Anticancer properties of Honey

Honey has Caffeic acid phenethyl ether, which is chemopreventive in nature. Honey is rich in antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, amino acids and proteins. Antioxidants have several preventative effects in certain diseases like cancer, inflammatory disorders, ageing, coronary diseases and neurological degeneration.

Honey is also used for alternative cancer treatment.

Some phenols found in honey have important anticancer properties. These phenols are either simple or polyphenols and include caffeic acid, caffeic acid phenyl esters, Galangin, Kaempferol, Chrysin, Pinocembrin, Apigenin, Quercetin, Acacetin and Pinobanksin.

It has also been studied that on external application of caffeic acid to the body, we can be protected from UVB irradiation. Certain chrysin esters have found to be potent candidate for human cervical cancer. Kaempferol is found to be effective against human lung nonsmall carcinoma cells and leukemia cells. Pinocembrin and Pinobanksin are found to be effective against a variety of cancer cell lines including normal lung fibroblasts with relatively non-toxic action to endothelial cells of human umbilical cord. Apigenin is found to have anti-proliferative effect against breast cancer cells, liver cancer cells, neuroblastoma, cervical cancer cells and colon cancer cells.

One pound of honey is made from the nector of almost 2 million flowers and in this collection honeybees cover a distance of about 55,000 miles.

Honey is found to have apoptotic activity against human colon cancer cells. (Apoptosis refers to self death of cells).

Bladder cancer cells are also repressed by honey in-vitro.

It has also been found that antitumor activity of certain chemotherapeutic drugs such cyclophosphamide and 5-fluorouracil is enhanced, if taken along with honey.

References and Further Reading:

Jaganathan, S. A. et. al. (2009). Antiproliferative Effects of Honey and of Its Polyphenols: A Review. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, 2009, 830616.

Swellam, T. et. al. (2003). Antineoplastic activity of honey in an experimental bladder cancer implantation model: in vivo and in vitro studies. International Journal of Urology, 10(4), 213-219.

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