Equine Health Benefits of Manuka Honey
Manuka Honey: a functional food:
Manuka honey is a sweet and tasty gift from bees. Along with two forms of antibacterial hydrogen peroxide, Manuka honey contains methylglyoxal (MGO) and dihydroxyacetone, two chemical substances with high antimicrobial action. Unlike hydrogen peroxide, MGO and dihydroxyacetone are not destroyed by heat so they are able to provide real-time gastrointestinal benefits. The specific make-up of this honey has led to the creation of a unique rating system to express the non-peroxide antibacterial potency of specific batches of honey. This is referred to as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF).
The growing buzz surrounding the benefits of Manuka honey has led to the creation of hybrid honey mixes and an alternate system of "rating" that can make purchasing this honey confusing. Suffice to say, we do not use anything but 100% pure Manuka Honey. It is more costly but we believe the impact it can make on a horse is worth the price. Anything below a UMF of +10 does not justify paying a premium price because you do not have enough of MGO or dihydroxyacetone to effect a change. UMF +10 and above provide some additional benefits, but the therapeutic effects of Manuka honey are best in UMF +15 and above. We use +16 pure Manuka honey in our Spirulina Chia products.
Gut Support: Inflammation of the stomach lining can be caused by a number of things, including (but not limited to):
- bacterial infections
- the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- proliferation of helicobacter pylori (h-pylori); the main culprit in EGUS.
- Stress from travel or heavy work
Manuka honey, with its high antimicrobial activity has been found to be effective against Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria most commonly seen in the highly acidic environment of the stomach.
Manuka honey has been found to be effective in preventing colonic inflammation and effecting the repair of colon lining damaged due to chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
In laboratory experiments conducted on rats with chemically induced colon damage, oral administration of Manuka honey was found to both reduce inflammation and protect against structural damage in the colon of the test subjects.
Immune Support: Manuka Honey offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals, but lab tests have shown that Manuka honey contains substances that stimulate cytokine production. Cytokines are signaling proteins involved in an immune reaction by the body. These little soldiers kickstart the defense mechanisms of the body to help it fight off pathogens and diseases. Increased cytokine production is the catalyst behind Manuka honey’s protective action against potential infections and diseases, and helps explain the synergy and efficacy in our Spirulina chia products.
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