Honey update 2009

Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO

September 16, 2009


Somehow summer is over before I know it and Rena is talking about baking honey cakes after work this week.  Friday evening is the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  This is when we dip apple slices in honey and wish each other a sweet year.


Without meaning to I find that I have established a yearly tradition for myself.  Every year at this time, I review what new research has been published on honey in the prior 12 months.  This is becoming more and more difficult to do each year as the number of interesting papers being published appears to be growing exponentially as the years pass.


The greatest number of papers continue to be related to wound healing.  Though I am content to advise patients to simply dribble a bit of honey directly on the skin, there are commercial products that are specialized dressings presoaked in honey.  The September issue of  Current Opinions in Supportive and Palliative Care, describe these honey dressings as the new trend in wound treatment.   Clinical Dermatology in its September issue has a similar article about how, “wound care has returned to the roots of medicine and embraced some of the remedies used millennia ago.”  When I start looking there has been an explosion of somewhat similar articles published in the medical journals.  They describe the history, current research and the authors’ own experience using honey.  These kinds of articles have appeared in:

June 2009 in the British Journal of Nursing

June 2009 in Evidence Based Complementary Health

June 2009 British Journal of Nursing.

May 2009 in the Home Healthcare Nursing

March 2009 in Advances in Skin Wound Care

There are several articles with new information on wound healing.   In the March issue of the Journal of Advances in Nursing described a study conducted in Liverpool, England. 

In a single center, open-label randomized controlled trial, 105 patients received either a conventional wound dressing or honey. The median time to healing in the honey group was 100 days compared with 140 days in the control group. The healing rate at 12 weeks was equal to 46.2% in the honey group compared with 34.0% in the conventional group, and the difference in the healing rates (95% confidence interval, CI) at 12 weeks between the two groups was 12.2%.

The February issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing  reported a study using either a manuka honey dressing or the standard hydrogel dressings for treating leg ulcers.  Researchers recruited 108 patients with leg ulcersgave theme either a honey dressing or the standard wound care dressing to use and followed them for 12 weeks. The honey group had increased incidence of healing, effective desloughing and a lower incidence of infection than the control group.

In May, the New Zealand Medical Journal published a meta-analysis on using honey to treat burns.  The researchers combined data from 8 papers with a total of 624 patients and concluded that: “Available evidence indicates markedly greater efficacy of honey compared with alternative dressing treatments for superficial or partial thickness burns, although the limitations of the studies included in the meta-analysis restrict the clinical application of these findings. Further studies are urgently required to determine the role of honey in the management of superficial or partial thickness burns.”   An October 2008 Cochrane Review, still within the 12 month search period, that analyzed all existing data concluded that, “Honey may improve healing times in mild to moderate superficial and partial thickness burns compared with some conventional dressings.” 

Two interesting articles have appeared in journals specializing in Ostomy management.   The first appeared in January 2009 in Ostomy Wound Management and looked at using hone to heal abdominal wounds in areas damaged by radiation.   Though just a case report of the results of treating the difficult wounds on half a dozen patients, the writers reported very encouraging results wrote, “Honey as an adjunct to conventional wound/skin care post radiation therapy shows promise for less painful healing in these chronic wounds.”   Another article suggesting honey be used for ostomy wounds appeared that same month in Journal of Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing.

In February a fascinating experiment was reported on in the International Journal of Surgery.  This work was conducted on rats, not people, but is promising: “Intraperitoneal honey decreased the formation of postoperative intra-abdominal adhesions without compromising wound healing in this bacterial peritonitis rat model.”  In other words adding honey into the abdomen during surgery may prevent the scarring and adhesions that so often develop afterwards and cause great discomfort to patients.    Rats so far, not people.

Another fascinating paper (well fascinating to me at least) was published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of African Medicine and Medical Science.  Comparing honey versus glutamine for healing surgical trauma to small bowel.  The researchers performed nasty surgery to rabbits and then investigated how quickly and how thoroughly the rabbits healed and their intestines adapted to the damage.   Supplementation was superior to honey yet the honey produced improvement when compared to the control rabbits.   We often have people drink glutamine dissolved in water to help heal intestinal damage.  This study suggests that if we sweetened the slurry with honey it might work better.

There was a rather complicated to explain study published in Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Disease that I’m not going to try to explain in any detail.  Suffice to say that honey is good at killing the kind of bacteria that embed themselves in chronic wounds.   While on the subject of infection and complex studies there was another study that I found tedious there was one published in June in the Journal of Medical Food that inoculated rats with honey which increased the rats immune response to Staph. aureus infection and prevented organ damage.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) by the way may contain a contaminant poisonous to honey bees. Commercial beekeepers often use their bees to pollinate crops rather than gather nectar and so they often feed their hives, usually with sugar syrup.  They are also using high fructose corn syrup as it’s cheaper than sugar.  Unfortunately these HFCS may contain Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a chemical that is very toxic to honey bees.   I find this somewhat interesting because the lobbying group that represents the corn syrup makers have long argued that honey and HFCS are identical chemically.  

Speaking of toxic stuff, there have been several new papers on Mad Honey Intoxication.  I’ve written about this before, but there is no reason why anyone should recall this sort of trivia.  I do, but then I’m always remembering odd stuff. 

To review there is a honey obtained from a kind of Rhododendron that grows near the Black Sea, that is poisonous. This 'mad honey (deli bal in Turkish) is contaminated by grayanotoxins concentrated from the Rhododendron nectar.  Accounts of mad honey intoxication date back to 401 BC.  Mad honey  symptoms are dose-related. In mild form, dizziness, weakness, excessive perspiration, hyper-salivation, nausea, vomiting and paresthesias are occur.  Severe intoxication can lead to life threatening cardiac complications such as complete atrioventricular block. 

A 2009 paper appeared in the Texas Heart Institute Journal describing a case of “Atrioventricular block induced by mad-honey intoxication.”   Another paper, this one published in December 2008 in the International Journal of Cardiology described a second degree heart block in 70 year old man from mad honey.    This August a paper was published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine that finally answers the question that you should be wondering which is why would someone eat this honey?  Rhododendron honey is not particularly tasty and yet there are beekeepers that purposefully harvest it and people buy and eat it. 

Well it’s all about sex. Apparently there is a widespread belief in certain parts of the world that mad honey improves sexual performance.  This explains the continued production and utilization of something so poisonous.

Speaking of poison, there was a paper published this August in Investigational and New Drugs suggesting that honey might be used as a chemotherapy agent to kill cancer cells. The investigators have determined not just that honey will trigger apoptosis (suicide) in colon cancer cells but they seem to be a fair way on to explaining how it does this.   “Results showed honey as a plausible candidate for induction of apoptosis through ROS and mitochondria-dependent mechanisms in colon cancer cells.”  The authors think that, “This will promote honey as a potential chemotherapeutic agent against colon cancer.”   This anticancer effect may in part be helped by the multitude of polyphenols found in honey, many of which have anticancer effect.

The October 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical nursing contained a paper titled, “A systematic review of honey uses and its potential value within oncology care.” Although it covered 43 studies on honey in cancer care, most looked at wound healing while only several focused on honey’s direct effect on cancer.

A new paper was published in February describing a study of patients undergoing radiation treatment of the head and neck and as in prior papers honey reduced the mucositis from the treatment.   This is kind of old news yet we still hear of patients undergoing radiation treatment who don’t know about this.  One would think by now radiation oncologists would have caught on to this simple technique.

In past years several papers have suggested the possibility that honey might lower cholesterol.  A study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition last October reported on an experiment in which  diabetics were fed honey in order to see.  Forty-eight diabetic type 2 patients were randomly assigned into two groups: the honey group received oral natural honey for 8 weeks, and the control group did not. Body weight, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and triglyceride decreased, and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol increased significantly in the honey eaters.  There were no significant differences in the fasting blood sugars between the two groups. The levels of hemoglobin A1C increased significantly in the honey group though.    duh?

A more recent, June 2009, study fed honey water to non-diabetic patients for two weeks and did not find these improvement in lipid profiles.  Interestingly, women in the control group drinking sugar sweetened water did have an increase in LDL.    Perhaps it takes longer than two weeks to see the cholesterol lowering effect?

There’s another study where you have to wonder whether it is the honey having a positive effect or just sugar having a negative effect that explains the results. June 2009 in Physiology and Behavior, a study tells us that rats fed honey were less anxious than those that ate sugar.

The last study I want to mention was published last November in Phytotherapy Research.  Researchers chemically induced ulcerative colitis in rats and then treated them with various dilutions of honey.  Doses of either 5 or 10 gm/Kg body weight were effective at preventing symptoms of colitis.   Let’s do the math here.  120 pound person would be about sixty Kilogram.  Five grams/Kg would be 300 grams per day of honey, about a cup of honey.  That’s a lot of honey, but still within the realm of possibility.  There are worse medicines out there.

Reading all this kind of stuff gets tedious and one must step back for a moment to regain the vision of how marvelous honey truly is.  Plants have figured out that sexual reproduction has advantages and figured out how to convince insects, particularly honey bees, to help in pollination by baiting their genitalia with sweet nectar.  The bees collect the nectar, concentrate it, and we have this marvelously sweet thing called honey.  That honey has such a multitude of healing properties, well it is just part of the miracle.  It would be enough if it just tasted sweet.

So, it’s apple dipping time, let us pause briefly as we twirl our apple slices, vainly hoping to keep the honey from dripping and wish you all a happy and sweet new year.


L’shana Tova

Jacob Schor and Rena Bloom

Denver Naturopathic Clinic

Here are links to some or our past newsletters about honey

    1. Honey to treat wounds after cancer surgery : http://denvernaturopathic.com/news/honeyandsurgery.html
    2. Honey improves skin conditions: eczema and psoriasis : http://denvernaturopathic.com/honeyandeczema.html
    3. Honey increases antioxidant levels in blood : http://denvernaturopathic.com/honeyincreasesantioxidants.html
    4. Honey and Herpes: http://denvernaturopathic.com/news/honeyherpes.html
    5. 2005 Honey as Medicine and Baklava recipe http://denvernaturopathic.com/news/honeybaklava.html
    6. Honey Update 2006: wound Healing  Sept 2006 http://denvernaturopathic.com/news/honeyupdate06.html



Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2009 Sep 2. [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read Links

News in wound healing and management.

Gottrup F, Jørgensen B, Karlsmark T.

Copenhagen Wound Healing Center, Department of Dermatology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Nonhealing wounds are a significant problem in the healthcare system all over the world. The present review focuses on some recent developments and promising clinical progresses in wound management. RECENT FINDINGS: New findings have increased our knowledge in several wound areas. In the treatment of wounds, the new trend in the wound device marked is to produce dressings containing compounds or drugs. This could be local antiseptics (silver, other antiseptics, honey) and pain relieving drugs such as ibuprofen and morphine. New treatments such as anti-tumor necrosis factor alfa (anti-TNFalpha) and Lactobacillus plantarum cultures have also been successfully used in hard to heal, atypical wounds. Knowledge on influencing factors as smoking and biofilm on the healing process has also been improved. Smoking results in delayed healing and increased risk of postoperative infection, whereas the role of biofilm is still at an exploratory level. Organizing models for optimal wound management are constantly being developed and refined. SUMMARY: Recent knowledge on the importance of new dressing materials containing active substances, new treatments for atypical wounds, influencing factors on the healing process and organization in the wound area are increasingly been launched. This may in the coming years significantly improve the treatment outcome of problem wounds.

Br J Nurs. 2009 Jun 11-24;18(11):S30, S32, S34-5.Click here to read Links

The use of MelMax in the healing of chronic wounds.

Lloyd Jones M.

Tissue Viability, North West Wales NHS Trust.

Chronic wounds can have detrimental consequences for the quality of life of patients as well as presenting a huge financial burden to the NHS. An imbalance in the level of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and the tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) in chronic wounds impedes the healing process. In addition, high levels of bacteria in the wound bed are a common feature of chronic wounds and also cited as a major cause of delayed healing. The aim of this article is to look in more detail at the role of MMPs in wound healing as well as the antimicrobial properties of honey when combined with a dressing to combat wound infection. The article also introduces a new dressing, MelMax (distributed by CliniMed), which utilizes protease regulation and the antimicrobial properties of honey when addressing chronic wound infection. Short-term case studies are used to demonstrate how the dressing was successfully incorporated into the author's practice.

PMID: 19525905 [PubMed - ind

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Jun;6(2):165-73. Epub 2008 Jan 7.Click here to read Click here to readLinks

Medical honey for wound care--still the 'latest resort'?

Simon A, Traynor K, Santos K, Blaser G, Bode U, Molan P.

Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, Children's Hospital Medical Centre, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 119, 53113 Bonn, Germany. asimon@ukb.uni-bonn.de.

While the ancient Egyptians and Greeks used honey for wound care, and a broad spectrum of wounds are treated all over the world with natural unprocessed honeys from different sources, Medihoney has been one of the first medically certified honeys licensed as a medical product for professional wound care in Europe and Australia. Our experience with medical honey in wound care refers only to this product. In this review, we put our clinical experience into a broader perspective to comment on the use of medical honey in wound care. More prospective randomized studies on a wider range of types of wounds are needed to confirm the safety and efficacy of medical honey in wound care. Nonetheless, the current evidence confirming the antibacterial properties and additional beneficial effects of medical honey on wound healing should encourage other wound care professionals to use CE-certified honey dressings with standardized antibacterial activity, such as Medihoney products, as an alternative treatment approach in wounds of different natures.

Br J Nurs. 2009 Jun 11-24;18(11):S30, S32, S34-5. Links

The use of MelMax in the healing of chronic wounds.

Lloyd Jones M.

Tissue Viability, North West Wales NHS Trust.

Chronic wounds can have detrimental consequences for the quality of life of patients as well as presenting a huge financial burden to the NHS. An imbalance in the level of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and the tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) in chronic wounds impedes the healing process. In addition, high levels of bacteria in the wound bed are a common feature of chronic wounds and also cited as a major cause of delayed healing. The aim of this article is to look in more detail at the role of MMPs in wound healing as well as the antimicrobial properties of honey when combined with a dressing to combat wound infection. The article also introduces a new dressing, MelMax (distributed by CliniMed), which utilizes protease regulation and the antimicrobial properties of honey when addressing chronic wound infection. Short-term case studies are used to demonstrate how the dressing was successfully incorporated into the author's practice.

PMID: 19525905 [PubMed - ind

Home Healthc Nurse. 2009 May;27(5):308-16; quiz 317-8. Links

The use of honey for wound care management: a traditional remedy revisited.

Chang J, Cuellar NG.

El Camino Hospital, Mountain View, California, USA. Jennifer.li.chang@gmail.com

Adv Skin Wound Care. 2009 Mar;22(3):113-8. Links

Use of honey for wound healing.

Langemo DK, Hanson D, Anderson J, Thompson P, Hunter S.

University of North Dakota College of Nursing, Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA.

J Adv Nurs. 2009 Mar;65(3):565-75. Links

Standardized antibacterial honey (Medihoney) with standard therapy in wound care: randomized clinical trial.

Robson V, Dodd S, Thomas S.

Leg Ulcer Care, Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK. val.robson@aintree.nhs.uk

AIM: This paper is a report of a study to compare a medical grade honey with conventional treatments on the healing rates of wounds healing by secondary intention. BACKGROUND: There is an increasing body of evidence to support the use of honey to treat wounds, but there is a lack of robust randomized trials on which clinicians can base their clinical judgement. METHOD: A sample of 105 patients were involved in a single centre, open-label randomized controlled trial in which patients received either a conventional wound dressing or honey. Data were collected between September 2004 and May 2007. RESULTS: The median time to healing in the honey group was 100 days compared with 140 days in the control group. The healing rate at 12 weeks was equal to 46.2% in the honey group compared with 34.0% in the conventional group, and the difference in the healing rates (95% confidence interval, CI) at 12 weeks between the two groups was 12.2% (-13.6%, 37.9%). The unadjusted hazard ratio (95% CI) from a Cox regression was equal to 1.30 (0.77, 2.19), P = 0.321. When the treatment effect was adjusted for confounding factors (sex, wound type, age and wound area at start of treatment), the hazard ratio increased to 1.51 but was again not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Wound area at start of treatment and sex are both highly statistically significant predictors of time to healing. These results support the proposition that there are clinical benefits from using honey in wound care, but further research is needed.

J Clin Nurs. 2009 Feb;18(3):466-74. Epub 2008 Aug 23. Links

Manuka honey vs. hydrogel--a prospective, open label, multicentre, randomised controlled trial to compare desloughing efficacy and healing outcomes in venous ulcers.

Gethin G, Cowman S.

Dip Anatomy, Dip Applied Physiology, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland. ggethin@rcsi.ie

OBJECTIVE: Comparison of desloughing efficacy after four weeks and healing outcomes after 12 weeks in sloughy venous leg ulcers treated with Manuka honey (Woundcare 18+) vs. standard hydrogel therapy (IntraSite Gel). BACKGROUND: Expert opinion suggests that Manuka honey is effective as a desloughing agent but clinical evidence in the form of a randomised controlled trial is not available. There is a paucity of research which uses Manuka honey in venous ulcers. DESIGN: Prospective, multicentre, open label randomised controlled trial. METHOD: Randomisation was via remote telephone. One hundred and eight patients with venous leg ulcers having >or=50% wound area covered in slough, not taking antibiotics or immunosuppressant therapy were recruited from vascular centres, acute and community care hospitals and leg ulcer clinics. The efficacy of WoundCare 18+ to deslough the wounds after four weeks and its impact on healing after 12 weeks when compared with IntraSite Gel control was determined. Treatment was applied weekly for four weeks and follow-up was made at week 12. RESULTS: At week 4, mean % reduction in slough was 67% WoundCare 18+ vs. 52.9% IntraSite Gel (p = 0.054). Mean wound area covered in slough reduced to 29% and 43%, respectively (p = 0.065). Median reduction in wound size was 34% vs. 13% (p = 0.001). At 12 weeks, 44% vs. 33% healed (p = 0.037). Wounds having >50% reduction in slough had greater probability of healing at week 12 (95% confidence interval 1.12, 9.7; risk ratio 3.3; p = 0.029). Infection developed in 6 of the WoundCare 18+ group vs. 12 in the IntraSite Gel group. CONCLUSION: The WoundCare 18+ group had increased incidence of healing, effective desloughing and a lower incidence of infection than the control. Manuka honey has therapeutic value and further research is required to examine its use in other wound aetiologies. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study confirms that Manuka honey may be considered by clinicians for use in sloughy venous ulcers. Additionally, effective desloughing significantly improves healing outcomes.


N Z Med J. 2009 May 22;122(1295):47-60.Links

Honey in the treatment of burns: a systematic review and meta-analysis of its efficacy.

Wijesinghe M, Weatherall M, Perrin K, Beasley R.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand (MRINZ), Wellington 6143, New Zealand.

AIM: To determine the efficacy of honey in burn wound management. METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials which compared the efficacy of honey with a comparator dressing treatment in the management of burns. The main outcome measure was the proportion of subjects with wounds healed at 15 days. RESULTS: Eight studies with 624 subjects were included in the meta-analysis. The quality of the studies was poor with each study having a Jadad score of 1. Six studies were undertaken by the same investigator. In most studies unprocessed honey covered by sterile gauze was compared with silver sulphadiazine-impregnated gauze. The fixed effects odds ratio for healing at 15 days was 6.1 (95% CI 3.7 to 9.9) in favour of honey having a superior effect. The random effects pooled odds ratio was 6.7 (95% CI 2.8 to 15.8) in favour of honey treatment. The secondary outcome variables all showed significantly greater efficacy for honey treatment. CONCLUSION: Available evidence indicates markedly greater efficacy of honey compared with alternative dressing treatments for superficial or partial thickness burns, although the limitations of the studies included in the meta-analysis restrict the clinical application of these findings. Further studies are urgently required to determine the role of honey in the management of superficial or partial thickness burns.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Oct 8;(4):CD005083. Links

Comment in:

Evid Based Nurs. 2009 Apr;12(2):53.

Intern Emerg Med. 2009 Feb;4(1):53-6.

Honey as a topical treatment for wounds.

Jull AB, Rodgers A, Walker N.

Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand. a.jull@ctru.auckland.ac.nz

BACKGROUND: Honey is a viscous, supersaturated sugar solution derived from nectar gathered and modified by the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Honey has been used since ancient times as a remedy in wound care. Evidence from animal studies and some trials has suggested honey may accelerate wound healing. OBJECTIVES: The objective was to determine whether honey increases the rate of healing in acute wounds (burns, lacerations and other traumatic wounds) and chronic wounds (venous ulcers, arterial ulcers, diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infected surgical wounds). SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (May 2008), CENTRAL (May 2008) and several other electronic databases (May 2008). Bibliographies were searched and manufacturers of dressing products were contacted for unpublished trials. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised and quasi randomised trials that evaluated honey as a treatment for any sort of acute or chronic wound were sought. There was no restriction in terms of source, date of publication or language. Wound healing was the primary endpoint. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data from eligible trials were extracted and summarised using a data extraction sheet by one author and independently verified by a second author. MAIN RESULTS: 19 trials (n=2554) were identified that met the inclusion criteria. In acute wounds, three trials evaluated the effect of honey in acute lacerations, abrasions or minor surgical wounds and nine trials evaluated the effect the honey in burns. In chronic wounds two trials evaluated the effect of honey in venous leg ulcers and one trial in pressure ulcers, infected post-operative wounds, and Fournier's gangrene respectively. Two trials recruited people with mixed groups of chronic or acute wounds. The poor quality of most of the trial reports means the results should be interpreted with caution, except in venous leg ulcers. In acute wounds, honey may reduce time to healing compared with some conventional dressings in partial thickness burns (WMD -4.68 days, 95%CI -4.28 to -5.09 days). All the included burns trials have originated from a single centre, which may have impact on replicability. In chronic wounds, honey in addition to compression bandaging does not significantly increase healing in venous leg ulcers (RR 1.15, 95%CI 0.96 to 1.38). There is insufficient evidence to determine the effect of honey compared with other treatments for burns or in other acute or chronic wound types. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Honey may improve healing times in mild to moderate superficial and partial thickness burns compared with some conventional dressings. Honey dressings as an adjuvant to compression do not significantly increase leg ulcer healing at 12 weeks. There is insufficient evidence to guide clinical practice in other areas.

Ostomy Wound Manage. 2009 Jan;55(1):38-47.Links

Using leptospermum honey to manage wounds impaired by radiotherapy: a case series.

Robson V, Cooper R.

Aintree Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, United Kingdom. val.robson@aintree.nhs.uk

Radiation-induced tissue injury and wounds with radiation-impaired healing are traumatic for patients and challenging for their caregivers. Standardized management approaches do not exist. The effect of Leptospermum honey as a primary dressing for managing these wounds was assessed in four patients (age range 63 to 93 years) who had previously undergone radiotherapy that left them with fragile friable areas of damaged skin that did not respond to conventional treatment. Compromised areas involved the neck, cheek, groin/perineum, and chest. In patients 1 and 2, after topical application of honey via hydrofiber rope and nonadhesive foam, respectively, improvements in the size and condition of wound/periwound area and a reduction in pain were noted before death or loss to follow-up. After including honey in the treatment regimen of patients 3 and 4, complete healing was noted in 2.5 weeks (with honey and paraffin) and 6 weeks (with honey-soaked hydrofiber rope), respectively. No adverse events were reported. Honey as an adjunct to conventional wound/skin care post radiation therapy shows promise for less painful healing in these chronic wounds. Prospective, randomized, controlled clinical studies are needed to confirm these observation

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2009 Jan-Feb;36(1):60-6; quiz 67-8. Links

Honey-based dressings and wound care: an option for care in the United States.

Pieper B.

College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA. bpieper@comcast.net

Honey-based wound dressings have been used worldwide since ancient times. A honey product received US Federal Drug Administration approval in 2007, making this dressing an option for wound care. Honey has been found to exert anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects without antibiotic resistance, promote moist wound healing, and facilitate debridement. However, it may cause a stinging pain. As is true of any wound dressing, its use must be carefully selected and monitored. Continued research is needed to add to its evidence base. This article provides a summary of the current evidence base for the use of honey and a review of its therapeutic effects and discusses implications for WOC nursing practice.

Int J Surg. 2009 Feb;7(1):54-7. Epub 2008 Oct 25.Links

Administration of honey to prevent peritoneal adhesions in a rat peritonitis model.

Yuzbasioglu MF, Kurutas EB, Bulbuloglu E, Goksu M, Atli Y, Bakan V, Kale IT.

Department of General Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Kahramanmaras Sutcuimam University, Kahramanmaras, Turkey. f_yuzbasioglu@hotmail.com

AIM: We investigated the effects of intraperitoneal honey on the development of postoperative intra-abdominal adhesions and oxidative stress in a model of bacterial peritonitis. METHODS: Bacterial peritonitis was induced in 18 rats by cecal ligation and puncture. The rats were randomly assigned to three groups. Group 1 (n=6) received honey intraperitoneally, group 2 (n=6) received 5% dextrose intraperitoneally, and the third group received no fluid or medicine intraperitoneally one day after cecal ligation and puncture procedure. All animals were killed 14 days later so we could assess the adhesion score. Tissue antioxidant levels were measured in 1-g tissue samples taken from the abdominal wall. RESULTS: Adhesion scores of honey treated group were significantly lower according to the control group (P<0.05) and statistically significant. Adhesion scores of honey were lower from 5% dextrose but not statistically significant (P>0.05). Malondialdehyde values of honey group were significantly lower from the control group (P<0.05) and levels in 5% dextrose group was higher than the honey group. Catalase levels were high in control and 5% dextrose groups. Superoxide dismutase levels were higher in the control group than the honey group (statistically significant). CONCLUSIONS: Intraperitoneal honey decreased the formation of postoperative intra-abdominal adhesions without compromising wound healing in this bacterial peritonitis rat model. Honey also decreased the oxidative stress during peritonitis.

Afr J Med Med Sci. 2008 Dec;37(4):309-14.Links

Small bowel responses to enteral honey and glutamine administration following massive small bowel resection in rabbit.

Eyarefe OD, Emikpe BO, Arowolo OA.

Department of Veterinary Surgery and Reproduction, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. eyarefe@hotmail.com

The trophic effects of honey and glutamine in the healing and adaptation of the small bowel following intestinal resection were studied in some Nigerian non-descript breeds of rabbits. Nine rabbits of mixed sexes with mean body weight of 1.45 +/- 0.55 kg were used. They were randomised into three treatment groups following 50% small bowel resection. Group A rabbits were placed on oral honey treatment, Group B on oral glutamine and group C on normal saline (control). All groups exhibited signs of small bowel adaptation (glutamine(B) honey (A) control (C) at the end of the experiment (4 weeks) with oral glutamine showing the best overall effects on intestinal mucosal growth and adaptation evidenced by significant increase (P<0.05) in residual bowel length (37.3%), villi width (20.0%), crypt depth (113.3%) and a non significant increase in villus height (33.3%) and cellular mass (10.2%). Honey showed a better effect than control with a significant increase (P<0.05) in villi width (18.2%), crypts depth (66.7%) and cellular mass (33.9%) and a non significant increase in gross residual bowel length (24.6%), and villus height (30.5%). Our result shows that honey and glutamine have trophic effects on bowel mucosa healing and hyperplasia and have potential therapeutic effects on massive bowel resection in humans.

PMID: 19301706 [PubMed - indexed for MED

Scand J Infect Dis. 2009;41(5):341-7. Links

Bacteria, biofilm and honey: a study of the effects of honey on 'planktonic' and biofilm-embedded chronic wound bacteria.

Merckoll P, Jonassen TØ, Vad ME, Jeansson SL, Melby KK.

Department of Microbiology, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. patricia.merckoll@ulleval.no

Chronically infected wounds are a costly source of suffering. An important factor in the failure of a sore to heal is the presence of multiple species of bacteria, living cooperatively in highly organized biofilms. The biofilm protects the bacteria from antibiotic therapy and the patient's immune response. Honey has been used as a wound treatment for millennia. The components responsible for its antibacterial properties are now being elucidated. The study aimed to determine the effects of different concentrations of 'Medihoney' therapeutic honey and Norwegian Forest Honey 1) on the real-time growth of typical chronic wound bacteria; 2) on biofilm formation; and 3) on the same bacteria already embedded in biofilm. Reference strains of MRSE, MRSA, ESBL Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were incubated with dilution series of the honeys in microtitre plates for 20 h. Growth of the bacteria was assessed by measuring optical density every 10 min. Growth curves, biofilm formation and minimum bactericidal concentrations are presented. Both honeys were bactericidal against all the strains of bacteria. Biofilm was penetrated by biocidal substances in honey. Reintroduction of honey as a conventional wound treatment may help improve individual wound care, prevent invasive infections, eliminate colonization, interrupt outbreaks and thereby preserve current antibiotic stocks.

J Med Food. 2009 Jun;12(3):569-75. Links

Immune defense of rats immunized with fennel honey, propolis, and bee venom against induced staphylococcal infection.

Sayed SM, Abou El-Ella GA, Wahba NM, El Nisr NA, Raddad K, Abd El Rahman MF, Abd El Hafeez MM, Abd El Fattah Aamer A.

Animal Health Research, Cairo, Egypt.

The objective of this work was to evaluate the potency of bee product-immunized rats to overcome an induced Staphylococcus aureus infection. Forty rats were divided to eight groups: T1, T3, and T5 received, respectively, fennel honey, ethanol, and aqueous propolis extracts orally, and T2, T4, and T6 were administered the respective materials intraperitoneally; T7 received bee venom by the bee sting technique; and T8 was the control group. All groups were challenged by a bovine clinical mastitis isolate of S. aureus. Each rat received 2 mL of broth inoculated with 1 x 10(5) colony-forming units/mL intraperitoneally. Two weeks post-induced infection all rats were sacrificed and eviscerated for postmortem inspection and histopathological study. Three rats from T8 and one rat from T7 died before sacrifice. Another two rats, one each in T4 and T5, had morbidity manifestations. The remaining experimental animals showed apparently healthy conditions until time of sacrifice. Postmortem inspection revealed that all T8 rats showed different degrees of skeletal muscle and internal organ paleness with scattered focal pus nodules mainly on lungs and livers. All rats of the treated groups showed normal postmortem features except three rats. A dead rat in group T7 showed focal pus nodules on the lung surface only, whereas the affected two rats in groups T4 and T5 appeared normal except with some pus nodules, but much smaller than in the control, scattered on the hepatic surface and mesentery. Histopathological studies revealed that T8 rats had typical suppurative bronchopneumonia and or severe degenerative and necrobiotic changes in hepatic tissues. Three affected rats of the treated groups showed slight bronchopneumonia or degenerative hepatic changes only. The other animals of the treated groups showed completely normal parenchymatous organs with stimulated lymphatic tissues. It was concluded that all tested previously bee product-immunized rats could significantly challenge the induced S. aureus infection (P < .01). The effects were more pronounced in rats that had received fennel honey solution.

J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jul 31. [Epub ahead of print] Links

Formation of Hydroxymethylfurfural in Domestic High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Its Toxicity to the Honey Bee ( Apis mellifera ).

Leblanc BW, Eggleston G, Sammataro D, Cornett C, Dufault R, Deeby T, St Cyr E.

Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2000 East Allen Road, Tucson, Arizona 85719.

In the United States, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has become a sucrose replacement for honey bees and has widespread use as a sweetener in many processed foods and beverages for human consumption. It is utilized by commercial beekeepers as a food for honey bees for several reasons: to promote brood production, after bees have been moved for commercial pollination, and when field-gathered nectar sources are scarce. Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is a heat-formed contaminant and is the most noted toxin to honey bees. Currently, there are no rapid field tests that would alert beekeepers of dangerous levels of HMF in HFCS or honey. In this study, the initial levels and the rates of formation of HMF at four temperatures were evaluated in U.S.-available HFCS samples. Different HFCS brands were analyzed and compared for acidity and metal ions by inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. Levels of HMF in eight HFCS products were evaluated over 35 days, and the data were fit to polynomial and exponential equations, with excellent correlations. The data can be used by beekeepers to predict HMF formation on storage. Caged bee studies were conducted to evaluate the HMF dose-response effect on bee mortality. Finally, commercial bases such as lime, potash, and caustic soda were added to neutralize hydronium ion in HMF samples, and the rates of HMF formation were compared at 45 degrees C.

Tex Heart Inst J. 2009;36(4):342-4. Links

Atrioventricular block induced by mad-honey intoxication: confirmation of diagnosis by pollen analysis.

Cagli KE, Tufekcioglu O, Sen N, Aras D, Topaloglu S, Basar N, Pehlivan S.

Department of Cardiology, Ankara Turkiye Yuksek Ihtisas Hospital, Ankara, Turkey. kumralcagli@yahoo.com

An unusual type of food poisoning, mad-honey intoxication, can be observed in the Black Sea region of Turkey and various other parts of the world. It can occur after ingestion of grayanotoxin-contaminated honey produced from the nectar of Rhododendron ponticum and other plant species, chiefly of the Ericaceae and Sapindaceae families. Mad-honey intoxication can result in severe cardiac complications, such as complete atrioventricular block. The diagnosis is generally reached on the basis of the patient's history of honey intake. In this report, we describe the case of a patient who had mad-honey-related complete atrioventricular block; in this instance, the diagnosis was confirmed by a pollen analysis of the suspect honey.

Int J Cardiol. 2008 Dec 17. [Epub ahead of print] Links

The honey man - Second degree heart block after honey intoxication.

Weiss TW, Smetana P, Nurnberg M, Huber K.

3rd Medical Department for Cardiology and Emergency Medicine, Wilhelminenhospital, Vienna, Austria.

In October 2007, a 70-year-old Turkish patient presented to the emergency department of a Viennese state hospital with syncope. The electrocardiogram showed a second degree heart block type Wenckebach with intermittent 2:1 conduction and preterminal negative T waves. There was no biochemical evidence of an acute ischemic cardiac event or any electrolyte imbalance. A coronary angiogram showed no evidence for coronary artery disease. During the first day of hospital admission, a jar of home made honey from the Black Sea region of Turkey is brought to the hospital by relatives of the patient. A commonly used household remedy in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey, "bitter honey" or "mad honey" contains grayanotoxin from the nectar of Rhododendron luteum and Rhododendron ponticum. This is the first documented case of honey poisoning in the European Union where structural and ischemic causes have been excluded as possible reasons for the temporary AV-block. This case serves as a poignant reminder that physicians must demonstrate awareness of the cultural, social, and in this case toxicological, particularities of patients within immigrant populations.

Ann Emerg Med. 2009 Aug 15. [Epub ahead of print] Links

Mad Honey Sex: Therapeutic Misadventures From an Ancient Biological Weapon.

Demircan A, Kele? A, Bildik F, Aygencel G, Do?an NO, Gómez HF.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: "Mad honey" poisoning occurs from ingestion of honey produced from grayanotoxin-containing nectar, often in the setting of use as an alternative medicine. This study is designed to assess the clinical effects, demographics, and rationale behind self-induced mad honey poisoning. METHODS: The study consisted of 2 components: a standardized chart review of the signs, symptoms, and treatment of patients with mad honey ingestion, treated in our emergency department between December 2002 and January 2008; and a cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of beekeepers specializing in the production and distribution of mad honey. RESULTS: We identified 21 cases. Patients were overwhelmingly men (18/21) and older (mean [SD]), 55 [11] years. Local beekeepers (N=10) ranked sexual performance enhancement as the most common reason for therapeutic mad honey consumption in men aged 41 through 60 years. Symptoms began 1.0 hour (SD 0.6 hour) after ingestion and included dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and syncope. Abnormal vital signs included hypotension (mean arterial pressure 58 mm Hg [SD 13 mm Hg]) and bradycardia (mean 45 beats/min [SD 9 beats/min]). Seventeen patients had sinus bradycardia and 2 had junctional rhythm. Nine patients were treated with atropine; 1 patient received dopamine. All patients were discharged 18 to 48 hours after admission. CONCLUSION: A dietary and travel history should be included in the assessment of middle-aged men presenting with bradycardia and hypotension. A mad honey therapeutic misadventure may be the cause rather than a primary cardiac, neurologic, or metabolic disorder.

Invest New Drugs. 2009 Aug 25. [Epub ahead of print] Links

Involvement of non-protein thiols, mitochondrial dysfunction, reactive oxygen species and p53 in honey-induced apoptosis.

Jaganathan SK, Mandal M.

School of Medical Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, 721 302, West Bengal, India.

Honey is a complex mixture of different biologically active constituents. Honey possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antitumor properties. Our chief investigation was to assess the honey induced apoptosis and its molecular mechanism in colon cancer cell growth inhibition. Honey exerted antiproliferative potential against the HCT-15 and HT-29 colon cancer cells as assessed by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Flow cytometric analysis showed the increasing accumulation of hypodiploid nuclei in the sub-G(1) phase of cell cycle indicating apoptosis. Honey transduced the apoptotic signal via initial depletion of intracellular non protein thiols, consequently reducing the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and increasing the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. An increasing earlier lipid layer break was observed in the treated cells compared to the control. Honey induced apoptosis was accompanied by up-regulating the p53 and modulating the expression of pro and anti-apoptotic proteins. Further apoptosis induction was substantiated using DNA fragmentation assay and YO-PRO-1 staining. Results showed honey as a plausible candidate for induction of apoptosis through ROS and mitochondria-dependent mechanisms in colon cancer cells. This will promote honey as a potential chemotherapeutic agent against colon cancer.

J Biomed Biotechnol. 2009;2009:830616. Epub 2009 Jul 19. Links

Antiproliferative effects of honey and of its polyphenols: a review.

Jaganathan SK, Mandal M.

Indian Institute of Technology, West-Bengal, Kharagpur, India.

Honey has been used since long time both in medical and domestic needs, but only recently the antioxidant property of it came to limelight. The fact that antioxidants have several preventative effects against different diseases, such as cancer, coronary diseases, inflammatory disorders, neurological degeneration, and aging, led to search for food rich in antioxidants. Chemoprevention uses various dietary agents rich in phytochemicals which serve as antioxidants. With increasing demand for antioxidant supply in the food, honey had gained vitality since it is rich in phenolic compounds and other antioxidants like ascorbic acid, amino acids, and proteins. Some simple and polyphenols found in honey, namely, caffeic acid (CA), caffeic acid phenyl esters (CAPE), Chrysin (CR), Galangin (GA), Quercetin (QU), Kaempferol (KP), Acacetin (AC), Pinocembrin (PC), Pinobanksin (PB), and Apigenin (AP), have evolved as promising pharmacological agents in treatment of cancer. In this review, we reviewed the antiproliferative and molecular mechanisms of honey and above-mentioned polyphenols in various cancer cell lines.

J Clin Nurs. 2008 Oct;17(19):2604-23. Links

Comment in:

J Clin Nurs. 2008 Oct;17(19):2661-4.

A systematic review of honey uses and its potential value within oncology care.

Bardy J, Slevin NJ, Mais KL, Molassiotis A.

School of Nursing, Social Work and Midwifery, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

AIM: To synthesise the evidence regarding honey's role in health care and to identify whether this evidence applies more specifically to cancer care. DESIGN: Systematic review. METHODS: The inclusion and exclusion criteria were agreed by two reviewers and a keyword strategy was developed. EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, MEDLINE, COCHRANE and PUBMED databases were screened to identify suitable articles. The citation list from each included study was also screened for potentially suitable papers. The key findings from each study were entered onto a data extraction sheet. RESULTS: In total, 43 studies were included in the systematic review, which included studies in relation to wounds (n = 19), burns (n = 11), skin (n = 3), cancer (n = 5) and others (n = 5). In addition, a systematic review regarding honey use in wound care was also included. While the majority of studies noted the efficacy of honey in clinical use, five studies found honey to be equally as effective as the comparator and three found honey to be less effective than the comparator treatment. Other research did not illustrate any significant difference between standard treatment regimes vs. honey treatment. Studies were generally poor in quality because of small sample sizes, lack of randomisation and absence of blinding. CONCLUSIONS: Honey was found to be a suitable alternative for wound healing, burns and various skin conditions and to potentially have a role within cancer care. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: In the cancer setting, honey may be used for radiation-induced mucositis, radiotherapy-induced skin reactions, hand and foot skin reactions in chemotherapy patients and for oral cavity and external surgical wounds.

J Laryngol Otol. 2009 Feb;123(2):223-8. Epub 2008 May 19.Links

Honey as topical prophylaxis against radiochemotherapy-induced mucositis in head and neck cancer.

Rashad UM, Al-Gezawy SM, El-Gezawy E, Azzaz AN.

Department of Otolaryngology, Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Egypt. urashad2008@yahoo.com

AIM: To evaluate the efficacy of pure natural honey as prophylaxis against radiochemotherapy-induced mucositis, through clinical scoring of oral and oropharyngeal mucositis, and culturing of pathogenic oral and oropharyngeal microbes. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The study was done in Assiut University Hospital, Egypt, between January 2005 and July 2006. Forty patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer were entered into the trial. Enrolled patients were randomised to either the treatment group, receiving concomitant chemotherapy and radiotherapy (with a significant area of directly visible oral and/or oropharyngeal mucosa included in the radiation fields) plus prior topical application of pure natural honey, or the control group, receiving concomitant chemotherapy and radiotherapy without honey. Patients were evaluated clinically every week to assess development of radiation mucositis. Aerobic cultures and candida colonisation assessment were undertaken, via oral and oropharyngeal swabs, prior to and at the completion of irradiation, and when infection was evident. RESULTS: In the treatment group, no patients developed grade four mucositis and only three patients (15 per cent) developed grade three mucositis. In the control group, 13 patients (65 per cent) developed grade three or four mucositis (p < 0.05). Candida colonisation was found in 15 per cent of the treatment group and 60 per cent of the control group, either during or after radiotherapy (p = 0.003). Positive cultures for aerobic pathogenic bacteria were observed in 15 per cent of the treatment group and 65 per cent of the control group, during or after radiotherapy (p = 0.007). CONCLUSION: This study shows that prophylactic use of pure natural honey was effective in reducing mucositis resulting from radiochemotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer.

PMID: 18485252 [PubMe

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2008 Oct 2:1-9. [Epub ahead of print] Links

Effects of natural honey consumption in diabetic patients: an 8-week randomized clinical trial.

Bahrami M, Ataie-Jafari A, Hosseini S, Forouzanfar MH, Rahmani M, Pajouhi M.

Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Medical Sciences/University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

Objectives We investigated the effect of natural honey on body weight and some blood biochemical indices of diabetic subjects. Methods Forty-eight diabetic type 2 patients were randomly assigned into two groups: the honey group received oral natural honey for 8 weeks, and the control group did not take honey. Before the onset of the study (week 0) and after 8 weeks, weight measurements were taken and fasting blood samples were drawn. Results After adjustment for the baseline values, there were no significant differences in the fasting blood sugars between the two groups. Body weight, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and triglyceride decreased (P=0.000), and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol increased significantly (P<0.01) in honey group. The levels of hemoglobin A(1C) increased significantly in this group (P<0.01). Conclusion The results of this study demonstrate that 8-week consumption of honey can provide beneficial effects on body weight and blood lipids of diabetic patients. However, since an increase in the hemoglobin A(1C) levels was observed, cautious consumption of this food by diabetic patients is recommended.

PMID: 18608555 [PubM

J Med Food. 2009 Jun;12(3):624-8. Links

Effect of honey on serum cholesterol and lipid values.

Münstedt K, Hoffmann S, Hauenschild A, Bülte M, von Georgi R, Hackethal A.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Germany. karsten.muenstedt@gyn.med.uni-giessen.de

Small studies have suggested that honey benefits patients with high cholesterol concentrations. The present study aimed to confirm this finding in a larger group of subjects. Sixty volunteers with high cholesterol, stratified according to gender and hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitor (statin) treatment (yes/no), were randomized to receive 75 g of honey solution or a honey-comparable sugar solution once daily over a period of 14 days. Baseline measurements, including body mass index (BMI) and lipid profile, were obtained, and subjects also completed dietary questionnaires and the Inventory for the Assessment of Negative Bodily Affect-Trait form (INKA-h) questionnaire. Measurements were repeated 2 weeks later. BMI and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol values were significantly correlated (r = -0.487; P < .001) as were BMI and a lower ratio of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (r = 0.420; P < .001), meaning that subjects with a high BMI had a lower HDL cholesterol value. INKA-h scores and LDL cholesterol values were also significantly correlated (r = 0.273, P = .042). Neither solution influenced significantly cholesterol or triglyceride values in the total group; in women, however, the LDL cholesterol value increased in the sugar solution subgroup but not in the women taking honey. Although ingesting honey did not reduce LDL cholesterol values in general, women may benefit from substituting honey for sugar in their diet. Reducing the BMI lowers the LDL cholesterol value, and psychological interventions also seem important and merit further investigation.

Physiol Behav. 2009 Jun 22;97(3-4):359-68. Epub 2009 Mar 16. Links

The effects of long-term honey, sucrose or sugar-free diets on memory and anxiety in rats.

Chepulis LM, Starkey NJ, Waas JR, Molan PC.

Department of Biological Sciences, Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Sucrose is considered by many to be detrimental to health, giving rise to deterioration of the body associated with ageing. This study was undertaken to determine whether replacing sucrose in the diet long-term with honey that has a high antioxidant content could decrease deterioration in brain function during ageing. Forty-five 2-month old Sprague Dawley rats were fed ad libitum for 52 weeks on a powdered diet that was either sugar-free or contained 7.9% sucrose or 10% honey (which is the equivalent amount of sugar). Anxiety levels were assessed using an Elevated Plus Maze, whilst a Y maze and an Object Recognition task were used to assess memory. Locomotor activity was also measured using an Open Field task to ensure that differences in activity levels did not bias results in the other tasks. Anxiety generally decreased overall from 3 to 12 months, but the honey-fed rats showed significantly less anxiety at all stages of ageing compared with those fed sucrose. Honey-fed animals also displayed better spatial memory throughout the 12-month period: at 9 and 12 months a significantly greater proportion of honey-fed rats recognised the novel arm as the unvisited arm of the maze compared to rats on a sugar-free or sucrose-based diet. No significant differences among groups were observed in the Object Recognition task, and there appeared to be no differences in locomotor activity among groups at either 6 or 12 months. In conclusion, it appears that consumption of honey may reduce anxiety and improve spatial memory in middle age.

Phytother Res. 2008 Nov;22(11):1511-9. Links

Effect of different doses of Manuka honey in experimentally induced inflammatory bowel disease in rats.

Prakash A, Medhi B, Avti PK, Saikia UN, Pandhi P, Khanduja KL.

Department of Pharmacology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160012, India.

To evaluate the effect of different doses of Manuka honey in experimentally induced inflammatory bowel disease in rats. Adult Wistar rats of either sex were used (n = 30). Colitis was induced by a single intracolonic administration of TNBS dissolved in 35% ethanol. The rats (n = 30) were divided into five groups (n = 6) and were treated with vehicle (ethanol), TNBS, Manuka honey (5 g/kg, p.o.), Manuka honey (10 g/kg, p.o.) or sulfasalazine (360 mg/kg, p.o.) body weight for 14 days. After completion of treatment, the animals were killed and the following parameters were assessed: morphological score, histological score and different antioxidant parameters.Manuka honey at different doses provided protection against TNBS-induced colonic damage. There was significant protection with Manuka honey 5 g/kg as well as with 10 g/kg body weight compared with the control (p < 0.001). All the treated groups showed reduced colonic inflammation and all the biochemical parameters were significantly reduced compared with the control in the Manuka honey treated groups (p < 0.001). Manuka honey at different doses restored lipid peroxidation as well as improved antioxidant parameters. Morphological and histological scores were significantly reduced in the low dose Manuka honey treated group (p < 0.001). In the inflammatory model of colitis, oral administration of Manuka honey 5 g/kg and Manuka honey 10 g/kg body weight significantly reduced the colonic inflammation. The present study indicates that Manuka honey is efficacious in the TNBS-induced rat colitis model, but these results require further confirmation in human studies.

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