IMR Press / FBL / Volume 25 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/4802
From entomophagy to entomotherapy
Show Less
1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, 50200, Thailand
2 Environmental Science Research Center (ESRC), Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
Send correspondence to: Panuwan Chantawannakul, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, 239 Huay Kaew rd, T. Suthep, A. Meung, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50200, Tel: 6653943346, Fax: 66538922, E-mail:
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2020, 25(1), 179–200;
Published: 1 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutting edge of insect biomedical science)

Insects are the most diverse group of organisms with one million species that account for 80% of the world’s species. Particularly in East Asia, edible insects serve as a source of nutrients. Among these, silkworms and honeybees are well-known sources of food and have been used for the treatment of a large number of human disorders. This review focuses on the utilization of insects as food (entomophagy) as well as for their pharmacological properties (entomotherapy) that have been tested in vitro as well as in vivo.


Insects account for 80% of the world’s species and are the most diverse group of organisms. With one million species that fall in 24 orders, Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera predominate and more than 2,100 different species are edible (1). “Entomophagy” is common in many cultures, particularly in East Asia. Edible insects are a healthy and sustainable source of high-quality protein which are rich in amino acids, fatty acids, and various micronutrients, such as the minerals copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, and zinc as well as the vitamins riboflavin, biotin, and, in some cases, folic acid (2-3).

“Entomotherapy” is defined as preventative or therapeutic use of insects and insect-derived products (4-5). Honey, royal jelly, propolis, bee pollen, bee wax, and bee venom from honeybees have been used since ancient times (6), and are potentially beneficial to humans due to their biomedical properties. Honeybee products are also regarded as a potential source of natural antioxidants due to their heterogenous phenolic, polyphenol content and flavonoid constituents that varies based on floral sources as well as the processing, handling, and storage of the product (7-8). Although, insects and their products is regarded to be valuable resources as medicine, such uses require further work to substantiate the value of these as medicine.

In this review, the history, and modern use of edible insects and products, particularly honey products, are summarized in addition to their potential use in preventive medicine based on recent scientific findings.

3.1. Traditional use and ethnobiological records

Insects have been as traditional medicines (9). In the Roman empire, the use of insects for medical purposes was recorded in Naturalis historiae (4). Most of the insects used were from the Orders Coleoptera, Hymemoptera, Orthoptera, and Hemiptera, and were employed in the treatment of disorders of the skin, digestive, respiratory, reproductive, circulatory, nervous, neuromuscular, and immunological systems as well as other diseases. Ethnobiological data have been recorded in many parts of the world. For example, in Europe, the oil extracted from the May beetle larvae (Melolontha vulgaris) was applied to wounds (10). At least 50 and 210 insect species in Brazil and Mexico, respectively, have been reported for use for medical purposes (11). In China, the medical use of crude drugs derived from insects was reported in the “herbal” Jingshi Zhenglei Daguang Bencao (A.D.1108) (12). Many insects have been recorded in traditional medicine to exhibit anti-cancer activities. These uses include use of Bombyx mori and Apis mellifera for lung cancer, Tabanus mandarinus (Chinese horse fly) and Gryllotalpa unispina (giant mole cricket) for liver cancer, Cyclopelta parva (dadap bug) for esophageal cancer, Hueckys sanguea (red lady bug) for skin cancer, Blatta orientalis (oriental cockroach) for renal cancer, and Cryptotympana japonensis (black cicada) for thyroid cancer (13).

Members of Coleoptera (e.g. the Palm beetle (Pachymerus nucleorum), scarab (Strategus aloeus), scarab (Megasona acaeon), and Blister beetle (Lytta versicatoria)) have been used for treatment of earaches, as aphrodisiacs, and to treat urinary disorders (14-17). Hemiptera (e.g. Hyechys sanguinea) have been used to treat migraine and ear infections (18). Orthoptera (e.g. the grasshopper (Tropidacris sp.), crickets (Brachytrupes sp.), and mole cricket (Gryllus assimilis)) have been used to treat skin diseases, defective mental development, and urine retention (4, 17, 19).

In Hymenoptera, wasps, stingless bees, and honey bees have been used as traditional medicine. One of the most well-known insects in this group are bees, which have also been used extensively in folk medicine. In Nepal, bee pollen has been used as a tonic for the elderly (5). Propolis, a plant resin collected by honey bees, is also used as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent in the treatment of wounds and burns. Propolis is a resinous material that bees collect from plant exudates. Bees use these materials to block holes and cracks, as glue to repair combs, make the entrance to hives easier to defend by narrowing the hive entrance, and to embalm dead organisms inside their hives. Propolis has been used in various pharmaceutical products due to its therapeutic properties, such as antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, in both folk and modern medicine used both externally and internally. The hives of stingless bees and European honey bees (A. mellifera) are good sources of propolis (6).

Royal jelly, a bee larval food provided by young nurse bees, is used to treat asthma, anorexia, gastrointestinal ulcers, arteriosclerosis, anemia, hypotension or hypertension, anorexia, gastrointestinal ulcers, and postmenopausal symptoms (9, 20). Moreover, the venom of honeybees has been used to ameliorate the symptoms of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS), arthritis, rheumatism, chronic pain, neurological diseases, asthma, and dermatological conditions (21). Bee venom was used in ancient Greece for the anti-arthritic properties of apitoxin, which enhances blood flow to ischemic regions. The application of bee stings in treatment of human disease is known as “apipuncture”. Similarly, other insect venoms such as ant venom and wasp venom have been recorded for medicinal use such as treatment of arthritis (22-23).

The order Orthoptera has also been traditionally used for treatment of human disorders, for example, in Africa, powder of dried grasshoppers has been used to alleviate the pain of severe headaches (24). The mole cricket, Gryllotalpa africana, has been used in Korean traditional medicine for retention of urine, urolithiasis, edema, lymphangitis and furuncles (25). In Latin America, the house cricket, Acheta domesticus, was used for the treatment of scabies, asthma, eczema, lithiasis, earache, oliguresis, rheumatism, urine retention, urinary incontinence and ophthalmological problems (26).

Some insects of the order Hemiptera, are known to have medicinal values. For example, the stinkbug (Encosternum delegorguei) in Zimbabwe and South Africa decrease hypertension and have been used to cure asthma and heart diseases (27). The edible Chinese stinkbug, Aspongopus chinensis, has also been employed to relieve pain, and to treat nephropathy and kidney disease in China (28). The bedbug (Cimex lectularius and C. hemipterus) was employed in the treatment of urinary disorders, epilepsy, piles, alopecia, headache, constipation, ulcer, arthritis, hair loss, snake bites and to stop somnolence (29).

Besides the four orders described above, the silkworm (B. mori L., 1758) which is a member of Lepidoptera, has been used in Chinese traditional medicine for at least three thousand years (13) and the larvae of certain flies have been employed for centuries as beneficial agents to heal infected wounds (30).

Even though in some cases, the scientific validity of use has been established, nevertheless, the pharmacological significance of insects, particularly the efficacy of insect-based medicines, has been questioned. Yet, there is increasing interest in demonstrating the scientific validity of medical properties of insects and to prove the pharmaceutical properties of natural products in mice, rats, and, recently, in fruit flies (31).

3.2. Nutritional factors

More than 50 species of known insects are edible. The most common insects consumed in Asian countries are locusts, beetles, crickets, giant water bugs, cicada, ant eggs, silkworm pupae, and bamboo caterpillars. The global population is expected to reach 9 billion in 2050; therefore, a safe, clean, and nutritious food will be urgently needed. Insects are promoted as alternative sustainable source of human food and animal feed worldwide. Insect farming is regarded as environmentally friendly due to their less waste production, less land and water requirement, smaller energy input, and low greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in a lower environmental footprint. We previously reported that these insects are a good source of protein and fiber (Table 1). Most insects contain approximately 60% protein (32) including essential amino acids, such as isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, and phenylalanine, which are suitable for human consumption (Table 2). Insects, therefore, have been proposed as a new source of alternative protein in the future. Insects are also known to be a good source of lipids, particularly in their larval and nymphal stages. Our preliminary results of a nutritional study of edible insect in Thailand found that the Bamboo worm (Omphisa fuscidentalis) consists of 56.89% lipids and provides 778 kcal/100 g (Table 1). Insect lipids are composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids, of which major essential fatty acids are linoleic and α-linolenic acids. In addition, insects contain other nutritive elements such as vitamins and mineral (33).

Table 1 Examples of the nutritional composition and energy content of edible insects
Nutrition Common and scientific name of insects
House cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus) Short tail cricket (Diestrammena marmorata) Coconut rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) Bombay locust (Patanga succincta) Paper wasps (Vespa affinis) Giant water bug (Lethocerus indicus) Silkworm pupae (Bombyx mori) Bamboo worm (Omphisa fuscidentalis) Giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) Subterranean ants Carebara castanea)
Protein (%) 75.01 69.31 65.33 74.92 49.36 38.99 53.64 33.01 41.26 41.72
Fat (%) 19.29 17.67 17.73 12.7 20.15 28.33 32.7 56.89 30.84 53.36
Fiber (%) 9.71 17.93 25.89 15.19 2.12 16.3 3.27 9.28 1.9 16.7
Ash (%) 5.04 3.67 3.97 3.43 3.83 23.7 5.51 1.76 3.82 2.49
Moisture content (%) 2.04 3.6 4.43 4.33 6.89 3.24 9.33 2.09 9.25 2.24
Energy (cal/g) 5853 5828 5913 5416 5339 4944 6337 7783 5932 7561
* Nutritional composition values were obtained from studied edible insect samples collected in Thailand
Table 2 Amino acid contents of edible insects
Amino acids Common and scientific name of insects
House cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus) Short tail cricket (Diestrammena marmorata) Coconut rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) Bombay locust (Patanga succincta) Paper wasps (Vespa affinis) Giant water bug (Lethocerus indicus) Silkworm pupae (Bombyx mori) Bamboo worm (Omphisa fuscidentalis) Giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) Subterranean ants Carebara castanea)
Essential Amino acids(mg/g)
Isoleucine 2.892 3.205 6.036 4.814 2.19 6.437 3.946 4.718 2.45 3.308
Leucine 4.954 4.65 6.098 5.22 12.89 6.899 4.879 5.258 15.97 3.987
Lysine 10.32 3.54 12.156 1.945 8.41 6.512 8.844 4.013 5.06 6.923
Methionine 0.698 1.243 1.38 0.769 4.16 1.355 1.35 1.798 3.95 1.037
Phenylalanine 3.366 5.611 7.856 5.381 6.99 8.076 4.264 15.953 8.31 4.111
Tyrosine 1.105 2.23 6.007 5.293 4.74 6.074 2.363 6.008 3.01 1.867
Total aromatic a.a.1 4.471 7.841 13.863 10.674 11.73 14.15 6.627 21.961 11.32 5.978
Threonine 16.386 4.663 6.648 4.84 1.39 5.456 5.928 4.947 1.32 2.911
Valine 5.081 2.451 4.155 2.606 13.86 7.42 2.632 3.336 7.05 1.688
Histidine 0.912 3.901 1.928 1.479 4.46 2.353 5.005 1.647 6.38 1.129
Total essential a.a. 45.714 31.494 52.264 32.347 59.09 50.582 39.211 47.678 53.5 26.961
Non-essential Amino acids(mg/g)
Aspartic acid Nd. 12.512 23.659 13.002 8.35 6.151 Nd. 19.567 5.55 3.717
Serine 4.142 4.273 3.979 4.088 11.68 5.469 5.293 5.733 7.66 2.797
Glutamic acid 0.552 0.659 3.22 0.743 17.21 0.976 1.783 2.098 11.61 Nd.
Proline 9.444 7.259 14.512 15.148 5.32 6.7 8.928 11.485 6.48 17.043
Glycine 17.694 6.662 9.497 6.915 3.52 7.794 8.469 7.067 2.32 4.158
Alanine 7.87 6.049 12.093 12.29 10.48 5.583 7.44 9.571 12.79 14.202
Arginine 9.986 4.663 6.648 4.84 3.59 5.456 5.928 4.947 2.39 2.911
1Phenylalanine + tyrosine, a.a.= amino acids, Nd. Not detected, * Amino acid contents were obtained from studied edible insect samples collected in Thailand

The insect farming industry has been promoted as an alternative sustainable food source due to an increasing demand of consumers in recent years. The production of honey from A. mellifera and A. cerana for human consumption as well as the silk natural textile production from silkworm are allowed to be the most striking achievement of insect industries. These insects may be domesticated; however, cricket farming has recently become more popular, particularly in European markets. In the European Union, insects that may be used as food are the yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor), lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus), tropical banded cricket (G. sigillatus), and migratory locust (Locusta migratoria) (32, 34). New legislation in Europe on insect food has been in effect since January 2018 and the scientific evidence are required in terms of food safety (e.g. microbial contamination). In the US and Canada, edible insects are regarded as food, and, thus, have to comply with food standards. Since edible insects have traditionally been consumed in Asia, they are widely sold in markets.

3.3. Pharmacological properties for preventive medicine

Since honey bees and silkworms have contributed to the development of an industry that uses insects to produce food, more scientific information has been accumulated for them than for other insect species. Edible insects with their experimentally demonstrated pharmacological properties are listed in Table 3. Their pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory effects, have been examined in various experiments; for example, silk protein from silkworms has been shown to possess anti-microbial properties, while peptides from the tropical house cricket exert both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The bush cricket (Brachytrupes orientalis) is a popular edible insect in North East India and its extract exhibits antioxidant activities (35). Peptides of the wax moth (Galleria mellonela), yellow mealworm (T. molitor), and silkworm (Bombyx mori) were shown to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity in vitro, causing blood vessels to constrict (36). Hence, these edible insects may be a source of health-promoting food for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Table 3 Examples of arthropod-derived chemicals and products mentioned as pharmaceutical and medical resources
Taxon Common name Molecules/Products Pharmaceutical/Medical action References
Amblyomma americanum Lone star tick Calreticulin Inhibition of angiogenesis (90)
Amblyomin-X Induction of tumor cell death (91)
Antheraea mylitta Tasar silkworm Peptide fraction II Anti-bacterial (MDR Gram-negative bacteria) (92)
Sericin (from cocoon) Anti-oxidant (93)
Blaberus giganteus Cockroach Chitin film Anti-bacterial (94)
Bombyx mori Silk worm 35-kDa protein hepatoprotection, antioxidant (95)
Silk (cocoons), Cecropin B Anti-microbial (96)
Calliphora vicina Blow flies and bottle flies Alloferon Antiviral, Anti-tumor (in rats) (97)
Calosoma sycophanta Forest caterpillar hunter Pygidial gland secretion Anti-microbial (98)
Catharsius molossus Dung beetle Glycosaminoglycan Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory (99)
Chrysomya megacephala Oriental latrine fly Larvae Excretions-secretions Anti-bacterial (E. coli) (100)
Clanis bilineata Two-lined velvet hawkmoth Chitosan of larval skin, extract oil Anti-oxidant (101, 102)
Curculio caryae Pecan weevil Pupal cell Anti-fungal (103)
Eupolyphaga sinensis Chinese medicinal cockroach EPS72 (protein) Anti-human lung cancer (104)
Galleria mellonella Greater wax moth (larva) Apolipophorin III Anti-bacterial (105)
Gryllodes sigillatus Tropical house cricket Peptides Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory (106)
Haemaphysalis longicornis longicornis Bush tick Troponin I-like Inhibition of angiogenesis of vascular endothelial cells proliferation and induction of apoptosis (107)
Haemagin Disruption of angiogenesis wound healing (108)
Hermetia illucens Black soldier fly Trx-stomoxynZH1 Anti-microbial (109)
Hydropsyche angustipennis Caddisfly Silk (cocoons) Biomaterials in medicine (110)
Ixodes scapularis Tick sialostatin L Anti-inflammatory (111)
Salivary gland extracts Inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis (112)
Ixolaris Anti-tumor (113)
Ixodes persulcatus Taiga tick Persulcatusin Anti-bacterial (114)
Musca domestica Housefly Protein-enriched fraction/extracts (PE) Anti-pro-inflammation (115)
Crude extract Antitumor activity (116)
Cecropin Apoptosis-inducing activity (117)
Myrmecia gulosa Australian bull ant Secretions Anti-microbial (118)
Nasonia vitripennis Jewel wasp Venom Anti-inflammatory (inhibits NF-κB signaling in mammalian cells) (119)
Polyrhachis dives Chinese black ants Non-peptide nitrogen compounds Anti-inflammatory (120)
Sarcophaga bullata Grey flesh fly Lectin Cytotoxic effects (121)
Spodoptera litura Cutworm Cecropin-like peptides Anti-bacterial (122)
Tabanus bovinus Pale giant horse-fly Crude whole body extracts Cytotoxic effects, Anti-angiogenic activities (123, 124)
Tenebrio molitor Mealworm beetle Peptides Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory (106)
Tetramorium bicarinatum Guinea ant Bicarinalin Anti-microbial (125)
Apis mellifera Honey bee Honey and royal jelly Wound healing (126-129)
Royal jelly Anti-bacterial, Anti-angiogenesis, Anti-allergic (51, 130-132)
Propolis Killing human pancreatic cancer cells, Localized plaque psoriasis treatment. (133, 134)
Apis mellifera, Apis cerana Honey bee Venom Anti-tumor (in lung and cervix cancer cells), Inhibition of arthritic inflammation and bone changes (in rat), Skin wrinkle improvements, Anti-bacterial (135-139)
Apis mellifera, Vespa sp. Honey bee, Wasp Venom peptide (Melittin) Anti-HIV, Anti-bacterial, Anti-cancer cells, Anti-inflammatory (140-144)
Venom peptide (Apamin) Anti-cancer, Treatment of Parkinson’s disease (in rats) (58, 145)
Vespa sp. Wasp Venom peptide (Mastoparan) Antimicrobial, Anti-cancer (146, 147)

Honey, the most consumed product derived from insects, contains many active constituents and antioxidants, such as polyphenols (37). Polyphenols are phytochemicals, a generic form for the several thousands of plant-based molecules with antioxidant activities. Important honey polyphenols, such as kaempferol, quercetin, galangin, chrysin, gallic acid, ellagic acid, benzoic acid, and caffeic acid, are derived from floral sources (38). Honey phenols exhibit many biological activities that include antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities as well as antioxidative stress activity. They have also been shown to promote wound healing and prevent gastric ulcers. The antimicrobial properties of honey are derived from hydrogen peroxide produced by glucose oxidase, an enzyme secreted from the hypopharyngeal gland of honey bees and a non-peroxide substance derived from plants. For example, methylglyoxal from Manuka flowers has been shown to contribute to the non-peroxide properties of Manuka honey. Honey is used to promote wound healing based on its osmotic properties, moisturize wounds, reduce maceration, and inhibit fibrin-adhering eschar to wounds that may impair tissue repair (39). Honey is also used to treat infectious diseases, skin conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, and allergic rhinitis. In patients with gastroenteritis, honey (50 ml/l electrolyte-glucose solution) safely reduced the duration of diarrhea by two days from that with a standard solution without honey (40). The chemical and biomedical properties of honey are influenced by plant sources. In Thailand, various types of honey are produced and consumed, such as longan, coffee, lychee, sunflower, and wild honey. Pattamayutanon et al. (41) reported that coffee honey produced by A. cerana exhibited strong antioxidant activity (IC50 = 1.788 ± 0.329 mg/mL). It had the lowest IC50, reflecting its strong free-radical reduction activity, and the highest phenolic (1308.62 ± 27.83 mgGAE/kg) and flavonoid contents (0.152 ± 0.015 mgQE/g). The volatiles from coffee honey produced by A. cerana are 2-furanmethanol, butyryl lactone, phenylmethanol, anisaldehyde, anise alcohol, and 3,4,5-trimethyl-phenol. Besides their influence on the aroma of honey, the type and proportion of volatiles in honey affect its therapeutic properties, including antioxidant, antibacterial, and even immunomodulatory activities (42).

Propolis is composed of pharmacologically active molecules, such as polyphenols, sesquiterpene quinones, coumarins, steroids, amino acids, and inorganic compounds. It exhibits antimicrobial activities against various microorganisms, including bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and viruses. The presence of polyphenols in propolis contributes to its pharmacological and biological properties. Brazil propolis is well known because it is rich in flavonoids, prenylated derivatives of p-coumaric acids, lignans, and terpenoids (43). Propolis has also been reported to suppress cancer cell growth (44-46). Tetragonula laviceps is one of the stingless bee species that is commonly kept for commercial purposes in Thailand and South East Asia. Based on taxonomic markers, T. laeviceps propolis exhibited the highest antimicrobial activity and is composed of prenylated xanthones (e.g. α-mangostin, mangostanin, and ϒ-mangostin), which have been identified as major secondary metabolites of mangosteen (Garcinia magostana), a pericarp found in India, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand (47). The antibacterial activity of T. laeviceps against Staphylococcus epidermidis, a skin pathogen, confirmed its use in traditional medicine. Tetrigona melanoleuca propolis contains dammar, a tri-terpenic resin produced by trees in the family Dipterocarpaceae. Dammar exhibits antiviral activity and is a protective agent against low-density lipoprotein oxidation (48).

Royal jelly, a larval food of honey bees, is rich in nutrients and biological compounds, such as proteins, lipids, and vitamins. The main biologically active compound is 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA), which has been reported to exhibit anticancer activity (49). Antimicrobial peptides, such as royalactin and royalisin, are also present in royal jelly (50, 51).

Bee venom contains immunoreactive and neuroactive peptides, enzymes, glucose, fructose, and water (52). Melittin, a major component of bee venom peptides possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties and also exerts cytotoxic effects against cancer cells (53). Other peptides in bee venom (apamin, adolapin, mast cell degranulation peptide, and phospholipase A2) also possess anti-inflammatory properties (54-57). Hyaluronidase in bee venom has been shown to increase capillary permeability (58). When eight different types of cancer cell lines were treated with bee venom in vitro, the findings obtained showed dose-dependent growth inhibition in all cell lines, with the highest rate of cell death being observed in the HEPG2 (liver cancer), A549 (lung cancer), and HEP-2C (larynx cancer) cell lines, and the lowest in the HCT116 cell line (colon cancer) (59).

3.4. From lab mice to fruit fly models

Even though some of the information on the bioactivity of edible insects and their products are currently available, the effects of edible insect peptides and their products on small animals need to continue being investigated for further development (34). Honey bee products are the most studied insect products in animal models. Besides in vitro research on antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, Malaysian Tualang honey collected from the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) has been examined and reported to exert potentially protective effects against chronic cerebral hypofusion-induced neurodegeneration by reducing neuronal loss and inhibiting neural death in the hippocampus of rats (60). Neurodegenerative disorders affect the neurons of the nervous system (dysfunction or death of nerve cells), resulting in the loss of memory, inability for self-care, loss of communication ability, and personality changes, leading to difficulties in social functions. Commonly known neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), MS, and stroke, are caused by the aging process in addition to increased oxidative stress; therefore, the antioxidant properties of bee products and edible insects have the potential to block this process via dietary intake. The consumption of antioxidant foods has been proposed to attenuate oxidative damage, improve cognitive performance, and slow down the deterioration in memory and learning associated with aging. Dietary phenols in honey have also been reported to prevent neurodegenerative diseases. Luteolin, a flavonoid found in honey, exhibited neuroprotective activity against microglia-induced neuronal cell death and promoted spatial working memory by preventing microglia-associated inflammation in the hippocampus of aged rats (61). A previous study also reported that honey reduced neuroinflammation and caspase-3 activity after kainic acid (KA)-induced status epilepticus in rats (62). Quercetin, kaempferol, ferulic acid, chrysin, and chlorogenic acid in honey have been shown to exhibit neuroprotective activity in rat models (63-70). Caffeic acid, another important phenolic acid and antioxidant, which is found in honey, suppressed neuroinflammation in the brain tissues of mice (71). Tualang honey has been shown to improve short- and long-term memory as well as the neuronal proliferation of hippocampal regions in rats (72). Similarly, the consumption of honey with a high antioxidant content decreased deteriorations in brain function during aging and, thus, reduced anxiety and improved spatial memory in rats (73).

Gastric ulcers are a major issue worldwide and there is, as of yet, no effective treatment. Manuka honey was previously shown to significantly reduce the ulcer index and maintain the glycoprotein content, and these effects were attributed to its antioxidant properties. It also reduced mucosal myeloperoxidase activity, lipid peroxidation, and the levels of inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) to lower than those in the untreated control group. In addition, rats treated with Manuka honey showed a normalized cell cycle distribution and significantly reduced apoptosis in the gastric mucosa. These findings demonstrated that Manuka honey is effective in the treatment of chronic ulcers and preservation of mucosal glycoproteins (8).

Honey has been reported to exert protective effects against metabolic syndromes (74). Metabolic syndromes (e.g. cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes) are linked to lifestyle choices. The anti-obesity effects of honey were previously reported in a rat model (75, 76). The hypoglycemic effects of stingless bee honey and giant honey bee honey have been tested in rats (77-79). Royal jelly was found to ameliorate diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance in mice (80). Furthermore, Seo et al. showed that the daily intake of yellow mealworms attenuated weight gain in obese mice by increasing lipid accumulation and triglyceride levels in adipocytes (81).

Brazilian green propolis contains prenylated phenylpropanoids and flavonoids and exhibits antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. Furthermore, its extract suppressed acetaminophen-induced hepatocellular necrosis by modulating cytokine expression in rats (82). Luteolin is a flavonoid found in honey that exhibited neuroprotective activity against microglia-induced neuronal cell death and enhanced spatial working memory by preventing microglia-associated inflammation in the hippocampus of aged rats (83). Among flavonols (quercetin, kaempferol, galangin, fisetin, and myricetin), flavones (apigenin, acacetin, chrysin, luteolin, genkwanin, wogonin, and tricetin), phenolic acids (caffeic acids), and flavanones (hesperidin), quercetin has been shown to enhance the apoptotic activities of anti-CD95 and rTRAIL (recombinant tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) in acute lymphocytic leukemia (84). Apigenin and acacetin not only induce caspase-dependent apoptosis in human leukemia cells in vitro, the former also induced the apoptosis-mediated inhibition of U937 leukemic cell xenografts in mice (85).

In an in vivo study, the administration of bee venom to carcinoma-bearing rats significantly reduced their body weight, ascites tumor volume, packed cell volume, viable tumor cell numbers, and tumor cell count and increased their mean survival time. These findings suggest that the bee venom studied is applicable as an effective anticancer agent (59). Bee venom also exerts neuroprotective effects. For example, when bee venom phospholipase A2 (PLA2) was injected into a mouse model of PD, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, it attenuated neurotoxicity and enhanced motor functions (86). Melittin in bee venom reduced the expression of inflammatory proteins in a transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These findings suggest that melittin has potential as an agent to regulate the immune system in organs with the loss of motor neurons caused by ALS (87).

The Drosophila melanogaster genome project was completed in 2000. Approximately 75% of human disease-causing genes have functional orthologues in Drosophila. Drosophila is a good model organism because it has a short life span and produces a large number of offspring. It has been used to investigate degenerative diseases related to the nervous system, such as neurodegradation, AD, PD, sleep disorders, and aging. Drosophila has also been used as an animal model of neurodegradation, AD, PD, sleep disorders, ALS, and cancer (31). However, limited information is currently available on edible insects and insect-derived products tested using Drosophila models. When Drosophila was fed the boiled and freeze-dried powder of silkworms (B. mori), their life span increased and the symptoms of rotenone-induced PD were attenuated (88). Yamanashi et al. reported that when flies were fed freeze-dried royal jelly, royal jelly influenced the adult physiology via a shorter developmental time, prolonged longevity, and increased female fecundity (89). These findings suggest that royal jelly maintains certain bioactivities in multicellular organisms and Drosophila mutants may be a useful model to study lifestyle- and age-related diseases. A Drosophila model of the knockdown of ubiquilin, which induces severe morphological defects in neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), has been used to examine edible insect proteins and honey bee products. When Drosophila mutants were fed food supplemented with coffee honey, bee venom, and wasp protein, the number of boutons was significantly higher in the three treatment groups than in the control. These findings suggest that these insect products have neuroprotective properties. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory activities of coffee honey, royal jelly, and melittin were demonstrated in the Drosophila model.


Due to the large diversity of insects, they may be an alternative food source and preventive medicine for humans. Pharmacological and chemical analyses of insects and their products as well as medicinal properties warrant further investigation in multicellular organisms to reaffirm that the same effects are achievable in humans. Insect-derived compounds may be used as alternative medicine in the 21st century. Quality control for commercial processes, reductions in pesticides, and barcoding for taxonomy are also needed for food safety and to maintain the benefits of edible insects and insect-derived products as an alternative diet and in preventive medicine.


I acknowledge that this project is supported by Chiang Mai University and National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) for financial supports and Ms. Anchana Sumarnrote for editing references for this review. Also, I acknowledge KIT for financial support for research collaboration and Dr. Masamitsu Yamaguchi, Dr. Yoshihiro Inoue, Dr. Hideki Yoshida, Ms. Patcharin Phokasem and Ms. Wannapha Mookhploy for testing medicinal properties of Thai bee products. I also thank Medical English Service for the English language review. also thank Medical English Service for the English language review.

Jongema Y World list of edible insects. Laboratory of Entomology. In: Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands 2017
Rumpold B. A Schlüter O. K Nutritional composition and safety aspects of edible insects Mol Nutr Food Res 2013 57 802 823 DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201200735
Williams J. P Williams J. R Kirabo A Chester D Peterson M Chapter 3 - Nutrient content and health benefits of insects. In: Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients. Eds: A. T. Dossey, J. A. Morales-Ramos&M. G. Rojas, Academic Press, San Diego 2016 DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-802856-8.00003-X
Costa-Neto E. M The Use of Insects in folk medicine in the State of Bahia, northeastern Brazil, with notes on insects reported elsewhere in Brazilian folk medicine Hum Eco 2002 30 245 263 DOI: 10.1023/A:1015696830997
Costa-Neto E. M Entomotherapy, or the medicinal use of insects J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 2005 25 93 114 DOI: 10.2993/0278-0771(2005)25[93:EOTMUO]2.0. CO;2
Crane E The past and present importance of bee products to man. In: Bee products: properties, applications, and apitherapy. Eds: A. Mizrahi, Y. Lensky, Springer US, Boston, MA 1997 DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4757-9371-0_1
Mizrahi A Products Y. Lensky: Bee properties, applications, and apitherapy. NY: Plenum Press, New York 1997 DOI: 10.1093/ae/45.2.125
Al-Mamary M Al-Meeri A Al-Habori M Antioxidant activities and total phenolic of different types of honey Nutr Res 2002 22 1041 1047 DOI: 10.1016/S0271-5317(02)00406-2
Cherniack E. P Bugs as drugs, part 1: Insects. The "new" alternative medicine for the 21st century? Rev Altern Med 2010 15 124 135
Ratcliffe B. C The significance of scarab beetles in the ethnoentomology of non-industrial, indigenous peoples. In: 1st International congress of ethnobiology, ethnobiology: implications and applications. Eds: D. A. Posey and W. L. Overal Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Belem, Brazil 1990
Costa-Neto E. M Insects as sources of proteins for man: Valorization of disgusting resources Interciencia 2003 28 136 140 183 185
Namba T Ma Y. H Inagaki K Insect-derived crude drugs in the Chinese Song Dynasty J Ethnopharmacol 1989 24 247 85 DOI: 10.1016/0378-8741(88)90157-2
Yonghua Z Xiwu G Medicinal insects in China AU - Zimian, Ding Ecol Food Nutr 1997 36 209 220 DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-5967.2009.00236.x
Posey D. A Topics and issues in ethnoentomology with some suggestions for the development of hypothesis-generation and testing in ethnobiology J Ethnobiol 1986 6 99 120 DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-9-20
Marques G. W. J Costa-Neto E. M Insects as folk medicines in the state of Alagoas, Brazil. In: the 8th International Conference on Traditional Medicine and Folklore. Newfoundland, Canada 1994
Berenbaum M. R Insects and their impact on human affairs. In: Bugs In The System. Eds: M. R. Berenbaum. Addison-Wesley Publishers Ltd, Wokingham, UK 1995 DOI: 10.1093/ae/45.2.121
Elda M. A. Maya Etnoentomologı´ade la comunidad Hn˜a¨hn˜u, El Dexthi-San Juanico, Hidalgo. Lic. Monograph. Universidad Nacional Auto´noma de Me´xico, Iztacala 2000
Kritsky G Take two cicadas and call me in the morning Bulletin of the ESA 1987 33 139 141 DOI: 10.1093/besa/33.3.139
Banjo A. D Lawal O. A Owolana O. A Olubanjo O. A Ashidi J. S Dedeke G. A Soewu D. A Owa S. O Sobowale O. A An ethnozoological survey of insects and their allies among the Remos (Ogun State) southwestern Nigeria IAJIKS 2003 2 61 68 DOI: 10.4314/indilinga.v2i1.46989
Conconi R. E. J Jose M. P The utilization of insects in the empirical medicine of ancient Mexicans J Ethnobiol 1988 8 195 202
Kampmeier G. E Irwin M. E Chapter 59 - Commercialization of insects and their products. In: Encyclopedia of Insects (Second Edition). Eds: V. H. Resh, R. T. Cardé, Academic Press, San Diego 2009
Altman R. D Schultz D. R Collins-Yudiskas B Aldrich J Arnold P. I Arnold P. I Brown H. E The effects of a partially purified fraction of an ant venom in rheumatoid arthritis Arthritis Rheum 1984 27 277 284
Uçkan F Ergin E Ayaz F Modelling age- and density-structured reproductive biology and seasonal survival of Apanteles galleriae Wilkinson (Hym., Braconidae) J Appl Entomol 2004 128 407 413 DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0418.2004.00864.x
Srivastava S Babu N Pandey H Traditional insect bioprospecting–As human food and medicine Indian J tradit. knowl 2009 8 485 494
Pemberton R. W Insects and other arthropods used as drugs in Korean traditional medicine J Ethnopharmacol 1999 65 207 216 DOI: 10.1016/S0378-8741(98)00209-8
Alves R. R. N Alves H. N The faunal drugstore: animal-based remedies used in traditional medicines in Latin America J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 2011 7 9 DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-7-9
Makore T. A Garamumhango P Chirikure T Chikambi S. D Determination of nutritional composition of encosternum delegorguei caught in Nerumedzo Community of Bikita, Zimbabwe Int. J Biol 2015 7 13 19 DOI: 10.5539/ijb.v7n4p13
Luo X. H Wang X. Z Jiang H. L Yang J. L Crews P Valeriote F. A Wu Q. X The biosynthetic products of Chinese insect medicine, Aspongopus chinensis Fitoterapia 2012 83 754 8 DOI: 10.1016/j.fitote.2012.03.002
Meyer-Rochow V. B Therapeutic arthropods and other, largely terrestrial, folk-medicinally important invertebrates: a comparative survey and review J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 2017 13 9 DOI: 10.1186/s13002-017-0136-0
Sherman R. A Hall M. J. R Thomas S Medicinal maggots: An ancient remedy for some contemporary afflictions Annu Rev Entomol 2000 45 55 81 DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ento.45.1.55
Yamaguchi M Yoshida H Drosophila as a Model Organism. In: Drosophila Models for Human Diseases. Eds: M. Yamaguchi, Springer Singapore, Singapore 2018 DOI: 10.1007/978-981-13-0529-0_1
Huis A. van Edible insects are the future? Proc Nutr Soc 2016 75 294 305 DOI: 10.1017/S0029665116000069
Yhoung-Aree J Puwastien P Attig G. A Edible insects in Thailand: An unconventional protein source? Ecol Food Nutr 1997 36 133 149 DOI: 10.1080/03670244.1997.9991511
Nongonierma A. B FitzGerald R. J Unlocking the biological potential of proteins from edible insects through enzymatic hydrolysis: A review Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol 2017 43 239 252 DOI: 10.1016/j.ifset.2017.08.014
Dutta P Dey T Dihingia A Manna P Kalita J Antioxidant and glucose metabolizing potential of edible insect, Brachytrupes orientalis via modulating Nrf2/AMPK/GLUT4 signaling pathway Biomed Pharmacother 2017 95 556 563 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.08.094
Cito A Botta M Francardi V Dreassi E Insects as source of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitory peptides J Insects Food Feed 2017 3 231 240 DOI: 10.3920/JIFF2017.0017
Bogdanov S Jurendic T Sieber R Gallmann P Honey for nutrition and health: A Review J Am Coll Nutr 2008 27 677 689 DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2008.10719745
Hossen M. S Ali M. Y Jahurul M. H. A Abdel-Daim M. M Gan S. H Khalil M. I Beneficial roles of honey polyphenols against some human degenerative diseases: A review Pharmacol Rep 2017 69 1194 1205 DOI: 10.1016/j.pharep.2017.07.002
Cutting K Honey and contemporary wound care: An overview Ostomy Wound Manage 2007 53 49 54
Haffejee I. E Moosa A Honey in the treatment of infantile gastroenteritis Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985 290 1866 1867 DOI: 10.1016/S0196-0644(86)80700-4
Pattamayutanon P Angeli S Thakeow P Abraham J Disayathanoowat T Chantawannakul P Biomedical activity and related volatile compounds of Thai honeys from 3 different honeybee species J Food Sci 2015 80 DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.12993
Pattamayutanon P Angeli S Thakeow P Abraham J Disayathanoowat T Chantawannakul P Volatile organic compounds of Thai honeys produced from several floral sources by different honey bee species PloS one 2017 12 e0172099 e0172099 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172099
Vassya S. B Solange L. d. C Maria C. M Propolis: recent advances in chemistry and plant origin Apidologie 2000 31 3 15 DOI: 10.1051/apido:2000102
PaTel S Emerging adjuvant therapy for cancer: propolis and its constituents AU - Patel, Seema J Diet Suppl 2016 13 245 268 DOI: 10.3109/19390211.2015.1008614
Khacha-ananda S Tragoolpua K Chantawannakul P Tragoolpua Y Propolis extracts from the northern region of Thailand suppress cancer cell growth through induction of apoptosis pathways Invest New Drugs 2016 34 707 722 DOI: 10.1007/s10637-016-0392-1
Chen C.-N Wu C.-L Lin J.-K Apoptosis of human melanoma cells induced by the novel compounds propolin A and propolin B from Taiwenese propolis Cancer Lett 2007 245 218 231 DOI: 10.1016/j.canlet.2006.01.016
Sanpa S Popova M Bankova V Tunkasiri T Eitssayeam S Chantawannakul P Antibacterial compounds from propolis of Tetragonula laeviceps and Tetrigona melanoleuca (Hymenoptera: Apidae) from Thailand PloS ONE 2015 10 e0126886 e0126886 DOI: 10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0126886
Xie X.-L Wei M Kakehashi A Yamano S Okabe K Tajiri M Wanibuchi H Dammar resin, a non-mutagen, inducts oxidative stress and metabolic enzymes in the liver of gpt delta transgenic mouse which is different from a mutagen, 2-amino-3-methylimidazo(4,5-f)quinoline Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen 2012 748 29 35 DOI: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2012.06.005
Yang X.-Y Yang D.-s. Wei Z. Wang J.-M. Li C.-Y. Hui Y. Lei K.-F. Chen X.-F. Shen N.-H. Jin L.-Q. Wang J.-G. 10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid from Royal jelly: A potential medicine for RA J Ethnopharmacol 2010 128 314 321 DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.01.055
Tseng J.-M Huang J.-R Huang H.-C Tzen J. T. C Chou W.-M Peng C.-C Facilitative production of an antimicrobial peptide royalisin and its antibody via an artificial oil-body system Biotechnol Prog 2011 27 153 161 DOI: 10.1002/btpr.528
Bílikova K Huang S. C Lin I. P Šimuth J Peng C. C Structure and antimicrobial activity relationship of royalisin, an antimicrobial peptide from royal jelly of Apis mellifera Peptides 2015 68 190 196 DOI: 10.1016/j.peptides.2015.03.001
Hossen M. S Gan S. H Khalil M. I Melittin, a potential natural toxin of crude bee venom: probable future arsenal in the treatment of diabetes mellitus J chem 2017 2017 1 7 DOI: 10.1155/2017/4035626
Chen J Guan S.-M Sun W Fu H Melittin, the major pain-producing substance of bee venom Neurosci Bull 2016 32 265 272 DOI: 10.1007/s12264-016-0024-y
Ye M Chung H.-S Lee C Yoon M. S Yu A. R Kim J. S Hwang D.-S Shim I Bae H Neuroprotective effects of bee venom phospholipase A2 in the 3xTg AD mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease J Neuroinflammation 2016 13 10 DOI: 10.1186/s12974-016-0476-z
Shkenderov S Koburova K Adolapin - A newly isolated analgetic and anti-inflammatory polypeptide from bee venom Toxicon 1982 20 317 321 DOI: 10.1016/0041-0101(82)90234-3
King T. P Jim S. Y Wittkowsk K. M Inflammatory role of two venom components of yellow jackets ( Vespula vulgaris): A mast cell degranulating peptide mastoparan and phospholipase A1 Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2003 131 25 32 DOI: 10.1159/000070431
LaFerla F. M Green K. N Oddo S Intracellular amyloid-beta in Alzheimer's disease Nature Rev Neurosci 2007 8 499 DOI: 10.1038/nrn2168
Son D. J Lee J. W Lee Y. H Song H. S Lee C. K Hong J. T Therapeutic application of anti-arthritis, pain-releasing, and anti-cancer effects of bee venom and its constituent compounds Pharmacol Ther 2007 115 246 270 DOI: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2007.04.004
El-Bassion M. N Mahfouz H. M Hussein A. S El-Hamamy M. M Daim M. Abdel Bufo S Effect of honey bee venom on cancer in rats model J Entomol 2016 13 72 83 DOI: 10.3923/je.2016.72.83
Saxena A. K Phyu H. P Al-Ani I. M Talib N. A Potential protective effect of honey against chronic cerebral hypoperfusion-induced neurodegeneration in rats J Anat Soc India 2014 63 151 155 DOI: 10.1016/j.jasi.2014.11.003
Jang S Dilger R. N Johnson R. W Luteolin inhibits microglia and alters hippocampal-dependent spatial working memory in aged mice J Nutr 2010 140 1892 1898 DOI: 10.3945/jn.110.123273
Sairazi N. S. M Sirajudeen K. N. S Muzaimi M Mummedy S Asari M. A Sulaiman S. A Tualang honey reduced neuroinflammation and caspase-3 activity in rat brain after kainic acid-induced status epilepticus J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med 2018 2018 1 16 DOI: 10.1155/2018/7287820
Koh P.-O Ferulic acid prevents the cerebral ischemic injury-induced decreases of astrocytic phosphoprotein PEA-15 and its two phosphorylated forms Neurosci Lett 2012 511 101 105 DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.01.049
He X.-L Wang Y.-H Bi M.-G Du G.-H Chrysin improves cognitive deficits and brain damage induced by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in rats Eur J Pharmacol 2012 680 41 48 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2012.01.025
Li S Pu X.-P Neuroprotective effect of kaempferol against a 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced mouse model of Parkinson's disease Biol Pharm Bull 2011 34 1291 1296 DOI: 10.1248/bpb.34.1291
Xu B Li X.-X He G.-R Hu J.-J Mu X Tian S Du G.-H Luteolin promotes long-term potentiation and improves cognitive functions in chronic cerebral hypoperfused rats Eur J Pharmacol 2010 627 99 105 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2009.10.038
Kumar A Sehgal N Kumar P Padi S. S. V Naidu P. S Protective effect of quercetin against ICV colchicine-induced cognitive dysfunctions and oxidative damage in rats Phytother Res 2008 22 1563 1569 DOI: 10.1002/ptr.2454
Li Y Shi W Li Y Zhou Y Hu X Song C Ma H Wang C Li Y Neuroprotective effects of chlorogenic acid against apoptosis of PC12 cells induced by methylmercury Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 2008 26 13 21 DOI: 10.1016/j.etap.2007.12.008
Cheng C.-Y Su S.-Y Tang N.-Y Ho T.-Y Chiang S.-Y Hsieh C.-L Ferulic acid provides neuroprotection against oxidative stress-related apoptosis after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury by inhibiting ICAM-1 mRNA expression in rats Brain Res 2008 1209 136 150 DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.02.090
Hu P Wang M Chen W.-H Liu J Chen L Yin S.-T Yong W Chen J.-T Wang H.-L Ruan D.-Y Quercetin relieves chronic lead exposure-induced impairment of synaptic plasticity in rat dentate gyrus in vivo Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Arch Pharmacol 2008 378 43 51 DOI: 10.1007/s00210-008-0301-z
Yang J.-Q Zhou Q.-X Liu B.-Z He B.-C Protection of mouse brain from aluminum-induced damage by caffeic acid CNS Neurosci Ther 2008 14 10 16 DOI: 10.1111/j.1527-3458.2007.00031.x
Al-Rahbi B Zakaria R Othman Z Hassan A Ismail Z. I. Mohd Muthuraju S Tualang honey supplement improves memory performance and hippocampal morphology in stressed ovariectomized rats Acta Histochem 2014 116 79 88 DOI: 10.1016/j.acthis.2013.05.004
Chepulis L. M Starkey N. J Waas J. R Molan P. C The effects of long-term honey, sucrose or sugar-free diets on memory and anxiety in rats Physiol Behav 2009 97 359 368 DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.03.001
Ramli N. Z Chin K.-Y Zarkasi K. A Ahmad F A Review on the protective effects of honey against metabolic syndrome Nutrients 2018 10 1009 DOI: 10.3390/nu10081009
Nemoseck T. M Carmody E. G Furchner-Evanson A Gleason M Li A Potter H Rezende L. M Lane K. J Kern M Honey promotes lower weight gain, adiposity, and triglycerides than sucrose in rats Nutr Res 2011 31 55 60 DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.11.002
Chepulis L. M The Effect of honey compared to sucrose, mixed sugars, and a sugar-free diet on weight gain in young rats J Food Sci 2007 72 S224 S229 DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2007.00286.x
Erejuwa O. O Sulaiman S. A Wahab M. S Sirajudeen K. N. S Salleh M. S. M Gurtu S Antioxidant protection of Malaysian tualang honey in pancreas of normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats Ann Endocrinol 2010 71 291 296 DOI: 10.1016/j.ando.2010.03.003
Ahmed S Othman N. H Review of the medicinal effects of Tualang honey and a comparison with Manuka honey Malays J Med Sci 2013 20 6 13
Aziz M. S. A Giribabu N Rao P. V Salleh N Pancreatoprotective effects of Geniotrigona thoracica stingless bee honey in streptozotocin-nicotinamide-induced male diabetic rats Biomed Pharmacother 2017 89 135 145 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.02.026
Yoneshiro T Kaede R Nagaya K Aoyama J Saito M Okamatsu-Ogura Y Kimura K Terao A Royal jelly ameliorates diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance by promoting brown adipose tissue thermogenesis in mice Obes Res Clin Pract 2018 12 127 137 DOI: 10.1016/j.orcp.2016.12.006
Seo M Kim J Moon S.-S Hwang J.-S Kim M.-A Intraventricular administration of Tenebrio molitor larvae extract regulates food intake and body weight in mice with high-fat diet–induced obesity Nutr Res 2017 44 18 26 DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2017.05.011
Tsuchiya Y Sakai H Hirata A Yanai T Brazilian green propolis suppresses acetaminophen-induced hepatocellular necrosis by modulating inflammation-related factors in rats J Toxicol Pathol 2018 31 275 282 DOI: 10.1293%2Ftox.2018-0027
Rahman M. Mijanur Gan S. H Khalil M. I Neurological effects of honey: current and future prospects Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2014 2014 958721 958721 DOI: 10.1155/2014/958721
Spagnuolo C Russo M Bilotto S Tedesco I Laratta B Russo G. L Dietary polyphenols in cancer prevention: the example of the flavonoid quercetin in leukemia Ann N Y Acad Sci 2012 1259 95 103 DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06599.x
Budhraja A Gao N Zhang Z Son Y.-O Cheng S Wang X Ding S Hitron A Chen G Luo J Shi X Apigenin induces apoptosis in human leukemia cells and exhibits anti-leukemic activity in vivo Mol Cancer Ther 2012 11 132 142 DOI: 10.1158%2F1535-7163. MCT-11-0343
Baek H Lee C.-J Choi D. B Kim N.-S Kim Y.-S Ye Y. J Kim Y.-S Kim J. S Shim I Bae H Bee venom phospholipase A2 ameliorates Alzheimer's disease pathology in Aβ vaccination treatment without inducing neuro-inflammation in a 3xTg-AD mouse model Sci Rep 2018 8 17369 17369 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-35030-1
Lee S.-H Choi S.-M Yang E. J Melittin ameliorates the inflammation of organs in an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis animal model Neurobiol Dis 2014 23 86 92 DOI: 10.5607%2Fen.2014.23.1.86
Nguyen P Kim K.-Y Kim A. Y Kim N.-S Kweon H Ji S.-D Koh Y. H Increased healthspan and resistance to Parkinson's disease in Drosophila by boiled and freeze-dried mature silk worm larval powder J Asia Pac Entomol 2016 19 551 561 DOI: 10.1016/j.aspen.2016.05.003
Yamanashi K Sato A Kumazawa S Yamakawa-Kobayash K Freeze-dried royal jelly maintains its developmental and physiological bioactivity in Drosophila melanogaster Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2012 76 2107 2111 DOI: 10.1271/bbb.120496
Jaworski D. C Simmen F. A Lamoreaux W Coons L. B Muller M. T Needham G. R A secreted calreticulin protein in ixodid tick ( Amblyomma americanum) saliva J Insect Physiol 1995 41 369 375 DOI: 10.1016/0022-1910(94)00107-R
Chudzinski-Tavassi A. M De-Sa-Junior P. L Simons S. M Maria D. A Ventura J. de Souza Batista I. F Faria F Duraes E Reis E. M Demasi M A new tick Kunitz type inhibitor, Amblyomin-X, induces tumor cell death by modulating genes related to the cell cycle and targeting the ubiquitin-proteasome system Toxicon 2010 56 1145 54 DOI: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2010.04.019
Dutta S. R Gauri S. S Ghosh T Halder S. K DasMohapatra P. K Mondal K. C Ghosh A. K Elucidation of structural and functional integration of a novel antimicrobial peptide from Antheraea mylitta Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2017 27 1686 1692 DOI: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2017.03.003
Jena K Pandey J. P Kumari R Sinha A. K Gupta V. P Singh G. P Free radical scavenging potential of sericin obtained from various ecoraces of tasar cocoons and its cosmeceuticals implication Int J Biol Macromol 2018 120 255 262 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.08.090
Kaya M Sargin I Sabeckis I Noreikaite D Erdonmez D Salaberria A. M Labidi J Baublys V Tubelytė V Biological, mechanical, optical and physicochemical properties of natural chitin films obtained from the dorsal pronotum and the wing of cockroach Carbohydr Polym 2017 163 162 169 DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2017.01.022
Raghavendra R Neelagund S Kuluvar G Bhanuprakash V Revanaiah Y Protective effect of partially purified 35kDa protein from silk worm ( Bombyx mori) fecal matter against carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity and in vitro anti-viral properties Pharm Biol 2010 48 1426 1431 DOI: 10.3109/13880209.2010.489565
Saviane A Romoli O Bozzato A Freddi G Cappelletti C Rosini E Cappellozza S Tettamanti G Sandrelli F Intrinsic antimicrobial properties of silk spun by genetically modified silkworm strains Transgenic Res 2018 27 87 101 DOI: 10.1007/s11248-018-0059-0
Chernysh S Kim S Bekker G Pleskach V Filatova N Anikin V Platonov V Bulet P Antiviral and antitumor peptides from insects Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002 99 12628 12632 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.192301899
Nenadić M Soković M Glamočlija J Ćirić A Perić-Mataruga V Ilijin L Tešević V Todosijević M Vujisić L Vesović N Ćurčić S The pygidial gland secretion of the forest caterpillar hunter, Calosoma ( Calosoma) sycophanta: the antimicrobial properties against human pathogens Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2017 101 977 985 DOI: 10.1007/s00253-016-8082-7
Ahn M. Y Kim B. J Kim H. J Jin J. M Yoon H. J Hwang J. S Park K. K Anti-cancer effect of dung beetle glycosaminoglycans on melanoma BMC Cancer 2019 19 1 12 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-018-5202-z
Chaiwong T Srivoramas T Sebsumran P Panya M Wanram S Panomket P Antibacterial activity of excretions-secretions from Chrysomya megacephala against Escherichia coli J Med Assoc Thai 2016 99 S7 S11
Wu S Lu M Wang S Antiageing activities of water-soluble chitosan from Clanis bilineata larvae Int J Biol Macromol 2017 102 376 379 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.04.038
Sun M Xu X Zhang Q Rui X Wu J Dong M Ultrasonic-assisted aqueous extraction and physicochemical characterization of oil from Clanis bilineata J Oleo Sci 2018 67 151 165 DOI: 10.5650/jos.ess17108
Shapiro-Ilan D. I Mizell R. F An insect pupal cell with antimicrobial properties that suppress an entomopathogenic fungus J Invertebr Pathol 2015 124 114 116 DOI: 10.1016/j.jip.2014.12.003
Wang F. X Wu N Wei J. T Liu J Zhao J Ji A. G Lin X. K A novel protein from Eupolyphaga sinensis inhibits adhesion, migration, and invasion of human lung cancer A549 cells Biochem Cell Biol 2013 91 244 251 DOI: 10.1139/bcb-2013-0002
Zdybicka-Barabas A Cytryńska M Involvement of apolipophorin III in antibacterial defense of Galleria mellonella larvae Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 2011 158 90 98 DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2010.10.001
Zielińska E Baraniak B Karaś M Identification of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory peptides obtained by simulated gastrointestinal digestion of three edible insects species ( Gryllodes sigillatus, Tenebrio molitor, Schistocerca gragaria) Int J Food Sci Technol 2018 53 2542 2551 DOI: 10.1111/ijfs.13848
Fukumoto S Sakaguchi T You M Xuan X Fujisaki K Tick troponin I-like molecule is a potent inhibitor for angiogenesis Microvasc Res 2006 71 218 221 DOI: 10.1016/j.mvr.2006.02.003
Islam M. K Tsuji N Miyoshi T Alim M. A Huang X Hatta T Fujisaki K The kunitz-like modulatory protein haemangin is vital for hard tick blood-feeding success PLoS Pathog 2009 5 e1000497 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000497
Elhag O Zhou D Song Q Soomro A. A Cai M Zheng L Yu Z Zhang J Screening, expression, purification and functional characterization of novel antimicrobial peptide genes from Hermetia illucens (L.) PLoS ONE 2017 12 e0169582 DOI: 10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0169582
Tszydel M Zabłotni A Wojciechowska D Michalak M Krucińska I Szustakiewicz K Maj M Jaruszewska A Strzelecki J Research on possible medical use of silk produced by caddisfly larvae of Hydropsyche angustipennis (Trichoptera, Insecta) J Mech Behav Biomed Mater 2015 45 142 153 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2015.02.003
Kotsyfakis M Sá-Nunes A Francischetti I. M. B Mather T. N Andersen J. F Ribeiro J. M. C Antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive activity of sialostatin L, a salivary cystatin from the tick Ixodes scapularis J Biol Chem 2006 281 26298 26307 DOI: 10.1074/jbc. M513010200
Francischetti I. M Mather T. N Ribeiro J. M Tick saliva is a potent inhibitor of endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis Thromb Haemost 2005 94 167 74 DOI: 10.1160/TH04-09-0566
Carneiro-Lobo T. C Konig S Machado D. E Nasciutti L. E Forni M. F Francischetti I. M. B Sogayar M. C Monteiro R. Q Ixolaris, a tissue factor inhibitor, blocks primary tumor growth and angiogenesis in a glioblastoma model J Thromb Haemost 2009 7 1855 1864 DOI: 10.1111%2Fj.1538-7836.2009.03553.x
Miyoshi N Saito T Ohmura T Kuroda K Suita K Ihara K Isogai E Functional structure and antimicrobial activity of persulcatusin, an antimicrobial peptide from the hard tick Ixodes persulcatus Parasite Vector 2016 9 1 11 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-016-1360-5
Chu F. J Jin X. B Zhu J. Y Housefly maggots ( Musca domestica) protein-enriched fraction/extracts (PE) inhibit lipopolysaccharide-induced atherosclerosis pro-inflammatory responses J Atheroscler Thromb 2011 18 282 290 DOI: 10.5551/jat.5991
Hou L Shi Y Zhai P Le G Antibacterial activity and in vitro anti-tumor activity of the extract of the larvae of the housefly ( Musca domestica) J Ethnopharmacol 2007 111 227 31 DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2006.11.015
Jin X Mei H Li X Ma Y Zeng A. H Wang Y Lu X Chu F Wu Q Zhu J Apoptosis-inducing activity of the antimicrobial peptide cecropin of Musca domestica in human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line BEL-7402 and the possible mechanism Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2010 42 259 65 DOI: 10.1093/abbs/gmq021
Veal D. A Trimble J. E Beattie A. J Antimicrobial properties of secretions from the metapleural glands of Myrmecia gulosa (the Australian bull ant) J Appl Microbiol 1992 72 188 194 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.1992.tb01822.x
Danneels E. L Gerlo S Heyninck K Craenenbroeck K. Van Bosscher K. De Haegeman G Graaf D. C. De How the venom from the ectoparasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis exhibits anti-inflammatory properties on mammalian cell lines PLoS ONE 2014 9 e96825 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096825
Tang J. J Fang P Xia H. L Tu Z. C Hou B. Y Yan Y. M Di L Zhang L Cheng Y. X Constituents from the edible Chinese black ants ( Polyrhachis dives) showing protective effect on rat mesangial cells and anti-inflammatory activity Food Res Int 2015 67 163 168 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2014.11.022
Itoh A Iizuka K Natori S Antitumor effect of Sarcophaga lectin on murine transplanted tumors Jpn J Cancer Res 1985 76 1027 1033
Choi C. S Lee I. H Kim E Kim S. I Kim H. R Antibacterial properties and partial cDNA sequences of cecropin-like antibacterial peptides from the common cutworm, Spodoptera litura Comp Biochem Physiol C Pharmacol Toxicol Endocrinol 2000 125 287 297 DOI: 10.1016/S0742-8413(99)00117-6
Ahn M. Y Ryu K. S Lee Y. W Kim Y. S Cytotoxicity and L-amino acid oxidase activity of crude insect drugs Arch Pharmacal Res 2000 23 477 81 DOI: 10.1007/BF02976576
Kwak D. H Kim J. K Kim J. Y Jeong H. Y Keum K. S Han S. H Rho Y. I Woo W. H Jung K. Y Choi B. K Choo Y. K Anti-angiogenic activities of Cnidium officinale Makino and Tabanus bovinus J Ethnopharmacol 2002 81 373 9 DOI: 10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00122-8
Téné N Bonnafé E Berger F Rifflet A Guilhaudis L Ségalas-Milazzo I Pipy B Coste A Leprince J Treilhou M Biochemical and biophysical combined study of bicarinalin, an ant venom antimicrobial peptide Peptides 2016 79 103 113 DOI: 10.1016/j.peptides.2016.04.001
Tonks A. J Dudley E Porter N. G Parton J Brazier J Smith E. L Tonks A A 5.8-kDa component of manuka honey stimulates immune cells via TLR4 J Leukoc Biol 2007 82 1147 55 DOI: 10.1189/jlb.1106683
Majtan J Kumar P Majtan T Walls A. F Klaudiny J Effect of honey and its major royal jelly protein 1 on cytokine and MMP-9 mRNA transcripts in human keratinocytes Clin Exp Dermatol 2010 19 e73 9 DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2009.00994.x
Majtan J Majtan V Is manuka honey the best type of honey for wound care? J Hosp Infect 2010 74 305 6 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhin.2009.08.010
Majtan J Methylglyoxal-a potential risk factor of Manuka honey in healing of diabetic ulcers J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med 2011 2011 1 5 DOI: 10.1093/ecam/neq013
Okamoto I Taniguchi Y Kunikata T Kohno K Iwaki K Ikeda M Kurimoto M Major royal jelly protein 3 modulates immune responses in vitro and in vivo Life Sci 2003 73 2029 2045 DOI: 10.1016/S0024-3205(03)00562-9
Lerrer B Zinger-Yosovich K. D Avrahami B Gilboa-Garber N Honey and royal jelly, like human milk, abrogate lectin-dependent infection-preceding Pseudomonas aeruginosa adhesion ISME J 2007 1 149 155 DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2007.20
Izuta H Shimazawa M Tsuruma K Araki Y Mishima S Hara H. J. B. C Medicine A Bee products prevent VEGF-induced angiogenesis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells BMC Complement Altern Med 2009 9 1 10 DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-9-45
Li F Awale S Zhang H Tezuka Y Esumi H Kadota S Chemical constituents of propolis from Myanmar and their preferential cytotoxicity against a human pancreatic cancer cell line J Nat Prod 2009 72 1283 1287 DOI: 10.1021/np9002433
Hegazi A Raboh F. A Abd Ramzy N. E Shaaban D Khader D. Y Bee venom and propolis as new treatment modality in patients with localized plaque psoriases Int J Med Med Sci 2013 1 23 27
Lee J. Y Kang S. S Kim J.-H BAE C. S Choi S. H Inhibitory effect of whole bee venom in adjuvant-induced arthritis In vivo 2005 19 801 805
Jang D. M Song H. S Inhibitory effects of bee venom on growth of A549 lung cancer cells via induction of death receptors Toxins (Basel) 2013 30 57 70 DOI: 10.3390/toxins6082210
Ko S. C Song H. S Inhibitory effect of bee venom toxin on the growth of cervix cancer C33A Cells via death receptor expression and apoptosis The Acupuncture 2014 31 75 85 DOI: 10.13045/acupunct.2014026
Han S. M Hong I. P Woo S. O Chun S. N Park K. K Nicholls Y. M Pak S. C The beneficial effects of honeybee-venom serum on facial wrinkles in humans Clin Interv Aging 2015 10 1587 1592 DOI: 10.2147%2FCIA. S84940
Yang J Lee K. S Kim B. Y Choi Y. S Yoon H. J Jia J Jin B. R Anti-fibrinolytic and anti-microbial activities of a serine protease inhibitor from honeybee ( Apis cerana) venom Comp Biochem Physiol C Pharmacol Toxicol Endocrinol 2017 201 11 18 DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2017.09.001
Palm N. W Rosenstein R. K Yu S Schenten D. D Florsheim E Medzhitov R Bee venom phospholipase A2 induces a primary type 2 response that is dependent on the receptor ST2 and confers protective immunity Immunity 2013 39 976 985 DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.10.006
Liu C. C Hao D. J Zhang Q An J Zhao J. J Chen B Zhang L. L Yang H Application of bee venom and its main constituent melittin for cancer treatment Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2016 78 1113 1130 DOI: 10.1007/s00280-016-3160-1
Socarras K. M Theophilus P. A. S Torres J. P Gupta K Sapi E Antimicrobial activity of bee venom and melittin against Borrelia burgdorferi Antibiotics (Basel) 2017 6 31 DOI: 10.3390/antibiotics6040031
Uzair B Bushra R Khan B. A Zareen S Fasim F Potential uses of venom proteins in treatment of HIV Protein Pept Lett 2018 25 619 625 DOI: 10.2174/0929866525666180628161107
Zarrinnahad H Mahmoodzadeh A Hamidi M. P Mahdavi M Moradi A Bagheri K. P Shahbazzadeh D Apoptotic effect of melittin purified from Iranian honey bee venom on human cervical cancer HeLa Cell Line Int J Pept Res Ther 2018 24 563 570 DOI: 10.1007/s10989-017-9641-1
Alvarez-Fischer D Noelker C Vulinović F Grünewald A Chevarin C Klein C Oertel W. H Hirsch E. C Michel P. P Hartmann A Bee venom and its component apamin as neuroprotective agents in a Parkinson disease mouse model PloS ONE 2013 8 e61700 e61700 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061700
Yang X Wang Y Lee W. H Zhang Y Antimicrobial peptides from the venom gland of the social wasp Vespa tropica Toxicon 2013 74 151 157 DOI: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2013.08.056
Chen X Zhang L Wu Y Wang L Ma C Xi X Bininda-Emonds O. R. P Shaw C Chen T Zhou M Evaluation of the bioactivity of a mastoparan peptide from wasp venom and of its analogues designed through targeted engineering Int J Biol Sci 2018 14 599 607 DOI: 10.7150/ijbs.23419
Back to top