NZ Bee Product Suppresses Cancer -- Researchers
Researchers find New Zealand bee product extract suppresses cancer
Cancer researchers in Germany today announced the results of a study showing a New Zealand company's bee-product extract suppresses a type of tumour affecting one in 3000 people.
Manuka Health's Propolis Liquid Bio30™ product was tested by a team at University Hospital Eppendorf, Germany, led by Japanese researcher Dr Hiroshi Maruta.
Dr Maruta announced the results today (Wednesday) at a Neurofibromatosis conference in Utah City, USA. Neurofibromatosis is a set of genetic disorders which cause tumours to grow along various types of nerves, and can affect the development of non-nervous tissue such as bone and skin.
The German study focused on NF1 which affects one in 3000 people. Due to gene mutation, tumours and patches form in skin pigmentation. In severe cases, the disorder affects nerves throughout the body including the brain and spinal cord. About 50% of NF1 sufferers also have learning disabilities. The body's processes which form NF1 tumours are responsible for about 70% of human cancers.
Dr Maruta's tests found Bio30™ propolis liquid supressed NF1 tumours in mice by more than 90% over 100 days. By comparison, the first known natural anti-cancer ingredient, a Chinese pepper extract, suppressed NF1 tumours in mice by 50%.
Encouraged by the tests on mice, Dr Maruta is now using the Bio30™ with a group of 15 NF1 sufferers in Japan. Although the study is not yet complete, early reports suggest the condition of the group is not deteriorating.
Manuka Health chief executive Kerry Paul said today the company was delighted to hear the results after providing the product for research.
"We called it Bio30 because that is a measure of the bioactive solids per gram of our Propolis Liquid. We take pride in providing customers with quantitative information about the level of health-giving properties in our products."
Manuka Health's Bio30™ propolis liquid contains 30 mg/g of bioflavonoids, a natural substance which has anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties.
Manuka Health is based in Te Awamutu and specialises in producing a range of bee-based health products for general, digestive, joint and oral health, and wound dressings.
Propolis is a natural resin found in young tree buds. Bees collect propolis, mix it with their own enzymes and beeswax, and use it to seal the hive.