By Niko Kloeten, The National Business Review (New Zealand), 7/1/2009
A bee health product with cancer-fighting properties could become an even bigger export earner than Manuka honey, according to the professor who uncovered its benefits.
Melbourne-based professor Hiroshi Maruta led international research that found Bio 30 bee propolis from New Zealand suppresses neurofibromatosis, a condition that affects the skin and nervous system of one in 3000 people.
Dr Maruta is a visiting professor at Hamburg University Hospital, the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and La Trobe University in Melbourne.
He has specialised in research into the anti-cancer properties of propolis, a sticky brown substance made by bees from resins gathered from tree buds and cuts.
His initial research found the Bio 30 propolis supplied by Te Awamutu company Manuka Health suppressed the growth of Type 1 neurofibromatosis tumours in mice by over 90 per cent. Tumour shrinkage was visible after 6 to 12 months treatment.
Since then, an on-going trial in several countries involving neurofibromatosis type 1, melanoma and pancreatic cancer sufferers has found most showing no further growth in their tumours…