Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Restorative powers of honey hailed

The restorative effects of honey have been highlighted in research.

Honey could be the key in the battle against antibiotic resistance, experts have said.

As well as being a tasty treat, honey could be used to help fight infections, they said.

Scientists said that honey has a combination of weapons to beat infection including hydrogen peroxide, acidity, high sugar concentration and polyphenols - all of which actively kill bacterial cells.

It also has the "osmotic effect", which means it draws water from bacterial cells which dehydrates and kills them.

Dr Susan Meschwitz, assistant professor in chemistry at Salve Regina University in the US, said: "The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance."

She will tell the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Dallas, Texas, that a large number of studies have confirmed the antimicrobial properties of the natural sweetener.

Health experts have previously warned of the "catastrophic threat" of people becoming resistant to antibiotics, saying that in just 20 years' time routine operations could become deadly if we lose the ability to fight infection.

Last year, England's chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said that resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest threats to modern health. She said many of the drugs are being used unnecessarily for mild infections or illnesses which should not be treated with antibiotics - helping to create resistance.

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