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Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
ISSN: 1394-195X
Vol. 22, No. 5, 2015, pp. 7-22
Bioline Code: mj15052
Full paper language: English
Document type: Review Article
Document available free of charge

Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 22, No. 5, 2015, pp. 7-22

 en Novel Insights into the Health Importance of Natural Honey
Ajibola, Abdulwahid


Honey is a sweet, flavourful liquid substance with several beneficial constituents. Extensive research has shown the therapeutic promise of the use of honey in enhancing health values and improving body systems. This manuscript documents the ancient medicinal uses of honey and provides evidence-based data demonstrating its benefits in animal models, patients, and healthy individuals. Several reports by various researchers are discussed regarding health indices and biomarkers used following apitherapy. These include physiological processes in virtually all animal and human organs. The responses of body systems after oral and systemic administration of honey are also mentioned. Honey is also evaluated for its wide acceptability as a complementary and alternative medicine for most ailments. All types of honey exhibit different biochemical activities and show greater variability in their potency as apitherapeutic agents than conventional medicines. The mechanisms of action conferring honey’s protective effects, as suggested by various authors, are documented. These entail synergistic interaction of the bioactive physical and chemical constituents of honey to produce the desired beneficial effects. The use of apitherapy in synergy with chemotherapy to manage microbial and cancer ailments is also helpful in reducing drug-induced cytotoxicity. The mechanistic insights into the overall protective, preventive, and therapeutic effects of honey portend the presence of a unique factor, a ‘synergistic multiple ingredients factor’, designated SMIF.

honey; therapeutic; bioactivity; phytochemical; nutraceutical; apitherapy; health; diabetes mellitus; hypertension; medicine

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