HoneyHoney as a bee natural product is anciently known for its curative properties, could be one sweet solution to the serious, ever-growing problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, researchers concluded.

The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance.

According to new approach, honey uses a combination of weapons, including hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols — all of which actively kill bacterial cells.

FurthermA beeore microbial resistance to honey has never been reported, which makes it a very promising topical antimicrobial agent

It was proven that the combination of lactic acid bacteria and honey produces hundreds of antibacterial substances, which have killed off all of the human pathogens they have been tested against. This combination showed good results in healing of many chronic wounds resistant to antibiotic treatment.

For instance, the osmotic effect, which is the result of the high sugar concentration in honey, draws water from the bacterial cells, dehydrating and killing them.

Also earlier studies have shown that honey inhibits the formation of biofilms or disease-causing bacteria. Bacteria that form films are more resistant to antibiotic treatment.

According to researchers, honey may also disrupt quorum sensing, which weakens bacterial virulence, rendering the bacteria more susceptible to conventional antibiotics.

Quorum sensing is the way bacteria (and also other type of microorganisms and all other cells) communicate with one another, and may be involved in the formation of biofilms. In certain bacteria, this communication system also controls the release of toxins, which affects the bacteria’s pathogenicity, or their ability to cause disease.

Unlike conventional antibiotics, honey doesn't target the essential growth processes of bacteria. The problem with this type of targeting, which is the basis of conventional antibiotics, is that it results in the bacteria building up resistance to the drugs.

Honey is effective ant oxidative, because it is filled with healthful and various antioxidant polyphenol compounds polyphenols, or antioxidants. These include the phenolic acids, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and ellagic acid as well as many flavonoids. Based on this property many test were run against E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, where honey was proven to be highly effective and significant result had been achieved.

Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between the non-peroxide antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of honey and the presence of honey phenolics.

Likewise a new study has found that 13 honeybee lactic acid bacteria (LAB) bacteria strains living in honeybees’ stomachs can reduce the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, in the laboratory. They were more effective than some antibiotics.

A large number of laboratory and limited clinical studies have confirmed the broad-spectrum antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic anticancer properties of honey. Also bee venom is proven to be effective in fighting cancer, HIV-Aids, etc.

This research could be a useful tool for doctors to help combat the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.


  • http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/how-honey-helps-fight-antibiotic-resistance-114031700131_1.html#.VeYVIQia6s4.facebook,
  • http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/46/11/1677.full,
  • http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2014/march/honey-is-a-new-approach-to-fighting-antibiotic-resistance-how-sweet-it-is.html,
  • http://wtop.com/health/2015/06/swedish-scientists-say-mead-may-be-the-key-to-fight-antibiotic-resistant-pathogens/,
  • http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/09September/Pages/Bacteria-found-in-honey-may-help-fight-infection.aspx.

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