Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Honey fights cholesterol as well as some fruits and vegetables

20.08.2002


Don’t like spinach? Try honey. It contains about the same level of plaque-fighting antioxidants as the leafy green stuff. And according to research presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, the range of antioxidants in honey is comparable to that in apples, bananas, oranges and strawberries.



A five-week study of blood from 25 men between the ages of 18 - 68 indicates that drinking a mixture of water and honey, about four tablespoons per 16-ounce glass, improved the antioxidant levels in their blood. Nicki Engeseth, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who conducted the study, says this means the sweet stuff may have the potential to protect against heart disease.

"It looks like honey is having a mild protective effect," Engeseth said. She added, however, that this should not be taken as an excuse to avoid fruits and vegetables.


Although it’s been known for some time that honey contains varying levels of antioxidants — with dark honey generally having the most — this is the first in vivo study to consider how honey may affect human blood.

An earlier in vitro study by Engeseth’s lab, which prompted the current research, showed that the darker the honey, the better it was at lifting antioxidant levels in the blood. The honeys tested (from darkest to lightest) were Buckwheat, Hawaiian Christmas Berry, Tupelo, Soybean, Clover, Fireweed and Acacia.

Engeseth’s research group is now in the middle of a 12-week study with rabbits to determine if honey has an inhibitory effect on atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease often referred to as hardening of the arteries, a leading cause of death in the United States. She expects that results from the rabbit testing could be "more dramatic" than those of the shorter human blood study.

To get the same amount of antioxidants from honey that you would from some fruits and vegetables, you would have to eat an equivalent per-weight amount of honey, Engeseth pointed out. As that might be excessive, she noted, "People could incorporate more honey in places where they might be using some sort of sweetening agent, like sugar, and this might contribute a significant amount of dietary phenolics."

Phenolics are chemical compounds that inhibit oxidation. Higher phenolic contents in foods tend to generate higher antioxidant levels.

Engeseth’s research group at Urbana is currently collaborating with scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago to evaluate honey’s ability to inhibit oral pathogenic bacteria, like Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), which can cause tooth cavities.

"Some types of honey seem to be protective against these bacteria," Engeseth said. "Sage honey and Tupelo honey are two of the tested honeys to show the most inhibitory effects." Both fall in the middle of the dark to light range of honeys.

The research on inhibition of bacteria is still ongoing and the results are only preliminary, Engeseth cautioned.

Engeseth’s group also looked at the antioxidant level in wine made with honey, which is called mead. "It’s sort of comparable to white wine in terms of its antioxidant capability but it doesn’t come anywhere close to red wine," Engeseth said. Mead is popular as a homemade wine.


The National Honey Board provided funding for Engeseth’s research.

The paper on this research, AGFD 44, will be presented at 11:00 a.m., Monday, Aug. 19, at the Marriott Copley Place, Salon C, during the symposium, "Bioactives in Food and their Health Effects."

Nicki Engeseth, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of food chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, in Urbana, Ill.


Charmayne Marsh | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>