This book presents an updated discussion of the chemical composition and biological properties of the main bee products. Specific attention is focused on the beneficial biological activities of bee products in human health. Honey, royal jelly, propolis, bee pollen and bee venom are used as nutriment and in traditional medicine. Their composition is rather variable and depends on the floral source and external factors, such as seasonal, environmental conditions and processing. Bee products are rich in several essential nutrients and non essential nutrients, as sugars, minerals, proteins, free amino acids, vitamins, enzymes and polyphenols, that seem to be closely related to their biological functions. The effects of these products in nutrition, aging and age-related diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and pathogen infections are discussed.
José M. Alvarez-Suarez is a senior research at the Universidad de Las Américas, Quito, Ecuador. He has extensively studied the quality parameters of honey, especially that from monofloral origin, as well as the relationship between its chemical composition and biological properties. A distinctive feature of their research is the study of the biochemical mechanisms by which honey activates the mechanisms of antioxidant defense at the cellular level by the activation of the AMPK/Nrf2/ARE signalling pathway, protecting mitochondrial functionality and promoting cell proliferation.