Knowledge, Attitudes, and Usage of Apitherapy for Disease Prevention and Treatment among Undergraduate Pharmacy Students in Lithuania.
ABSTRACT: Traditional medicine therapies are historically used worldwide for disease prevention and treatment purposes. Apitherapy is part of the traditional medicine based on bee product use. Complementary medicine practices which incorporate use of some traditional herbal, mineral, or animal kind substances very often are discussed with pharmacy professionals because these products are often sold in pharmacies as dietary supplements. This study is aimed at determining the attitude, knowledge, and practices of apitherapy among undergraduated pharmacy students (Master of Pharmacy) who already have a pharmacy technician diploma and from 1 to 20 years of practice working in a community pharmacy as pharmacy assistants. A method of questionnaire was chosen. The questions about attitudes, experience, knowledge, and practices for disease prevention and treatment of different bee products, their safety, and informational sources were included. Respondents shared opinion that use of bee product is part of the traditional medicine. Most of them had experience on honey product use for treatment and disease prevention for themselves and their family members (62%) although the need of more evidence based information was expressed. The most known bee products were honey, propolis, and royal jelly. They are widely used for enhancing the immune system and prevention of respiratory tract infection.
Project description:Tears are secreted from the lacrimal gland (LG), a dysfunction in which induces dry eye, resulting in ocular discomfort and visual impairment. Honey bee products are used as a nutritional source in daily life and medicine; however, little is known about their effects on dry eye. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of honey bee products on tear secretion capacity in dry eye. We selected raw honey, propolis, royal jelly (RJ), pollen, or larva from commercially available honey bee products. Tear secretion capacity was evaluated following the oral administration of each honey bee product in a rat blink-suppressed dry eye model. Changes in tear secretion, LG ATP content, and LG mitochondrial levels were measured. RJ restored the tear secretion capacity and decrease in LG ATP content and mitochondrial levels to the largest extent. Royal jelly can be used as a preventative intervention for dry eye by managing tear secretion capacity in the LG.
Project description:Stingless bees are a type of honey producers that commonly live in tropical countries. Their use for honey is being abandoned due to its limited production. However, the recent improvements in stingless bee honey production, particularly in South East Asia, have brought stingless bee products back into the picture. Although there are many stingless bee species that produce a wide spread of products, known since old eras in traditional medicine, the modern medical community is still missing more investigational studies on stingless bee products. Whereas comprehensive studies in the current era attest to the biological and medicinal properties of honeybee (Apis mellifera) products, the properties of stingless bee products are less known. This review highlights for the first time the medicinal benefits of stingless bee products (honey, propolis, pollen and cerumen), recent investigations and promising future directions. This review emphasizes the potential antioxidant properties of these products that in turn play a vital role in preventing and treating diseases associated with oxidative stress, microbial infections and inflammatory disorders. Summarizing all these data and insights in one manuscript may increase the commercial value of stingless bee products as a food ingredient. This review will also highlight the utility of stingless bee products in the context of medicinal and therapeutic properties, some of which are yet to be discovered.
Project description:The wound-healing capacity of ointments based on bee products was investigated in vivo on three experimental models of incision, excision and heat burn. For this purpose, four ointments were prepared with propolis, honey, apilarnil (drone brood homogenate) and a mixture of these three apitherapy products. The ointments were applied topically for 21 days. Clinical and macroscopic evaluation was performed throughout the experiment, with the recording of the re-epithelialization period and determination of the wound contraction rate on days 6 and 9. The histopathological examination was performed on days 1, 3, 12 and 21 of the treatment. The topical formulations were also characterized from a rheological point of view in order to verify their stability. HPLC analysis of propolis revealed the presence of phenolic compounds, particularly ferulic acid and p-coumaric which were found in high amounts. All ointments had beneficial effects on wound contraction and the re-epithelialization period, but the most significant result, both macroscopically and especially in terms of histological architecture, was presented by the ointment that contains all three apitherapy products, due to their synergistic effect.
Project description:The emergence of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019 in China marked the third outbreak of a highly pathogenic coronavirus infecting humans. The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread worldwide, becoming an emergency of major international concern. However, even after a decade of coronavirus research, there are still no licensed vaccines or therapeutic agents to treat the coronavirus infection. In this context, apitherapy presents as a promising source of pharmacological and nutraceutical agents for the treatment and/or prophylaxis of COVID-19. For instance, several honeybee products, such as honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, and bee venom, have shown potent antiviral activity against pathogens that cause severe respiratory syndromes, including those caused by human coronaviruses. In addition, the benefits of these natural products to the immune system are remarkable, and many of them are involved in the induction of antibody production, maturation of immune cells, and stimulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses. Thus, in the absence of specific antivirals against SARS-CoV-2, apitherapy could offer one hope toward mitigating some of the risks associated with COVID-19.
Project description:Women's life stages are based on their reproductive cycle. This cycle begins with menstruation and ends with menopause. Aging is a natural phenomenon that affects all humans, and it is associated with a decrease in the overall function of the organism. In women, aging is related with and starts with menopause. Also, during menopause and postmenopausal period, the risk of various age-related diseases and complaints is higher. For this reason, researchers were pushed to find effective remedies that could promote healthy aging and extended lifespan. Apitherapy is a type of alternative medicine that uses natural products from honeybees, such as honey, propolis, royal jelly, etc. Royal jelly is a natural yellowish-white substance, secreted by both hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of nurse bees, usually used to feed the queen bees and young worker larvae. Over the centuries, this natural product was considered a gold mine for traditional and natural medicine, due to its miraculous effects. Royal jelly has been used for a long time in commercial medical products. It has been demonstrated to possess a wide range of functional properties, such as: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, vasodilatative, hypotensive, anticancer, estrogen-like, antihypercholesterolemic, and antioxidant activities. This product is usually used to supplement various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, sexual dysfunctions, diabetes or cancer. The main objective of this study is to highlight the effectiveness of royal jelly supplementation in relieving menopause symptoms and aging-related diseases. We also aimed to review the most recent research advances regarding the composition of royal jelly for a better understanding of the effects on human health promotion.
Project description:Increased demand for a more balanced, healthy, and safe diet has accelerated studies on natural bee products (including honey, bee bread, bee collected pollen royal jelly, propolis, beeswax, and bee venom) over the past decade. Advanced food processing techniques, such as ultrasonication and microwave and infrared (IR) irradiation, either has gained popularity as alternatives or combined with conventional processing techniques for diverse applications in apiculture products at laboratory or industrial scale. The processing techniques used for each bee products have comprehensively summarized in this review, including drying (traditional drying, infrared drying, microwave-assisted traditional drying or vacuum drying, and low temperature high velocity-assisted fluidized bed drying), storage, extraction, isolation, and identification; the assessment methods related to the quality control of bee products are also fully mentioned. The different processing techniques applied in bee products aim to provide more healthy active ingredients largely and effectively. Furthermore, improved the product quality with a shorter processing time and reduced operational cost are achieved using conventional or emerging processing techniques. This review will increase the positive ratings of the combined new processing techniques according to the needs of the bee products. The importance of the models for process optimization on a large scale is also emphasized in the future.
Project description:Honey and other bee products were likely a sought-after foodstuff for much of human history, with direct chemical evidence for beeswax identified in prehistoric ceramic vessels from Europe, the Near East and Mediterranean North Africa, from the 7<sup>th</sup> millennium BC. Historical and ethnographic literature from across Africa suggests bee products, honey and larvae, had considerable importance both as a food source and in the making of honey-based drinks. Here, to investigate this, we carry out lipid residue analysis of 458 prehistoric pottery vessels from the Nok culture, Nigeria, West Africa, an area where early farmers and foragers co-existed. We report complex lipid distributions, comprising n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids and fatty acyl wax esters, which provide direct chemical evidence of bee product exploitation and processing, likely including honey-collecting, in over one third of lipid-yielding Nok ceramic vessels. These findings highlight the probable importance of honey collecting in an early farming context, around 3500 years ago, in West Africa.
Project description:One of the traditional livelihood practices of indigenous Tagbanuas in Palawan, Philippines is wild honey hunting and gathering from the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata F.). In order to analyze the linkages of the social and ecological systems involved in this indigenous practice, we conducted spatial, quantitative, and qualitative analyses on field data gathered through mapping of global positioning system coordinates, community surveys, and key informant interviews. We found that only 24% of the 251 local community members surveyed could correctly identify the giant honey bee. Inferential statistics showed that a lower level of formal education strongly correlates with correct identification of the giant honey bee. Spatial analysis revealed that mean NDVI of sampled nesting tree areas has dropped from 0.61 in the year 1988 to 0.41 in 2015. However, those who correctly identified the giant honey bee lived in areas with high vegetation cover. Decreasing vegetation cover limits the presence of wild honey bees and this may also be limiting direct experience of the community with wild honey bees. However, with causality yet to be established, we recommend conducting further studies to concretely model feedbacks between ecological changes and local knowledge.
Project description:Honey proteins are essential bee nutrients and antimicrobials that protect honey from microbial spoilage. The majority of the honey proteome includes bee-secreted peptides and proteins, produced in specialised glands; however, bees need to forage actively for nitrogen sources and other basic elements of protein synthesis. Nectar and pollen of different origins can vary significantly in their nutritional composition and other compounds such as plant secondary metabolites. Worker bees producing and ripening honey from nectar might therefore need to adjust protein secretions depending on the quality and specific contents of the starting material. Here, we assessed the impact of different food sources (sugar solutions with different additives) on honey proteome composition and stability, using controlled cage experiments. Honey-like products generated from sugar solution with or without additional protein, or plant secondary metabolites, differed neither in protein quality nor in protein quantity among samples. Storage for 4 weeks prevented protein degradation in most cases, without differences between food sources. The honey-like product proteome included several major royal jelly proteins, alpha-glucosidase and glucose oxidase. As none of the feeding regimes resulted in different protein profiles, we can conclude that worker bees may secrete a constant amount of each bee-specific protein into honey to preserve this highly valuable hive product.
Project description:Entomopathogenic fungi show great promise as pesticides in terms of their relatively high target specificity, low non-target toxicity, and low residual effects in agricultural fields and the environment. However, they also frequently have characteristics that limit their use, especially concerning tolerances to temperature, ultraviolet radiation, or other abiotic factors. The devastating ectoparasite of honey bees, Varroa destructor, is susceptible to entomopathogenic fungi, but the relatively warm temperatures inside honey bee hives have prevented these fungi from becoming effective control measures. Using a combination of traditional selection and directed evolution techniques developed for this system, new strains of Metarhizium brunneum were created that survived, germinated, and grew better at bee hive temperatures (35 °C). Field tests with full-sized honey bee colonies confirmed that the new strain JH1078 is more virulent against Varroa mites and controls the pest comparable to current treatments. These results indicate that entomopathogenic fungi are evolutionarily labile and capable of playing a larger role in modern pest management practices.