July 29th, 2009
From Green Right Now Reports
A compound from honeybees known as propolis, the substance bees use to seal their hives, may protect against heat stress in athletes, according to an article released in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.
Honeybee propolis, or bee glue, has been widely used as a folk medicine. An active ingredient in propolis known as caffeic acid phenethyl ester (or CAPE) has a broad spectrum of biological activities including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral. Hyperthermia, or heat stress, is considered to be the main factor underlying the early fatigue and dehydration seen during prolonged exercise in the heat.
The discovery is another reminder of the potential ramifications of the loss in recent years of millions of bees around the world to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Scientists believe that CCD is a result of multiple stresses on the bees, such as loss of habitat, drought and possibly chronic exposure to pesticides, that weaken the bees immune systems, subjecting them to untimely deaths from viruses and other infections.