Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of people claim that honey is a natural cure for cancer. But while some people may have been spared the death sentence, there’s no proof between this honey cancer connection.
I feel terrible for people who are currently suffering from this deadly disease. It’s never easy and it’s also just as devastating for their loved ones and friends as well. But I strongly advise you against believing in false claims. Honey has many wondrous benefits, but unless medical science has proved that it can cure cancer, you should heed the advice of a professional health care provider instead of believing in hearsay.
That said, honey IS an excellent anti-cancer food. Here’s an overview of how honey can prevent the spread of cancerous cells.
Understanding Bee Propolis
Propolis is a compound produced by bees from plants and mixed with resin and wax. They use this natural compound to repair their hive and protect it from bacteria, fungi, viruses and other disease-causing organisms. It also keeps the temperature and health of the hive at optimum levels.
The bee propolis content depends on the location of the bees as well as the time of year they are harvested. It contains close to 180 natural compounds, majority of which are powerful antioxidants enabling it to be effective in fighting against inflammation and pain, as well as providing antioxidant and cardiovascular benefits.
Brazilian bee propolis has been studied extensively (26% of all propolis research). According to researchers, this variety of propolis contains anti-cancer benefits particularly in the following areas:
- Anti-inflammatory action – One of the precursors to cancer is inflammation and this is usually triggered by factors like prostaglandins, cytokines, quinines and free radicals. Propolis inhibits the release of histamine, prostaglandin and leukotriene.
- Anti-viral – Bee propolis is effective against E coli, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus and even HIV.
- Anti-yeast – It can also kill yeast, particularly Candida Albicans.
- Immune stimulant – One of the main compounds of propolis is ester of caffeic acid (CAPE) as well as some flavonoids which can inhibit cellular growth and boost the number of T-lymphocytes which are immune cells.
- Wound Healing – Propolis is also found to contain anesthetic, antiseptic and healing properties boosting the quick repair of tissues.
- Free radical scavenging – Flavonoids have strong antioxidant benefits, even stronger than Vitamins C and E to fight free radicals in the body.
- Anti-tumor effect – According to a study conducted by Suzuki et al and Banskota et al in 2002 and 2001 respectively, the ability of propolis to protect the cell’s DNA prevents tumor growth.
- DNA protection – CAPE protects cellular mistakes in healthy cells and kills cancer cells. Propolis also keeps the DNA health and prevents macrophage activity.
- Anti-metastatic activity – According to the same study conducted by Suzuki et al 2002, propolis affects and enhances the use of chemotherapy drugs like 5-fluorouracil and even help reduce the side effects of these drugs without affecting their functions. The use of propolis in conjunction with chemo drugs resulted in increased white and red cells and fewer chemo side effects.
Connecting the Dots…
So now you might be wondering how exactly does bee propolis make honey an anti-cancer food. Well, you see, some of the components of bee propolis are found in honey, but it all depends on the kind of honey you get.
If the honey product you have at home has been extensively processed and heated, then it only means the phytonutrients found in propolis are already largely eliminated. Most honey products available now have been processed and pasteurized so they do not contain enough phytonutrients which is why I strongly recommend that before choosing a product, make sure to read the label and pick one that explicitly says raw, unheated, unfiltered and unpasteurized.
Take note however that if you have allergies, you need to check your doctor first as bee products may trigger allergic reactions in some people.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
According to Cancer.gov, there will be 1,685,210 new cases of cancer in the US alone, and close to 600,000 will die from the disease. Although advances in medical science has made it possible for more and more patients to be treated and saved from this disease, our lifestyle choices have also triggered an increase in cancer rates.
So before it’s too late, it’s crucial that we switch to a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, a positive mindset and even little things like eating honey can make a huge difference. Honey may not cure cancer (until proven) but it can certainly help prevent it.