Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Antibacterial Activity of Manuka Honey ‘Not Just All About MGO Levels’

Manuka the Bees' Knees at Fighting Infection
Anna Salleh, ABC, 2/14/2013
Manuka is the best honey for stopping bacterial infections in wounds but not all honeys labelled manuka are the real thing, say researchers.
Microbiologist Professor Elizabeth Harry, from the University of Technology, Sydney, and colleagues, report their findings today in the journal PLOS ONE.The study, funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage grant, involved a New Zealand company involved in producing manuka honey for medicinal use.
"Not all manuka honeys are the same," says Harry, who herself has no financial interest in manuka honey. "It's really important to use the natural honey product with minimal processing."
Honey in general has long been known to have antibacterial properties, mainly due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide.
But manuka honey has been touted as having superior activity above and beyond other honeys.
This has been thought to be due to the presence of high levels of a chemical called methyl-glyoxal, or MGO.
Harry and colleagues investigated the ability of manuka and other honeys to kill four bacteria commonly found in chronic wounds.
They tested the effect of clover, manuka and kanuka honeys on Bacillus subtilise, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Clover honey has no MGO and no peroxide, while kanuka and manuka both have peroxide, but manuka has higher levels of MGO to kanuka.
"Manuka honey was the most effective at inhibiting the growth of all the bacteria," says Harry…

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