Manuka honey origin bee

Manuka honey destroys bacteria with links to stomach cancer

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Honey has been a highly valued natural product throughout history. Not only for its sweetening and nutritional properties, but also for its health and medicinal benefits.

Recent research from the University of Auckland has discovered BEE+ Manuka honey can inhibit the growth of H. pylori, a type of bacteria that infects the stomach. As many as half of the world’s population may have the infection, which is a known risk factor for stomach cancer. (i)

The unique antibacterial property, now referred to as UMF® – unique manuka factor – is over and above the usual antibacterial activity of honey. This sets manuka honey apart as one of nature’s true wonder foods. The higher the UMF® rating the greater the antibacterial property of the honey.

University of Auckland senior researcher Fiona Radcliff undertook two laboratory studies using BEE+ Manuka Honey to investigate its effects on the growth of H. pylori.

“The results were clear. The higher the UMF the more likely it was to inhibit growth and kill the bacteria in liquid cultures. The honey rated UMF® 25+ had four times the ability to inhibit H. pylori growth and kill the bacteria as the honey rated UMF® 5+. There was also a significant difference between UMF®-rated manuka honey than supermarket brands.” (ii)

The H. pylori infection can weaken the stomach lining, allowing stomach acid to cause irritation, inflammation or painful symptoms. This has further consequences. For example, approximately one in 10 people with H. pylori go on to develop a peptic (stomach or duodenal) ulcer. And about four out of five of all such ulcers are due to H. pylori. More concerning is that H. pylori is a known risk factor for developing some types of stomach cancer.

Bee Plus Manuka honey product shot

Healing honey

Honey takes on many of its properties from the types of flowering plants the bees feed on to collect nectar. Research in the 1980s found that the honey from bees that eat the nectar of the flowering manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) tree, found widely across New Zealand, had higher antibacterial properties than those of honey collected from areas where bees fed on other flowers. (See for more on that)

Kerrin Harrison, Sales & Marketing Manager at King Honey Limited (brand BEE+) says, “For thousands of years, civilisations have used honey as traditional medicine. This research proves the healing powers of Manuka honey and highlights that nature can be our biggest healer.”

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About BEE+

King Honey (brand BEE+) was established in 2011. The company utilises over 50,000 acres for hive placements. Excitingly, the hive numbers have grown from 4000 to 20,000 throughout New Zealand. The Manuka Honey comes from remote pockets of bush, often so isolated the hives can only be reached by helicopter. These areas are chosen for their pure, untouched locations.



(ii) *To illustrate the effect of the UMF® rating, a 2% solution of UMF® 25+ honey inhibited the growth of H. pylori (MIC = 2%). Whereas an 8% solution of UMF® 5+ honey (ie, four times as much) was required to have the same effect (MIC = 8%). The same was seen when looking at the ability to kill H. pylori. The MBC was 2% for the UMF® 25+ honey and 8% for the UMF® 5+ honey.

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