Honey a Natural Antioxidant
Since the dawning of recorded time, honey has been considered as an integrate part of traditional healing and medicine. Honey’s role as a therapeutic agent of modern medicine practices have until recently been without the support or studies of the medical industry. Scientific support has begun to grow for the diversity of honey’s therapeutic effectiveness all over the world. Scientist and medical representatives now report that honey is an antimicrobial agent, is effective in the healing of burns, wounds and providing gastric protection against gastric lesions. Current studies show overwhelming evidence that honey is a powerful antioxidant that will prevent damage to lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids that when damaged by free radicals may lead to complications such as atherosclerosis, aging mutagenesis, and carcinogenesis.
“Research indicates that honey contains numerous phenolic and non-phenolic antioxidants,… and have been shown to be similar in antioxidant capacity to many fruits and vegetables on a dry weight basis.” The National Honey Board
Antioxidants are any nutritive and some nonnutritive substances that prevent oxidative damage that can be caused by free radicals. Chemicals that react with molecules can modify the molecular structure by capturing electrons and are called free radicals. This process of disrupting molecular structure is recognized as aging. In more severe cases, cardiovascular disease, cancer strokes and cataracts are the results of free radical damage.
Antioxidants counteract the damaging effects of free radicals and oxidation. Vitamin A, beta-carotene, Vitamin C and E are found in vegetables and some fruits as a natural antioxidants. Natural antioxidants are preferred over prepared antioxidants as the natural antioxidant works more efficiently and quicker, without any adverse side effects.
Worldwide studies has revealed that honey is as great an antioxidant as vegetables and fruits.
The Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela, found “…the effect of honey samples on enzymatic lipid peroxidation, it was found that the less diluted honey samples were more effective than vitamin E and melatonin in both kidney and brain homogenates…, vitamin E has been related to the protection against cardiovascular, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases, cancer, and immune infections. On the other hand, melatonin scavenges free radicals acting in an organism’s protection against the aging process.”
Honeys have similar glycaemic indexes, and because of their potential health benefits ranging from prebiotic to antioxidant, honey should be substituted for sugar.
“Because honey has potential health benefits and induces a similar glycaemic response, substituting honey in place of sugar may be warranted,” comments lead author Jennifer Ilana Ischayek of San Diego State University.
Honey was found to have the same cholesterol fighting antioxidants as leafy green vegetables and fruits. This study has found the battery of antioxidants in honey are comparable to that in strawberries, apples, oranges, and bananas. Honey contains antioxidants that have been confirmed in the study on human blood levels. “The results of this study demonstrated that only through a combination of antioxidant testings, comparative analyses, and chemometric evaluation we can achieve a strictly rigorous guideline for the characterization of the antioxidant activity of honey, an invaluable tool for the understanding/demonstration of its antioxidants linked therapeutic efficacy.” University di Milano, ITALY
Reactive oxygen and free radicals species have been identified in contributing to aging and to many diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Humans are partially protected from reactive oxygen species, by absorbing antioxidants in their diet. Honey is produced from various agricultural products that are a rich source of phenolic antioxidants like as 4- hydroxycinnamic acid, and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid.
“Data from this investigation support the conclusion that phenolic antioxidants from processed honey are bioavailable and convey antioxidant protection to healthy human subjects. Since more than 150 pounds of sugar are consumed by each US citizen every year, results from this investigation strongly suggest that if honey was substituted for sweeteners traditionally used in food products, it could substantially improve total antioxidant intake by humans.” D. D. SCHRAMM and C. L. Keen. University of California
“…honey’s antioxidants are equal to those in many fruits and vegetables in their ability to counter the degenerating activity of highly reactive molecules known as free radicals.” “honey seems to have the potential to serve as a dietary antioxidant,” noted principal researcher Nicki Engeseth, University of Illinois.
A tablespoon of honey a day to keep free radicals away! Antioxidant compounds are elevated in blood levels of humans who ingest honey daily. “A direct link was found between the subjects’ honey consumption and the level of polyphenolic antioxidants in their blood.” Biochemist Heidrun Gross and colleagues from the University of California, American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California.