Sunday, May 31, 2015

Learning lessons from Comvita

Stuff, 5/31/2015

Behind Comvita's excellent year-end results lies a long story of how it has learnt to create and capture value in health products.

As it transformed itself over the past decade, sales have increased four fold and its operating profits almost five fold.

Comvita has a simple way to show what value creation means. At the rock bottom end of the scale sits 250 gm of an utter commodity it doesn't sell – generic, unbranded honey. A jar of it is worth only $5.

But the same quantity of manuka honey in a branded Comvita jar is worth a lot more. Depending on its Unique Manuka Factor, a scientific way of measuring its health benefit, the price ranges from $14 for UMF 5+ to $104 for UMF 20+.

On up the chain, the 250 gm of raw manuka honey is worth $250 in throat lozenges, $330 in an antibacterial gel used to treat severe infections in wounds, and $500 in skincare products...

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bee Venom, Beeswax Extracts Show Antiviral Potential

Monitoring of the antiviral potential of bee venom and wax extracts against Adeno-7 (DNA) and Rift Valley fever virus (RNA) viruses models

J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 2015 Apr;45(1):193-8

This study monitored the antiviral potential of bee venom and four wax extracts, ethanol white and black beeswax (EWW/EBW) and acetone white and black beeswax (AWW/ABW) extracts. Two different virus models namely Adeno-7 as DNA model and RVFV as RNA virus models. End point calculation assay was used to calculate virus depletion titer.

The depletion of viral infectivity titer of ABW to Adeno-7 virus showed strong antiviral activity recorded a depletion of viral infectivity titer (1.66 log (10)/ ml) that gave equal action with bee venom and more than interferon IFN (1 log (10)/ ml). On the other hand, antiviral activity of EBW showed a moderate potential, while AWW showed no antiviral activity. Finally EWW showed synergetic activity against Adeno-7 virus activity.

Thus, activity of wax extracts to RVFV was arranged in order of IFN bee venom > AWW & EBW > EWW and ABW recorded 3.34, 0.65, 0.5, 0.34 respectively. It is the first time to study the beeswax effect against DNA and RNA virus' models; acetone black beeswax recorded a depletion titer 1.66 log (10)/ml.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bee Venom Enhances Immune System, Prevents Infection

Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Venom Reinforces Viral Clearance during the Early Stage of Infection with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus through the Up-Regulation of Th1-Specific Immune Responses

Toxins (Basel). 2015 May 22;7(5):1837-53

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a chronic and immunosuppressive viral disease that is responsible for substantial economic losses for the swine industry.

Honeybee venom (HBV) is known to possess several beneficial biological properties, particularly, immunomodulatory effects. Therefore, this study aimed at evaluating the effects of HBV on the immune response and viral clearance during the early stage of infection with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) in pigs.

HBV was administered via three routes of nasal, neck, and rectal and then the pigs were inoculated with PRRSV intranasally. The CD4+/CD8+ cell ratio and levels of interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-12 were significantly increased in the HBV-administered healthy pigs via nasal and rectal administration. In experimentally PRRSV-challenged pigs with virus, the viral genome load in the serum, lung, bronchial lymph nodes and tonsil was significantly decreased, as was the severity of interstitial pneumonia, in the nasal and rectal administration group. Furthermore, the levels of Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-12) were significantly increased, along with up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β) with HBV administration.

Thus, HBV administration-especially via the nasal or rectal route-could be a suitable strategy for immune enhancement and prevention of PRRSV infection in pigs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Brazilian brown propolis shows antibacterial capacity against E. faecalis

In vitro effectiveness of Brazilian brown propolis against Enterococcus faecalis

Braz Oral Res. 2015;29(1):1-6

The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro antimicrobial activity of Brazilian brown propolis as an intracanal medication against Enterococcus faecalis. Thirty dentin discs prepared from intact freshly extracted bovine maxillary central incisors were infected with E. faecalis for 21 days. The specimens were distributed into six groups according to the medicament used as follows: G1- calcium hydroxide paste; G2- Carbowax 400 (control group); G3- 20% brown propolis paste; G4- 40% brown propolis paste; G5- 20% brown propolis paste + calcium hydroxide paste; and G6- 40% brown propolis paste + calcium hydroxide paste. The experimental pastes were placed into the canal lumen and left for 14 days. After each period, irrigation was performed with sterile saline to remove the medicament, and the canals were dried with sterile paper points. The dentin chips were removed from the canals with sequential sterile round burs at low speed and were immediately collected in separate test tubes containing BHI broth. The tubes were incubated at 37°C, and microbial growth was analyzed by spectrophotometry after 15 days. All the experimental medications significantly reduced the number of viable bacteria. The G4 and G5 pastes were more effective than the G1 paste, with 35.8%, 41%, and 21.3% antibacterial activity, respectively. Brazilian brown propolis shows antibacterial capacity against E. faecalis. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sudanese Honey Shows High Radical-Scavenging Activity

Comprehensive Evaluation of Antioxidant Properties and Volatile Compounds of Sudanese Honeys

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

Honey samples were collected from different floral and geographical origins. The total phenolic, flavonoid, carotenoid, antioxidant contents, FRAP/DPPH (ferric reducing antioxidant power/1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazy) assays and the color characteristics were determined spectrophotometrically.

The honey samples exhibited high radical-scavenging activity (DPPH%) ranging from 50.41 ± 0.8 to 70.5 ± 0.9%, FRAP from 556.9 ± 15.0 to 1,340.2 ± 8.7 mM and phenolic from 79.4 ± 1.9 to −232.7 ± 0.2 mg GAE/100 g. The volatiles were identified by means of solid phase microextraction–gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS). Alcohols, aldehydes, acids, ketones, terpenes, phenols and hydrocarbon represented the most abundant compounds in honeys among the 69 volatile components identified. Correlation between phytochemical and antioxidant assay parameters was found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05). In addition, principal component analysis based on the data of GC-MS was employed to study and obtain the important volatile classes that contributed to the differentiation of the honey samples analyzed.

Remarkable variations were observed in the phytochemical, antioxidant and volatile compounds from different botanical origins.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Summary of Adverse Events Associated with Bee Venom Therapy

Risk Associated with Bee Venom Therapy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

PLoS One. 2015 May 21;10(5):e0126971


The safety of bee venom as a therapeutic compound has been extensively studied, resulting in the identification of potential adverse events, which range from trivial skin reactions that usually resolve over several days to life-threating severe immunological responses such as anaphylaxis. In this systematic review, we provide a summary of the types and prevalence of adverse events associated with bee venom therapy.


We searched the literature using 12 databases from their inception to June 2014, without language restrictions. We included all types of clinical studies in which bee venom was used as a key intervention and adverse events that may have been causally related to bee venom therapy were reported.


A total of 145 studies, including 20 randomized controlled trials, 79 audits and cohort studies, 33 single-case studies, and 13 case series, were evaluated in this review. The median frequency of patients who experienced adverse events related to venom immunotherapy was 28.87% (interquartile range, 14.57-39.74) in the audit studies. Compared with normal saline injection, bee venom acupuncture showed a 261% increased relative risk for the occurrence of adverse events (relative risk, 3.61; 95% confidence interval, 2.10 to 6.20) in the randomized controlled trials, which might be overestimated or underestimated owing to the poor reporting quality of the included studies.


Adverse events related to bee venom therapy are frequent; therefore, practitioners of bee venom therapy should be cautious when applying it in daily clinical practice, and the practitioner's education and qualifications regarding the use of bee venom therapy should be ensured.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Honey Can Heal Wounds Quickly: Study

Daily Times, 5/22/2015

ISLAMABAD: Honey has the power to heal wounds faster, besides making them smaller, says a new study.

It has been used to treat wounds in human being since ancient Egypt, but University of Sydney researchers tested the efficacy of Manuka honey in the first ever clinical-trial on horses.
Manuka honey is made by bees in New Zealand that only frequent the manuka bush, “Wounds in horses, particularly leg wounds, have long healing periods, but we found applying a manuka honey gel throughout healing led to 27 percent faster healing times,” said university’s lead researcher Andrea Bischofberger.

Bischofberger says that “with its faster wound healing times and its bandage-free application, the Manuka honey gel solution is an extremely versatile and affordable topical wound “Wounds in horses which received no treatment took an average of 64 days to heal, while those treated with Manuka honey gel took 47 days to heal,” said Bischofberger, according to a Sydney release.

“In our pilot study we used pure honey, but in our second study we used a water-based Manuka honey gel of 66 percent honey. When applied for 12 days, we found these wounds healed just as well as those treated with pure honey”, added a researcher...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Video: Manuka Honey is Earning Praise for Its Healing Benefits

New York Daily News

This honey is on the money.

Manuka honey — a super-expensive version of the ancient sweetener that’s packed with 100 times more of an antibacterial compound than regular honey — has become the trendy treatment for strep throat, dry skin, infections, gum pain, burns and even zits.

Tennis champ Novak Djokovic wrote in his memoir that eating two spoonfuls a day give him a boost on the court. Gwyneth Paltrow singled it out on her lifestyle site, Goop. And Scarlett Johansson told that when she spreads a bit of manuka honey on her skin, she gets “an amazing glow.”

"It's a natural cure for anything from acne to a cut on the leg," says celeb facialist Joanna Vargas, who works with fresh-faced stars Julianne Moore, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Karlie Kloss and uses manuka in her face masks.

Vargas says a thin layer — about a teaspoon’s worth — atop the skin for 10 minutes is all you need.

But manuka honey’s restorative properties apparently go deeper than the surface thanks to high levels of methylglyoxal, the antimicrobial that acolytes swear gives the honey a variety of health benefits.

“Other honeys don’t have as much potency against infectious agents,” says Dr. Julia Tzu of Wall Street Dermatology, who notes that manuka has components that fight the antibiotic-resistant skin infection MRSA.

Thai Stingless Bee Propolis Shows High Antibacterial Activity

Antibacterial Compounds from Propolis of Tetragonula laeviceps and Tetrigona melanoleuca (Hymenoptera: Apidae) from Thailand

PLoS One. 2015 May 18;10(5):e0126886

This study investigated the chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of propolis collected from two stingless bee species Tetragonula laeviceps and Tetrigona melanoleuca (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Six xanthones, one triterpene and one lignane were isolated from Tetragonula laeviceps propolis. Triterpenes were the main constituents in T. melanoleuca propolis.

The ethanol extract and isolated compounds from T. laeviceps propolis showed a higher antibacterial activity than those of T. melanoleuca propolis as the constituent α-mangostin exhibited the strongest activity. Xanthones were found in propolis for the first time; Garcinia mangostana (Mangosteen) was the most probable plant source. In addition, this is the first report on the chemical composition and bioactivity of propolis from T. melanoleuca.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bee Venom Component May Help Prevent Kidney Damage

Phospholipase A2 inhibits cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury by modulating regulatory T cells by the CD206 mannose receptor

Kidney Int. 2015 May 20

Previously, we found that Foxp3-expressing CD4+ regulatory T (Treg) cells attenuate cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury in mice and that bee venom and its constituent phospholipase A2 (PLA2) are capable of modulating Treg cells. Here we tested whether PLA2 could inhibit cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury.

As a result of treatment with PLA2, the population of Treg cells was significantly increased, both in vivo and in vitro. PLA2-injected mice showed reduced levels of serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, renal tissue damage, and pro-inflammatory cytokine production upon cisplatin administration. These renoprotective effects were abolished by depletion of Treg cells. Furthermore, PLA2 bound to CD206 mannose receptors on dendritic cells, essential for the PLA2-mediated protective effects on renal dysfunction. Interestingly, PLA2 treatment increased the secretion of IL-10 in the kidney from normal mice. Foxp3+IL-10+ cells and CD11c+IL-10+ cells were increased by PLA2 treatment. The anticancer effects of repeated administrations of a low dose of cisplatin were not affected by PLA2 treatment in a tumor-bearing model.

Thus, PLA2 may prevent inflammatory responses in cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury by modulating Treg cells and IL-10 through the CD206 mannose receptor.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Propolis Component May Help Treat Advanced Oral Cancer Patients

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Is a Potential Therapeutic Agent for Oral Cancer

Int J Mol Sci. 2015 May 12;16(5):10748-10766

Head and neck cancers, which affect 650,000 people and cause 350,000 deaths per year, is the sixth leading cancer by cancer incidence and eighth by cancer-related death worldwide. Oral cancer is the most common type of head and neck cancer. More than 90% of oral cancers are oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The overall five-year survival rate of OSCC patients is approximately 63%, which is due to the low response rate to current therapeutic drugs.

In this review we discuss the possibility of using caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) as an alternative treatment for oral cancer. CAPE is a strong antioxidant extracted from honeybee hive propolis. Recent studies indicate that CAPE treatment can effectively suppress the proliferation, survival, and metastasis of oral cancer cells. CAPE treatment inhibits Akt signaling, cell cycle regulatory proteins, NF-κB function, as well as activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Therefore, CAPE treatment induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in oral cancer cells.

According to the evidence that aberrations in the EGFR/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling, NF-κB function, COX-2 activity, and MMPs activity are frequently found in oral cancers, and that the phosphorylation of Akt, EGFR, and COX-2 correlates to oral cancer patient survival and clinical progression, we believe that CAPE treatment will be useful for treatment of advanced oral cancer patients.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Kanuka Honey Use Leads to Reduction in Weight, Improvements in Lipid Parameters in Type 2 Diabetes

The effect of a cinnamon-, chromium- and magnesium-formulated honey on glycaemic control, weight loss and lipid parameters in type 2 diabetes: an open-label cross-over randomised controlled trial

Eur J Nutr. 2015 May 19. [Epub ahead of print]


This randomised controlled trial assessed the acute and long-term effects of daily supplementation of kanuka honey, formulated with cinnamon, chromium and magnesium on glucose metabolism, weight and lipid parameters in individuals with type 2 diabetes.


Twelve individuals with type 2 diabetes received 53.5 g of a formulated honey and a control (non-formulated) kanuka honey in a random order for 40 days, using cross-over design. Fasting glucose, insulin, HbA1c, lipids and anthropometric measures were measured at baseline and end of treatment. A meal tolerance test was performed at baseline to assess acute metabolic response.


There was no statistically significant difference in acute glucose metabolism between treatment groups, as measured by the Matsuda index and AUC for glucose and insulin. After the 40-day intervention with honey, fasting glucose did not differ significantly between the two treatments (95 % CI -2.6 to 0.07). There was no statistically significant change in HbA1c or fasting insulin. There was a statistically significant reduction in total cholesterol by -0.29 mmol/L (95 % CI -0.57 to -0.23), LDL cholesterol by -0.29 mmol/L (95 % CI -0.57 to -0.23) and weight by -2.2 kg (95 % CI -4.2 to -0.1). There was a trend towards increased HDL and reduced systolic blood pressure in the intervention treatment.


The addition of cinnamon, chromium and magnesium supplementation to kanuka honey was not associated with a significant improvement in glucose metabolism or glycaemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Use of the formulated honey was associated with a reduction in weight and improvements in lipid parameters, and should be investigated further.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Kanuka Honey May Help Cure Rosacea

Kanuka - the new superhoney for your face

Stuff, 5/18/2015

Kanuka honey is vying with its more famous cousin manuka to be a new medical miracle.

It could also be a major new earner for the Kiwi economy.

A Wellington based pharmaceutical research company has just produced a product based on Kanuka honey which it claims provides a natural cure for rosacea, a chronic red facial rash that most often affects those over 30 with fair skin.

Experts estimate rosacea affects up to 10 per cent of New Zealanders - and is a medical condition afflicting people around the world.

The company, HoneyLab, has filed for patents and is already looking at new ills that Kanuka can cure...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Propolis May Be Helpful for Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Evaluation of protective effect of propolis on parotid salivary glands in gamma-irradiated rats

J Contemp Dent Pract. 2014 Jan 1;15(1):8-11


One of the most significant side effects of radiotherapy for head and neck cancers is xerostomia as a result of salivary gland damage. Considering pharmaco- logical effects of propolis, we evaluated its protective effect on salivary glands subjected to radiotherapy of head and neck cancer patients.


Twenty-one male albino rats (8-11 W, 190 ± 5 gm) were divided into three groups of seven animals. Scintigraphy was performed in all the groups. Then groups 1 (S) and 2 (SR) received normal saline injections and group 3 (PR) received propolis injection over 3 days. After that groups 2 and 3 were exposed to gamma radiation and all the rats underwent scintigraphic assessment on third day and 70th day after irradiation. The lips and tongues of rats in groups 2 and 3 were examined for mucositis daily in first 10 days. At the end, the parotid glands of all rats were examined histologically.


Scintigraphy results of third and 70th day after irradiation showed statistically significant differences between PR and SR as well as SR and S. However, there was no significant difference between the PR and S groups. Histopathologic assessment demonstrated significant difference between SR, PR and S.


These results suggest that propolis has protective effects on salivary gland function in animal models whilst it did not prevent radiation-induced histologic changes in tissues. Further investigations are needed to elucidate mechanisms of propolis actions. Clinical significance: Regarding to the results of this study, propolis may be useful in reduction xerostomia due to radiation to salivary glands and may be helpful for head and neck cancer patients.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Propolis Component May Help Prevent Damage to Inner Ear

Future opportunities in preventing ototoxicity: Caffeic acid phenethyl ester may be a candidate (Review)

Mol Med Rep. 2015 May 14

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an important active component of propolis, which is derived from honeybee hives. It has received increasing attention in a variety of medical and pharmaceutical research, due to its anti‑oxidant, antiproliferative, anti‑inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal activity, in addition to its antineoplastic properties.

Besides the use of CAPE as an antioxidant and anti‑inflammatory agent in a number of in vivo studies of ear disease, its beneficial effects have been reported in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, allergies, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease and neurological disease. CAPE influences a number of biochemical pathways, as well as several targets involved in ear diseases, in particular, in ototoxicity.

The protective effects of CAPE in ototoxicity, which may be induced by a number factors, including lipopolysaccharides, hydrogen peroxide and streptomycin, are evaluated and discussed in the present review.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Royal Nectar Bee Venom Eye Cream Review

Truth in Aging, May 13, 2015


Easily absorbs into skin for an immediate tightening, smoothing feeling


Does not noticeably improve sagginess, deep wrinkles or dark circles, contains perfume

Our Take

A refreshing eye cream that leaves skin feeling smooth, but does not address more serious anti-aging concerns..

Friday, May 15, 2015

'Wax Bloom' on Beeswax Cultural Heritage Objects

Exploring the causes of the phenomenon

Magn Reson Chem. 2015 Apr 27

The term 'wax bloom' is used to describe a thin whitish crystalline layer that develops on the surface of beeswax objects under specific conditions. This phenomenon is undesirable, especially in the cases of objects with aesthetic or informational value, such as wax sculptures or historical seals. A combination of solid-state NMR and FTIR measurements allowed to obtain fairly detailed insight into the problem and to suggest a probable mechanism of its development. Secondary crystallization of unsaturated hydrocarbons from beeswax was determined as a primary cause. After the macroscopic solidification of beeswax from the melt, these molecules remain for months in a highly mobile, liquid-like state. This facilitates their diffusion to the surface, where they eventually crystallize, forming the 'wax bloom' effect. Although these results are of particular interest with respect to the conservation of beeswax artifacts, they are relevant to this material in general and help with understanding its unique properties.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

International Regulations of Propolis Quality

Required Assays do not Necessarily Reflect their Polyphenolic-Related In Vitro Activities

J Food Sci. 2015 May 5

Propolis has been proposed as a polyphenolic-rich natural product potentially able to be used for human consumption or even for medicinal proposes. To guarantee a minimum phenolic and flavonoid content and as consequence of their related-biological activities, international requirements of propolis quality are commonly applied. In this work we assessed phenolic and flavonoid contents of propolis; the antioxidant capacity (toward peroxyl radicals and hypochlorous acid); the ability to generate nitric oxide (NO); and, finally the antimicrobial activity of 6 propolis samples from the VI region of Chile. Our results show that the total phenolic and flavonoid content of propolis samples are not always in agreement with their polyphenolic-associated in vitro activities. For example, P03 and P06 samples showed the lowest (25 ± 4 GAE/g propolis) and the highest (105 ± 3 GAE/g propolis) total phenolic content, respectively. This was in agreement with flavonoid content and their Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) activity. However, this dependence was not observed toward HOCl, NO release and antimicrobial activity.

Based on our results, we consider that, in order to guarantee the antioxidant or antimicrobial in vitro effects, the international regulations of propolis quality should contemplate the convenience of incorporating other simple analytical test such as ORAC or antimicrobial tests.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Royal Jelly RJ Improved Reproductive Parameters in Diabetic Rats

Study on the effect of royal jelly on reproductive parameters in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

Int J Fertil Steril. 2015 Apr-Jun;9(1):113-20


Diabetes mellitus has a variety of structural and functional effects on the male reproductive system. Diabetes results in reduced sperm parameters and libido. The present study aims to investigate the effects of royal jelly (RJ) on reproductive parameters of testosterone and malondialdehyde (MDA) production in diabetic rats.


This experimental study was conducted on adult male Wistar rats. The animals were divided into four groups (n=8 per group): control, RJ, diabetic and diabetic treated with RJ. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of 60 mg/kg body weight (BW) of streptozotocin (STZ). RJ, at a dose of 100 mg/kg BW was given by gavage. The duration of treatment was six weeks. After the treatment period the rats were sacrificed. The testes were weighed and changes in sperm count, motility, viability, deformity, DNA integrity and chromatin quality were analyzed. Serum testosterone and MDA concentrations of testicular tissue were determined. Data were analyzed by oneway ANOVA with p < 0.05 as the significant level.


STZ-induced diabetes decreased numerous reproductive parameters in rats. Testicular weight, sperm count, motility, viability and serum testosterone levels increased in the diabetic group treated with RJ. There was a significant decrease observed in sperm deformity, DNA integrity, chromatin quality, and tissue MDA levels in diabetic rats treated with RJ compared to the diabetic group (p<0 .05="" p="">

RJ improved reproductive parameters such as testicular weight, sperm count, viability, motility, deformity, DNA integrity, chromatin quality, serum testosterone and testicular tissue MDA levels in diabetic rats.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Propolis May Help Treat Antibiotic Resistant Bacterial Pathogens

Chemical composition and disruption of quorum sensing signaling in geographically diverse United States propolis

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:472593

Propolis or bee glue has been used for centuries for various purposes and is especially important in human health due to many of its biological and pharmacological properties. In this work we showed quorum sensing inhibitory (QSI) activity of ten geographically distinct propolis samples from the United States using the acyl-homoserine lactone- (AHL-) dependent Chromobacterium violaceum strain CV026.

Based on GC-MS chemical profiling the propolis samples can be classified into several groups that are as follows: (1) rich in cinnamic acid derivatives, (2) rich in flavonoids, and (3) rich in triterpenes. An in-depth analysis of the propolis from North Carolina led to the isolation and identification of a triterpenic acid that was recently isolated from Hondurian propolis (Central America) and ethyl ether of p-coumaric alcohol not previously identified in bee propolis. QSI activity was also observed in the second group US propolis samples which contained the flavonoid pinocembrin in addition to other flavonoid compounds.

The discovery of compounds that are involved in QSI activity has the potential to facilitate studies that may lead to the development of antivirulence therapies that can be complementary and/or alternative treatments against antibiotic resistant bacterial pathogens and/or emerging pathogens that have yet to be identified.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Manuka Honey Benefits: The Secret To Clearer Skin

Look, 5/9/205

Think honey is just for eating? After reading this, you might want to use it for something other than your morning slice of toast…

You may have wondered, when browsing jars of spread at the supermarket, why that one jar of honey is five times the price of the regular stuff. Look closely, and you’ll probably see ‘Manuka Honey’ emblazoned across the label. We’ve long known the health benefits of this superfood, but we think you should know about the huge benefits it could have on your skin.

1- HEALING The healing properties of this magical honey, produced down under in New Zealand, have been known for centuries. You name it, Manuka will heal it – from aggressive spots (makes them less flakier and smaller), to unsightly bruises, scars, and minor cuts. This clever stuff will boost skin renewal, leaving it as good as new...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Malaysian Tualang Honey Confers Cardioprotective Effects

Cardioprotective Effects of Tualang Honey: Amelioration of Cholesterol and Cardiac Enzymes Levels

BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 286051, 8 pages

The present study was designed to investigate the cardioprotective effects of Malaysian Tualang honey against isoproterenol- (ISO-) induced myocardial infarction (MI) in rats by investigating changes in the levels of cardiac marker enzymes, cardiac troponin I (cTnI), triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), lipid peroxidation (LPO) products, and antioxidant defense system combined with histopathological examination.

Male albino Wistar rats (n = 40) were pretreated orally with Tualang honey (3 g/kg/day) for 45 days. Subcutaneous injection of ISO (85 mg/kg in saline) for two consecutive days caused a significant increase in serum cardiac marker enzymes (creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and aspartate transaminase (AST)), cTnI, serum TC, and TG levels.

In addition, ISO-induced myocardial injury was confirmed by a significant increase in heart lipid peroxidation (LPO) products (TBARS) and a significant decrease in antioxidant enzymes (SOD, GPx, GRx, and GST).

Pretreatment of ischemic rats with Tualang honey conferred significant protective effects on all of the investigated biochemical parameters. The biochemical findings were further confirmed by histopathological examination in both Tualang-honey-pretreated and ISO-treated hearts.

The present study demonstrates that Tualang honey confers cardioprotective effects on ISO-induced oxidative stress by contributing to endogenous antioxidant enzyme activity via inhibition of lipid peroxidation.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Newly-Discovered Bacterium Helps Honey Bee Larvae

May 6, 2015 by Entomology Today

Honey bees are under constant pressure from a whole host of stresses — diseases, poor nutrition, sublethal effects of pesticides, and many others. While researchers have been aware for a number of years of a community of bacteria in adult bees that may aid with some of these stresses, researchers have now identified bacteria that help honey bee larvae.

Molecular biologist Vanessa Corby-Harris and microbial ecologist Kirk E. Anderson at the USDA-ARS Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, Arizona, have named a new species of bacteria — Parasaccharibacter apium. An Acetobacteraceae so far found only in honey bees and their hives, it appears to give honey bee larvae a significantly better chance of surviving to become pupae...

Friday, May 08, 2015

Brazilian Propolis Sold Direct to Consumers

Brazil-Arab News Agency, 5/6/2015

São Paulo – The most common path for small businesses to export is to find a distributor to work the market and make their product known to future foreign customers. This was not the case for Wax Green, a São Paulo-based company that sells honey and propolis. They started exporting directly to end consumers 12 years ago, and still do.

“We deal in propolis and the Chinese really enjoy it. Someone from China bought our product here in Brazil, then went back to his country and wanted to buy again,” says Letícia Giron, the company’s director. According to her, the product became popular in China through word of mouth.

Now, the company also sells to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, the United States, Canada, Spain, the Czech Republic, Chile and Greece. “They get in touch via email, make a deposit and I mail the goods,” says Giron, who reveals she has never carried out any international promotional actions. All sales are initiated by customers who find the company online. The product is shipped by mail or other postal delivery services.

Wax Green also produces honey and propolis of the brown variety, but only exports the green kind. “Green propolis originates from rosemary flower and is the strongest there is. It has higher flavonoid content, which strengthens immunity. Ours is a high quality product,” says Giron about the product she ships abroad. Propolis is extracted from flowers by bees in a process similar to honey’s, and is used as a therapeutic product to treat several conditions...

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Bee Venom May Help Treat Cancer

Antitumour action on human glioblastoma A1235 cells through cooperation of bee venom and cisplatin

Cytotechnology. 2015 Apr 28

Cisplatin (cDDP) is one of the most widely used anticancer-drugs in both therapy and research. However, cDDP-resistance is the greatest obstacle for the successful treatment of cancer patients. In the present study, the possible joint anticancer effect of bee venom (BV), as a natural toxin, and cDDP towards human glioblastoma A1235 cells was evaluated.

Treatment with BV alone in concentrations of 2.5-30 μg/ml displayed dose-dependent cytotoxicity towards A1235 cells, as evaluated with different cytotoxicity assays (MTT, Cristal violet and Trypan blue exclusion assay), with an IC50 value of 22.57 μg/ml based on the MTT results. Furthermore, BV treatment induced necrosis, which was confirmed by typical morphological features and fast staining with ethidium-bromide dye. Pre-treatment with BV induced cell sensitization to cDDP, indicating that BV could improve the killing effect of selected cells when combined with cDDP. The isobologram method used to determine the extent of synergism in combining two agents to examine their possible therapeutic effect showed that combined treatment induced an additive and/or synergistic effect towards selected cells depending on the concentration of both. Hence, a greater anticancer effect could be triggered if BV was used in the course of chemotherapy.

The obtained results indicate that joint treatment with BV could be useful from the point of minimizing the cDDP concentration during chemotherapy, thus reducing and/or postponing the development of drug resistance. Our data, in accordance with previously reported results, suggests that BV could be used in the development of a new strategy for cancer treatment.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Chestnut, Oak Honey May Help Prevent Gastric Ulcers

Honey as an apitherapic product: its inhibitory effect on urease and xanthine oxidase

J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2015 May 5:1-5. [Epub ahead of print]

The aim of this study was to evaluate new natural inhibitor sources for the enzymes urease and xanthine oxidase (XO). Chestnut, oak and polyfloral honey extracts were used to determine inhibition effects of both enzymes.

In addition to investigate inhibition, the antioxidant capacities of these honeys were determined using total phenolic content (TPC), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), and DPPH radical scavenging activity assays.

Due to their high phenolic content, chestnut and oak honeys are found to be a powerful source for inhibition of both enzymes. Especially, oak honeys were efficient for urease inhibition with 0.012-0.021 g/mL IC50 values, and also chestnut honeys were powerful for XO inhibition with 0.028-0.039 g/mL IC50 values.

Regular daily consumption of these honeys can prevent gastric ulcers deriving from Helicobacter pylori and pathological disorders mediated by reactive oxygen species.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Antioxidant Effect of Ethanolic Extract of Propolis

Antioxidant Effect of Ethanolic Extract of Propolis in Liver of L-NAME Treated Rats

Adv Clin Exp Med. 2015 Mar-Apr;24(2):227-32


The blocking of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity may cause vasoconstriction with formation of reactive oxygen species. Propolis is a natural product collected from plants by honeybees. Propolis has biological and pharmacological properties.


This study was designed to investigate the effects of propolis on catalase (CAT) activity, nitric oxide (NO) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the liver tissues of NOS inhibited rats by Nω-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME).


Rats were given a NOS inhibitor (L-NAME, 40 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) for 15 days to provoke hypertension and propolis (200 mg/kg, by gavage) the last 5 of the 15 days.


Nitric oxide levels in the liver tissue of the rats given L-NAME significantly decreased (p < 0.01). That parameter did not significantly alter in the liver of rats treated with propolis compared to the control group. CAT activity and MDA levels in the liver of the rats administrated L-NAME significantly increased compared to the control group (p < 0.01). These parameters significantly decreased in the liver of the rats given L-NAME + propolis compared to the L-NAME group (p < 0.01).


The present data shows that L-NAME in the liver may enhance oxidative stress via inhibited nitric oxide synthase. Our results also suggest that this effect is suppressed by the antioxidant properties of propolis in the liver tissue of NOS inhibited rats.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Brazilian, Cuban and Mexican Propolis Exerts Pro- and Anti-inflammatory Activity Depending on Concentration

Modulatory effects of propolis samples from Latin America (Brazil, Cuba and Mexico) on cytokine production by human monocytes

J Pharm Pharmacol. 2015 Apr 29. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12431. [Epub ahead of print]


Propolis has been used in folk medicine in different regions of the world including Latin America. Propolis is a resinous mixture of substances collected by honey bees from several botanical sources, and its composition contains a rich chemical variety, depending on the geographical area and plant sources. Our aim was to compare the modulatory effect of propolis samples from three different countries of Latin America (Brazil, Cuba and Mexico) on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine production (tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-10, respectively) by human monocytes.


Cells were incubated with propolis for 18 h at 37°C. Cell viability was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-thiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide method, and cytokine production was determined by ELISA.


All samples did not affect monocyte viability. Brazilian propolis stimulated both TNF-α and IL-10 production by monocytes. Cuban propolis stimulated TNF-α and inhibited IL-10 production, while Mexican sample exerted the opposite effect, inhibiting TNF-α and stimulating IL-10 production. The major compounds found in Brazilian, Cuban and Mexican propolis samples were artepillin C, isoflavonoids and pinocembrin, respectively.


Brazilian, Cuban and Mexican propolis contained different components that may exert pro- and anti-inflammatory activity depending on concentration, what may provide a novel approach to the development of immunomodulatory drugs containing propolis.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

7 Health Benefits of Bee Propolis

By Margie King, May 1, 2015

Bees make more than honey. They also make gunk called propolis. And this “bee glue” is a powerful health balm. In fact, studies show it has anti-cancer properties.

Dr. Seema Patel of the Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics Research Center, San Diego State University, conducted a comprehensive review of the literature on propolis and cancer. Dr. Patel found laboratory and animal studies supporting propolis efficacy against these cancers:

  • Brain
  • Pancreas
  • Head and neck
  • Kidney and bladder
  • Skin
  • Prostate
  • Breast
  • Colon
  • Liver
  • Blood  

Propolis contains as many as 300 active compounds. These components were found to fight cancer in a variety of ways, including:

  • Preventing the growth of new blood vessels to feed cancer cells (anti-angiogenesis)
  • Preventing the spread or metastasis of cancer from one organ to another
  • Halting cancer cell division
  • Inducing apoptosis or programmed cell death

In addition, propolis was found to mitigate the side effects or toxicity of chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of cancer...

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Apitherapy Event May 5 in Luxembourg

The healing power of the honeybee

Luxemburger Wort, Monday, 27 April, 2015 at 11:07

The healing properties of bee products will be explored at a free event being held in Luxembourg on May 5.

During the talk, bee conservation group Bee Together will demonstrate the pros and cons of the medical use of honeybee products, also known as Apitherapy, supported by scientific research...

Friday, May 01, 2015

Honey-Based Synthesis of ZnO Nanopowders and Their Cytotoxicity Effects

Advanced Powder Technology

Available online 18 April 2015

The use of food and bio-derived products for the synthesis of different nanomaterials is of enormous interest to modern nanobiotechnology. We have developed a simple, novel, “greener”, bio-directed, and low cost method for the synthesis of zinc oxide nanopowders (ZnO–NPs) by using honey as a food and bio-derived product. The prepared ZnO–NPs were characterized by UV–visible spectroscopy (UV–vis), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), thermogravimetric analysis and differential thermal analysis (TGA/DTA), and powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD). Spherical ZnO–NPs were synthesized at different calcination temperatures and FESEM images and its corresponding particle size distributions showed the formation of nanopowders in size of about 30 nm. The PXRD analysis revealed wurtzite hexagonal ZnO with preferential orientation at (1 0 1) reflection plane. In vitro cytotoxicity studies on neuro2A cells showed a dose dependent toxicity with non-toxic effect of a concentration up to 7.8 μg/mL.