Natural honeycomb significantly lowers the bad cholesterol, and raises the good one, and best of all gives protection against insulin resistance.
Natural honeycomb is expensive, but if you look upon it as medicine, then it's very reasonably priced, cheap in fact, and has none of the side effects of statins and anti-inflammatory drugs. Most important it is the only known helper "medication" of non alcoholic fatty liver disease; no drugs are available to treat the condition.
Why is honey in the comb so expensive? Firstly, it takes seven pounds of honey for bees to make a pound of wax, so you have to pay for that.
Secondly, and perhaps more important, a beekeeper will harvest honey three or four times in a season. If he sells honeycomb then he will most likely only manage one or two robbings of the bees. So you end up paying a lot for the lost opportunity that the beekeeper would have had.
That is the reason that I don't sell honey in the comb; the price would be exorbitant, unless you recognise its value as your 'meds' for some very serious conditions.
Natural honeycomb has profound health benefits protecting the liver. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a very serious problem in many first world countries where up to 83% of people may be suffering from it; like diabetes it's a silent condition, suddenly striking and killing its victims. In Korea for example it is the most common serious sickness affecting over half the population since the arrival of relative affluence; poor diet and a sedentary existence leads to excessive fat deposition in the liver leading to fibrosis and cirrhosis.
The obese and diabetics are the prime victims of this life threatening disease; women are more often affected.
Research published in the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine, where NAFLD is rife, reports that no fully successful pharmacological intervention is available, but that alternative healthcare using omega-3 fatty acids and beeswax have been shown to exhibit hepatoprotective effects.(1)
100mg of wax per day for six months was consumed; despite no overall weight loss, the cornerstone of treatment of NAFLD, very significant changes were found in the liver of the treatment group, compared to placebos; insulin resistance, liver enzymes and ultrasound scans. Researchers speculated that it was due to the antioxidant effect of the beeswax removing free radicals.
Further research published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences found in a pilot study that six months on a ketogenic diet showed a significant weight loss of -13kg on average and histologic improvement and lessened inflammation.(2)
Beeswax is a mixture of very healthy long chain fatty acids and alcohols. Honey in a jar is of course technically a processed food, no matter if it's completely raw and unheated, so honeycomb with the nectar is really the only true natural form.
Long chain fatty acids are the healthy oils found in the olive, avocado and coconut, for example, in fish, nuts and meat. Another example is linoleic, and essential fatty acid that the body must ingest as it cannot synthesise it; others are the omega-3 ALA and EPA.(4)
The Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences reports that natural beeswax acts as a COX inhibitor, one of the main agents in inflammation of the joints. They report that it could help in managing inflammatory conditions that impair joint health, without the dangers of conventional medicines that effect the stomach and heart.(3)
Natural honeycomb enhances the balances the fatty acids in the bloodstream, reducing the 'bad' LDLs, and increasing the healthy HDLs. If you look upon it as a medication to take instead of statins, with their nasty side effects, then it's cheap at the price.
Insulin resistance from the large amounts of refined starches in our diet is the number one disease of this century; raised blood glucose has profound effects on every organ of the body. But the wax in your natural honeycomb significantly reduces insulin levels, equivalent to taking metformin, and so has profound benefits for diabetics.
As a beekeeper, I would personally recommend relatively small amounts of natural honeycomb with the raw honey on a daily basis, but only if taken in the context of a high fibre meal; then it won't cause a surge in blood glucose.
Raw honey interestingly does not have the expected high glycemic index, being largely fructose, and having small amounts of pollen that consists of protein and fat.
Nevertheless these are simple sugars and indulging in more than a teaspoon or two of comb and honey per day is not recommended. A short ten minute walk after the meal would be helpful in suppressing any rise in blood glucose.
In theory it would be possible to take a greater amount of natural honeycomb after the nectar has been extracted; that too would then be a processed food, something we are trying to avoid.
The treatment group in the fatty liver disease research mentioned above received 100mg of wax per day; that's a lot. Prevention with daily smaller amounts of natural honeycomb is far superior to such large doses.