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Tualang Honey may benefit cardiovascular health in smokers

4 November 2015

Honey produced by rock bees (Apis dorsata) in hives high up in the tall Tualang found in north-west Malaysia has been studied for its health giving properties, and has been shown to have positive anti-inflammatory and hypoglycaemic effects as well as improving sperm count in patients with oligospermia (low sperm count).

A recent study by Malaysian researchers showed that oxidative stress in rat testes exposed to cigarette smoke was reduced by the honey, indicating an antioxidant effect. On the basis of these findings, a further study was launched to investigate whether these effects were seen in the general health of chronic smokers.

The study looked at three groups of patients, 32 chronic smokers were supplied with 20g daily portions of Tualang Honey, 32 smokers were provided with a placebo, and 32 non-smokers were also provided with a placebo as control groups. Blood samples were taken from the patients at the start of the study, and again at the end of the study, 12 weeks later.

At the start of the study, the smokers were found to have higher levels of F2-isoprostones (related to peroxidation of lipids, leading to cell membrane damage), which was reduced in the supplemented group by the end of the study. It was also shown that the subjects that had been given the honey had higher levels/activity of enzymes, erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalyse (CAT) as well as an increase in total antioxidant status.

The combined effects of these physiological changes indicate a reduction in oxidative stress on the body by reducing the impact of reactive oxygen species on the body, which may reduce the impact of smoking on the cardiovascular system in smokers.

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