Sunday, January 01, 2012

Beekeepers Have Low Incidence of Cancer

Honeybees Health Benefits and Cancer
Inform Africa, December 25, 2011

…Beekeepers have the lowest incidence of cancer of all the occupations worldwide. This fact was acknowledged in the annual report of the New York Cancer Research Institute in 1965. Almost half a century ago, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 9(2), Oct., 1948, published a report by William Robinson, M.D., et al., in which it was claimed that bee pollen added to food (in the ratio of 1 part to 10,000) prevented or delayed the appearance of malignant mammary tumour.

L.J. Hayes, M.D had the courage to announce, “Bees sterilise pollen by means of a glandular secretion antagonistic to tumours.” Other doctors, including Sigmund Schmidt, M.D., and Ernesto Contreras, M.D., seem to agree that something in pollen works against cancer.

Dr W. Schweisheimer also said that scientists at the Berlin Cancer Institute in Germany had never encountered a beekeeper with cancer. A French study concerning the cause of death of 1,000 beekeepers included only case of a beekeeper that died of cancer. The incidence of cancer-caused deaths in a group of French farmers was 100 times higher than the group of beekeepers.

Till date, no study has faulted the fact that beekeepers have very low, almost negligible incidence of cancer worldwide. Due to the weight of this fact and coupled with his experience, John Anderson, Professor of beekeeping, University of Aberdeen, unequivocally declared: “Keep bees and eat honey if you want to live long. Beekeepers live longer than anyone else”.

But why and how do bee stings prevent or heal cancer? First, the major component of bee sting venom is mellitin, which has powerful bacterial and cytotoxic properties. The mellitin in bee venom activates two main glands – adrenal cortex and the hypophysis, which in turn begin to secrete hormones that have strong anti-inflammatory effect. Cancer and many other degenerative diseases are often preceded by inflammation. Bee venom also stimulates the immune system and cancer is less likely to gain a foothold in those with strong immune system.

Nothing promotes blood circulation better than the bee venom, which dissolves plaque in blood vessels and flush it out to ensure free flow of blood. Bee venom contains proteins and amino acids (18 of the 20 obligatory amino acids). When small doses of bee venom gets into the blood they compensate for the deficit of amino acids, make active hormones and vitamins, lower the level of cholesterol and have a positive effect on fat metabolism…


Anonymous said...

That is a nice story, but another study in the US indicated that beekepers only have a reduced risk of dying of lung cancer (which could be due to many factors, including fewer smokers), while they die of other types of cancers at pretty much a normal rate.

J Occup Med. 1979 Dec;21(12):811-3.

Cancer mortality among beekeepers.

McDonald JA, Li FP, Mehta CR.

Carcinogenic effects of bee venom were evaluated in a mortality study of 580 occupationally exposed beekeepers. The subjects were identified through obituary notices published between 1949 and 1978 in three journals of the U.S. beekeeping industry. Death certificates of beekeepers were examined for causes of mortality, and proportionate mortality ratios were compared with those for the general U.S. population. Beekeepers had a slightly lower than expected fraction of deaths from cancer. The deficit of lung cancers in male beekeepers was significant (p less than 0.05) and may indicate that fewer beekeepers were cigarette smokers. The frequencies of other cancers did not differ significantly from expectation. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma developed in four persons, and was expected in two. Mortality from diseases other than cancer showed no unusual patterns. At least two persons died from accidents directly related to the care of beehives. Analysis of a subgroup of 377 males with major roles in the beekeeping industry showed no substantial differences in distribution of causes of death. This study of beekeepers reveals neither adverse nor beneficial effects of intense exposure to bee stings.

PMID: 536856

Anonymous said...

The 1979 study's mere existence shows a significant failure to properly research. It leaves one wondering whether the rest is true.

As a beekeeper I would love the article to be accurate, but I love the truth more. What are the references for these studies referred to in the article? A few of us would like to read the research.

Anonymous said...

Why would one jump to the conclusion that beekeepers are less likely to be smokers? At least according to "The Bee Movie" beekeepers use tobacco smoke to chill out the bees. If that is true and if second hand smoke is as dangerous as folks believe, you would think that would increase the incidents of lung cancer among beekeepers.

chris said...

you jumped to the conclusion we use tobacco to smoke bees out based on an animated jerry seinfeld comedy. i do not think you are qualified to opine.