Monday, May 04, 2009

Manuka’s Antibacterial Activity Depends on Oxygen Level, Acidity

Manuka Honey: Important Conditions Identified
Press Release: Plant and Food Research

Research identifies conditions important for antimicrobial properties

Auckland, New Zealand. 4th May 2009 - Research has identified what makes manuka honey good for treating and preventing bacterial infections.

Studies at Plant & Food Research have shown that manuka honey, a high value honey made by bees who feed predominantly from flowers of the tea tree bush, has a specific mixture of compounds which results in its antimicrobial properties. The research also showed that the activity of this antimicrobial mixture, which stops bacteria from growing and halts the development of infection, depends on the oxygen levels and acidity of its surroundings.

The research, partly funded by the Foundation of Research Science and Technology, is being conducted with industry partner Comvita, who are investigating the use of manuka honey as a natural ingredient for foods with added health benefits.

In addition, trials tested the safety of manuka honey in humans, and it was shown to have no deleterious effects.

“Manuka honey is known to be an effective antimicrobial, and this research is aiming to understand what controls these properties and how they could be utilised in foods,” says scientist Douglas Rosendale. “For example, we’ve shown that, when treating stomach bacterial infection, the antimicrobial activity of the honey does not affect the natural balance in the gut. We also know that the antimicrobial compounds are mostly active under certain environmental conditions, so we can assume that eating natural manuka honey will likely be effective in controlling bacterial infection in the stomach, but will probably show less activity in the lower gut where concentrations will be lower and there is less oxygen."…

No comments: