Friday, July 06, 2007

Discovery of Manuka Honey Anti-Bacterial Compound Delights NZ Beekeepers

Beekeepers Buzzing Over Healing Honey
By Dave Williams and Fairfax, The Marlborough Express (New Zealand), 7/6/2007

Marlborough's beekeepers say they are delighted at the news that manuka honey is being investigated for its potential to aid in the fight against cancer.

A New Zealand honey health science company and a German university have joined forces to set industry standards for the use of manuka honey products for healing wounds, overcoming stomach and skin problems and combating cancer.

The move comes in the wake of the discovery by researchers at the Technical University of Dresden of the compound methylglyoxal (MGO), responsible for manuka honey's anti-bacterial activity.

Arthur Day said it was "great news" which had the potential to have an immense effect on the honey production industry.

Mr Day was one of about 280 beekeepers attending this week's National Beekeepers Association (NBA) annual conference in Dunedin…

And Will Trollope said active manuka was extremely effective in helping cuts and abrasions heal, but the claim it could help fight cancer was a relatively new one.

"If it is proven that it can make a difference against cancer it could be absolutely huge," he said.

However, if the compound had been isolated there was a chance it could be synthesised, which would be less than beneficial for beekeepers.

A research team led by Professor Thomas Henle, head of the university's institute of food chemistry, tested more than 80 honeys from around the world and found MGO levels as high as 700mg/kg in some New Zealand manuka honeys, more than 70 times higher than ordinary honey…

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