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Propolis for Alzheimer’s Disease

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Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

Food and water, drugs and air

Can add to our demise.

Natural things from nature and bees

Might be a blessing in disguise.

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

One of the characteristics of propolis is its ability to act as an antioxidant in the body.  This means it has the ability to removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism. Oxidative stress occurs when an oxygen molecule splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons, which are called free radicals.  This causes damage to cells, proteins and DNA. Free radicals are associated with human disease, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and many others. Substances that generate free radicals can be found in the food we eat, the medicines we take, the air we breathe and the water we drink. and include things like fried foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, pesticides and air pollutants. Scientist are doing research to find out if propolis can be an effective treatment for stopping or slowing down the damage caused by the process of oxidative stress.

One study called, “Effect of propolis flavonoids on Alzheimer disease mice induced by D-galactose,”from 2010,was done in China at Harbin Medical University.  The objective of this study was to research the effects of propolis flavonoids on three antioxidant enzymes in cells , two that protect against oxidative  damage in the brain and one that increases oxidative damage and plays a role in Alzheimer’s  and Parkinson’s Disease.

Sixty mice with Alzheimer’s Disease were divided into six groups.  Three experimental groups were administrated high,middle and low dosages of propolis flavonoids(300,150,75 mg/kg) ORALLY. After 50 days,the mice were killed and brains were examined.  The levels of the two beneficial antioxidants were significantly higher in the experimental groups, while the levels of the destructive  enzyme was significantly lower than that of model group. The conclusion drawn from this research is that propolis flavonoids could increase the brain index, promote the body’s antioxidant activity, enhance the clearance of metabolic waste, and inhibit the activity of the destructive enzyme. Therefore propolis flavonoids could protect cells, delay senility and improve Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms.

Another study, “Bioactive Metabolites from Propolis Inhibit Superoxide Anion Radical, Acetylcholinesterase and Phosphodiesterase (PDE4),” from 2013,  tested the propolis flavonoids’ free radical scavenging activity.  Substances that have this action are considered targets for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and Chronic Obstructive pulmonary disease- COPD. Results of this research showed that propolis could moderately inhibit the destructive free radicals tested  and could contribute to further research on alternative drugs for the treatment of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as asthma and COPD.
A study done in early 2017, “The Neuroprotective Effects of Brazilian Green Propolis on Neurodegenerative Damage in Human Neuronal SH-SY5Y Cells” investigated the effects of propolis on oxidative stress in the brain. Oxidative stress and synapse dysfunction are the major neurodegenerative damage correlated to cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We have found that Brazilian green propolis (propolis) improves the cognitive functions of mild cognitive impairment patients living at high altitude; however, mechanism underlying the effects of propolis is unknown. The results of the study strongly suggest that propolis protects from the neurodegenerative damage in neurons through the properties of various antioxidants. The present study provides a potential molecular mechanism of Brazilian green propolis in prevention of cognitive impairment in AD as well as aging.
These studies seem to indicate that propolis could be an effective part of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.  We have to hope that our FDA will someday embrace natural and alternative medicine as successful treatments for disease.

Psalm 103

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

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Propolis for Crohn’s Disease and Colitis

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Psalms from the Hive, by Jeannie Saum

Ailments of the body

At times, too much to bear

Can bee treasures give relief

And help with repair?

 

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

We often get asked at show and festivals, if propolis can help with a particular ailment.  Sometimes, we know, but often we have to do some research by checking out the National Institutes of Health website – nih.gov, to see what studies have been done.  Such was the case a few months ago, when we were asked at WinterFair, if propolis could help with Crohn’s Disease.

We knew that the flavonoids in propolis are antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, inside and out, so we set about looking for research.  While there are no recent studies with people, we did find some promising animal studies regarding propolis treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are chronic idiopathic inflammatory disorders that represent the two major types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These diseases affect the gastrointestinal tract, and their course is characterized by alternating periods of remission and flare-up.

A study was done in 2013 on rats with induced Crohn’s Disease. Two groups were treated  – one with a propolis water / alcohol extract enema and the other with mesalazine enemas.  Twelve days after the propolis administration, inflammation was reduced in 80% of the animals, 60% had moderate infiltrates and 20% had mild infiltrates. At this time, 60% of the animals treated with mesalazine still had dense infiltrates, 20% had mild infiltrates, and 20% no longer exhibited inflammation.

These results suggest that the therapeutic effect of the propolis treatment was slower, but its scope was wider because it encompassed a higher number of animals than did the mesalazine treatment. The anti-inflammatory effect of mesalazine was more rapid and more pronounced only in the animals that responded well to it (less than half of the treated population).  The inflammation persisted after 12 days of treatment with both drugs.

Rats with induced colitis were also treated with propolis and mesalazine, separately and together.   The scientists  concluded that both treatments are effective alone or in combination.  The anti-inflammatory effect of propolis was shown by the decreased intensity of the inflammation and reduction in number of cysts and abscesses.   They also found that these colitis treatments are more effective when used preventively, before the colitis flares up.

Use of Propolis Hydroalcoholic Extract to Treat Colitis Experimentally Induced in Rats by 2,4,6-Trinitrobenzenesulfonic Acid  can be found at this site: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3786476/

When pharmaceuticals fail to help or have risky side effects, propolis may be worth a try!

HEALTH –  POWERED BY BEES

Jeremiah 17

1Lord, you are the hope of Israel;  all who forsake you will be put to shame. 

Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust  because they have forsaken the Lord the spring of living water.

14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.