Diabetes -- Antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, and antidiabetic activity of Apis mellifera bee tea
Diabetes has emerged as one of the largest global epidemics; it is estimated that by 2035, there will be 592 million diabetic people in the world. Brazilian biodiversity and the knowledge of traditional peoples have contributed to the treatment of several diseases, including diabetes. Apis mellifera bee tea is used by indigenous Brazilians to treat diabetes, and this traditional knowledge needs to be recorded and studied.The objective of this study was to record the use and to evaluate the antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, and antidiabetic activity of Apis mellifera bee tea, which is used by the Guarani and Kaiowá indigenous people for the treatment of diabetes. Semi-structured interviews were performed with Guarani and Kaiowá ethnic indigenous people from the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, seeking to identify the animal species used for medicinal purposes. For the experimental procedures, tea prepared with macerated Apis mellifera bees was used. In vitro assays were performed to evaluate antioxidant activity; direct free radical scavenging, protection against oxidative hemolysis, lipid peroxidation were evaluated in human erythrocytes and potential in inhibiting the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). In vivo, normoglycemic Swiss male mice treated with Apis mellifera tea (AmT) were subjected to the oral glucose tolerance test and compared with control and metformin-treated groups. Diet-induced diabetic mice were treated for 21 days with AmT and evaluated for glycemia and malondialdehyde levels in the blood, liver, nervous system, and eyes. During interviews, the indigenous people described the use of Apis mellifera bee tea for the treatment of diabetes. In in vitro assays, AmT showed direct antioxidant activity and reduced oxidative hemolysis and malondialdehyde generation in human erythrocytes. The AmT inhibited the formation of AGEs by albumin-fructose pathways and methylglyoxal products. In vivo, after oral glucose overload, normoglycemic mice treated with AmT had reduced hyperglycemia at all times evaluated up to 180 min. AmT also reduced hyperglycemia and malondialdehyde levels in the blood, liver, nervous system, and eyes of diabetic mice to similar levels as those in metformin-treated mice and normoglycemic controls. In summary, Apis mellifera bee tea showed antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, and antidiabetic activity, which provides support for the therapeutic application of Guarani and Kaiowá indigenous knowledge.