For many years Manuka Honey has been known for its antibacterial properties, but its properties have never been studied for cancer research. Until now, UAE University conducted an over five year study where they researched the effects of cancer cells when they were tested with Manuka Honey.
A UAE University official said, “Though the honey, obtained from nectar collected by honey bees from Manuka trees found in New Zealand, has been recognized for its antibacterial and wound healing properties for many years, it has never been investigated for its potential effects on cancer cells.” The researchers then carried out an extensive series of experiments to uncover the molecular basis of Manuka Honey’s anti-cancer activity.
The UAE University researchers have discovered that Manuka Honey could effectively inhibit the growth of a variety of cancer cell types including breast, skin, and colon cancer. He said, the research has also highlighted the honey’s potential property of reducing the toxic side effects associated with chemotherapy treatment in cancer patients.
Lead researcher Dr. Basel Al Ramadi, professor and chairman of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, and his team used three different cancer cells in the research. According to Dr. Al Ramadi, “[It] demonstrated that the addition of exceedingly small amounts of Manuka Honey, as little as 1.0 %, can stop the growth of cancer cells. Our findings provided conclusive evidence that Manuka acts directly by inducing apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancer cells.”
Apoptosis is a physiological process where the death of cells occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism’s growth or development. This process is tightly regulated so that, in adult tissues, cell death exactly balances cell division. The human body uses apoptosis to balance and maintain normal cell numbers. “If this were not the case, excessive apoptosis causes tissue atrophy (waste away), whereas insufficient apoptosis would lead to uncontrolled cell proliferation, such as in cancer,” he explained.
Manuka Honey was found to induce the death of cancer cells through the same process as the human body. Professor Al Ramadi said that his team is optimistic about what these new developments may mean in terms of potential new treatments for certain types of cancer.
Read more: Zee News