Honey, royal jelly fight tumour growth

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cancer

Natural honey-bee products such as propolis, royal jelly, caffeic
acid, honey and venom could one day be used to help prevent cancer,
say Croatian researchers.

The bee products significantly decreased tumour growth and spreading of the cancer (metastasis) in mice when they were applied orally or by injection, reports the team from the University of Zagreb in this month's issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture​.

Nada Orsolic and colleagues tested both the preventative and curative effects of the bee products on tumour models in mice. In the prevention studies, the products were administered before inoculation with the tumour cells. In the curative studies, the products were administered after tumour inoculation.

"The effects of the tested compounds were demonstrated either by inhibition of tumour growth or metastases (secondary tumour) formation and by increased survival of the animals,"​ said Dr Orsolic.

Propolis, a resin-like substance used in the construction of honeycombs, and a chemical found in propolis called caffeic acid significantly reduced subcutaneous tumour growth and prolonged the survival of mice. Honey also inhibited the spread of the tumour when applied before tumour cell inoculation in the lungs.

Royal jelly, used as food for young bee larvae made by worker bees, also significantly inhibited tumour spread when injected at the same time as tumour cells. When bee venom was injected intratumourally, tumour shrinkage occurred, and the delay of tumour growth was evident.

Meanwhile mice treated with bee venom survived longer than control mice.

The way in which the bee products work to combat the tumours is not clear, but the authors suggest the chemicals cause apoptosis (cell suicide) or necrosis of the cancerous cells, or that they exert directly toxic or immunomodulatory effects. They may also reduce harmful oxyradicals in cells or body fluids, said the Croatian team.

Their findings could be supported by further trials on humans they add.

"These results suggest the benefits of potential clinical trials using propolis or honey, combined with chemotherapeutic agents,"​ said Dr Orsolic.

Related news

Related products

show more

Explore the EXBERRY® Oil Dispersible range

Explore the EXBERRY® Oil Dispersible range

EXBERRY® by GNT | 19-Jan-2021 | Technical / White Paper

Bring your fat-based applications to life with GNT’s newly expanded oil-dispersible range. GNT has extended its range of oil-dispersible Coloring Foods...

Are you ready for a new taste experience?

Are you ready for a new taste experience?

Lallemand Bio-Ingredients | 02-Dec-2020 | Technical / White Paper

The Plant-based movement is gaining traction and it is common to refer to Plant-based food as products that are direct replacements for animal-based products....

Expanding the value of beverage through wellness

Expanding the value of beverage through wellness

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences | 19-Nov-2020 | Research Study

Fermentation and live cultures contents in food are perceived by consumers as healthier because these provide a wellness halo while Covid-19 is accelerating...

The next generation of food and drink is here

The next generation of food and drink is here

Barry Callebaut Food Manufacturers | 10-Nov-2020 | Technical / White Paper

More than ever, consumers look to brands who share their values to justify their choices. Food and drink should not only be tasty, but nutritious and good...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars