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Greetings from the Apimondia conference in Buenos Aires! This conference is massive, with as many as four scientific talks occurring at once in different rooms named after each continent around the world. There is a Europe Room, an Asia Room, Antarctic Room, etc. Presentations are divided amongst seven different commissions, or broad subjects, as follows: Apitherapic (meaning how honey bees are used to improve human health), Bee Biology, Bee Health (the Best Bees presentation was in this commission), Beekeeping Economy, Beekeeping for Rural Development, Beekeeping Technology and Quality, Pollination and Bee Flora, and some combined symposia.
We at Best Bees are sometimes asked about the value of honey bees and their products to human health. So, let me devote some space here to update you with highlights on the latest information in Apitherapic research and ideas. Please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the scientist directly (info included below) for additional information on any of these topics. Presentations included the benefit of honey bees to a wide span of human ailments, including the following:
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Treatment of alcoholism: Bee venom stimulates alcoholdehydrogenase and adcetaldehydrogenase, and keeps these enzymes at elevated levels during alcohol withdrawl. Researcher: Igor Krivopalov-Moskvin, Scientific Research Institute of Clinical Apitherapy, Russia (email@example.com).
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA): Wound dressings with propolis (i.e., “bee glue”, a product of bees from plant resins) showed an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect with reduction in infection relapses. Researcher: Walter Fierro Morales, MD, Montevideo, Uruguay (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Anti-acne: Bee venom is an effective treatment against acne causing bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes, clindamycin-resistant P. acnes, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and S. pyrogenes). Scientist: Sangmi Han, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Suwon, Republic of Korea (email@example.com).
Wound healing: Bee venom has been used for wound healing for centuries. Using studies of full thickness skin defects on mice, wounds treated with venom healed faster compared to Vaseline or no treatment control groups. To get a bit technical, the mechanism of action likely has to do with decreased TGF-B1, fibronectin, and VEGF mRNA levels and increased collage-1 mRNA levels in the venom-treated group compared to controls. Scientist: Sangmi Han, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Suwon, Republic of Korea (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Oral and maxillofacial surgery: After surgery, gauzes soaked in propolis from beehives showed fast wound healing without need for antibiotics. Scientist: Armando Oscar Francisco Virgillito, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Malvinas Argentinas Hospital, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina (no email provided).
Antimalarial and antiplasmodial activity: Propolis hydro alchoholic solution showed antiplasmodial activity in mice. Scientist: James Hutagalung, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Parasitologi Airlangga University, Indonesia (email@example.com).
Fibromyalgia: This is a common rheumatological condition characterised by chronic widespread pain for longer than three months. Patients were injected with bee venom weekly and also put on a diet with pollen. The been venom was attributed to have an analgesic effect (meaning less pain), while the pollen supplements nutritional areas associated with fibromyalgia, including zinc, magnesium, fiber, and L-tryptophan. Overall, patients reported less pain from headaches and migraines, less fatigue, and less anxiety in more than 85% of cases. Remission of pain occurred between the second and third weeks of starting treatments. Scientist: Walter Fierro Morales, Apitherapy Clinic, Montevideo, Uruguay (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Menopause: Molecules called isoflavenoids are found in the red propolis from Decastophyllum plants in Brazil. These isoflavenoids are phytoestrogens with similar chemical structure to human estrogen. Menopause symptoms may appear when estrogen levels decline. These symptoms can be naturally alleviated by including this propolis from beehives to other herbal formulations that traditionally, per ancient Chinese medicine, treat each symptom individually. Scientist: Frederique Keller, The American Apitherapy Society, Northport, New York (email@example.com).
Increasing human libido - Okay, so this one is a bit less scientific and more of a sales pitch, but this company claims to have a link between royal jelly and increased hormones. I’d say contact the scientist for more info if you’re interested. Scientist: Hossein Yeganehrad, Capsian Apiaries, New Westminster, BC, Canada (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Liver disease: This presentation was quite vague. I am still not exactly sure how bee products help people with liver disease. I did learn about an interesting set of observations that a general diet with medicinal bee plants and their associated bee products can help to restore the function of the gall bladder, stomach, and the intestines. Scientist: Stefan Stangiciu, Apitherapy Consulting & Trading International, Dambovita, Romania (email@example.com).
Burn healing: Collagen-based films containing red and green propolis from Brazil improved burn healing, with the red propolis providing the best benefit. Scientist: Enrik Almeida, University Tiradentes, Aracaju/SE Brazil (no email provided).