Thursday, April 04, 2013

Honey as an Alternative to Traditional Antibiotics

Buzz Builds for Honey Treatments
Phys.Org, 3/21/2013
Researchers are racing against the clock to find a viable alternative to traditional antibiotics, as bacteria continues to build resistance against new drugs at a frightening rate.
The field of chronic wound management illustrates the growing crisis. As antibiotic resistance becomes increasingly widespread, effective treatments for stubborn and slow-healing sores are becoming harder to find. Enter manuka honey, a natural product derived from the Leptospermum scoparium plant that has unique healing properties. New research from the ithree institute at UTS shows manuka is the most effective type of honey for the treatment of these chronic wounds.
UTS Professor Elizabeth Harry, who led the study in collaboration with Comvita, a New Zealand-based supplier of medicinal honey, says the research suggests nature may hold the answers to a range of ailments. The research team looked at two ingredients of honey known to inhibit bacterial growth: methylglyoxal (MGO), which is present at high concentrations in manuka honey, and hydrogen peroxide, which is present in many honeys at varying concentrations, including manuka. "Honey is naturally inhospitable to bacteria as it contains a complex mixture of antibiotic-like chemicals," Professor Harry says.

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