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article imageHoney may help fight antibiotic resistance among bacteria

By Sravanth Verma     May 9, 2014 in Health
Research presented at the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society indicates that honey could offer a solution to combat antibiotic-resistance among bacteria.
Study leader Susan M. Meschwitz, Ph.D of the Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, explained, “The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance. Honey may also disrupt quorum sensing, which weakens bacterial virulence, rendering the bacteria more susceptible to conventional antibiotics,” she said. Quorum sensing is a way bacteria communicate with each other. This communication system releases toxins in some bacteria, which reduces the bacterium's ability to cause disease.
Traditional medicine around the world has used honey for centuries, and in recent decades, medical science has also found several health benefits to consuming honey. Meschwitz’s research adds to the long list of honey’s uses. It is crucial in the wake of research indicating that some bacteria are becoming more resistant to antibiotics.
Meschwitz also explained that unlike honey, conventional antibiotics target the growth processes of bacteria, inadvertently leading to bacteria building resistance to the drugs. Honey is effective because it contains antioxidants. “Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between the non-peroxide antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of honey and the presence of honey phenolics,” she said. “We have run standard antioxidant tests on honey to measure the level of antioxidant activity,” she explained. “We have separated and identified the various antioxidant polyphenol compounds. In our antibacterial studies, we have been testing honey’s activity against Eschetichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, among others.”
The American Chemical Society has more than 161,000 members and is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress.
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