Monday, March 16, 2009

Thyme Honey May Help Prevent Breast, Prostate, Endometrial Cancer

Bioactivity of Greek Honey Extracts on Breast Cancer (MCF-7), Prostate Cancer (PC-3) and Endometrial Cancer (Ishikawa) Cells: Profile Analysis of Extracts
Food Chemistry, Article in Press

Historically, honey has been important in Greek culture. The chemical composition and the potential of Greek honey extracts (thyme, pine and fir honey) to influence the estrogenic activity and the cell viability of breast (MCF-7), endometrial (Ishikawa) and prostate (PC-3) cancer cells were investigated. All honeys contained total phenolics, phenolic acids, and hydroxymethylfurfural, the levels being highest in thyme honey.

Sugars and volatile compounds, but not fatty acids, were detected in all honey extracts. Thyme, pine and fir honey showed both antiestrogenic and a weak estrogenic effect at low and high concentration, respectively, in MCF-7 cells. Thyme honey reduced the viability of Ishikawa and PC-3 cells, whereas fir honey stimulated the viability of MCF-7 cells.

In conclusion, Greek honeys are rich in phenolic compounds, they modulate estrogenic activity whereas a thyme honey-enriched diet may prevent cancer related processes in breast, prostate and endometrial cancer cells.

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