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 Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>