More Research on Benefits of Manuka Honey from 2013:
I’ve talked about the anti-microbial activity of honey – particularly Manuka honey – here before: Recent Research on Manuka Honey Benefits, and Honey Research Update. In the last few months, additional research has been reported that supports these benefits of honey. The following is simply a rambling account of the highlights from those reports on Manuka honey:
The potential for honey to help combat the growing bacterial resistance to antibiotics is reviewed in this article by Maddocks and Jenkins in Future Microbiology, Honey: a sweet solution to the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance? Another review appeared in the journal, Natural Products and Bioprospecting: Manuka honey: an emerging natural food with medicinal use.
Figuring Out HOW
Exactly how honey does its magic is still a matter of intense investigation, and many pieces to the puzzle are still missing. As one example of honey’s antimicrobial tool-box, we know that honey contains hydrogen peroxide as one of its antimicrobial agents – yes, like your mother used to clean your scraped knee when you were a kid. For the other three things that make honey such a great antimicrobial, read this: Honey – Nature’s Antibiotic. Of course, you already know about adding Manuka honey to your nasal saline rinse if you struggle with chronic sinusitis. Click on that last link above – Honey, Nature’s Antibiotic – if you have not tried this for your chronic sinusitis (this is how I cured my own chronic sinusitis)!
Perhaps hydrogen peroxide is how honey helps fight MRSA and other nasty bugs. For reasons that are still unclear, exposure of MRSA to Manuka honey causes these bacteria to reduce their production of “virulence factors.” Virulence factors (VF) are molecules that are produced by pathogens (microbes that infect us) that help them to invade, infect, suppress our immune system. To summarize, VF are bad news. Well, a report in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy talks about how Manuka honey benefits us: Proteomic and genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) exposed to manuka honey in vitro demonstrated down-regulation of virulence factors. Cool! This may partially explain the Synergism between medihoney and rifampicin against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), also reported within the past few months.
Similarly, Manuka honey reduces VF production by Pseudomonas, Manuka honey inhibits siderophore production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a report that appeared in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. Surprise, Surprise
The biggest surprise to be reported this year in the world of honey is outside of the area of infections: The first is a report that Manuka honey inhibits growth of cancer in a mouse model: Intravenous administration of Manuka honey inhibits tumor growth and improves host survival when used in combination with chemotherapy in a melanoma mouse model, reported in PLOS one online. This is HUGE, and we should expect to see more about cancer-fighting honey research in the near future.
The other exciting news concerns research findings on Manuka honey’s antioxidant activity: Manuka honey protects middle-aged rats from oxidative damage, reported just this month in the journal, Clinics. If you are a believer in the free-radical theory of aging, this suggests that Manuka honey may be a sweet fountain of youth.
What Does This Mean for YOU?
All this research simply means this: we are now proving what ancient humans knew thousands of years ago – that honey is powerful medicine. Honey is a great natural antimicrobial – topically (applied to the surface) for wound-care. And honey is a strong antioxidant – always good to reduce oxygen free-radical damage to our tissues (that cause early aging and DNA damage). So, add some honey to your life. Adding Manuka honey to my own nasal saline rinses was how I (finally!) eliminated my own chronic rhino-sinusitis, after more than twenty years. I buy mine on Amazon here – affiliate link. If you find a better source of Manuka honey for a better price, PLEASE let us all know in comments! Thanks.
Colony Collapse Disorder and Our Future
Now, because we’re discussing the benefits of honey in our lives, this is a good place to remind everyone about the demise of our honey bees – the colony collapse disorder. Recent research suggests that pesticide use causes immune compromise in bees, and these pesticides result in increased infection by certain pathogens. This is an extremely complex problem, but we need to get this figured out soon: due to the fact that bees pollinate much of our agriculture, our lives may ultimately depend on bees. ______________________________________
Hi, I’m Russell Faust, author of this medical education blog. That wonderful photo of me is by Chris Stranad; here is his site: http://www.chrisstranadphotography.com/Index.html
Let me know what topics are important to you and your child’s respiratory health. Join the conversation by leaving a comment / reply below, or email me any time. Thanks for visiting, see you here later. In invite you to subscribe to this blog (it’s FREE). Be sure to type in your best email address (the one that you actually use). You will then receive an email with a “confirmation link” – click on that link to get weekly updates from this blog in your email. It’s free, it’s convenient, it’s an easy way to stay up-to-date on information to keep you and your family healthy. You can un-subscribe at any time. Stay informed. Stay healthy. Until next time, remember … you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose (unless you’re a boogor doctor ;~D) _______________________________________