The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has published data which shows a reduction in antibiotic-resistant bloodstream infections
But it warns that this drop is likely to be temporary, the result of reduced social mixing and enhanced hand hygiene due to the COVID pandemic.
Yet a Yorkshire company thinks it has identified a solution to the problem of antibiotic resistance.
Research conducted by Nature’s Laboratory, in conjunction with Leeds Beckett University, found that propolis – a natural substance produced by honey bees – has been shown to increase the susceptibility of resistant bacteria to drugs which have become ineffective.
UKHSA has suggested that, as we head to winter, cold symptoms will be on the increase and may be more prevalent than in recent years.
But antibiotics should not be used to treat these symptoms. Overuse or misuse of these antibiotics leads to accelerated antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria no longer respond to treatment. This can lead to very serious complications and hospitalisation.
For the last several years the trend in antibiotic resistance has been consistently upward. This is because taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria to become resistant.
Consequently, it has been reported as one of the most severe threats to public health by the World Health Organisation.
What can be done to boost immunity and prevent antibiotic resistance?
Whitby-based Nature’s Laboratory thinks the answer is to be found in propolis.
Propolis is a sticky substance created by honey bees from tree and plant resins combined with wax.
The bees use it to keep the hive free from infection – it’s a kind of external immune system.
Propolis has been used as a medicine by humans for thousands of years.
Its antimicrobial activity against different bacteria, yeasts, viruses, and parasites is well documented and interest around its healing properties is growing around the globe.
Nature’s Laboratory has been at the forefront of research into propolis for the last 30 years.
Now, in conjunction with Leeds Beckett University, the company has been able to demonstrate that using propolis in conjunction with antibiotics is able to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance.
The evidence suggests that taking propolis and antibiotics together significantly increases the susceptibility of resistant bacteria to antibiotics which have become ineffective.
“This research is tremendously exciting,” says propolis expert and Nature’s Laboratory CEO James Fearnley.
“We’re hopeful that very soon we’ll have irrefutable evidence which demonstrates the power of propolis to heal, both in conjunction with pharmaceutical drugs as a stand-alone remedy.
“Propolis has remarkable immune-boosting, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties – I’m delighted that we now have the evidence to show this.”
Companies such as Nature’s Laboratory are working on innovative solutions to complex healthcare issues. It says that, as the wintry weather arrives, it’s vital that consumers make informed decisions about their own healthcare.
Taking antibiotics can lead to resistant bacteria, resulting in dangerous complications.
On the other hand, propolis is a natural medicine which supports the body’s natural immune system, strengthening your ability to fight bacterial and viral infection.
James Fearnley has been researching the use of medicinal use of propolis for more than 30 years. He has contributed to 30+ peer review research articles about propolis and has written two books:
- Propolis: Natural Healing from the Hive
- Propolis and Oral Health (with leading dentist Philip Wander)
He founded the Apiceutical Research Centre 11 years ago which stimulated the first international conferences on Propolis in Human and Bee Health at University of Strathclyde in 2016.
He founded the International Propolis Research Group in 2016 now at 150 strong community of academics researching propolis worldwide.
In May this year the IPRG hosted an international conference “Propolis: Medicine for our Time?” which attracted over 400 attendees listening to 38 presentations about the multiple use of propolis including clinical research into the use of propolis in treating COVID and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection.
Fearnley has also conducted research showing that propolis is effective against MRSA.