Next Article in Journal
Synthesis and Antiproliferative Activity of Some Novel Triazole Derivatives from Dehydroabietic Acid
Previous Article in Journal
Pharmacophore Generation from a Drug-like Core Molecule Surrounded by a Library Peptide via the 10BASEd-T on Bacteriophage T7
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Molecules 2014, 19(2), 2497-2522; doi:10.3390/molecules19022497

Effects of Honey and Its Mechanisms of Action on the Development and Progression of Cancer

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2013 / Revised: 6 February 2014 / Accepted: 10 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [517 KB, uploaded 18 June 2014]   |  


Honey is a natural product known for its varied biological or pharmacological activities—ranging from anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antihypertensive to hypoglycemic effects. This review article focuses on the role of honey in modulating the development and progression of tumors or cancers. It reviews available evidence (some of which is very recent) with regards to the antimetastatic, antiproliferative and anticancer effects of honey in various forms of cancer. These effects of honey have been thoroughly investigated in certain cancers such as breast, liver and colorectal cancer cell lines. In contrast, limited but promising data are available for other forms of cancers including prostate, bladder, endometrial, kidney, skin, cervical, oral and bone cancer cells. The article also underscores the various possible mechanisms by which honey may inhibit growth and proliferation of tumors or cancers. These include regulation of cell cycle, activation of mitochondrial pathway, induction of mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization, induction of apoptosis, modulation of oxidative stress, amelioration of inflammation, modulation of insulin signaling and inhibition of angiogenesis. Honey is highly cytotoxic against tumor or cancer cells while it is non-cytotoxic to normal cells. The data indicate that honey can inhibit carcinogenesis by modulating the molecular processes of initiation, promotion, and progression stages. Thus, it may serve as a potential and promising anticancer agent which warrants further experimental and clinical studies.
Keywords: cancer; honey; anticancer; antimetastatic; antiproliferative; antitumor cancer; honey; anticancer; antimetastatic; antiproliferative; antitumor
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Erejuwa, O.O.; Sulaiman, S.A.; Wahab, M.S.A. Effects of Honey and Its Mechanisms of Action on the Development and Progression of Cancer. Molecules 2014, 19, 2497-2522.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]

Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top