Bee Propolis: Synergisitc Health Care for the 21st Centruy
For well over a century modern science has progressed at a startling rate. With this increase in knowledge has come medicinal and healthcare benefits that have seen ages peak and diseases eradicated. These medical advances were based around the paradigm of the "magic bullet", isolating the active ingredient and using it to alter the chemistry of a single molecule/protein to elicit a change of state in the patient. Success however has turned to obsession as cracks appear in the armoury of disease fighting drugs at our disposal. MRSA is rifling through our hospitals as antibiotics become ineffective and severe side effects of modern drugs are becoming common place now years after their introduction. A direct consequence of a one dimensional strategy, it is maybe the time to acknowledge the synergistic health benefits of natural medicine.
Propolis is a unique natural medicine because of its breadth of action. It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and immunomodulatory effects, it could help treat asthma, allergies, arthritis and joint disorders, eczema and dermatitis, ME, viral infections including HIV and even cancer. This medicine could help treat an illness or keep you fit and healthy.
Propolis: Defender of the City
Propolis is a mainly resinous substance that bees collect from trees and plants. Being made up of waxes, resins, fatty acids and even amino acids. Aristotle reputedly coined the name Propolis meaning "defender of the city". This is exactly what Propolis is for the hive, it acts as a bee population's external immune system keeping the hive sterile and free of microbial invaders
Evidence Based Medicine
In the following paragraphs I will describe to you the pharmacological properties of Propolis. Before I do so I must explain where this evidence comes from. All the properties and actions of Propolis have been witnessed and detailed in scientific studies which have subsequently been published in journals. The bulk of these scientific studies have been performed in vitro (i.e. in a test tube) or in vivo (i.e. in a host animal for example rats), a much smaller proportion of these studies are clinical trials tested on humans. The abstracts of these papers can be found on the Medline and pubmed databases on the Internet.
Propolis: A natural antibiotic
Propolis is probably best known for its antibiotic properties. Even as early as 1960 French1 research demonstrated the bacteriostatic action on Bacillus subtilis, Proteus vulgaris and Bacillus alvei. The results have been replicated many times and Propolis has even been shown to be effective to MRSA2, the same antibiotic resistant bacteria that has infected up to 70% of our hospitals. A 1997 study by Calder et al. at the University of Oxford concurred with these results and found that the cinnaminic acids and flavanoids present in Propolis in particular show bacteriocidal action. This action believed to be as a consequence of Propolis uncoupling the bacterial energy respiratory chain. Interestingly this action may be involved in a synergistic action with antibiotics when used together, boosting the effectiveness of the drugs.
Anti-Viral and immuno-stimulatory
Viruses present a unique dilemma in the quest for good health, they are not affected by antibiotics and mutate so frequently that vaccines are hard to produce. They also cause illness by hijacking cells and using the cells machinery to replicate. Modern drugs aim to slow or stop the virus from the replicating and subsequently because they are attacking host cell machinery they have certain side effects. Viruses perhaps pose the greatest threat to humans' health, we are currently in the middle of a HIV pandemic with "39.4 million" people infected world wide. With a Flu pandemic overdue and certainly on its way and predictions of world wide casualties and chaos, a solution is needed.
The bioflavanoids in propolis have a unique approach to combating Viruses, instead of trying to combat them once they have infected a cell, they lock the virus in its protein coat. This means that the dangerous machinery and DNA/RNA of the virus is nullified and the infection stopped.
Propolis has been shown to be more effective than the pharmaceutical anti-viral acyclovir in treating genital Herpes in a clinical trial conducted in the Ukraine4 and there is growing evidence that Propolis could help treat people with HIV5.
Propolis also works hard as an immunomodulator which is of interest for all of us. It does this by altering the way cytokine production and release is managed. Cytokines are the chemical messengers that allow immune system cells to communicate. By altering the cytokine system, it primes the immune system to be ready to react to antigens quickly and effectively.
As well as this, bioflavanoids within Propolis stimulate the production of interferon which can help people recover from ME, stimulating their immune system. This alteration of the cytokine and interferon systems means that your body is ready to fight off infection and keep you healthy, making a case for using propolis as a supplement for good health, like vitamins. Prevention is better than the cure.
Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergen
A survey of Propolis consumers showed that arthritis was the health problem that Propolis was used to treat the most. This is because of the potent anti-inflammatory properties of the propolis constituents in particular CAPE (Caffeic acid Phenyl ester), CAPE has been shown to suppress T cell activation. A paper by Marquez et al in 20046 evaluated this to mean that since T-cells play a key role in the onset of several inflammatory diseases, CAPE is important because the this phenolic compound is a potent inhibitor of early and late events in T-cell receptor-mediated T-cell activation. Results like this have led other researchers to propose that CAPE is a worthwhile agent for reducing the severity of conditions associated with inflammation.
Many of the experiments performed on CAPE were done so in vitro, however the anti-inflammatory properties of Propolis have been documented in rats when treating rat adjuvant arthritis. A paper by Park et al in 19997 concluding that the ethanolic extract of propolis had profound anti-inflammatory effects on both chronic and acute arthritic inflammations. These anti-inflammation properties extend to other illness and disorders such as asthma and allergies reducing both smooth muscle airway contraction8 and allergic responses. Any disorder or illness related to inflammation could be helped by Propolis.
Propolis and CAPE have been shown to reduce the size of tumours and to selectively destroy and to curb the proliferation of malignant cells of many different types of cancer. As recently as June 10th 2005 Cancer researchers have been given a grant of a million dollars to investigate the therapeutic value of Propolis for cancer. Costas Koumenis the lead investigator for the study was quoted as saying, "a very interesting property of these compounds is that they have been shown to cause cell death in tumor cells but not in normal cells." This study along with other current studies promises to propel Propolis into the limelight in the field of cancer treatment.
Current Propolis Research in the UK
BVR (BeeVital Research) recently won a major government Research and Development Award, part of a £250,000 research programme looking at the chemical, biological and clinical properties of propolis.
These studies will focus on the:
1. Documenting the regional variances in chemical and biological properties, by HPLS, GC-MS and NMR. (Taking place at Univeristy of Strathclyde)
2. Futher investigating the role of Propolis in the Hive (University of Gloucester)
3. Dental trials ? looking at effectiveness of Propolis for Mouth Ulcers, Pericorinitis, Gingivitis and Sensitive Teeth. (Manchester University Dental school)
4. HIV/AIDS trials ? looking at the effectiveness of Propolis with anti-virals in Zambia and Tanzania
5. The effects of standardised propolis on mood, stress, fatigue and cognition at the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit at University of Newcastle.
6. To evaluate the use of local and non ? local propolis for wound healing and the treatment of skin and other dermatological problems. ( The Regional Teaching Hospital for University of Dar es Salaam)
How to use/find propolis products?
A large range of propolis products are available on the market ranging from tablets, capsules, tinctures and liquids to specialist products for skin care ? soap, lip balm, creams and oral health care ? toothpaste, mouthwash , lozenges and tooth and gum liquid.
Traditionally these have been available through health food stores but are increasingly available in independent pharmacies.
Choosing the best products is not always easy. Current regulations means manufacturers cannot make any kind of medical claim for products that have not been licensed as medicines despite the fact that there is a sound evidence basis for such claims. Part of the reason for this is that no single body is responsible for ensuring that product offered for sale actually are what they say they are.
For this reason the BVR (BeeVital Research) programme is targeted at developing full medicines licenses for some key products. In the meantime BVR have formulated a number of products for the health food market based on their research. Consumers, when purchasing products should look for those products produced by companies who can back up their products by good manufacturing practice (pharmaceutical standard manufacturing ) and research.
(1)Lavie, P. (1960). Annals Abeille, 3: 103-201
(2)Anti-Bacterial properties of propolis. Grange, J. M., Davey, R. W. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 83: 160-1 (1990)
(3)Anti-microbial action of propolis and some of its components: The effect on growth membrane potential and motility of bacteria. Mirzoeva, O. K., Grishanin, r. n., Calder, p. c. microbial ? res, 152: 239-246 (1997)
(4)A comparative multi-centre study of the efficacy of propolis, acyclovir and placebo in the treatment of genital herpes (HSV). Vynograd, N.; Vynograd, I.; Sosnowski, Z. Institute of Epidemiology, Lvov State Medical University, Lvov, Ukraine. Phytomedicine (2000), 7(1), 1-6. CODEN: PYTOEY ISSN: 0944-7113.
(5)Current lead natural products for the chemotherapy of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. De Clercq, Erik. Rega Institute for Medical Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Louvain, Belg. Medicinal Research Reviews (2000), 20(5), 323-349. CODEN: MRREDD ISSN: 0198-6325
(6)Caffeic acid phenethyl ester inhibits T-cell activation by targeting both nuclear factor of activated T-cells and NF-B transcription factors. Marquez, Nieves; Sancho, Rocio; Macho, Antonio; Calzado, Marco A.; Fiebich, Bernd L.; Munoz, Eduardo. Departamento de Biologia Celular, Fisiologia e Inmunologia, Universidad de Cordoba, Facultad de Medicina, Cordoba, Spain. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (2004), 308(3), 993-1001. CODEN: JPETAB ISSN: 0022-3565.
(7)Suppressive effects of propolis in rat adjuvant arthritis. Park, Eun-Hee; Kahng, Ja-Hoon. College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, S. Korea. Archives of Pharmacal Research (1999), 22(6), 554-558. CODEN: APHRDQ ISSN: 0253-6269.
(8)Bulgarian propolis induces analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects in mice and inhibits in vitro contraction of airway smooth muscle. Paulino, Niraldo; Dantas, Andreia Pires; Bankova, Vassya; Longhi, Daniela Taggliari; Scremin, Amarilis; Lisboa de Castro, Solange; Calixto, Joao Batista. Grupo de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento de Biofarmacos (BIOFAR), Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina, Tubarao, Brazil. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences (Tokyo, Japan) (2003), 93(3), 307-313. CODEN: JPSTGJ ISSN: 1347-8613.
James Fearnley of BeeVital Research is one of the worlds leading authorities on Propolis He has written extensively on the subject and published a major review of all the current research up to 2001 - Bee Propolis ? Natural Healing form the Hive Souvenir Press. BeeVital Research
Nasonex And You: Breathe Easy, Not Sneezy
While everybody else is wandering around enjoying the spring weather, are you hiding out in your hermetically-sealed house? Do you dread the start of poolside parties because your date is going to be a box of tissues? If so, like so many of us, allergies may be running your life.
Exposing the Miracle Cure
It was Saturday morning and while I was making breakfast, letting the cats outside, and watering my half-dead plants, I had the TV on. Saturday morning TV is usually composed of nothing but infomercials and today was no different.
Facial Pain: When a Nerve Is a Live Wire
Of all the places in the body that can hurt, the face might seem the strangest. But for some people, that's exactly where the agony occurs, and the cause is a nerve gone haywire.
Benign Tumors Of The Cervix
Alzheimers Toxin May Be Key To Slowing Disease
Australian scientists say they have identified a toxin which plays a key role in the onset of Alzheimer's, raising hope that a drug targeting the toxin could be developed to slow the degenerative brain disease.
Redux Lawyer Discusses Fen-Phen Fad
In the early nineties, Redux was the original miracle diet pill. A predecessor to fenphen, Redux was just the "fen", fenfluramine in the form dexfenfluramine. The drug increased the production of seratonin, which gave the brain feelings of satiety, or fullness. Overweight people felt a great responsibility lifted from their shoulders. In Redux, the drug industry promised a thin, healthy body without painful exercise or unpleasant diet restrictions! Within three months, doctors were writing 85,000 prescriptions for Redux every week.
Benefits of a Virtual Top Doctor Consultant
Looking for the best doctor to suite your medical needs can be a problem, especially if you don't have time and you need to research the doctor's credentials. Whether you're in urgent need of help, or just need a second opinion, I will show you how to access all the information you need ? through the Internet's Virtual Top Doctor Consultant.
Natural Vitamin E Combined with Vitamin C for Treatment of Alzheimers Disease
Checklist of Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease
NIH Official Altered Drug Study
NIH Official Altered Drug Study
Taking The Sting Out Of Bug Bites
(NC)-In most cases insect bites are harmless and if left alone, the irritation will subside within 48 hours.
Toenail Fungus: Tips For Treatment
The medical term for toenail fungus is "onychomycosis," pronounced on * EE * ko * my * ko * sis. Despite the commonly used term "fungal toenails", onychomycosis describes both fungus and yeast infections in the nail. The prevalence in America is about 2-3%, but some have reported it as high as 13%. Even at a low estimate of 2%, this accounts for 6 million Americans with toenail fungus. Toenail fungus affects men twice as often as it affects women.
The Controversy of Viagra® (Sildenafil Citrate), Other ED Medications, and Their Generic Counterpart
There has definitely been a good deal of controversy over Viagra®, it's use and more recently, it's side effects among some unfortunate patients however, apart from the specific drug itself and the effects, reasons and results of it's use, there has been another controversy of which only those involved would probably be aware. I am referring to the purchase and use of Generic Brands of Sildenafil Citrate.
Top Ten Reasons Why We Hate IBS!
Irritable bowel syndrome can be a nightmare?constant diarrhea and terrible stomach pains, or unbelievable constipation and never-ending gas. While it's good to stay positive and keep looking for help, sometimes it's even better to just have a good old moan!
Molluscum Contagiosum Virus (MCV) Treatment Information - But First, What Is Molluscum?
Molluscum contagiosum treatment is certainly possible with the correct treatment information.
How to Make Changes in Your Healthcare Organization
For many of us change is a difficult process. In organizations like healthcare it seems to advance at a snail's pace sometimes. There is a need for change in healthcare, most agree, though we would be hard pressed to agree upon the changes needed. One incentive for change is pay-for-performance programs now beginning in several areas. I would like to describe a couple that affect primary care physicians and then give a few suggestions as to how to adopt changes to take advantage of these programs. Even if you are not in a primary care physician program, the methods suggested for change will be helpful, I believe.
Generic Drug: Its Pros and Cons
A generic drug can be defined as an identical, or bioequivalent to a brand name drug in its dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use. Although generic drugs are chemically identical to their branded counterparts, they are typically sold at substantial discounts from the branded price. The difference between a branded and a generic one is only in its name and price. A generic drug is called by its chemical name whereas a manufacturer assigns a brand name.
Living Migraine Free
Don't treat your migraines, prevent them. A life without migraines is obtainable, I know. I was a migraine sufferer for 12 years and have been treating... preventing them for my patients for 15 years. The 95+% success rate achieved at my office comes from a combination of research, common sense and the hard work of my patients.
New Antidepressant Developments and Approvals
New antidepressant development, until fairly recently, was at best a random, and at worst a problematic and frustrating, process. Often, medications that were developed for one thing were discovered quite accidentally to have much more important therapeutic effects for a completely different disorder. It has been well described that some of the original antipsychotics were originally developed to assist in anesthesia, and some of the original new antidepressants were originally intended to be medications for tuberculosis or psychosis. New antidepressant development was done on a "chemical" basis; that is, guesses were made as to compounds that would be safe and effective based on chemical structures of established medications. This was very much a trial-and-error process, since very little was known about how these drugs worked and very little could be measured beyond actually giving them to a patient.
?Doc, my mouth is so dry all the time. What could be the problem??
Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder ? a disorder in which your body attacks its own tissues because it thinks they are foreign. It prevents your body's exocrine (moisture-producing) gland from producing enough moisture for different areas of your body. This leads to chronic and lifetime dryness. Sjogren's syndrome affects many areas of your body. In addition to the mouth and eyes, other affected areas include the skin, vagina, respiratory tract (lungs), and gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines).
Modern Medicine Has Extended Life - BUT 9 Out of 10 People Say Its a Miserable Extension!
Sit down in a quiet place alone and take a minute to notice how you really feel inside and out? Would you consider yourself in good health or living a slow death you call life? As you sit quietly observing yourself, pay attention to the signs and symptoms of your body. Notice the things you've been ignoring such as a low-grade headache that rarely ceases, aching joints, slightly blurred vision, a bulging stomach, sagging chin, no zest for life or maybe a definite feeling of being bone tired and constantly in pain somewhere.