Honey has been used since ancient times as a flavorful sweetener and for its therapeutic and medicinal effects. Consumers' demand for natural, healthy products has driven renewed interest in honey's health benefits. The commonly encountered food mutagen, Trp-p-1, has been demonstrated to be mutagenic in bacteria and carcinogenic in animals. Chemically, honey is quite complex. Honey is comprised primarily of sugars; however, it contains many other potentially biologically active components, such as antioxidants. Sugars have been reported to display both mutagenic and antimutagenic effects in different systems; antioxidants often display antimutagenic activity. Little information exists about potential antimutagenic effects of honey. Antimutagenicity of honeys from seven different floral sources against Trp-p-1 was tested via the Ames assay and compared to that of a sugar analogue and to individually tested simple sugars. All honeys exhibited significant inhibition of Trp-p-1 mutagenicity; most demonstrated a linear correlation between percentage inhibition and log transformed honey concentration from 10 μg/mL to 20 mg/mL. Each displayed significant degrees of inhibition of mutagenicity above concentrations of 1 mg/mL, with individual variations in degree of effectiveness. Buckwheat honey displayed the greatest inhibition at 1 mg/mL, with slightly less effectiveness at higher concentrations. A sugar analogue demonstrated a pattern of inhibition similar to that of the honeys, with enhanced antimutagenicity at concentrations greater than 1 mg/mL. Glucose and fructose were also similar to honeys and were more antimutagenic than maltose and sucrose.
- Ames test
- Antimutagenic activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)