed over-the-counter (OTC) antitussives in Italy.
134 children suffering from non-specific acute cough were randomised to receive for three subsequent evenings a mixture of milk (90ml) and wildflower honey (10ml) or a dose of DM or LDP adjusted for the specific age. The effectiveness was evaluated by a cough questionnaire answered by parents. Primary end-point efficacy was therapeutic success. The latter was defined as a decrease in cough questionnaire score greater than 50% after treatment compared with baseline values.
Three children were excluded from the study, as their parents did not complete the questionnaire. Therapeutic success was achieved by 80% in the honey and milk group and 87% in OTC medication group (p=0.25).
Milk and honey mixture seems to be at least as effective as DM or LDP in non-specific acute cough in children. These results are in line with previous studies, which reported the health effects of honey on paediatric cough, even if placebo effect cannot be totally excluded.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Miele di Manuka: proprieta', usi e dove trovarlo

Scritto Da Marta Albè
GreenMe,  Creato 10 Settembre 2014
Il miele di Manuka proviene dalla Nuova Zelanda, unico luogo del mondo dove è possibile produrlo, poiché solo qui le api hanno a disposizione le piante di Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium), che crescono spontaneamente sul territorio.
Il miele di Manuka è probabilmente l'unico alimento di cui sia stata senza ombra di dubbio dal punto di vista scientifico l'efficacia antibatterica.
Proprietà del miele di Manuka
Il miele di Manuka è conosciuto soprattutto per le sue proprietà antibatteriche. La componente antibatterica del miele di Manuka è conosciuta come methylglyoxal, una sostanza presente anche negli altri tipi di miele, ma in quantità ridotte. E' considerato benefico per le vie respiratorie, soprattutto in caso di congestione nasale. E' un vero e proprio antibiotico naturale e ha potere disinfettante. Una ricerca condotta di recente dagli esperti dell'Università degli Emirati Arabi ha messo in luce che il miele di Manuka potrebbe essere in grado di inibire la crescita delle cellule tumorali…

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bacteria Extracted from the Stomachs of Honeybees Target MRSA

Bee Bacteria Make for Antibiotic Alternatives
Digital Journal, 9/9/2014
Lund - A new study has shown that certain types of bacteria extracted from the stomachs of honeybees could be promising targets as antibiotics against pathogenic bacteria like MRSA.
The new research has looked at thirteen lactic acid bacteria found in the stomach of bees. The bacteria seem to be able to slowdown the growth of antibiotic-resistant MRSA. In studies, the bacteria, when mixed into honey, were able to heal horses with persistent wounds. Furthermore, the bacteria were assessed against severe human wound pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).
The study infers that the thirteen different lactic acid bacteria produce the right kind of antimicrobial compounds needed to keep a range of pathogens at bay…

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nanoparticle-Encapsulated Honeybee Venom May Enhance Immunity, Prevent Bacterial Infections

Poly d,l-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) nanoparticle-encapsulated honeybee (Apis melifera) venom promotes clearance of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection in experimentally challenged pigs through the up-regulation of T helper type 1 specific immune responses
Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2014 Aug 22. pii: S0165-2427(14)00183-4
Honeybee (Apis melifera) venom (HBV), which includes melittin and lipid-soluble ingredients (chrysin and pinocembrin), elicited increases in the CD4+/CD8+ T lymphocyte ratio, relative mRNA expression levels of the T helper type 1 (Th 1) cytokines (interferon-γ and IL-12) and reinforced viral clearance of an experimental porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus infection in our previous study. On the basis of that previous study, we have now developed poly-d,l-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA)-encapsulated HBV nanoparticles (P-HBV) for longer sustained release of HBV.
We administered P-HBV to pigs via the rectal route, and then evaluated the potential immune-enhancing and bacterial clearance effects of P-HBV against Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. The CD4+/CD8+ lymphocyte ratio, proliferative capacity of peripheral blood lymphocytes and relative mRNA expression levels of IFN-γ and IL-12 (produced mainly by Th1 lymphocytes) were significantly increased in the P-HBV group up to 2 weeks post-administration of P-HBV. After S. Typhimurium infection, the P-HBV group showed a marked reduction in microbial burden in feces and all tissue samples (including the ileum, cecum, colon, and mesenteric lymph node (MLN)), a significant increase in Th 1 cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2, and IL-12) and a marked decrease in a Th 2 cytokine (IL-4) in all tissue samples and peripheral blood lymphocytes.
Thus, P-HBV may be a promising strategy for immune enhancement and prevention of S. Typhimurium or other bacterial infections.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Honey and Ampicillin Induced Similar Structural Changes to Bacteria Cell Wall

Antibacterial Compounds of Canadian Honeys Target Bacterial Cell Wall Inducing Phenotype Changes, Growth Inhibition and Cell Lysis That Resemble Action of β-Lactam Antibiotics
PLoS One. 2014 Sep 5;9(9):e106967
Honeys show a desirable broad spectrum activity against Gram-positive and negative bacteria making antibacterial activity an intrinsic property of honey and a desirable source for new drug development. The cellular targets and underlying mechanism of action of honey antibacterial compounds remain largely unknown. To facilitate the target discovery, we employed a method of phenotypic profiling by directly comparing morphological changes in Escherichia coli induced by honeys to that of ampicillin, the cell wall-active β-lactam of known mechanism of action. Firstly, we demonstrated the purity of tested honeys from potential β-lactam contaminations using quantitative LC-ESI-MS. Exposure of log-phase E. coli to honey or ampicillin resulted in time- and concentration-dependent changes in bacterial cell shape with the appearance of filamentous phenotypes at sub-inhibitory concentrations and spheroplasts at the MBC.
Cell wall destruction by both agents, clearly visible on microscopic micrographs, was accompanied by increased permeability of the lipopolysaccharide outer membrane as indicated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). More than 90% E. coli exposed to honey or ampicillin became permeable to propidium iodide. Consistently with the FACS results, both honey-treated and ampicillin-treated E. coli cells released lipopolysaccharide endotoxins at comparable levels, which were significantly higher than controls (p < 0.0001). E. coli cells transformed with the ampicillin-resistance gene (β-lactamase) remained sensitive to honey, displayed the same level of cytotoxicity, cell shape changes and endotoxin release as ampicillin-sensitive cells. As expected, β-lactamase protected the host cell from antibacterial action of ampicillin. Thus, both honey and ampicillin induced similar structural changes to the cell wall and LPS and that this ability underlies antibacterial activities of both agents. Since the cell wall is critical for cell growth and survival, honey active compounds would be highly applicable for therapeutic purposes while differences in the mode of action between honey and ampicillin may provide clinical advantage in eradicating β-lactam-resistant pathogens.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Honey Helps Treat Tonsillectomy Pain

Efficacy of honey in reduction of post tonsillectomy pain, randomized clinical trial
Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Aug 21. pii: S0165-5876(14)00462-5
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.