Saturday, March 31, 2012

Propolis Reduces Contamination of Toothbrush Bristles

Antimicrobial Capacity of Aloe Vera and Propolis Dentifrice Against Streptococcus mutans Strains in Toothbrushes: An in vitro Study
J Appl Oral Sci, 2012 Feb;20(1):32-7.


This study evaluated in vitro the efficiency of Aloe vera and propolis dentifrice on reducing the contamination of toothbrush bristles by a standard strain of Streptococcus mutans (ATCC 25175; SM), after toothbrushing.


Fifteen sterile toothbrushes were randomly divided into 5 toothbrushing groups: I (negative control): without dentifrice; II: with fluoridated dentifrice; III: with triclosan and gantrez dentifrice; IV (positive control): without dentifrice and irrigation with 10 mL of 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate; V: with Aloe vera and propolis dentifrice. In each group, 1 sterile bovine tooth was brushed for 1 min, where the toothbrush bristles were contaminated with 25 µL of SM. After toothbrushing, the bristles were stored in individual test tubes with 3 mL of BHI under anaerobiosis of 37°C for 48 h. Then, they were seeded with sterile swab in triplicate in the Mitis salivarius - Bacitracin culture medium. The samples were kept under anaerobiosis of 37°C for 48 h. Scores were used to count the number of colony forming units (cfu). The results were submitted to the Mann-Whitney statistical test at 5% significance level.


There was statistically significant difference (p<0.05) for the reduction of bristle contamination comparing groups II, III, IV and V to group I.


It may be stated that after toothbrushing, the Aloe vera and propolis dentifrice reduced the contamination of toothbrush bristles by SM, without differentiation from the other chemical agents used.

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Zealand Medicinal Honey Producer on Use of Cyclodextrins to Deliver Methylglyoxal

Client Q&A: Manuka Health
Industrial Research, 3/19/2012

Kerry Paul is the CEO of Manuka Health New Zealand. With a strong focus on adding value to New Zealand natural health products, Manuka Health has been working with IRL on the technology transfer of a new innovation, CycloPower™. We asked Kerry to tell us more.

Describe your business

Manuka Health harnesses and markets the scientifically-proven health benefits of New Zealand’s unique bioactives sourced from New Zealand flora.

We are global leaders in the production of therapeutic-grade manuka honey products, which sell in 45 countries around the world. Our company is based in Te Awamutu and employs 45 staff over three business units.

Tell us about the development of CycloPower

In collaboration with scientific colleagues from Tokyo University, we have patented a way to deliver dietary methylglyoxal, the unique naturally-occurring antibacterial ingredient in manuka honey, in powder form to our next-generation products.

CycloPower products will use cyclodextrins – compounds made up of sugar molecules bound together – to deliver the methylglyoxal in foods, drinks, dietary supplements and other nutritional and medicinal products.

This is a breakthrough for natural healthcare and is what turbo is for vehicles – a way to get much greater performance without increasing the dose.

For example, genuine MGO™ Manuka Honey is renowned for its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria. When formulated with CycloPower it will kill some of the most virulent bacteria the world has ever seen.

When are the first CycloPower products due to be released?

The first product has already been manufactured in Japan and we aim to have products available in New Zealand within the next few months.

IRL is assisting us with the technology transfer from Japan in order to establish these processes on a commercial scale in New Zealand…

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Apitherapy (Bee Venom therapy) Used to Ease Arthritis Symptoms

Star-Gazette, 3/24/12

…Bee venom therapy -- BVT for short -- involves taking multiple stings or "hits" as a remedy for arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other ills. Bill Draper takes his hits on an arthritic knee.

"I feel better (when) I take a sting," said Draper, who has been stung literally thousands of times over the years.

It must be pointed out that bee stings can cause a potentially fatal allergic reaction that can occur the first time a person gets stung -- or the 10,000th.

Draper relates this story:

"There was a young wrestler from Wysox who had a huge wart on the back of his hand. It kept bleeding when he wrestled, and that was a problem. His parents tried everything to get rid of it -- freezing, chemicals and so on, but nothing worked.

"They came to me, and they had a wet cloth over the wart to keep it soft. He took eight stings on the wart and left. I never heard what happened.

"Years passed, and one day this big, strapping guy came in and asked if I remembered him. I didn't. He said, 'I'm the wrestler from Wysox who you treated with bee stings. After not very long, that wart just fell off. It never came back. And it must have been powerful, because other warts I had fell right off, too.'

"So there's one success story."

Among other bee remedies, all available from Draper's:

» Royal jelly: The food of the queen bee, it's a milky-white liquid secreted by nurse bees.

It can help maintain youth, normalize bodily functions, increase resistance to disease and increase energy levels, Dr. Steve Schecter wrote in The Journal of the American Apitherapy Society. And that's just a partial list of benefits.

» Propolis: Resin or sap exuded by tree bark and buds that is collected by bees and deposited in hives.

It has been proven to have "antibiotic, antifungal, analgesic, antioxidant and anti-viral properties," Draper said.

» Pollen: That yellow stuff that clings to bees' knees. It's 25 percent to 30 percent protein and touted as "nature's perfect food."…

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

High Doses of Royal Jelly May Adversely Affect Male Reproductive System

Influence of Royal Jelly on the Reproductive Function of Puberty Male Rats
Food Chem Toxicol, 2012 Mar 8

The adverse effects of royal jelly on the reproductive system of puberty male rats were investigated.

Royal jelly was daily administered by gavage to Sprague-Dawley rats at doses 200, 400, and 800mg/kg for 4weeks. The body weight and organ coefficients were determined. Sperm count, spermatozoa abnormality, and testicular histopathology were examined through light microscopy. Radioimmunoassay was used to detect serum hormones.

The dietary exposure to royal jelly did not affect body weight, but the organ coefficients for the pituitary and testis in the high-dose group were decreased significantly compared with the control group, and significant changes in the microstructure of the testis were observed.

No significant differences in sperm count were observed among all groups, however, the sperm deformity rate in the high-dose group increased significantly. Serum hormones in the high-dose group were significantly different from the control group.

After royal jelly was stopped for 14 days, the adverse changes were partially reversed and returned to levels close to those in the control group.

In conclusion, high-dose royal jelly oral administration for 4 weeks adversely affected the reproductive system of pubescent male rats, but the unfavorable effects are alleviated to some extent by cessation of administration.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Propolis Essential Oil May Help Treat Anxiety

Therapeutic Effects of Propolis Essential Oil on Anxiety of Restraint-Stressed Mice
Hum Exp Toxicol, February 2012 vol. 31 no. 2 157-165

Propolis has a broad spectrum of biological activities; however, whether its essential oils have neuroprotective effects is unknown.

In this study, we found that propolis essential oil (PEO) could significantly reverse the anxiety-like behavior of restraint-stressed mice, and has no effect on locomotor activity. Furthermore, PEO significantly decreased the plasma levels of cortisol (CORT), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and malondialdehyde (MDA), whereas it increased the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in restraint-stressed mice.

These results strongly suggest that PEO has therapeutic effects on anxiety through antagonizing the hyperfunction of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and improving the ability of antioxidation in brain tissue.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Honey’s Healing Powers Summarized

You Should Rub Honey on Your Everywhere
By James Byrne, Scientific American, 3/21/2012

Honey’s healing powers can be summarized into 5 main ingredients and activities of the components of honey;

1. Hydrogen peroxide – Honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase which breaks down glucose sugars and generates hydrogen peroxide, a kind of bleach, when there is free water available. In case you missed the antimicrobial component it was friggin BLEACH IN YOUR HONEY. I can feel you wondering why bee’s bleach their own food supply and it turns out that is very simple. Any available water can cause the honey to spoil so the presence of glucose oxidase in the honey is an inbuilt anti-spoiling mechanism, pretty smart huh?

2. Sugar – Having said what I did above there is very little water because of the vast quantity of sugar dissolved into honey. The lack of free water makes it very difficult for bacteria to survive.

3. Methylglyoxal or MGO – This compound is an incredibly interesting and powerful antibacterial compound but it is only found in certain natural honeys like Manuka honey from New Zealand but can be made in artificial greenhouses as well. This is the stuff that is making honey a very interesting topical salve in medical honey treatments such as MediHoney.

4. Bee Defensin 1 – Bee Defensin is an antimicrobial peptide (AMP) that for a long time was thought to be exclusively found in the Royal Jelly. But fairly recent discoveries have found it in the honey, but more on AMPs in a second.

5. Acidity – Finally, honey is reasonably acidic and remains so even when diluted holding a pH of approximately 3.5. Nothing that likes eating you particularly likes living in acid so this property is very important.

No single property is more important than the others and the multifactorial nature of honey’s activities is probably the key to its amazing antimicrobial nature. Having said this, Bee Defensin 1 and other identified AMPs in honey such as Apidaecin may have much more interesting roles that are only recently being uncovered…

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Propolis Component Protects Against Damage by Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy Treatments

The Potential Usage of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE) Against Chemotherapy-Induced and Radiotherapy-Induced Toxicity
Cell Biochem Funct, 2012 Mar 20

Protection of the patients against the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimens has attracted increasing interest of clinicians and practitioners.

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), which is extracted from the propolis of honeybee hives as an active component, specifically inhibits nuclear factor κB at micromolar concentrations and show ability to stop 5-lipoxygenase-catalysed oxygenation of linoleic acid and arachidonic acid. CAPE has antiinflammatory, antiproliferative, antioxidant, cytostatic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antineoplastic properties.

The purpose of this review is to summarize in vivo and in vitro usage of CAPE to prevent the chemotherapy-induced and radiotherapy-induced damages and side effects in experimental animals and to develop a new approach for the potential usage of CAPE in clinical trial as a protective agent during chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimens.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Propolis Boosts Growth of Rainbow Trout

Effects of Dietary Propolis and Vitamin E on Growth Performance and Antioxidant Status in Juvenile Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Under Different Flow Rate
Aquaculture Research, Article first published online: 15 MAR 2012

The present study investigated the effects of propolis and vitamin E supplementation in diets of juvenile rainbow trout subjected to two different flow rates (0.9 and 2.1 L min−1) on growth performance, and vitamin A, C and E concentrations in tissues as well as malondialdehyde (MDA) levels.

Juvenile rainbow trout were fed with diets containing 10 and 30 g propolis kg−1, 60 mg kg−1 vitamin E (Rovimix E-50 adsorbate; min.%50 dl-α-tokopherly acetate) and without supplemented basal diet for 12 weeks.

Weight gain (WG) in the C group was significantly lower than P10, P30 and E60 groups at both flow rate treatments. At 2.1 L min−1, specific growth rate (SGR) in the C group was significantly lower than other groups, but at 0.9 L min−1, SGR of fish did not differ among the diets groups. Survival rate (SUR) was higher in propolis and vitamin E supplemented diet groups than control diet group at 0.9 L min−1.

Fish fed on diet E60 had higher tissue vitamin E concentration than fishes fed on other diets groups. Vitamin C concentration in rainbow trout tissues was significantly affected by the 30 g propolis supplemented diet group, followed by the 10 g propolis supplemented diet group. MDA level of E60 group was found significantly decreased instead of different than other groups.

The results of Student's t-test revealed that WG, SGR, SUR values, vitamin (A, C, E) concentrations and MDA levels of tissues were negatively affected by 0.9 L min−1flow rate treatment in juvenile rainbow trout.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Indian Stingless Bee Propolis Has Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial Activity

Antimicrobial Activity of Stingless Bee (Trigona sp.) Propolis Used in the Folk Medicine of Western Maharashtra, India
J Ethnopharmacol, 2012 Mar 7


Stingless bee (Trigona sp.) propolis is widely used in the folk medicine of Western Maharashtra, India to treat a variety of ailments.


To determine the chemical composition and evaluate the antimicrobial activity of Indian stingless bee propolis.


Chemical composition of the ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) was determined by GC-MS analysis. A range of bacteria including multidrug resistant (MDR) cultures as well as a yeast strain EEP was tested for antimicrobial activity using. MIC, MBC, MFC, Kill curves and post agent effect (PAE) of the EEP were assessed using standard microbiological methods.


GC-MS analysis revealed that propolis contained 24 compounds (9 known and 15 newly reported). Many of these were known bioactive compounds, including antimicrobials. The MICs of EEP were in the range of 1.21-9.75μg/mL while the MBCs/MFC were between 2.43 and 19.5μg/mL. The time required to achieve 90% (1 log(10)) reduction in culture growth ranged between 1.06 and 3.53h at their respective MIC values. PAE for all the cultures was >24h. 


Indian stingless bee propolis has a complex nature with 24 chemical compounds. It has a potent broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. The latter finding, in conjunction with other bioactive properties, could provide a scientific basis to its popular use in the Indian folk medicine.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Antimicrobial Activity of Portuguese Propolis Analyzed

Antimicrobial Activity, Phenolic Profile and Role in the Inflammation of Propolis
Food Chem Toxicol, 2012 Mar 7

Nowadays a great amount of information regarding chemical and biological aspects of bee products is available in the literature, but few data on its therapeutic uses are found.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the phenolic profile, the in vitro antimicrobial activity and effect in the hyaluronidase enzyme (widely related with the inflammation process) of propolis harvested in Portugal.

The efficacy of three extracts (hydro-alcoholic, methanolic and aqueous) was also compared. It was chosen the hydro-alcoholic extract, because this was the most effective for extracting phenolic compounds. The antimicrobial activity was accessed in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and yeasts, isolated from different biological fluids and the results were then compared with the obtained for reference microorganisms.

The propolis from Bragança was the one that possessed the highest polyphenols' content. The sample from Beja showed the less significant inhibition of the hyaluronidase enzyme.

Concerning the antimicrobial activity, Candida albicans was the most resistant and Staphylococcus aureus the most sensitive. The reference microorganisms were more sensitive than the ones isolated from biological fluids.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Is Local Honey a Cure for Hay Fever?

By: Tammie Smith, Times-Dispatch, 3/19/2012

Q: Is it true that eating locally produced bee honey can help tame seasonal allergies?

A: I heard a local beekeeper say as much recently, and anecdotally some people may find relief, but there are not enough scientific studies to say it works more often than not.

The idea behind it is immunotherapy, in which an allergic person exposes himself over time to tiny amounts of the substance to which they are allergic. Eventually, the reasoning goes, the person is no longer bothered by the allergen.

The medical literature has little on using local bee honey as immunotherapy for allergies, but many of the beekeeping and natural living blogs promote it.

Some also caution that some people may actually have severe allergic reactions to bee honey, which have been reported.

Two small studies that have examined the issue have different results.

In the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in 2002, researchers at the University of Connecticut reported on a study that involved 36 people with allergic rhinitis. Participants were randomly assigned to three groups. One group got locally collected honey, one group got nationally collected honey and one group got a placebo substance without honey. There was no difference in relief of allergy symptoms among the three groups.

In a study published in an online version of the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology in 2010, researchers at the South Karelia Allergy and Environment Institute in Finland examined whether taking birch pollen honey or regular honey before allergy season had an effect on how much medication people needed during allergy season. There was also a control group that used traditional medicine. The study found that those who used birch pollen honey (birch pollen added to honey) preseasonally had better control of their symptoms than people who used conventional medication and slightly better control than those who used regular honey.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hives Placed Near Highways May Risk Lead Contamination of Honey

Lead Content in Multifloral Honey from Central Croatia Over a Three-Year Period
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Online First

Lead concentrations were analysed by atomic absorption spectrometry in multifloral honeys collected in central Croatia (Zagreb County) during a three-year period from 2009 to 2011. The mean levels of elements (μg/kg) in honey samples measured were: 90.8 in 2009, 189 in 2010 and 360 in 2011.

Significant differences were observed, and Pb levels determined in 2009 were significantly lower than those in 2010 and 2011 (p < 0.05, both). In 2009 there was no concentration found above 300 μg/kg. However, in 2010 and 2011 levels exceeding 300 μg/kg were found in 28.6 % and 25 % of samples. Trace element levels of Pb determined in multifloral honey were generally higher than concentrations obtained from other geographical origins and neighbouring countries.

These high concentrations of Pb may be related to the fact that the central region is becoming increasingly urban and the network of motorways is growing. Accordingly, the risk of positioning hives near zones of busy highways and railways is increasing.

This underlines that particular attention should be paid to toxic Pb levels, due to their gradual increased during the study period.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beneficial Lactic Acid Bacteria in Honey May Kill Harmful Bacteria in Humans

Healthy Lactic Acid Bacteria in Wild Honey Bees Can Fight Bacterial Infections
News Medical, March 15, 2012

The stomachs of wild honey bees are full of healthy lactic acid bacteria that can fight bacterial infections in both bees and humans. A collaboration between researchers at three universities in Sweden ¬- Lund University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Karolinska Institutet - has produced findings that could be a step towards solving the problems of both bee deaths and antibiotic resistance.

The researchers have now published their results in the scientific journal PloS ONE and the legendary science photographer Professor Lennart Nilsson from Karolinska Institutet has illustrated the findings with his unique images.

Today, many people eat healthy lactic acid bacteria that are added to foods such as yogurt.
"In our previous studies, we have looked at honey bees in Sweden. What we have now found from our international studies is that, historically, people of all cultures have consumed the world's greatest natural blend of healthy bacteria in the form of honey", says Alejandra Vasquez, a researcher at Lund University.

In wild and fresh honey, which honey hunters collect from bees' nests in high cliffs and trees, there are billions of healthy lactic acid bacteria of 13 different types. This is in comparison with the 1-3 different types found in commercial probiotic products, she explains.

The honey bees have used these bacteria for 80 million years to produce and protect their honey and their bee bread (bee pollen), which they produce to feed the entire bee colony. The researchers have now also shown that the healthy lactic acid bacteria combat the two most serious bacterial diseases to affect honey bees…

"As humans have learnt to use honey to treat sore throats, colds and wounds, our hypothesis is that the healthy bee bacteria can also kill harmful disease bacteria in humans. We have preliminary, unpublished results which show that this could be a new tool to complement or even replace antibiotics", says Alejandra Vasquez…

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gwyneth Paltrow Uses Bee Venom Therapy, Apitherapy Products

Gwyneth Paltrow's Bee Love
M&C, Mar 15, 2012

Gwyneth Paltrow is obsessed with bees.

The Oscar-winning actress - who lives in London with husband Chris Martin and two children Apple, seven and Moses, five - admits she loves the small black and yellow creatures, and has even undergone 'bee venom therapy' to help rid her of an injury.

Writing in her Goop newsletter, the blonde beauty said: 'You know when you start hearing about the same thing from different people at around the same time?

'This has been happening to be lately in regards to, well, bees. I was recently given bee venom therapy for an old injury and it disappeared. I was recommended bee pollen, raw honey and propolis for various purposes. So far, these recommendations have worked for me.'

Since, the 39-year-old star has been doing research about the benefits of by-products created by the insect.

She added: 'I started to research and found some very interesting facts, products and recipes.'…

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Honey for Acute Cough in Children - Updated

Cochrane Summaries, March 14, 2012

Cough is a cause for concern for parents and a major cause of outpatient visits in most settings for both children and adults. Cough can impact on quality of life, cause anxiety and affect sleep for parents and children. For this reason an immediate remedy is usually sought by both the caregiver and the recipient. Cochrane reviews have assessed the effectiveness of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medications, but none have studied honey as a cough relief. A systematic review evaluating the effectiveness of honey for reducing acute cough symptoms due to upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in children would be useful. A review of two small randomised controlled trials (RCTs) showed that honey was moderately better than 'no treatment' for the relief of cough, reducing bothersome cough, improving quality of sleep for children and parents and reducing the severity of cough.

This review included two small trials involving 265 children, aged two to 18 years. The effects of honey and dextromethorphan on symptomatic relief of cough, bothersome cough, and quality of sleep for both child and parent did not differ. Honey may be better than diphenhydramine for symptomatic relief of cough, reducing the severity of cough, and improving sleep quality for both parent and child. Dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine are both common ingredients in cough medications. Parents of seven children given honey and two given dextromethorphan reported their children suffered mild reactions from insomnia, hyperactivity and nervousness. Parents of three children in the diphenhydramine group reported somnolence. However, as with other medications, its benefit should be considered alongside the adverse effects. The limitation of this review update is that only two small studies with high risk of bias were included.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Leptosin a Chemical Marker for Manuka Honey

Identification of a Novel Glycoside, Leptosin, as a Chemical Marker of Manuka Honey
J Agric Food Chem, 2012 Mar 12

As a preliminary study, we have found that honey from manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) in New Zealand inhibits myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity.

In this study, using a chromatographic technique, we isolated two active compounds for MPO-inhibition from manuka honey. One is methyl syringate (MSYR) and the other was identified as a novel glycoside of MSYR, methyl syringate 4-O-ß-D-gentiobiose, which has been named 'leptosin' after the genus Leptospermum. The amount of the glycoside ranged from 0.2 to 1.2 µmol/g honey.

Leptosin was only found in honeys from the Oceania region, and abundantly in manuka honey including jelly bush honey from Leptospermum polygalifolium in Australia. Therefore, leptosin may be a good chemical marker for manuka honey.

Interestingly, the concentration of leptosin in manuka honey was positively correlated with the unique manuka factor (UMF) value, which is expressed as phenol equivalents of its bactericidal activity.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fish Liver Oil and Propolis Act as Neuroprotective Agents

Efficacy of Fish Liver Oil and Propolis as Neuroprotective Agents in Pilocarpine Epileptic Rats Treated with Valproate
Pathophysiology, Volume 18, Issue 4, September 2011, Pages 287–294

Objective: To evaluate the action of fish liver oil and propolis in pilocarpine epileptic rats treated with the anticonvulsant drug valproate.

Methods: Seven groups of rats were treated daily for six months: control; fish liver oil (0.4 ml/kg b.w); propolis (50 mg/kg b.w); pilocarpine-treated rats (epileptic control); epileptic rats treated with valproate (400 mg/kg b.w); groups 6 and 7, epileptic rats treated with valproate plus fish liver oil or propolis.

Results: Pilocarpine administration caused a significant increase in hippocampal dopamine and serotonin levels accompanied with a significant decrease in their levels in serum. Lipid peroxidation level and LDH activity in hippocampus were significantly increased after pilocarpine treatment whereas Na+/K+-ATPase activity and total antioxidant capacity were significantly decreased compared to the controls. Animals treated with the combined treatments showed a significant improvement in tested parameters towards the normal values of the control. 

: Fish liver oil and propolis when given in combination with valproate, neuroprotected against the neurophysiological disorders induced by pilocarpine epilepsy in rats.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brazilian Red Propolis Could Help Treat High Cholesterol

Ethanolic Extracts of Brazilian Red Propolis Increase ABCA1 Expression and Promote Cholesterol Efflux from THP-1 Macrophages
Phytomedicine, Volume 19, Issue 5, 15 March 2012, Pages 383–388

The ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) is a membrane transporter that directly contributes to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) biogenesis by regulating the cellular efflux of cholesterol. Since ABCA1 plays a pivotal role in cholesterol homeostasis and HDL metabolism, identification of a novel substance that is capable of increasing its expression would be beneficial for the prevention and therapy of atherosclerosis.

In the present study, we studied the effects of ethanolic extracts of Brazilian red propolis (EERP) on ABCA1 expression and cholesterol efflux in THP-1 macrophages. EERP enhanced PPARγ and liver X receptor (LXR) transcriptional activity at 5–15 μg/ml, which was associated with upregulation of PPARγ and LXRα expression. It was also found that EERP increase the activity of the ABCA1 promoter, which is positively regulated by LXR. Consistent with these findings, treatment with EERP increased both mRNA and protein expression of ABCA1. Finally, EERP upregulated ApoA-I-mediated cholesterol efflux.

Our results showed that EERP promote ApoA-I-mediated cholesterol efflux from macrophages by increasing ABCA1 expression via induction of PPARγ/LXR.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Australian Propolis Shows Stronger Antioxidant Activity Than Brazilian Green Propolis

Prenylated Cinnamate and Stilbenes from Kangaroo Island Propolis and Their Antioxidant Activity
Phytochemistry, Available online 7 February 2012

A prenylated cinnamic acid derivative as well as six prenylated tetrahydroxystilbenes were isolated from the ethyl acetate extract of propolis that originated from Kangaroo Island, Australia. Furthermore, six known stilbenes and two known flavanones were also identified from the same sample.

Stilbenes are not common in propolis; therefore, Kangaroo Island propolis is considered a unique type of propolis that is rich in prenylated stilbenes. Stilbene propolis from Kangaroo Island showed a stronger scavenging activity towards DPPH free radical than Brazilian green propolis.

This strong activity can be explained by the presence of large number of stilbenes, most of them showed strong free radical scavenging activity.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Green Propolis Protects Against Bladder Cancer

Chemoprevention with Green Propolis Extracted in L-lysine Versus Carcinogenesis Promotion with L-Lysine in N-Butyl-N-[4-hydroxybutyl] Nitrosamine (BBN) Induced Rat Bladder Cancer
Acta Cir Bras, 2012 Feb;27(2):185-92


To determine the effects of green propolis extracted in L-lysine (WSDP) and of L-lysine for 40 weeks on induced rat bladder carcinogenesis.


The animals (groups I, II, III, IV, V and VI) received BBN during 14 weeks. Group I was treated with propolis 30 days prior received BBN, and then these animals were treated daily with propolis; Groups II and III was treated with subcutaneous and oral propolis (respectively) concurrently with BBN. The animals of Group IV were treated L-lysine; Group V received water subcutaneous; and Group VI received only to BBN. Among the animals not submitted to carcinogenesis induction, Group VII received propolis, Group VIII received L-lysine and Group IX received water.


The carcinoma incidence in Group I was lower than that of control (Group VI). The carcinoma multiplicity in Group IV was greater than in Group VI. All animals treated with L-lysine developed carcinomas, and they were also more invasive in Group IV than in controls. On the other hand, Group VIII showed no bladder lesions.


The WSDP is chemopreventive against rat bladder carcinogenesis, if administered 30 days prior to BBN , and that L-lysine causes promotion of bladder carcinogenesis.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Propolis Could Be Used to Disinfect Eggs

Effects of Propolis on Eggshell Microbial Activity, Hatchability, and Chick Performance in Japanese Quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) Eggs
Poult Sci, 2012 Apr;91(4):1018-25

Propolis is a sticky resin produced by worker honeybees from substances collected from plants, and it has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties.

The purpose of this study was to establish the effects of propolis on egg weight loss, hatchability, chick performance, and to control microbial activity naturally occurring on eggshells.

A total of 750 fresh eggs was randomly divided into 5 groups. Eggs from the first group were sprayed with ethyl alcohol (70%, A), the second group was sprayed with benzalkonium chloride (B), and the third, fourth, and fifth groups were sprayed with propolis at 3 doses: 5, 10, and 15%. Eggs sprayed with propolis had lower egg weight loss than eggs from groups A and B (P < 0.001). Bacterial activity was reduced significantly in all propolis groups. There were no significant differences between treatments for hatchability, embryonic mortality, BW gain, and relative growth.

Results of the present study indicated that propolis could be an alternative hatching egg disinfectant versus a chemical disinfectant, without adverse effects on hatchability and performance of quail chicks.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Honey Beats Traditional Treatment for Burn Wounds

Comparison Between Topical Honey and Mafenide Acetate in Treatment of Burn Wounds
Ann Burns Fire Disasters, 2011 Sep 30;24(3):132-7

Histological and clinical studies of wound healing were performed in comparable cases of fresh partial-thickness burns treated with honey dressing or mafenide acetate in two groups of 50 randomly allocated patients.

Of the patients with honey-treated wounds, 84% showed satisfactory epithelialization by day 7 and 100% by day 21. In wounds treated with mafenide acetate, epithelialization occurred by day 7 in 72% of cases and in 84% by day 21. Histological evidence of reparative activity was observed in 80% of wounds treated with honey dressing by day 7 with minimal inflammation.

Fifty-two per cent of the mafenide acetate treated wounds showed reparative activity with inflammatory changes by day 7. Reparative activity reached 100% by day 21 with the honey dressing and 84% with mafenide acetate.

Thus, in honey-dressed wounds, early subsidence of acute inflammatory changes, better control of infection, and quicker wound healing were observed, while in mafenide acetate treated wounds a sustained inflammatory reaction was noted even on epithelialization.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Apitherapy Symposium April 28-29 in Maine

The American Apitherapy Society, Inc. & the York County Beekeepers Association Present “Honey Bees for Health,” An Apitherapy Symposium & Workshop

April 28-29, 2012
York Harbor Inn, York Harbor, ME
For more information:

Please join us in York Harbor in Southern Maine, just one hour north of Boston, MA for this event. You will be able to learn from three experienced Apitherapists (two physicians and one acupuncturist), and intereact with them and other people interested in Apitherapy. This ancient form of medicine with products of the beehive (honey, pollen, propolis, bee venom, and royal jelly) is used for health and healing throughout the world. The use of these products to maintain health is currently becoming well recognized in mainstream as well as scientific publications, and their power to heal when illness or accident occurs is also documented.

Conditions such as arthritis, MS, pain, and wounds are known to respond well to Apitherapy. Examples of material covered at this event are adverse reactions, informed consent and legal issues, treatment of scars, veterinary Apitherapy, and Apitherapy for pain, arthritis, and accidents. The AAS is a nonprofit membership organization established for the purpose of educating about Apitherapy. This event is a prelude to the more comprehensive program of AAS’s course and conference (known as CMACC) to be given this year, October 5 - 7 in Portland, Oregon.

AAS and YCBA look forward to having you with us at the end of April. Enjoy early Spring in Maine at a beautiful historic inn, close to many of southern Maine’s coastal natural resources, as well as to fine shopping.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Propolis Component Could Help Treat Ear Infections

Effect of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE) on H(2)O(2) Induced Oxidative and Inflammatory Responses in Human Middle Ear Epithelial Cells
Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol, 2012 Feb 25


Acute otitis media (OM) is a common pediatric disease. Recent research into the pathogenesis of OM has focused on oxidative damage, induced by oxygen free radicals, to the middle ear mucosa along with inflammation. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a biologically active ingredient of propolis honey bees, with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. The effect of CAPE on hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2))-induced inflammatory and oxidative reactions in the middle ear is still not known. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of CAPE on cultured human middle ear epithelial cells (HMEECs).


The inflammatory injury of H(2)O(2) and the anti-inflammatory effect of CAPE were determined by measuring levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and COX-2) with real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis. Oxidative stress induced by H(2)O(2) and antioxidative effects of CAPE were evaluated directly by reactive oxygen species (ROS) production using flow cytometric analysis of 5-(and-6)-chloromethyl-2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, acetyl ester (CM-H(2)DCFDA), and indirectly by the expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) using Western blot analysis. The effect of CAPE was compared with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) which has well-known antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.


CAPE significantly inhibited H(2)O(2)-induced upregulation of TNF-α and COX-2 expression in a dose and time dependent manner. ROS accumulation induced by H(2)O(2) stimulation was decreased by CAPE pretreatment. Induced SOD expression after H(2)O(2) stimulation was diminished by CAPE pretreatment. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of CAPE were similar to those of NAC.


These findings suggest that inflammation induced by H(2)O(2) can be inhibited by CAPE via inhibition of the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and COX-2. Furthermore, CAPE has antioxidative effects, which decreases the need for endogenous SOD expression.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Experts Agree on Methylglyoxal Test for Manuka Honey

Voxy, 3/5/2012

Scientific experts agree that measuring the level of the active compound - methylglyoxal - in manuka honey is a robust test of its anti-bacterial activity.

"Testing for methylglyoxal is a clear and unambiguous way of letting consumers know that the antibacterial activity of the honey is the genuine, special type of activity for which manuka honey is famous," says Professor Peter Molan, director of the University of Waikato's honey research unit.

Professor Thomas Henle of the Technical University of Dresden, who identified methylglyoxal in 2006 as the compound responsible for manuka honey's unique antibacterial properties, also says testing for methylglyoxal levels in manuka honey is a reliable, quantitative method.

"A labelling system has to be scientifically sound, based on a method which is published and can be used in any laboratory. This is definitely the case for methylglyoxal manuka honey labelling."

The methylglyoxal rating system measures actual levels of the compound responsible for manuka honey's antibacterial activity, methylglyoxal.

Both experts agreed that the special activity of manuka honey was its non-peroxide, antibacterial activity and that the level of that activity was in line with the level of methlyglyoxal.

However, both professors said the correlation between the two was approximate and should be used only as a guide for rating manuka honey…

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Honey Boosts Impact of Antibiotic on MRSA

Synergy Between Oxacillin and Manuka Honey Sensitizes Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus to Oxacillin
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Advance Access


Honey is an ancient wound remedy that has recently been introduced into modern clinical practice in developed countries. Manuka honey inhibits growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by preventing cell division. In Gram-negative bacteria a synergistic interaction between honey and antibiotics has been suggested. We aimed to determine the effect of manuka honey on oxacillin resistance in MRSA.


Inhibition of MRSA by manuka honey and oxacillin separately and in combination was tested by disc diffusion, Etest strips, serial broth dilution, chequerboards and growth curves.


Manuka honey and oxacillin interacted synergistically to inhibit MRSA. Manuka honey reversed oxacillin resistance in MRSA, and down-regulation of mecR1 was found in cells treated with manuka honey.


Microarray analysis showed that exposure of MRSA to inhibitory concentrations of manuka honey resulted in down-regulation of mecR1. Here we demonstrated that subinhibitory concentrations of honey in combination with oxacillin restored oxacillin susceptibility to MRSA. Other honey and antibiotic combinations must now be evaluated.

Monday, March 05, 2012

UK Television Star Promotes Apitherapy Products

Millie’s Make Up: Forget Professors, the Made in Chelsea Star has a Thing for Doctors
The Mirror, 3/2/2012

High street honey Millie signs up as ambassador of Bee Venom skincare - as loved by Kate Middleton, Victoria Beckham and Kylie – and admits she’s struggled with acne

She’s one of the UK’s hottest TV stars; regularly snapped in her smalls for lad’s mags FHM and Nuts and won the nation’s affections (plus new manfriend Professor Green’s) on E4 hit-show Made in Chelsea.

But Millie Mackintosh hasn’t always had things so easy. The reality TV star has spoken out about her troubles with teen acne, and admits that heavy make-up worn while filming for Made in Chelsea has played havoc with her skin. Until now.

While fans of the show may have marvelled at her flawless complexion, Millie says it’s a new thing, and all down to her Manuka Doctor ApiClear cleansing regime:

“As a make-up artist I come across so many products and brands – I also get sent a lot of products to try – but my absolute favourite at the moment is Manuka Doctor.”

“I really like their ApiClear range – the Foaming Cleanser, Skin Treatment Serum and Moisturising Lotion are really good for balancing troubled skin.”

The Purified Bee Venom (PBV™) works with New Zealand Honey, known for it’s anti-bacterial qualities, and Propolis to help eliminate the causes of blemishes. Indeed Bee Venom has been proven to be an effective alternative treatment to antibiotic therapy for acne…

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Manuka Honey Helps Clear Chronic Wound Infections, Kills MRSA

Sweet Option Emerges for Wound Care
McKnight's Long Term Care News, 3/1/2012

Manuka honey may help clear chronic wound infections and tackle the bacteria that delays healing, Cardiff University researchers have found.

Earlier studies have already linked the substance to offering benefits for those suffering MRSA and other such infections as well as in the dressing of wounds.

“We have grown these biofilms in the laboratory and found the manuka honey kills off some of the bacteria but we've also found that it can inhibit the growth of these biofilms,” said lead investigator Sarah Maddocks, Ph.D.

The study showed that the majority of bacteria within biofilms was killed by a two-hour manuka treatment. Full findings appear in the journal Microbiology…

Friday, March 02, 2012

Methylglyoxal (MGO) Blocks Antibacterial Activity of Defensin1 in Honey

Methylglyoxal-Induced Modifications of Significant Honeybee Proteinous Components in Manuka Honey: Possible Therapeutic Implications
Fitoterapia, 2012 Feb 17

Methylglyoxal (MGO) is a major antibacterial component of manuka honey. Another antibacterial component found in Revamil honey, peptide defensin1, was not identified in manuka honey.

The primary aim of the study was to evaluate the content of defensin1 in honeys of different botanical origins and to investigate a presumed effect of reactive MGO on defensin1 and a dominant protein of honey MRJP1 in manuka honey.

Immunoblotting of honey samples showed that defensin1 was a regular but quantitatively variable component of honeys. One of the reasons of varying contents of defensin1 in different honeys seems to be constitutive but varying defensin1 expression in individual honeybees in bee populations that we documented on samples of nurse and forager bees by RT-PCR.

Comparative analyses of honeys revealed a size modification of defensin1, MRJP1 and probably also α-glucosidase in manuka honey. We further showed that (i) the treatment of purified defensin1 in solution containing high amount of MGO caused a time-dependent loss of its antibacterial activity and (ii) increasing MGO concentrations in a non-manuka honey were connected with a gradual increase in the molecular weight of MRJP1.

Obtained results demonstrate that MGO abrogates the antibacterial activity of defensin1 and modifies MRJP1 in manuka honey. We assume that MGO could also have negative effects on the structure and function of other proteins/peptides in manuka honey, including glucose oxidase, generating hydrogen peroxide.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Antioxidant Activity of Brazilian Bee Pollen Correlates with Total Phenolic Content

Palynological Origin, Phenolic Content, and Antioxidant Properties of Honeybee-Collected Pollen from Bahia, Brazil
Molecules, 2012 Feb 7;17(2):1652-64

The aim of this study was to determine the palynological origin, phenolic and flavonoid content, and antioxidant properties of twenty-five samples of bee pollen harvested during a nine-month period (February-November) from the Canavieiras municipality (northeastern Brazil).

Of the 25 samples analyzed, only two (February 01 and 02) were heterofloral. The predominant pollens in the samples analyzed during that month were: Cecropia, Eucalyptus, Elaeis, Mimosa pudica, Eupatorium, and Scoparia. Ethyl acetate fractions were analyzed by HPLC-DAD. The flavonoids isoquercetin, myricetin, tricetin, quercetin, luteolin, selagin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin were detected. The flavonoid present in all 22 samples was isolated and identified as isorhamnetin 3-O-b-neohesperidoside.

The total phenolic contents determined using the Folin-Ciocalteu reagent ranged from 41.5 to 213.2 mg GAE/g.

Antioxidant activities based on the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2-azinobis 3-ethylbenzothiozoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS), and Fe2+ ion chelating activity assays were observed for all extracts, and correlated with the total phenolic content.