Honey against cancer

Published: Friday 15 January 1999

Honey contains low-to-moderate levels of disease-fighting antioxidants with the dark-coloured variety containing more antioxidants than do lighter ones, US researchers announced recently. According to researchers May Berenbaum from University of Illinois in Urbana, USA, honey might "play an important -- and as yet unrealised -- role in providing antioxidants in a highly palatable form." In a nutshell, antioxidants are compounds that are usually found in cells and help 'mop up' free radicals, the damaging by-products of normal metabolic processes. Many medical experts and scientists believe diets high in certain antioxidants vitamins C and E for instance, may help fortify the body and fight serious illnesses such as heart diseases and perhaps even cancer. The Illinois team used laboratory tests to measure the levels of antioxidant in 20 different varieties of American honeys collected by beekeepers across the country. While all of the varieties contained low-to-moderate levels of antioxidants, the dark-coloured varieties had more antioxidant in them than did lighter ones ( Journal of Apicultural Research , Vol 37, No 3).

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