A Welsh scientist has discovered a potential new medicine from an extremely rare honey molecule.
Dr Robert Nash, a global leader in the field of phytochemistry, has found a special honey rich in a small and unusual molecule with very specific activity that appears to boost immunity and activate natural anti-tumour responses in the laboratory.
The honey compound, or iminosugar, is sourced from a variety of a Mediterranean plant that only grows in the mild wet conditions of west Wales and Ireland. The compound has been fully identified and extensively studied with worldwide patents.
Dr Nash’s company Sugars for Health Ltd, based in Aberystwyth, uses science to discover new health promoting natural ingredients and compounds from herbal medicines and food plants.
His work focuses on the development of new and better pharmaceutical medicines based on natural iminosugars for inflammatory disorders, diabetes and cancer.
Sugars for Health has been selected by the Welsh Government for its Accelerated Growth Programme aimed at businesses with significant growth potential.
Iminosugars are a widespread group of plant and microbial compounds that are attracting interest as therapeutic agents. They have many activities beneficial to health but due to difficulties with their identification and isolation most have remained uninvestigated.
Sugars for Health has been providing the IminoHoney to dog owners around the world to maintain or improve the quality of life. A number of vets have trialled the product, which costs £59.99 for a pack of ten sachets, with impressive results.
The next stage is to begin using the confidence in efficacy and other information obtained to plan the development of new medicines for humans.
Dr Nash said: “Science is the key to our product range. Sugars or carbohydrates are vital to health in many ways and faults in sugar biochemistry occur in most diseases and in ageing.
“As animals age they typically have weaker immune responses which makes them more prone to various infections and diseases and for cancerous cells to take hold.
“We’re seeing that iminosugars have the remarkable ability to correct many of these errors and to restore a youthful balance.”
Dr Nash is producing a range of products derived from his iminosugar research including a product launching in America for osteo-arthritis and a European product for diabetes.
Holistic cancer vet Dr Birgit Ahlemeyer from Sussex has been using IminoHoney in combination with her other treatments. She said: “I am passionate about treating animals with the most appropriate therapy or combination of therapies in order to improve their health and quality of life.
“I love that this honey is a natural product and I really believe that it can give an immunity boost to a sick animal.”