Honey contains more than 200 chemical compounds and has many health benefits. The main compounds in honey are unrefined fructose, glucose, and water. Others include vitamins C, D, and E, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and plant-based bioactive compounds.
Among bioactive compounds, honey is a source of organic acids (e.g. malic acid and oxalic acid), hormones, enzymes, and essential oils. Science has observed the following health benefits in honey:
- fights against oxydative stress (Beretta G et al 2005)
- protects the liver (Erejuwa O et al 2012)
- supports the heart (Rakha MK et al 2008)
- fights bacteria (Weston R.J. 2007)
- fights inflammation (van den Berg AJJ et al 2008)
- can contribute to the fight against tumors (Yaacob NS et al 2013; Porcza L et al 2016)
Patient studies have shown natural honey to lower C-reactive protein levels — one of the main inflammatory markers in blood (Al-Waili NS 2004).
Honey helps treat inflamed gums, as it suppresses Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria, a key cause of gum inflammation (Eick S et al 2014).
In cell cultures, honey has also been shown to boost the number of T- and B-lymphocytes, antibodies, eosinophils, neutrophils, and monocytes (Timm M et al 2008). This, in turn, boosts the body’s ability to resist disease.