Friday, April 20, 2012

Honey: A Novel Antioxidant

Honey is a natural and essential ingredient for all humans, even diabetics. It's composition is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, phenolic compounds and trace minerals. Buyer beware that the best source is a local or regional source, unheated and unfiltered. DO NOT buy grocery store-brand honey. With that said, taking 1-2 tablespoons of honey a day provides more for the body than for the sweet tooth... 

Honey: A Novel Antioxidant
Molecules, 2012, April 12  {full-text PDF available}

The global prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, atherosclerosis, cancer and Alzheimer's disease is on the rise. These diseases, which constitute the major causes of death globally, are associated with oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is defined as an “imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in favor of the oxidants, potentially leading to damage”. Individuals with chronic diseases are more susceptible to oxidative stress and damage because they have elevated levels of oxidants and/or reduced antioxidants. This, therefore, necessitates supplementation with antioxidants so as to delay, prevent or remove oxidative damage.

Honey is a natural substance with many medicinal effects such as antibacterial, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, reproductive, antihypertensive and antioxidant effects.
This review presents findings that indicate honey may ameliorate oxidative stress in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), liver, pancreas, kidney, reproductive organs and plasma/serum. Besides, the review highlights data that demonstrate the synergistic antioxidant effect of honey and antidiabetic drugs in the pancreas, kidney and serum of diabetic rats.

These data suggest that honey, administered alone or in combination with conventional therapy, might be a novel antioxidant in the management of chronic diseases commonly associated with oxidative stress. In view of the fact that the majority of these data emanate from animal studies, there is an urgent need to investigate this antioxidant effect of honey in human subjects with chronic or degenerative diseases. 

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