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Critical Review: Antioxidant Properties and Antibiotic Mechanism of Honey against Infectious Diseases



The advent of antibiotics in modern western medicine has made the use of honey in the treatment of infectious diseases abandoned. Hence this review exposes why honey remains the best antibiotic and its potency as an antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Honey possesses some vital components such as Methylgyloxal, Bee defensin-1, Hydrogen peroxide, osmotic effect and phenolic compounds. Honey also possesses properties that inhibit the formation of biofilms. These made honey more powerful because it prevents the formation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria while conventional antibiotic fail because they only target the essential growth processes of bacteria and this allows bacteria to build up resistance over time.
International Journal of Advances in Life Science and Technology, 2015, 2(2):16-24
Thagriki Dluya1
1Department of Biochemistry, School of Pure and Applied Science Modibbo Adama University of Technology,
The advent of antibiotics in modern western medicine has made the use of honey in the
treatment of infectious diseases abandoned. Hence this review exposes why honey remains the
best antibiotic and its potency as an antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Honey
possesses some vital components such as Methylgyloxal, Bee defensin-1, Hydrogen peroxide,
osmotic effect and phenolic compounds. Honey also possesses properties that inhibit the
formation of biofilms. These made honey more powerful because it prevents the formation of
antibiotic-resistant bacteria while conventional antibiotic fail because they only target the
essential growth processes of bacteria and this allows bacteria to build up resistance over
© 2015 Pak Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved.
Keywords: Honey, Antibiotic, Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory
Honey is a sweet and flavourful product that has been consumed over the years for its
high nutritional values and beneficial effects on human health. Honey has been reported [1]
to contain about 181 substances including sugars, proteins, moisture, vitamins, minerals, 5-
hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), enzymes, flavonoids, phenolic acids and volatile compounds.
Honey contains moisture, glucose, fructose, sucrose, minerals and proteins as the main
constituents [2, 3]. Reports indicate that honey has an antioxidant property. These antioxidant
properties of honey may be enzymatic (catalase, glucose oxidase and peroxidase) and non-
enzymatic substances (ascorbic acid, α-tocopherol, carotenoids, amino acids, proteins,
Maillard reaction products, flavonoids and phenolic acids) [4-6]. The amount of antioxidants
present dependent largely on the variety honey and floral sources.
Antibiotics are substances produced by or derived from microorganisms that destroys or
inhibits the growth of other microorganisms. Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by
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International Journal of Advances in Life Science and Technology, 2015, 2(2):16-24
organisms that are sensitive to them usually bacteria or fungi [7]. For all antibiotic classes
including the major last resort drugs, resistance is increasing worldwide [8, 9] and even more
alarming, very few new antibiotics are being developed. The potent activity of honey against
antibiotic-resistant bacteria [10-12] resulted in renewed interest for its application. Honey has
been approved for clinical application. This review gives an overview of the current
knowledge on honey, its antioxidant, antibiotic and mechanism of action against bacteria.
Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is one of the main elements of honey
considered when looking into antibacterial activity. Its production is the result of the enzyme
glucose oxidase produced by bees; this enzyme uses glucose and oxygen to create gluconic
acid and H2O2, and is activated when honey is diluted [13]. Glucose oxidase is affected by
heat and light and is inhibited by catalase. Catalase can be present in flower pollen and in the
tissues of the body. [14] have speculated that the presence of catalase in wound tissue may
have an inhibitory effect on hydrogen peroxide production by honey, making non-peroxide
activity an important factor in a clinical setting. Some honeys exhibit activity in the presence
of catalase that cannot be explained solely by their high sugar content. Many honeys are kept
in the dark and at room temperature prior to experimentation to prevent the degradation of
glucose oxidase and the loss of hydrogen peroxide.
High Osmolarity: High osmolarity is also considered an important factor as it inhibits
bacterial growth by drawing moisture from the environment and dehydrating the
microorganisms. This means that an artificial honey made to the same concentration of sugar
(80% w/v) [15] as real honey does exhibit some antibacterial activity, but this is often lower
than that of the honeys it is being compared to.
pH: pH is a likely factor in undiluted honey, as most honeys are naturally acidic (pH 3.2-
4.5) and this will inhibit the activity of many microorganisms. When honey is diluted this pH
changes and may become more neutral, but activity is still observed, so it is not thought to be
a central factor.
Methylglyoxal: Methylglyoxal (MGO) is a protein-glycating agent and has been found
in medical honeys and is thought to be responsible for the non-peroxide activity observed in
some honeys [16]. Its activity in diabetic ulcers has been questioned on the grounds of safety
issues, due to the production of advanced glycation end products; which cause health
complications in diabetes.
Bee Defensin-1: Bee Defensin-1 was found in Revamil honey [15] and was shown to
contribute towards the anti-bacterial activity against some bacterial species.
International Journal of Advances in Life Science and Technology, 2015, 2(2):16-24
Propolis: This is a resinous structural component of the hive composed of floral
elements, such as tree sap. It can have anti-microbial activity which some honeys may be
exposed to it [17].
The Honey’s Micro Flora: This has been implied in the activity of honey [18] tested
bacterial isolates from American honeys and manuka to determine if they produced anti-
microbial agents, and found that a majority did, with one of the manuka samples having the
highest isolate activity. [15] gradually removed/inhibited the MGO, H2O2, Bee defensin-1and
altered pH to see what was responsible for the broad spectrum antibacterial activity, in
Revamil. They found that different bacteria were sensitive to different components, e.g. the
neutralisation of MGO alone reduced the activity against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas
aeruginosa, and the neutralisation of H2O2 reduced activity against all tested organisms
except Bacillus subtilis. When MGO, H2O2, and Bee defensin-1 activity were removed, and
the pH was adjusted to pH7, the honey had the same activity as the artificial honey.
Honey has been found to have a significant antioxidant content [19], measured as the
capacity of honey to scavenge free radicals. The antioxidant activity of honey has also been
demonstrated as inhibition of chemiluminescence in a xanthine-xanthine oxidase-luminol
system that works via generation of superoxide radicals [20]. This antioxidant activity may be
at least partly what is responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of honey, as oxygen free
radicals are involved in various aspects of inflammation, such as further recruitment of
leucocytes that initiate further inflammation [21, 22]. The application of antioxidants to burns
has been shown to reduce inflammation [23]. But even if the antioxidants in honey do not
directly suppress the inflammatory process they can be expected, by scavenging free radicals,
to reduce the amount of damage that would otherwise have resulted from these.
Honey inhibit the formation of free radicals, a potential to exert antioxidant activity.
Superoxide formed during inflammation is unreactive, this is then converted to hydrogen
peroxide a much less reactive peroxide radical generated [24]. Formation of the oxidant
peroxide radical is then catalysed by metal ions (e.g.; iron and copper). Sequestration of these
metal ions in complexes with organic molecules is an important antioxidant defence system
[25]. Flavonoids and other polyphenols, common constituents of honey, will do this [26].
Honey has an antibacterial activity of therapeutic importance, especially in situations
where the body's immune response is insufficient to clear infection. Bacteria often produce
protein digesting enzymes, which can be very destructive to tissues [27] and can destroy the
protein growth factors that are produced by the body to stimulate the regeneration of damaged
International Journal of Advances in Life Science and Technology, 2015, 2(2):16-24
tissues in the healing process [28]. Furthermore, some bacteria produce toxins that kill tissue
cells [29]. Additional damage is often caused by bacteria carrying antigens that stimulate a
prolonged inflammatory immune response which gives excessive production of free radicals
that are very damaging to tissues [30]. Bacteria in wounds can also consume oxygen and thus
make the level of oxygen available to the wound tissues drop to a point where tissue growth is
impaired [31]. Consequences associated with bacterial infection devoid of administering
honey to clear infection include: non-healing of wounds; increase in size of wounds and
development of ulcers and abscesses; failure of skin grafts; inflammation, causing swelling
and pain.
Reports indicated shows that not all honeys are likely to have the same therapeutic effect
due to the variety of antibacterial activity possessed by honey. Physicians in past millennia
were aware of this, at least from practical experience and specified particular types of honey
may be used to treat particular ailments. Dioscorides (c. 50 AD) stated that a pale yellow
honey from Attica was the best, being 'good for all rotten and hollow ulcers'[32]. Aristotle
(384-322 BC) discussing differences in honeys, referred to pale honey being good as a salve
for sore eyes and wounds [33]. There is a similar awareness in present-day folk medicine: the
strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) honey of Sardinia is valued for its therapeutic properties [34]
in India, lotus (Nelumbium sceciosum) honey is said to be a panacea for eye diseases [35];
honey from the Jirdin valley of Yemen is highly valued in Dubai for its therapeutic properties;
and manuka honey in New Zealand has a long standing reputation for its antiseptic properties.
One way through which honey clears infection is by stimulating the body’s immune
system to fight infection. Honey has been reported to stimulates B-lymphocytes and T-
Iymphocytes in cell culture to multiply, and activates neutrophils [36]. It has also been
reported that it stimulates monocytes in cell culture to release the cytokines TNF-a,1 and IL-6,
the cell 'messengers' that activate facets of the immune response to infection.
Honey is also known to provides a supply of glucose which is vital for the respiratory
burst in macrophages that produces hydrogen peroxide, the bacterial destroying activity [37].
It furthermore provides substrates for glycolysis a major mechanism for energy production in
the macrophages and thus allows them to function in damaged tissues and exudates where
oxygen supply is limited [37]. The acidity of honey may also assist in the bacteria-destroying
action of macrophages, as an acid pH inside the phagocytotic vacuole is involved in killing
ingested bacteria [37].
International Journal of Advances in Life Science and Technology, 2015, 2(2):16-24
It has been observed clinically that when honey is applied to wounds it visibly reduces
inflammation [38]. It has also been observed to reduce oedema around wounds [12, 39, 40]
and exudation from wounds [12, 41, 42] both of which result from inflammation. Pain is
another feature of inflammation and honey has been observed to be soothing when applied to
wounds [43, 44]. A histological study of biopsy samples from wounds has also shown that
there are fewer of the leu-cocytes associated with inflammation present in the wound tissues
[38]. What is responsible for these observations is a direct anti-inflammatory effect, not a
secondary effect resulting from the antibacterial action removing inflammation causing
bacteria: the anti-inflammatory effects of honey have been demonstrated in histological
studies of wounds in animals where there was no Infection involved [45-47]; A direct
demonstration of the anti-inflammatory properties of honey, where honey decreased the
stiffness of inflamed wrist joints of guinea pigs has also been reported [48].
Honey acts as a potential anti-inflammatory an important therapeutics as the result of
inflammation may be major. Inflammation is a sign of response to infection or injury but
when excessive or prolonged it can prevent healing or even cause advance damage. Honey’s
anti-inflammatory activity have been found in a clinical trial to prevent partial-thickness burns
from converting to full-thickness burns which would have needed plastic surgery [38], a
characteristic of burns, where there is much inflammation. The free radicals formed in
inflammation are also involved in stimulating the activity of the Fibroblasts [49] which is the
basis of the body's repair process, normally triggered by the inflammation that follows injury.
These cells enables the production of connective tissues including the collagen fibres of scar
tissue and in prolonged inflammation their over-stimulation will lead to proud flesh and
fibrosis an excessive production of collagen fibres [50]. The reduction in keloids and scarring
that is a feature of the dressing of wounds with honey [41, 51, 52] and the cosmetically good
results obtained [53], are probably due to the anti-inflammatory action of honey. However,
the pharmaceutical ones have serious limitations: corticosteroids suppress tissue growth and
suppress the immune response [54] and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are harmful
to cells, especially in the stomach [55] But honey has an anti-inflammatory action free from
adverse side effects.
Lead author [56]; presented the findings at the 247th National Meeting of American
Chemical Society. She reported that the ability of honey to fight infection lies in its multiple
levels; this makes it difficult for bacteria to develop resistance. She also reported, Honey uses
a combination of weapons including polyphenols, hydrogen peroxide and an osmotic effect. It
uses multiple modalities to kill bacteria and hence an ambidextrous fighter.
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The first fighting method employed is its osmosis effect. This effect is exerted from
honey’s high sugar concentration. During the process, water is drawn from the bacteria cells,
causing dehydration and subsequent death.
Honey destroys the modes of bacterial communication. It possesses properties that stop
the formation of biofilms. These slimy biofilms are bacteria communities which harbour
diseases. In a process called Quorum Sensing, honey breaks up bacterial communication by
keeping these biofilms from congregating. Breaking this process stops bacterial
communicating and hence expanding their viability. Without this communication mode the
bacteria cannot release the toxins that increase their ability to cause diseases. She said, the
ability of honey to disrupt the quorum sensing leads to the virulent behavior of bacteria is
weakened, rendering the bacteria more susceptible to conventional antibiotics.
It can be concluded that honey is so powerful for destroying bacteria that it should be the
first mode of treatment when treating a bacterial illness. Doctors are advised to prescribe
honey first, since it attacks bacteria from multiple angles. Honey prevents the formation of
antibiotic-resistant bacteria because of its effectiveness in fighting on multiple levels.
Conventional antibiotic fail because they only target the essential growth processes of bacteria
and hence allow bacteria to build up resistance over time thereby destroying the essential
bacteria in their alimentary canal.
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... 40 The antioxidant action of either stingless bee honey, 4 or sting bee honey 47,48 is proved, since it has antioxidant properties which are either enzymatic (catalase, glucose oxidase and peroxidase) or non-enzymatic substances (ascorbic acid, α-tocopherol, carotenoids, amino acids, proteins. 28 More than 150 phenolic compounds in honey have been investigated which correlate with antioxidant activity, including phenolic acids, and flavonoids. 35 Polyphenols in honey or propolis, especially flavonoids and phenolic acids, have been reported to be solely responsible for the antioxidant and other medicinal effects of honey. ...
Background: Wound healing has global healthcare concept where fighting infection, rapid cure, correct epithelization with minimal scar formation and feasible potent wound dressing management is targeted through recent researches with natural products. There is a renaissance in apitherapy wound dressing especially those related to honey and propolis. The review acted with the activity of these api-products on wound healing as antimicrobial, immunomodulator, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents referring to some mechanism of action. Recent api-products nanofabrication wound dressings have advantages of easy applicable potent with different api-products activities and short treatment regimen especially those polymeric networks. Moreover, maintaining wound moisture suitable for fast re-epithelialization. Rather than, small diameter, high porosity, narrow diameter distribution, gas permeation.
... Many studies have reported on stingless bee honey, bee pollen, agrochemical toxicity, comparative studies with common honey, and the pharmaceutical importance (Aliyazicioglu & Boukraa, 2015;V. Bankova & Popova, 2007;Bouga et al., 2011;Dluya, 2015;Ediriweera & Premarathna, 2012;El-Seedi et al., 2020;Erejuwa et al., 2014;Jaapar et al., 2016;Komosinska-Vassev et al., 2015;Rao et al., 2016). However, less study reported on the significant properties of both honey and propolis. ...
Stingless bee honey is a unique edible natural product and has been used by humankind for millenniums for various purposes , mostly as food and for therapeutic uses. The compositions of honey and propolis are varied in different geographical locations which contribute to different pharmacological activities. Many studies reported on the pharmaceutical importance and properties of stingless bee honey or propolis, and the comparative study of either honey or propolis with common honey bee products. However, fewer studies reported on the significant properties of both stingless bee honey and propolis. In this review, three main aspects of stingless bee honey and propolis were discussed: the chemical profiling in terms of chemical and mineral composition, as well as their sugar components; their biological properties, and the environmental contaminants in stingless bee honey and propolis. This review is beneficial in the agriculture sector to improve the quality of honey by providing an appropriate environment for stingless bee farming.
... This can be explained by the presence of antibacterial compounds such as phenolic acids and flavonoids that increased as the honey concentration increased (Bakar et al., 2017;Tuksitha et al., 2018). In addition, as the honey concentration increased, the degree of sugar content that naturally present in kelulut honey will also increase that can causes dehydration to bacteria (Dluya, 2016). These findings were similar to the previous study that found higher inhibition zone with respond to increments of honey concentration used in honeybased preparation (El-kased et al., 2017). ...
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The study aims to formulate and optimise topical antibacterial preparation by using Malaysian kelulut honey as the active ingredient and xanthan gum as the polymeric agent. Response surface methodology was used to optimise the preparation. The acidity, honey concentration and xanthan gum concentration were the independent variables. The zone of inhibitions on S. aureus ATCC6538 and E. coli ATCC8739 were the response variables. The optimal preparation was evaluated on its physicochemical properties, viscosity, antibacterial efficacy and stability. The antibacterial efficacy of the optimal preparation was compared to the commercially antibacterial gel (MediHoney™, Comvita). The optimal preparation was formulated at pH of 3.5, honey concentration of 90% (w/v) and xanthan gum concentration of 1.5% (w/v) with the inhibition zones measured on S. aureus ATCC6538 was 16.2 mm and E. coli ATCC8739 was 15.8 mm respectively. The factors of acidity and honey concentration have significantly influenced the inhibition zone on S. aureus ATCC6538 and E. coli ATCC8739. The utilisation of xanthan gum as the polymeric agent was fit for the preparation which showed by adequate physicochemical properties and retained of the antibacterial effects. This was supported by constant viscosity and efficacy of the preparation within the six months of stability study indicating stable and reliable preparation. Xanthan gum is a potential polymeric agent due to its effective use in preparing stable preparation with effective antibacterial properties.
... As for the concentration of honey, the increased diameter of the inhibition zone with an increased concentration of honey can be explained by the increase in antibacterial compounds, such as phenolic acids and flavonoids, which increased as the concentration of honey increased (Bakar et al., 2017;Tuksitha et al., 2018). In addition, the degree of sugar content naturally present in kelulut honey will also lead to a potential increase in osmotic pressure to inhibit the growth of bacteria (Dluya, 2016). These findings are similar to the previous study that found a higher inhibition zone in response to increments of honey concentration used in honey-based preparations (El-Kased et al., 2017). ...
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The study aims to formulate and optimise topical antibacterial preparation using Malaysian kelulut honey as the active ingredient and guar gum as the polymeric agent. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimise the preparation. The acidity, honey concentration, and guar gum concentration were the independent variables. Meanwhile, the zone of inhibitions on Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6538 and Escherichia coli ATCC8739 were the response variables. The optimal preparation was evaluated on its physicochemical properties, viscosity, antibacterial efficacy, and stability. The antibacterial efficacy of the optimal preparation was compared to the commercial antibacterial gel (MediHoney™, Comvita). The optimal preparation was formulated at pH 3.5, honey concentration of 90% (w/v), and guar gum concentration of 1.5% (w/v). The inhibition zones measured on S. aureus ATCC6538 was 16.2 mm and E. coli ATCC8739 was 15.8 mm, respectively. The optimal preparation showed good physicochemical properties and effective antibacterial properties. However, the viscosity of the preparation was reduced by more than 50% during the six months of the stability study. Guar gum is a potential polymeric agent in preparing kelulut as topical preparation with effective antibacterial properties. Consideration of additional stabilising or preservative agent is recommended to overcome the reduction of viscosity over time.
... e evaluation of time kill kinetics further showed the growth inhibition rate and dose timedependent mechanism [29]. Estimated low pH and high electrical conductivity provide the acidic component with very potent antibacterial activity [30], while low moisture content greatly contributed to the hygroscopic natures which enhance dehydration and death of bacteria cell [31]. A functional relationship of hydrogen peroxide to antibacterial activity is an important intrinsic factor needed because increased generation of hydroxyl ion radicals can cause DNA inhibition or degradation resulting in cytotoxic effects on bacteria cell metabolism [31]. ...
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Geospatial mapping and antibacterial biomarkers were investigated in Nigerian honey used for therapeutic purposes in several communities affected with prevalent antibiotic-resistant enteric bacilli. Randomly collected enteric bacilli from faecal samples were biotyped and phenotypically assayed for antibiotic resistance and profiled for R plasmids. R plasmid molecular weight and multiantibiotic resistance index (MARI) relatedness were evaluated for resistance among phylogroups. Honey cidal activity, time kill kinetics, and bioactive markers were determined and analysed for geospatial distribution. More than 30% enteric biotypes were resistant to cotrimoxazole, ciprofloxacin, and tetracycline at MIC ≥16 μg/ml (P=0.004). Two unrelated cluster complexes with diverse antibiotic resistance indices expressed high molecular weight plasmid (14.17 kbp) with 0.73 MARI to two classes of antibiotics. Among the resistant bacilli, only 24.3% (MIC90 500 mg/mL) and 8.1% (MBC90 1000 mg/mL) were susceptible to honey with evidence of 14.85% and 5.94% significant viable reduction at 2 × MIC to less than 2.50 Log10 CFU/mL (P
... These changes were observed in group IV more than the others. Honey dressing as compared to colostrum dressing is very effective in wound healing with faster coagulation, increasing angiogenesis, high anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial (due to its low water activity of 0.6) (Dluya 2015) and antioxidant activities (Molan 2011), increment collagen production, quicker fibroblast growth, high osmotic gradient (Mohammed et al. 2015), better epithelization, contraction, and remodeling. Our results are in agreement with Allen et al. (2000) that reported honey is suitable for wound dressing and useful in clearing wounds from infection. ...
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Wound healing is a dynamic and complex process of replacing devitalized and missing cellular structures and tissue layers. Due to the importance of wound healing, this investigation was designed to compare the effect of treatment using honey and colostrum on wound-healing process in rats. In this study, 80 adult female Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups as negative control group, groups II, III, and IV were treated by honey, bovine colostrum, and honey + colostrum, respectively. Rats were anesthetized, hair was removed from the back, and then a wound was made on the back. Visual observation, histopathological examination, and biomechanical study were performed on days 3, 7, 14, and 21 after operation. Wound area in rats which taken colostrum and honey was lower than other groups. Promotion of wound contraction and epithelialization in rats that were treated with honey and colostrum was better than the others. Biomechanical parameters in animals were treated by colostrum and honey significantly more than other rats. A combination of honey and colostrum on wounds can enhance healing better than honey and colostrum separately.
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The major unexplained phenomenon in fibrotic conditions is an increase in replicating fibroblasts. In this report we present evidence that oxygen free radicals can both stimulate and inhibit proliferation of cultured human fibroblasts, and that fibroblasts themselves release superoxide (O2.-) free radicals. Fibroblasts released O2.- in concentrations which stimulated proliferation, a finding confirmed by a dose-dependent inhibition of proliferation by free radical scavengers. Oxygen free radicals released by a host of agents may thus provide a very fast, specific and sensitive trigger for fibroblast proliferation. Prolonged stimulation may result in fibrosis, and agents which inhibit free radical release may have a role in the prevention of fibrosis.
The water-soluble antioxidant capacity of 19 samples of honey from 14 different floral sources was determined by a spectrophotometric assay. The highest concentration of antioxidants measured was 20.3 times that of the lowest, showing that great variation exists in the chemical nature of honey from different floral sources. Antioxidant content was positively correlated with both water content and honey colour. Because of the health benefits of dietary antioxidants, floral source should be a factor in evaluating the potential of honey as an antioxidant-containing food supplement.
The effect of bee honey (BH) taken from Apis melifica on human peripheral blood lymphocytes and neutrophils was studied using lymphocyte blastogenic 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazole-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) and quantitative nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) assays, respectively. Bee honey showed a mitogenic effect on both B- and T-lymphocytes. Stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at 0.1% BH, B-cells showed maximum stimulatory index (0.838 ± 0.14 relative to 0.521 ± 0.09). Stimulated by concanavalin A (Con A) or phytohemagglutinin (PHA) in the presence of 0.2% BH, T-cells showed maximum stimulatory index of 0.820 ± 0.12 and 0.712 ± 0.09 compared to controls of 0.531 ± 0.07 and 0.648 ± 0.08, respectively. In addition, in the absence of classical mitogens, BH also stimulated B- and T-cells with stimulatory indices of 0.247 ± 0.03 and 0.34 ± 0.04, respectively. In the absence of LPS, maximum NBT uptake (fmol of formazan per phagocyte) by neutrophils was achieved at 0.2% BH (1.53 ± 0.23 compared to 1.29 ± 0.08) but no significant (p >0.05) effect of BH was found in the presence of LPS.
The antioxidant activities and total phenolic contents of five different types of Yemeni honey {Acacia ehrenbergina (Salam-Tehamah), Acacia edgeworhi (Somar-Hadramout), Ziziphus Spina-christi L. (Sidr-Hadramout), Ziziphus Spina-christi L. (Sidr-Taiz), Tropical blossom (Marbai-Hadramout)}, and four types of imported origins {an American-Tropical blossom (New Orleans), an American-Orange source (Florida), Swiss-blossom, and an Iranian-Tropical blossom} were evaluated. Total phenolic contents of diluted honey samples varied from 56.32 to 246.21 mg/100g honey as Catechin equivalent by the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Four of five Yemeni honey samples contained significantly higher total phenolic content as compared with the imported honeys. Percentage antioxidant activities of diluted honey samples were assayed in vitro by the inhibition of liver homogenate oxidation mediated by FeSO4/ascorbate system. The antioxidant activity of diluted honey samples increased with increasing the levels (50 μl, 100 μl, 200 μl) of honey samples. The total antioxidant activities of diluted samples varied from −6.48% (prooxidant activity) to 65.44% inhibition. The Acacia ehrenbergina (Salam-Tehamah) had the highest antioxidant activity and total phenolic content. A positive correlation was observed between percentage antioxidant and total phenolics, which increased with the higher level of samples (R = 90.5 at 200 μl). The present study confirms that Yemeni honey contains significant source of phenolic antioxidants that may have therapeutic potential.
In this study, we investigated and compared the physico-chemical properties (moisture, colour, ash, and sugars content) as well as total phenols, total flavonoids and antioxidant activity of several honey samples (24) collected from different regions of Romania. The physico-chemical values were in the range of approved limits (conforming to EU legislation); excepting the monosaccharide values for one sample (T2). For this sample, the other values were within legislation limits. The results obtained showed that the most valuable honey is the honeydew one. Correlation between RSA and total phenols and total flavonoids, respectively, was determined, and a positive correlation was found. This study demonstrates remarkable variation in antioxidant properties and content of total phenols in honey, depending on its botanic or geographic source.