Mar 25, 2014
Honey Offers New Approach to Fighting Antibiotic Resistance
Sweet, delectable honey could be the solution to and growing problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, researchers say. Several studies have shown that honey inhibits the formation of biofilms, or communities of slimy-disease causing bacteria. Honey may also disrupt quorum sensing, which weakens bacterial virulence, rendering the bacteria more susceptible to conventional antibiotics. Quorum sensing is the way bacteria communicate with one another, and may be involved in the formation of biofilms.
The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance. The high sugar concentration in honey gives it an osmotic effect; it draws water from the bacterial cells, dehydrating and killing them.
Honey is effective because it is fulled with polyphenols, or antioxidants. A large number of laboratory and limited clinical studies have confirmed the broad-spectrum antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of honey.
Ongoing studies are finding that honey has antioxidant properties and is an effective antibacterial. Antibacterial tests have been used to measure honey's activity against E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, among others. Additionally, standard antioxidant tests have been used to measure the level of honey’s antioxidant activity.
The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society (ACS).
Deborah Wiancek, N.D. Deborah Wiancek