13 November 2015

Honey can reduce the harmful side effects of smoking

Almost all smokers are well aware of the health risks their habit poses, but yet they struggle to kick the habit. New research suggest supplementing with wild honey could reduce the toxic effects of smoking.

Smoking plays a role in many serious health issues: stroke, myocardial infarction, cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, to name but a few.

And, despite having access to different kinds of smoking alternatives, many smokers remain loyal to traditional cigarettes. In light of this, research is looking deeper into the use of natural products to help smokers limit the damage they're doing to their health.

A recent study in Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry, Syaheedah et al. sought to find what impact the antioxidants in honey has on the oxidative stress in smokers.

Smoking and oxidative stress

Smoking introduces free radicals into the body resulting in oxidative stress, decreased antioxidant status and negative health impacts.

Honey supplementation has been effective in reducing the toxic effects of cigarette smoke in rats, yet prior to this study the effects of honey supplementation in chronic smokers was yet to be documented.

Can Tualang honey reduce harmful side effects of smoking?

Tualang Honey is 100% organic honey straight from the wild rainforest honey from Malaysia. The Giant Honey Bees (Apis dorsata) hang their honey combs from the branches of the Tualang Tree (Koompassia excelsa) to collect pollen and nectar from the surrounding rainforest.

This wild honey (not from a bee farm), is collected by workers risking their life climbing on very high Tualang trees that can grow up to 85 meters tall. 

Honey contains minerals, proteins, organic acids and antioxidants. Malaysian researchers Wan Syaheedah Wan Ghazali and Mahaneem Mohamed, et al. set out to determine the effects of Tualang honey on smokers after a 12-week supplementation on a group of 32 chronic smokers with two equal-sized control groups; one that was not supplemented and a group of non-smokers. 

They found oxidant activity in the smokers, likely caused by the free radicals in cigarettes. 

Oxidant activity can damage cell structure and function, leading to a host of health problems for the individual. 

Read: How smoking causes cancer

At the end of the 12 weeks, smokers who were supplemented with honey were found to have greatly improved antioxidant status. This strongly suggests that, due to its antioxidant and strong free radical ‘scavenging’ properties, honey can reduce oxidative stress.

Syaheedah concludes “Our findings may suggest that honey can be used as a supplement among those who are exposed to free radicals in cigarette smoke, either as active or passive smokers, and so protect or reduce the risk of having cardiovascular diseases.”

Health24 asked Dr Mahaneem Mohamed if other types of honey could have a similar effect, and he responded that smokers can supplement with other types of honey, as long as the honey is pure. He says wild honey from many countries have been shown to have similar antioxidant properties.

Organic or wild honey, that is un heat-treated, is readily available from retailers and health shops around the country. Tualang honey is available from the Tualang honey store.

Read more

How your diet can limit the damage caused by smoking

Vitamin E protects smokers

Advice on how to stop smoking

Journal Reference:

  • Wan Syaheedah Wan Ghazali, Mahaneem Mohamed, Siti Amrah Sulaiman, Aniza Abdul Aziz, Harmy Mohamed Yusoff. Tualang honey supplementation improves oxidative stress status among chronic smokers. Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry, 2015; 1 DOI:10.1080/02772248.2015.1077959

  • * Read the full article online:


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