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Health Benefits of Bee Products

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 41521

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Nutrition and Food Science Group, Dept. of Analytical and Food Chemistry, CITACA, CACTI, University of Vigo - Vigo Campus, 36310 Vigo, Spain
Interests: bioactive compounds; by-products; obesity; lipid metabolism; oxidative stress; obesity and cancer
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Guest Editor
Department of Physiology, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology "José Mataix Verdú", Biomedical Research Centre, University of Granada, 18016 Armilla, Spain
Interests: aging; mitochondria; redox biology; foods; nutrition; age-related diseases; oral health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The medicinal uses of bee products, especially honey, have been recognized and reported since ancient times. The beneficial effects of these products are attributed to the presence of active components such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, terpenes, and enzymes, which function biologically to prevent certain diseases and promote good health.

In the Special Issue “Health Benefits of Bee Products”, in Nutrients, we would like to bring together papers that deal with this topic but also offer an innovative point of view and provide new data to broaden our knowledge of the area. We welcome different types of manuscript submissions, including original research articles and up-to-date reviews (systematic reviews and meta-analyses). We especially encourage the submission of in vivo, pre-clinical and clinical studies that address the pharmacological use of bee products (including honey, royal jelly, bee venom, bee pollen, propolis and by-products from the beeswax recycling process), and their function as nutraceuticals and functional foods. Works that delve into the molecular mechanisms explaining the effects of bee products are also encouraged.

Dr. Tamara Yuliett Forbes-Hernandez
Dr. Alfonso Varela-López

Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • bee products
  • human health
  • honey
  • royal jelly
  • bee venom
  • bee pollen
  • propolis
  • by-products from beeswax recycling

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 3128 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical Properties and Effects of Honeys on Key Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress and Cholesterol Homeostasis in HepG2 Cells
by Huong Thi Lan Nguyen, Stefan Kasapis and Nitin Mantri
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010151 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2824
Abstract
Manuka honey and newly developed honeys (arjuna, guggul, jiaogulan and olive) were examined for their physicochemical, biochemical properties and effects on oxidative stress and cholesterol homeostasis in fatty acid-induced HepG2 cells. The honeys exhibited standard moisture content (<20%), electrical conductivity (<0.8 mS/cm), acidic [...] Read more.
Manuka honey and newly developed honeys (arjuna, guggul, jiaogulan and olive) were examined for their physicochemical, biochemical properties and effects on oxidative stress and cholesterol homeostasis in fatty acid-induced HepG2 cells. The honeys exhibited standard moisture content (<20%), electrical conductivity (<0.8 mS/cm), acidic pH, and monosaccharides (>60%), except olive honey (<60% total monosaccharides). They all expressed non-Newtonian behavior and 05 typical regions of the FTIR spectra as those of natural ones. Guggul and arjuna, manuka honeys showed the highest phenolic contents, correlating with their significant antioxidant activities. Arjuna, guggul and manuka honeys demonstrated the agreement of total cholesterol reduction and the transcriptional levels of AMPK, SREBP2, HCMGR, LDLR, LXRα. Jiaogulan honey showed the least antioxidant content and activity, but it was the most cytotoxic. Both jiaogulan and olive honeys modulated the tested gene in the pattern that should lead to a lower TC content, but this reduction did not occur after 24 h. All 2% concentrations of tested honeys elicited a clearer effect on NQO1 gene expression. In conclusion, the new honeys complied with international norms for natural honeys and we provide partial evidence for the protective effects of manuka, arjuna and guggul honeys amongst the tested ones on key biomarkers of oxidative stress and cholesterol homeostasis, pending further studies to better understand their modes of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Bee Products)
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16 pages, 3354 KiB  
Article
Cuban Brown Propolis Interferes in the Crosstalk between Colorectal Cancer Cells and M2 Macrophages
by Yahima Frión-Herrera, Daniela Gabbia, Michela Scaffidi, Letizia Zagni, Osmany Cuesta-Rubio, Sara De Martin and Maria Carrara
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2040; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072040 - 09 Jul 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3005
Abstract
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), primarily the M2 phenotype, are involved in the progression and metastasis of colorectal cancer (CRC). Cuban brown propolis (Cp) and its main component Nemorosone (Nem) displays an antiproliferative effect on different cancer cells, including CRC cell lines. However, whether Cp [...] Read more.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), primarily the M2 phenotype, are involved in the progression and metastasis of colorectal cancer (CRC). Cuban brown propolis (Cp) and its main component Nemorosone (Nem) displays an antiproliferative effect on different cancer cells, including CRC cell lines. However, whether Cp and Nem could exploit its effect on CRC cells by targeting their relationship with TAMs remains to be elucidated. In this study, we differentiated the human monocytic THP-1 cells to M2 macrophages and confirmed this transition by immunofluorescence (IF) staining, qRT-PCR and zymography. An MTT assay was performed to determine the effect of Cp and Nem on the viability of CRC HT-29 cells co-cultured with M2 macrophages. Furthermore, the migration and invasion abilities of HT-29 cells were determined by Transwell assays and the expression levels of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers were analyzed by IF staining. We demonstrated that Cp and Nem reduced the viability of M2 macrophages and, accordingly, the activity of the MMP-9 metalloprotein. Moreover, we demonstrated that M2 macrophages produce soluble factors that positively regulate HT-29 cell growth, migration and invasion. These M2-mediated effects were counteracted by Cp and Nem treatments, which also played a role in regulating the expression of the EMT markers E-cadherin and vimentin. Taken together, our results indicate that Nem contained in Cp interferes in the crosstalk between CRC cells and TAMs, by targeting M2 macrophages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Bee Products)
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Review

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25 pages, 1243 KiB  
Review
Health Promoting Properties of Bee Royal Jelly: Food of the Queens
by Nicolas Collazo, Maria Carpena, Bernabe Nuñez-Estevez, Paz Otero, Jesus Simal-Gandara and Miguel A. Prieto
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020543 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 69 | Viewed by 11476
Abstract
Royal jelly (RJ) demand is growing every year and so is the market for functional foods in general. RJ is formed by different substances, mainly carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, but also vitamins, minerals, and phenolic or volatile compounds in lower proportion. Major royal [...] Read more.
Royal jelly (RJ) demand is growing every year and so is the market for functional foods in general. RJ is formed by different substances, mainly carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, but also vitamins, minerals, and phenolic or volatile compounds in lower proportion. Major royal jelly proteins (MRJP) are, together with 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA), key substances of RJ due to their different biological properties. In particular, 10-HDA is a unique substance in this product. RJ has been historically employed as health enhancer and is still very relevant in China due to the traditional medicine and the apitherapy. Nowadays, it is mainly consumed as a functional food or is found in supplements and other formulations for its health-beneficial properties. Within these properites, anti-lipidemic, antioxidant, antiproliferative, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antiaging, and estrogenic activities have been reported for RJ or its specific components. This manuscript is aimed at reviewing the current knowledge on RJ components, their assessment in terms of authenticity, their biological activities, and related health applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Bee Products)
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29 pages, 4970 KiB  
Review
Physicochemical and Medicinal Properties of Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut Honeys: A Comprehensive Review
by Datu Agasi Mohd Kamal, Siti Fatimah Ibrahim, Haziq Kamal, Mohd Izhar Ariff Mohd Kashim and Mohd Helmy Mokhtar
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010197 - 10 Jan 2021
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 6366
Abstract
Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut honeys are tropical rainforest honeys reported to have various medicinal properties. Studies related to the medicinal properties and physicochemical characteristics of these honeys are growing extensively and receiving increased attention. This review incorporated and analysed the findings on the [...] Read more.
Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut honeys are tropical rainforest honeys reported to have various medicinal properties. Studies related to the medicinal properties and physicochemical characteristics of these honeys are growing extensively and receiving increased attention. This review incorporated and analysed the findings on the biological and physicochemical properties of these honeys. Tualang, Gelam and Kelulut honeys were found to possess a wide variety of biological effects attributed to their physicochemical characteristics. Findings revealed that these honeys have anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-cancer, anti-oxidative, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties and effects on the cardiovascular system, nervous system and reproductive system. The physicochemical properties of these honeys were compared and discussed and results showed that they have high-quality contents and excellent antioxidant sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Bee Products)
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31 pages, 380 KiB  
Review
Biomedical Properties of Propolis on Diverse Chronic Diseases and Its Potential Applications and Health Benefits
by Nelly Rivera-Yañez, C. Rebeca Rivera-Yañez, Glustein Pozo-Molina, Claudia F. Méndez-Catalá, Adolfo R. Méndez-Cruz and Oscar Nieto-Yañez
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010078 - 29 Dec 2020
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 6450
Abstract
The use of alternative medicine products has increased tremendously in recent decades and it is estimated that approximately 80% of patients globally depend on them for some part of their primary health care. Propolis is a beekeeping product widely used in alternative medicine. [...] Read more.
The use of alternative medicine products has increased tremendously in recent decades and it is estimated that approximately 80% of patients globally depend on them for some part of their primary health care. Propolis is a beekeeping product widely used in alternative medicine. It is a natural resinous product that bees collect from various plants and mix with beeswax and salivary enzymes and comprises a complex mixture of compounds. Various biomedical properties of propolis have been studied and reported in infectious and non-infectious diseases. However, the pharmacological activity and chemical composition of propolis is highly variable depending on its geographical origin, so it is important to describe and study the biomedical properties of propolis from different geographic regions. A number of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer, are the leading causes of global mortality, generating significant economic losses in many countries. In this review, we focus on compiling relevant information about propolis research related to diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The study of propolis could generate both new and accessible alternatives for the treatment of various diseases and will help to effectively evaluate the safety of its use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Bee Products)
27 pages, 1931 KiB  
Review
Bee Venom: An Updating Review of Its Bioactive Molecules and Its Health Applications
by Maria Carpena, Bernabe Nuñez-Estevez, Anton Soria-Lopez and Jesus Simal-Gandara
Nutrients 2020, 12(11), 3360; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113360 - 31 Oct 2020
Cited by 79 | Viewed by 9779
Abstract
Bee venom (BV) is usually associated with pain since, when humans are stung by bees, local inflammation and even an allergic reaction can be produced. BV has been traditionally used in ancient medicine and in acupuncture. It consists of a mixture of substances, [...] Read more.
Bee venom (BV) is usually associated with pain since, when humans are stung by bees, local inflammation and even an allergic reaction can be produced. BV has been traditionally used in ancient medicine and in acupuncture. It consists of a mixture of substances, principally of proteins and peptides, including enzymes as well as other types of molecules in a very low concentration. Melittin and phospholipase A2 (PLA2) are the most abundant and studied compounds of BV. Literature of the main biological activities exerted by BV shows that most studies focuses on the comprehension and test of anti-inflammatory effects and its mechanisms of action. Other properties such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, neuroprotective or antitumor effects have also been assessed, both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, human trials are necessary to confirm those clinical applications. However, notwithstanding the therapeutic potential of BV, there are certain problems regarding its safety and the possible appearance of adverse effects. On this perspective, new approaches have been developed to avoid these complications. This manuscript is aimed at reviewing the actual knowledge on BV components and its associated biological activities as well as the latest advances on this subject. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Bee Products)
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