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What are the components of manuka honey?

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Hydrogen peroxide is produced by honey. It gives most honey its antibiotic quality. However, some types of honey, including manuka honey, also have other components with antibacterial qualities.

Another antibacterial component in manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MG). MG is a compound found in most types of honey, but usually only in small quantities.

In manuka honey, MG comes from the conversion of another compound -- dihydroxyacetone -- that is found in the nectar of manuka flowers.

MG is thought to give manuka honey some of its antibacterial power. The higher the concentration of MG, the possibly stronger the antibiotic effect. That said, there may also be other compounds involved in the medicinal effect of manuka honey.

Honey producers have developed a scale for rating the potency of manuka honey. The rating is called UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor.

The UMF rating is thought to correspond with the concentration of MG and other compounds. Not all honey labeled as manuka honey contains significant levels of antibacterial factors. To be considered potent enough to be therapeutic, manuka honey needs a minimum rating of 10 UMF. Honey at or above that level is marketed as "UMF Manuka Honey" or "Active Manuka Honey." However, the use of this scale for medical purposes is unclear.

From: Manuka Honey WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

The University of Waikato Honey Research Unit: "What's Special About Active Manuka Honey?"

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: "Manuka Honey."

Nayak, P. October-December 2010; vol 1: pp 214-217. Contemporary Clinical Dentistry,

Sherlock, O. , 2010; vol 10: p 47. BMCComplementary and Alternative Medicine

Majtan, J. , 2011. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Health Research Board: A Picture of Health 2008: "Healing With Honey."

Jull, A. British Journal of Surgery. 2008; vol 95: pp 175-182.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.

Jull, A. , 2009; vol: 4. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

National Cancer Institute: "Scientific Steering Committee Approved Concepts (2006-June 2011)."

Majtan, J. , March 2010; vol 74: pp 305-306. Journal of Hospital Infection

ClinicalTrials.gov

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on October 8, 2018

SOURCES:

The University of Waikato Honey Research Unit: "What's Special About Active Manuka Honey?"

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: "Manuka Honey."

Nayak, P. October-December 2010; vol 1: pp 214-217. Contemporary Clinical Dentistry,

Sherlock, O. , 2010; vol 10: p 47. BMCComplementary and Alternative Medicine

Majtan, J. , 2011. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Health Research Board: A Picture of Health 2008: "Healing With Honey."

Jull, A. British Journal of Surgery. 2008; vol 95: pp 175-182.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.

Jull, A. , 2009; vol: 4. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

National Cancer Institute: "Scientific Steering Committee Approved Concepts (2006-June 2011)."

Majtan, J. , March 2010; vol 74: pp 305-306. Journal of Hospital Infection

ClinicalTrials.gov

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on October 8, 2018

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