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News about bees and beepoducts

Bee Venom Could Help Treat Acne

Melittin is the main component in the venom of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). It has multiple effects including anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory activities, in various cell types. However, the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of melittin have not been elucidated in Propionibactierium acnes (P. acnes) induced keratinocyte or inflammatory skin disease animal models.

In this study, we examined the effects of melittin on the production of inflammatory cytokines in heat-killed P. acnes-induced HaCaT cells. Heat-killed P. acnes treated keratinocytes increased the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and toll like receptor 2. However, melittin treatment significantly suppressed the expression of these cytokines through regulation of the NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. Subsequently, we examined the living P. acnes (1 × 107 CFU) were intradermally injected into the ear of mice. Living P. acnes injected ears showed cutaneous erythema, swelling, and granulomatous response at 24 h after injection. However, melittin-treated ears showed markedly reduced swelling and granulomatous responses compared with ears injected with only living P. acnes.

These results demonstrate the feasibility of applying melittin for the prevention of inflammatory skin diseases induced by P. acnes.

Propolis Ointment Boosts Healing of Leg Ulcers

Topical Treatment of Nonhealing Venous Leg Ulcer with Propolis Ointment

 

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013;2013:254017

An investigation of effectiveness of topical treatment of nonhealing chronic venous leg ulcers with propolis ointment was conducted. 56 patients were included in the study and randomized into two groups.

In group 1, there were 28 patients (ulceration area: 6.9-9.78 cm(2)) treated by means of topical propolis ointment application and short stretch bandage compression. In group 2, there were 29 patients (ulceration area: 7.2-9.4 cm(2)) treated by means of Unna boot leg compression without topical propolis treatment. In the study, the efficacy of both treatment methods in patients with resistive venous leg ulcers was compared.

The ulceration of patients from group 1 healed completely after 6 weeks of therapy in all cases. In all patients from group 2, the process of healing was longer but successfully completed after 16 weeks of the therapy.

We found that an adjunctive propolis ointment treatment increases the efficacy of the short stretch bandage compression stocking, and this combined treatment is more effective than Unna's boot compression alone.

Royal Jelly Prevents Age-Related Loss of Muscle Mass

Royal Jelly Prevents the Progression of Sarcopenia in Aged Mice In Vivo and In Vitro

 

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2013 May 8

Sarcopenia is characterized by the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. One of the mechanisms of sarcopenia is the loss in the function and number of muscle satellite cells.

Royal jelly (RJ) is a health food used worldwide. To obtain better digestion and absorption than RJ, protease-treated RJ (pRJ) has been developed. RJ and pRJ have been suggested to have potential pharmacological benefits such as prolonging the life span and reducing fatigue. Because these effects may improve sarcopenia and the functions of satellite cells, we examined the effects of RJ or pRJ treatment on the skeletal muscles in an animal model using aged mice.

In vivo, RJ/pRJ treatment attenuated the decrease in the muscle weight and grip strength and increased the regenerating capacity of injured muscles and the serum insulin-like growth factor-1 levels compared with controls. In vitro, using isolated satellite cells from aged mice, pRJ treatment increased the cell proliferation rate, promoted cell differentiation, and activated Akt intracellular signaling pathway compared with controls.

These findings suggest that RJ/pRJ treatment had a beneficial effect on age-related sarcopenia.

Saudi Sidr Honey Prevents Liver and Kidney Damage

Attenuation of CCl4-Induced Oxidative Stress and Hepatonephrotoxicity by Saudi Sidr Honey in Rats

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013;2013:569037 Epub 2013 Feb 24

The present study was undertaken to investigate the possible protective effect of Saudi Sidr honey (SSH) on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced oxidative stress and liver and kidney damage in rat. Moreover, the antioxidant activity and the phenolic and flavonoidal contents were determined.

The hepatorenal protective activity of the SSH was determined by assessing biochemical, hematological, and histological parameters. Serum transaminases, ALP, GGT, creatinine, bilirubin urea, uric acid, and MDA level in liver and kidney tissues were significantly elevated, and the antioxidant status of nonprotein sulfhydryls, albumin, and total protein levels in liver and kidney were declined significantly in CCl4 alone treated animals.

Pretreatment with SSH and silymarin prior to the administration of CCl4 significantly prevented the increase of the serum levels of enzyme markers and reduced oxidative stress. SSH also exhibited a significant lipid-lowering effect and caused an HDL-C enhanced level in serum.

The histopathological evaluation of the liver and kidney also revealed that honey protected incidence of both liver and kidney lesions. Moreover, SSH showed a strong antioxidant activity in DPPH and β -carotene-linoleic acid assays. SSH was found to contain phenolic compounds. Additionally, the SSH supplementation restored the hepatocytes viability against 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein (DCF) toxicity in ex vivo test.

Honey a Buzz Word in the Beauty Industry

Honey is the bees knees! But forget pouring it on your porridge - spread it on your skin instead (just like the Duchess of Cambridge) 

By Leah Hardy, Daily Mail (UK), 2/3/2013

Ever since it was revealed that the Duchess of Cambridge was a fan of facialist Deborah Mitchell's bee venom facials, honey has been a buzz word in the beauty industry.

From serums to body creams, the market is awash with products promising everything from hydration to reductions in scarring.

And Kate isn't the only fan. Les Miserables star Anne Hathaway uses a propolis-based spritz on her face, Epicuren Brazilian Rainforest Propolis Mist (£26.50), a resinous tree-sap-based substance used by bees to repair their nests.

Actress Scarlett Johansson uses honey as a face mask and models Erin O'Connor and Lizzy Jagger use Manuka Lip Balm (£9.75, livingnature.com), which is rich in bacteria-fighting chemicals.

So-called 'miracle' ingredients crop up all the time, but honey's healing properties are backed up by serious research. Studies show it helps acne, eczema and psoriasis, and aids the treatment of deep wounds…

Bee venom and Propolis as New Treatment Modality in Patients with Localized Plaque Psoriases

 International Research Journal of Medicine and Medical Science, February 2013

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease with unsettled etiology. T-cells were suggested to be of major importance in its pathogenesis. Several therapeutic modalities have been used for treatment of psoriasis.

Apitherapy entails the medical use of honey bee products as honey, bee venom and propolis. The objective of this study is to evaluate bee venom and propolis, as a new therapeutic modality for localized plaque psoriasis.

Forty eight patients were randomized into four treatment groups: Group I received intradermal bee venom twice weekly; Group II received topical propolis ointment in vaseline base; Group III received oral propolis capsules 1 g/day; and group IV received intradermal bee venom, oral and topical propolis. Response to treatment was assessed by calculating Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score and measuring serum interleukin-1β (IL-1β) before and after 3 months of treatment.

A significant reduction in both PASI score and serum level of IL-1β was observed in all groups. Changes in PASI score and IL-1β were significantly higher in Groups I and IV compared to Groups II and III. All treatments were tolerable with minimal adverse effects.

In conclusion, intradermal bee venom and oral propolis are safe and effective treatments of localized plaque psoriasis with minimal tolerable side effects.

Intradermal bee venom has superior results than oral or topical propolis when used alone or in combination with propolis.

Heather Honey High in Phenolic Content, Honeydew and Chestnut Honeys High in Flavonoids

Nutritional Value and Antioxidant Activity of Honeys Produced in a European Atlantic Area

Food Chem, 2013 Jun 1;138(2-3):851-6

One hundred eighty-seven honey samples from an Atlantic European area were studied to determine their nutritional compositions and antioxidant capacities, as well as the relationships between them. The results showed that heather, polyfloral, blackberry, and eucalyptus honeys had the highest carbohydrate contents, whereas honeydew and chestnut honeys had the lowest. There were some important differences among the honey types, which were related to the presence of minor components. The protein contents were significantly higher in honeydew and chestnut honeys, and the same results were obtained for mineral contents. Related to the presence of several antioxidant compounds, heather honey had the highest phenolic content, whereas honeydew and chestnut honeys had the highest flavonoid contents. Multivariate analysis showed that some variables, such as the amounts of flavonoids, minerals, proteins, and phenols, were significantly correlated with antioxidant activity. The regression analysis produced a significant model (R(2)=0.716; F=154.680; P < 0.001) that related the antioxidant activity and the flavonoids, K, and P contents.

Biological actions of honey ascribed to polyphenolic content

 Honey as a Source of Dietary Antioxidants: Structures, Bioavailability and Evidence of Protective Effects Against Human Chronic Diseases 

Curr Med Chem, 2012 Dec 28

In the long human tradition honey has been used not only as a nutrient but also as a medicine. Its composition is rather variable and depends on the floral source and on external factors, such as seasonal, environmental conditions and processing.

In this review, specific attention is focused on absorption, metabolism, and beneficial biological activities on human health of honey compounds.

Honey is a supersaturated solution of sugars, mainly composed of fructose (38%) and glucose (31%), containing also minerals, proteins, free amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and polyphenols. Among polyphenols, flavonoids are the most abundant and are closely related to its biological functions.

Honey positively affects risk factors for cardiovascular diseases by inhibiting inflammation, improving endothelial function, as well as the plasma lipid profile, and increasing low-density lipoprotein resistance to oxidation. Honey also displays an important antitumoral capacity, where polyphenols again are considered responsible for its complementary and overlapping mechanisms of chemopreventive activity in multistage carcinogenesis, by inhibiting mutagenesis or inducing apoptosis.

Moreover, honey positively modulates the glycemic response by reducing blood glucose, serum fructosamine or glycosylated hemoglobin concentrations and exerts antibacterial properties caused by its consistent amount of hydrogen peroxide and non-peroxide factors as flavonoids, methylglyoxal and defensin-1 peptide.

In conclusion, the evidence of the biological actions of honey can be ascribed to its polyphenolic contents which, in turn, are usually associated to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, as well as to its cardiovascular, antiproliferative and antimicrobial benefits.