Honey offers many medicinal uses described in traditional medicine, in addition to just commonly being used as a sweetener. The composition of honey varies depending on the floral source, seasonal and environmental factors, as well as processing techniques used. Honey is rich in phenolic acids and flavonoids, and exhibits a broad spectrum of biological activities. It has been hypothesized that honey contributes to the reduction in cardiovascular diseases mainly due to flavonoid-mediated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antimicrobial activities. The consumption of natural honey has been shown to inhibit oxidation of low density protein, vasodialate blood vessels due to nitric oxide production, decrease platelet aggregation, and exert analgesic and anti-atherogenic effects; each of which may decrease cardiovascular risk. This overview explores the potential therapeutic role of honey in treating cardiovascular diseases, mainly focusing on its potential molecular mechanism(s) underlying flavonoid-mediated actions that may be cardioprotective. However, well designed, double blind, clinical trials on a large scale are needed to confirm therapeutic efficacy of honey in humans.
Keywords: Honey, reactive oxygen species, flavonoids, polyphenols, cardiovascular diseases, anti-oxidant, anti-inflimatory, anti-bacterial, diseases
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