Manuka honey can fight fatal infections
Did you know that there haven’t been any new antibiotics detected since 1987? Antibiotic resistance is on the rise – and it’s threatening to destroy one of our most trusted and widely-used methods of treating diseases. This far-reaching issue is worrying scientists from all around the globe who are now starting to look for viable alternatives that can help fight off persistent infections. Researchers have made a recent discovery regarding Manuka honey, which has shown very promising results in healing wounds and destroying resistant bacteria.
Bacterial Prevention 101
Made from the nectar of the native Manuka tree, this type of honey can be a strong tool in dealing with hospital-acquired infections, as well as preventing the growth of resistant bacteria. A recent study conducted in UK at the University of Southampton concluded that Manuka honey can prevent the formation of biofilms. Biofilms are oozy micro-environments that are necessary for bacteria to develop. They’re very dangerous if they appear on the surface of flesh wounds and have a remarkable resistance to most antibiotics. Although more research is still needed, Manuka honey has been shown to prevent E. coli and UTI infections in women.
Why we need Manuka honey in hospital settings
Researchers have found that sanitizing medical devices with Manuka honey-based substances lowered the risk of lethal bacteria appearing on surfaces by over 75%. Given that 1 in 4 patients require a catheter and hospital-derived infections account for 2,100 deaths per year and up to $2.5 billion NHS costs, this discovery can significantly improve our healthcare conditions. Investigations are now being made into the nature of this substance and how it can potentially kill off unrelenting superbugs.
How Manuka honey kills resistant bacteria
Manuka honey can fight off infection by targeting and attacking the main bacterial proteins. Aside from being a natural disinfectant, this type of honey also contains a substance known as methyl glyoxal, which obstructs bacterial DNA and cell division, actively killing the pathogens. In addition, the high concentration of sugar causes the bacteria to dehydrate and recede. Manuka honey is also potent against superbugs because it doesn’t lead to antibiotic resistance, making it more feasible and safe than conventional pharmaceuticals.
Scientists aren’t quite sure how it works
Although the health benefits of Manuka honey have been widely-recognized in the past few years, scientists are still trying to figure out how the substance can kill off bacteria without being harmful to the human body. The vast amounts methyl glyoxal have been proven to be poisonous to mammals. This means that, at least in theory, Manuka honey should be toxic to humans. However, there’s no evidence that confirms this yet – on the contrary, Manuka honey might just save our lives in the future, if our bodies become more and more resistant to antibiotic treatment.