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 How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>