Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Effect of Honey on the Growth of Bifidobacteria

National Honey Board (USA)

Bifidobacteria are part of a group of bacteria considered important to the health of the gastrointestinal tract (GI). Clinical studies have associated other beneficial effects such as immune enhancement and anticarcinogenicity with the presence of bifidobacteria in the GI tract. . .

This research project has a number of key findings:

* Honey enhanced the growth, activity and viability of commercial strains of bifidobacteria typically used in the manufacture of fermented dairy products. However, this effect was strainspecific.

* There was a synergistic effect among the carbohydrate components of honey in promoting growth and activity of bifidobacteria.

* The effect of honey on the growth and activity of intestinal Bifidobacterium spp was similar to that of commercial oligosaccharides (FOS, GOS, and inulin). This research provides promising results on the growth-promoting and prebiotic activity of honey on bifidobacteria.

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