Amazing new health news shows that a simple over-the-counter natural remedy made from the hives of honeybees just might halt prostate cancer in its tracks. It has the medical community buzzing about a new method of cancer prevention.
“Caffeic acid phenethyl ester” (CAPE) is a compound isolated from honeybee hive propolis. Propolis, resin used by bees to patch up holes in hives, is already a mainstay of natural medicine. Propolis has been long used for conditions ranging from sore throats and allergies to burns and cancer. But the compound has not gained acceptance in mainstream medicine due to scientific questions about its effect on cells.
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That may be about to change. The study, published in “Cancer Prevention Research,” combined traditional cancer research methods with cutting-edge technology to find that CAPE stops early-stage prostate cancer by shutting down the tumor cells’ system for detecting sources of nutrition. Starving them, if you will.
Basically: feeding CAPE to mice every day made their tumors stop growing. When the treatment is stopped, a couple weeks later, the tumors grow normally again. Clearly, there is some relation here.
Often, what is missing in natural remedies is the understanding of how it is working. Only recently, scientists have examined the mechanism by which some of these herbal remedies work. That is what we have here with propolis.
To study the purported anti-cancer properties of CAPE, researchers tested it on a series of cancer cell lines. Even at the low concentrations expected after oral administration, CAPE successfully slowed the proliferation of human prostate tumors.
CAPE was also effective at slowing the growth of human prostate tumors grafted into mice. Six weeks of treatment decreased tumor volume growth rate by half, but when CAPE treatment was stopped, tumor growth resumed its prior rate. The results suggested that CAPE stopped cell division rather than killing cancerous cells.
They found that CAPE basically seems to stop the ability of prostate cancer cells to sense that there’s nutrition available. That makes them unwilling to spread and multiply in response to nutrition being available.
These CAPE experiments offer a precedent to unlock the biological mechanisms of other natural remedies as well, perhaps allowing these compounds to cross over to clinical use. The more we know about herbal remedies, the more important they will become to doctor and patient alike.