Bioactivity of Greekhoney extracts on breast cancer (MCF-7), prostate cancer (PC-3) and endometrial cancer (Ishikawa) cells: Profile analysis of extracts

Historically, honey has been important in Greek culture. The chemical composition and the potential of Greekhoney extracts (thyme, pine and fir honey) to influence the oestrogenic activity and the cell viability of breast (MCF-7), endometrial (Ishikawa) and prostate (PC-3) cancer cells were investigated. All honeys contained total phenolics, phenolic acids and hydroxymethylfurfural, the levels being highest in thymehoney. Sugars and volatile compounds, but not fatty acids, were detected in all honey extracts. Thyme, pine and fir honey showed both antioestrogenic and a weak oestrogenic effect at low and high concentration, respectively, in MCF-7 cells. Thymehoney reduced the viability of Ishikawa and PC-3 cells, whereas fir honey stimulated the viability of MCF-7 cells. In conclusion, Greekhoneys are rich in phenolic compounds, they modulate oestrogenic activity whereas a thymehoney-enriched diet may prevent cancer-related processes in breast, prostate and endometrial cancer cells.