Our ancestors have used honey, venom, and propolis (the resin-like material made by bees from the buds of poplar and cone-bearing trees. Bees use it to build hives) from the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, as treatments for common ailments.
Just recently, a study in Australia has given credence to this ancient practice and discovered that honeybee venom and its active component, melittin, are toxic to a wide range of cancer tumors, including pancreatic, breast, lung, ovarian, and skin cancers.
If you have ever been stung by a bee, melittin is the molecule that makes the bee sting so painful. However, scientists are still studying how it can kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.
Honey bee venom kills cancer cells
This amazing study has found that honey bee venom may be a potent treatment against breast cancer. The venom from the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) was found to rapidly destroy triple-negative breast cancer and HER2 enriched breast cancer cells with very little effect on healthy cells.
The study looked at the effect this venom had on normal breast cells and cells from clinical subtypes of breast cancer: hormone receptor-positive, HER2-enriched, and triple-negative breast cancer.
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