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Thailand Medical News Team  Aug 16, 2023  6 months, 1 week, 6 days, 3 hours, 9 minutes ago

UK Scientists Unveil The Therapeutic Potential Of Honey As A Natural Aid For Sepsis And COVID-19 Infections

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UK Scientists Unveil The Therapeutic Potential Of Honey As A Natural Aid For Sepsis And COVID-19 Infections
Thailand Medical News Team  Aug 16, 2023  6 months, 1 week, 6 days, 3 hours, 9 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: Honey, a timeless and versatile natural substance, has been an integral part of human history, serving as both a source of nourishment and a healing agent. Across ancient civilizations from China to Greece and Egypt, the therapeutic properties of honey were harnessed to treat wounds, intestinal disorders, and a myriad of other ailments. In the present day, honey has taken center stage in modern scientific research, especially in the quest for new antibiotics. Recent studies have unveiled its potential as an antimicrobial powerhouse, combating drug-resistant microbial strains. Moreover, honey's role in treating severe infections such as septicemia, HIV, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), and parasitic diseases like malaria has also come under scrutiny.

In this comprehensive exploration, the study team from Ulster University-UK and Wexham Park Hospital-UK delve into the extensive literature surrounding the therapeutic attributes of natural nutraceutical honey, spotlighting its potential as an ameliorating agent that mitigates the severity and progression of various diseases.
The Bioactivities of Honey
Central to honey's health-promoting properties is its robust antioxidant profile. The high content of phenolic compounds in honey equips it with potent antioxidant capabilities, enabling it to scavenge and neutralize harmful free radicals. Research has identified a range of phenolic compounds in different types of honey, including t-Cinnamic acid, Eudesmic acid, m-Coumaric acid, Kojic acid, Gallic acid, and more. Interestingly, the diversity of phenolic compounds remains consistent across different geographical origins of honey, emphasizing its rich antioxidant potential.
Organic acids, though present in minor amounts, contribute significantly to honey's antioxidant activity. Gluconic acid, Tartaric acid, Malic acid, Citric acid, and Succinic acid work synergistically with other antioxidants like phenolic compounds, effectively chelating heavy metal cations and bolstering overall antioxidant efficacy.
A standout compound found in honey is methylglyoxal (MGO), which exhibits robust antibacterial properties. MGO's unique mechanism of action involves bypassing bacterial efflux mechanisms, rendering it effective against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. This antimicrobial potential makes honey an attractive candidate for combating drug-resistant strains of bacteria.
Unveiling the Potential: Sepsis and Honey
Sepsis, a grave medical emergency, arises when the body's response to infection spirals out of control, leading to systemic organ failure and tissue damage. It stems from the immune system's overactive response to invading pathogens. Untreated infections can escalate to sepsis, with symptoms ranging from fever and hypotension to coagulation complications.
Researchers are exploring honey's role in treating sepsis through various mechanisms. Studies have demonstrated that honey, particularly types rich in phenolic compounds, possesses anti-inflammatory properties that could modulate the exaggerated immune response characteristic of sepsis. Chrysin, a flavonoid present in honey, has shown promise in reducing oxidative stress markers and cytokine levels associated with sepsis. Additionally, Greek honey varieties like Arbutus, Chestnut, and F ir have been found to curb pro-inflammatory mediators and markers in septic mice, suggesting their potential as natural pharmaceutical agents for inflammatory diseases.
Harnessing Honey's Potential Against COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has prompted an urgent search for effective treatments. Honey's multifaceted properties make it an intriguing contender in the battle against this virus. Immune responses in severe COVID-19 cases often result in inflammation and damage to lung tissue as shown in past studies and COVID-19 News reports. Honey's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant attributes could play a crucial role in mitigating these damaging effects.
Research has shown that honey has the potential to modulate cytokine pathways involved in inflammation, making it a potential candidate for managing the cytokine storm associated with severe COVID-19 cases. The anti-inflammatory action of honey's constituents, such as phenolic compounds and flavonoids, could help alleviate the symptoms and lung damage caused by the virus.
Moreover, honey's ability to inhibit enzymes responsible for viral penetration into host cells has been observed, particularly in the case of retroviruses. By interfering with viral entry and replication, honey could offer a promising avenue for the development of antiviral treatments.
Navigating the Challenges
While honey's therapeutic potential is promising, challenges must be acknowledged and addressed. Variability in honey's composition, stemming from factors like geographical origin and processing methods, can impact its therapeutic efficacy. Standardization and precise characterization are imperative to harnessing honey's therapeutic benefits consistently.
Additionally, for individuals with conditions like diabetes that require careful blood sugar management, the high sugar content of honey may pose challenges. Careful consideration and monitoring are necessary to ensure that the benefits of honey therapy outweigh potential risks.
In conclusion, the age-old remedy of honey is experiencing a revival in the modern era of scientific exploration. Its multifaceted bioactivities, ranging from antioxidants to antimicrobials, position honey as a potential therapeutic agent for a wide array of ailments. From the alleviation of sepsis-related inflammation to its potential role in managing COVID-19 complications, honey's diverse properties hold promise for future medical advancements. As research continues to unfold, a deeper understanding of honey's potential as a natural treatment option emerges, offering new avenues for improving human health and well-being.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: Pharmaceuticals.
Medical Disclaimer: Please note that this article is based on research findings and does not serve as medical advice. Honey is not an approved therapeutic to treat Sepsis or COVID-19. Do not attempt to self-treat if you suspect yourself of having any of these conditions, instead consult a licensed medical doctor.
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