(Health Secrets) There has been plenty in the news about superbugs, strains of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotic drugs because of their overuse. But there has not been much offered as a solution to this problem until now. A new study is showing that honey can supply the best antibiotic protection without any unwanted side effects.
“The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance,” reported lead researcher Susan M. Meschwitz Ph.D. The study’s findings were presented last month to the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.
Honey’s effectiveness comes from a combination of weapons that include hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols. Dr. Meschwitz pointed out that each of these components of honey actively kill pathogenic cells. The osmotic effect that results from the high sugar concentration in honey draws water from bacterial cells, dehydrating and killing them.
Several studies have shown the ability of honey to inhibit the formation of biofilms, communities of slimy disease-causing bacteria. “Honey may also disrupt quorum sensing, which weakens bacterial virulence, rendering the bacteria more susceptible to conventional antibiotics,” said Dr. Meschwitz. Quorum sensing is the way in which bacteria communicate with each other. Additionally in some bacteria, this communcation system controls the release of toxins, which affects the ability of the bacteria to cause disease.
Unlike conventional antibiotics, honey does not target the essential growth processes of bacteria. This type of targeting is problematic because it results in the bacteria building up resistance to drugs meant to fight it.
There are plenty of other reasons to shun antibiotics
Recent research has linked antibiotic use to cancer in a six year long nationwide cohort study involving more than three million individuals. During that time, 134,070 cancer cases developed. In the group having more than six antibiotic prescriptions, the risk of cancer was found to be 37% higher than in those taking no antibiotics during the time period. Antibiotic use was associated with increased risk as follows:
*0-1 antibiotic prescriptions resulted in no increased cancer risk (1.0)
*2-5 prescriptions increased cancer risk to 1.27, an increase in relative risk of 27%
*6 or more prescriptions increased cancer risk to 1.37, an increase in relative risk of 37%
Relative risks for the most common primary cancer sites were 1.39 for prostate, 1.14 for breast, 1.79 for lung, 1.15 for colon, and 2.60 for endocrine cancers such as thyroid and some types of pancreatic.
In another study involving more than 10,000 women, scientists from the University of Washington, the National Cancer Institute, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center examined the association between the use of antibiotics and risk of breast cancer in a case controlled study. They found that increasing cumulative days of antibiotic use were associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Their finding showed that the risk of breast cancer doubled in those who had used antibiotics for more than 500 cumulative days. The antibiotic use included not only the class of fluoroquinolone antibiotics known to be carcinogenic, but also commonly used antibiotics such as tetracycline, erythromycin, penicillin, and cephalexin.
Antibiotics are handed out like candy to anyone visiting a doctor practicing conventional medicine. In the U.S. 258 million courses of antibiotics were prescribed during 2101. The population for the country was 309 million in that year.
What kind of honey to use?
One of the reasons honey is so effective is its high content of polyphenols that provide antioxidant protection. These include flavonoids, and phenolics such as caffeic acid and the ellagic acid that makes berries such a tremendous health food.
Because honey is antiviral and anti-fungal as well as antibacterial, it should be your first choice, and the first choice of responsible care providers. It was once that way, before drug companies muscled in on us. Almost every household had on hand a jar in which honey was mixed with lemon to be ready for administration at the first sign of infection. This was when incidents of the diseases we now take for granted were very low or unheard of. And remember to use honey topically too to get the benefits of neosporin without the draw backs of a weakened immune system and emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
One of the reasons honey is so effective is its high content of polyphenols that provide antioxidant protection. These include flavonoids, and phenolics such as caffeic acid and the ellagic acid that makes berries such a tremendous health food. But these properties exist only in unprocessed honey.
To make a jar full for yourself and your family, use only unprocessed honey. This can be found online or from local beekeepers. Stay away from honey sold in grocery stores because most of its power will have been compromised in the processing.
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Photo by brockvicky