Why I Believes In Honey Especially Stingless Bee Honey

Honey is a unique substance that has been highlighted as one of the natural remedies in Holy Quran as implied in Surah An-Nahl (The Bees) chapter 16, verse 69. However, the honey has been abandoned and left behind for so long in modern pharmaceutical era. Much of the scenarios can be attributed to the variability in honey composition with several active compounds and other issues related to bee species, botanical source and handling.

In my humble opinion, honey should be redefined as a potential agent for disease prevention, as measured by its effectiveness in manipulating the signaling pathway of disease development.

Stingless bee honey in specific has vast potential to be offered in various fields. For example, the content of polyphenolic compounds in the stingless bee honey, the antioxidants namely phenolic acids and flavonoids are outstanding, having as much as ten times greater contents of them in comparison to other types of honey. Thorough analyses have shown the various types of amino acids contained including phenylalanine, alanine, tyrosine, valine, acetate and trigonelline. Scientifically speaking, antioxidants have been highly-reputed as one of the compounds having potential in suppressing oxidative damage to cells, thus, capable of preventing chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke, hypertension and diabetes.

On the other side, phenylalanine has been consistently discovered in local isolates of stingless bee honey. Once consumed, the body changes phenylalanine into tyrosine, another type of amino acid that is needed to make proteins and brain chemicals including L-dopa, which is later converted into dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. In the brain, phenylalanine acts as a competitive antagonist at the glycine binding site of NMDA receptor and at the glutamate binding site of AMPA receptor. The proven pharmacologic activity at niacin receptor also links the possible phenylalanine effect on BDNF-tropomyosin receptor kinase B (trkB). Therefore, studies aiming to evaluate the phenylalanine of stingless bee honey effects on BDNF signaling pathways in promoting synaptogenesis (Murray and Holmes, 2011) and pruning neural networks as novel treatment approach for depression, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other brain-related diseases is seen credible enough to be explored.

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