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Honey to the rescue

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Health Manuka honey is the most effective in healing wounds

Honey suppresses the growth of a quartet of bugs commonly infesting chronic wounds, but according to a finding manuka honey is the best of them for healing injuries.

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) researchers looked at three kinds of honey, namely manuka, kanuka and clover, to determine which was the most effective in combating them.

Real Manuka honey comes from the Leptospermum scoparium plant that is native to New Zealand, the journal Public Library of Science reports.

However, many companies attempt to artificially increase methylglyoxal (MGO) levels, known to inhibit bacterial growth in inferior honey products, and label them as genuine manuka, but synthetically altered honeys are no match for the real thing.

Researchers looked at two key honey ingredients known to inhibit bacterial growth: MGO, which is present at high concentrations in manuka honeys; and hydrogen peroxide which is present in many honeys at varying concentrations, including manuka.

“What we saw was that the manuka honeys were the most effective at inhibiting growth of all the bacteria,” says Liz Harry, professor at the UTS, who led the study.

“Interestingly, the MGO-level alone cannot explain the variation in the effects we saw; the key to the effectiveness of honey is its chemical complexity — it contains several chemicals that inhibit bacterial growth, not just MGO,” says Harry.

“Unlike antibiotics, it is not expected that bacteria will become resistant to honey, a claim that has been supported by our research,” Harry adds.

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