Super Honey Helps Fight Off MRSA Superbugs


Photo via BotheredbyBees via Flickr CC

Honey lovers, you have a whole new reason to feel dedicated to the sweet sticky stuff. We know that honey has been used as an antibacterial for cuts and scrapes for ages. The high sugar content strips much-needed water from bacteria. But a certain type of honey may be more potent than usual, and help to fight off MRSA, a viscous strain of staph infection. Manuka honey, created from the plant native to Australia and New Zealand, seems to have super strength against it, and researchers think they've figured out that there's a secret in the sauce. National Geographic reports: "Manuka honey has an extra [unidentified] component that isn't found in other honey, which gives it an extra kick," said study team member Rowena Jenkins of the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.

That kick is that the honey somehow causes the bacteria to be short a necessary protein for converting fatty acids, so they can't reproduce and die off. After a series of experiments, they determined that while they don't know exactly what it is in Manuka honey that provides the add punch against bacteria, they have determined that there is something special about this bitter honey that, once figured out, can hopefully be reproduced in medications.

Yet another reason why our survival is linked up with bees. Or really, it's a perfect example of our our medical solutions are constantly found within natural systems. Now it's just a matter of not creating a world in which honey bees can't survive.

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Tags: Bees | Honey | Insects

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