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    Topic review

    Honey

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    Submitted by: Nadiah Sulaiman

    Definition

    Honey is one of the most prized medicinal remedies used since ancient times. There is evidence that indicates honey can function as a cardioprotective agent in cardiovascular diseases.

    1. Introduction

    Cardiovascular disease is a major public health burden worldwide. Myocardial infarction is the most common form of cardiovascular disease resulting from low blood supply to the heart. It can lead to further complications such as cardiac arrhythmia, toxic metabolite accumulation, and permanently infarcted areas. Honey protects the heart via lipid metabolism improvement, antioxidative activity, blood pressure modulation, heartbeat restoration, myocardial infarct area reduction, antiaging properties, and cell apoptosis attenuation. 

    2. Honey and its Constituents

    Honey is a sweetener that is either consumed by itself or in combination with a variety of foods as an energy source or used for the promotion of health. It is made up of approximately 80% carbohydrate (35% glucose, 40% fructose, and 5% sucrose) and 20% water. About 180 different substances, inclusive of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, have been reported to be contained in honey[1].

    A consensus from a comprehensive review on honey composition revealed that honey contains approximately 1.13% proteins, 0.36% minerals, 215.2 mg/g lipid, 15.5 mg/kg (hydroxymethyl)furfural, 13.2 mg/g vitamin C, 8.57 milliequivalents/kg lactone, and 873.3 mg/kg proline content. Among the major minerals that are known to be detected in honey are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, lead, sulfur, and chloride[1].

    Manuka honey, the most extensively studied honey, is believed to exert its action via its bioactive constituents. Flavonoids, namely, pinobanksin, chrysin, and pinocembrin, are known to be the bioactive constituents of Manuka honey. Several proven therapeutic potentials of honey include aiding in wound healing[2], antioxidant[3], antimicrobial[4], and anti-inflammatory[5] properties. These proven therapeutic impacts of honey have been associated with its various antioxidant components that exert their effect at the molecular level of disease progression[6].

    3. Cardioprotective Effect of Honey

    In terms of honey, several in vitro, in vivo, and clinical trial studies have revealed honey positively affects risk factors for heart problem by improving the plasma lipid profile[7], suppressing oxidation[5], attenuating elevation of cardiac damage markers (CK–MB, AST, ALT)[8], increasing activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, GPx, GRx)[9], and increasing LDL resistance to oxidation[10] caused by oxidative stress in heart diseases. Honey is able to modulate oxidation, reduce blood pressure, restore heartbeats, reduce myocardial infarct areas, improve lipid metabolism, exert antiaging properties, and attenuate cell apoptosis. Honey is demonstrated to be a potential candidate as a natural alternative for the management of cardiovascular disease.

    This entry is adapted from 10.3390/ijerph17103613

    References

    1. Solayman; Asiful Islam; Sudip Paul; Yousuf Ali; Ibrahim Khalil; Nadia Alam; Siew Hua Gan; Physicochemical Properties, Minerals, Trace Elements, and Heavy Metals in Honey of Different Origins: A Comprehensive Review. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety 2015, 15, 219-233, 10.1111/1541-4337.12182.
    2. José M. Alvarez-Suarez; Ana M. Gonzàlez-Paramàs; Celestino Santos Buelga; Maurizio Battino; Antioxidant Characterization of Native Monofloral Cuban Honeys. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2010, 58, 9817-9824, 10.1021/jf1018164.
    3. Noori Al-Waili; Khelod Salom; Ahmad A. Al-Ghamdi; Honey for Wound Healing, Ulcers, and Burns; Data Supporting Its Use in Clinical Practice. The Scientific World Journal 2011, 11, 766-787, 10.1100/tsw.2011.78.
    4. Jose M. Alvarez-Suarez; Sara Tulipani; Daimy Díaz; Yadiley Estevez; Stefania Romandini; Francesca Giampieri; Elisabetta Damiani; Paola Astolfi; Stefano Bompadre; Maurizio Battino; et al. Antioxidant and antimicrobial capacity of several monofloral Cuban honeys and their correlation with color, polyphenol content and other chemical compounds. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2010, 48, 2490-2499, 10.1016/j.fct.2010.06.021.
    5. Asif Ahmad; Rafeeq Alam Khan; M. Ahmed Mesaik; Anti inflammatory effect of natural honey on bovine thrombin-induced oxidative burst in phagocytes. Phytotherapy Research 2009, 23, 801-808, 10.1002/ptr.2648.
    6. José M. Alvarez-Suarez; Francesca Giampieri; Elisabetta Damiani; Paola Astolfi; Daniele Fattorini; Francesco Regoli; José L. Quiles; Maurizio Battino; Radical-scavenging Activity, Protective Effect Against Lipid Peroxidation and Mineral Contents of Monofloral Cuban Honeys. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 2012, 67, 31-38, 10.1007/s11130-011-0268-7.
    7. E A Alagwu; J E Okwara; R O Nneli; E E Osim; Effect of honey intake on serum cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoprotein levels in albino rats and potential benefits on risks of coronary heart disease.. Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences 2011, 26, 161–165, .
    8. Rizwana Afroz; E. M. Tanvir; Nurul Karim; Sabir Hossain; Nadia Alam; Siew Hua Gan; Ibrahim Khalil; Sundarban Honey Confers Protection against Isoproterenol-Induced Myocardial Infarction in Wistar Rats. BioMed Research International 2016, 2016, 1-10, 10.1155/2016/6437641.
    9. Rakha Miran; Zohour I. Nabil; Aida A. Hussein; Cardioactive and Vasoactive Effects of Natural Wild Honey Against Cardiac Malperformance Induced by Hyperadrenergic Activity. Journal of Medicinal Food 2008, 11, 91-98, 10.1089/jmf.2006.172.
    10. Jérôme Busserolles; Elyett Gueux; Edmond Rock; Andrzej Mazur; Yves Rayssiguier; Substituting Honey for Refined Carbohydrates Protects Rats from Hypertriglyceridemic and Prooxidative Effects of Fructose. The Journal of Nutrition 2002, 132, 3379-3382, 10.1093/jn/132.11.3379.
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