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mccoy

Honey and menaquinones

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This is a very interesting article, outlining a few sometimes neglected points:

  • Honey is not a simple mixture of sugars, rather a complex system with multiple useful components
  • Honey contains living gut macrobiome from bees
  • Dark honeys are the richest in polyphenols
  • Dark honeys contain menaquinones, the elusive K2 vitamin

There is no indication on the concentration of menaquinones though. It may not so high. The most interesting point is that after all honey is a sugary matrix which provides several benefits (OK, benefits better avoided by diabetics....)

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814618300062

 

 

 

Food Chemistry
Volume 249, 30 May 2018, Pages 184-192
1-s2.0-S0308814617X00265-cov150h.gif
Identification of menaquinones (vitamin K2 homologues) as novel constituents of honey
Author links open overlay panelLindaKim1KatrinaBrudzynski
Show more
   
 
Highlights

 

Novel constituents of honey were isolated and identified as menaquinones.

Identified menaquinones differed in length of isoprene side-chain from MK-3 to MK-10.

Menaquinones identification was based on UPLC-ESI-MS-UV/DAD.

The presence of MK-2 to MK-7 was confirmed by the accurate mass measurements using a quadrupole-Orbitrap MS.

A role of menaquinones in redox and antibacterial activities of honey is discussed.

 

Abstract

Our recent research indicated that honey active macromolecules form colloidal particles that scatter the light and produce elaborate UV spectral profile dominated by double absorption peaks at 240–250 nm. The absorption at 240–250 nm signified the stable honey conformation that supported antibacterial activity and hydrogen peroxide production. Our aim was to identify the bioactive constituent relevant to this absorption. The methodology included activity-guided fractionation of honey through size-exclusion chromatography, solid-phase extraction and UPLC-UV-MS. UV spectral analysis of UPLC peaks revealed compounds with UV λ (max) typical of naphtoquinones. The MS chromatograms showed mass ions differing by [M-68n] indicating a polyisoprene structure and the fragmentation patterns typical for menaquinones. The exact mass measurements of menaquinones using a quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometry confirmed their identification as a series of MK-3 to MK-7 aptimers. Detection of menaquinones, previously unknown constituents of honey, suggests that they might play role in honey redox and antibacterial activities.

Edited by mccoy

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I'm a fan of locally produced minimally processed buckwheat honey.  Good stuff.  Its also great at healing mouth sores (Dr. G did a video about that, there are reputable studies showing its effectiveness).

buckwheat-honey.jpg

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"Minimally processed" is a vague term. I see from the photo that the honey flows. From my understanding (maybe wrong?), honey that is really minimally processed is mostly in a solid state. So, for example, TJ's sells a honey I sometimes use, which is "unfiltered and uncooked" and it is a solid mass that has to be scooped, like ice cream. My understanding is that cooking is what allows it to flow, and also if the honey is too clear (as the photo seems to indicate), it is probably filtered. But I have not done a lot of research on honey, so that buckwheat stuff may just be the bee's knees (a British expression that I find particulary apt in this situation, ha, ha).

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I'm going to post this again after the mysterious disappearance spate of threads in this forum.

 

A very interesting article on dark honeys:

 

 

elsevier-non-solus.png
Food Chemistry
Volume 249, 30 May 2018, Pages 184-192
1-s2.0-S0308814617X00265-cov150h.gif
Identification of menaquinones (vitamin K2 homologues) as novel constituents of honey
Author links open overlay panelLindaKim1KatrinaBrudzynski
Show more

 

 

 

 

Beyond the discovery of menaquinones in dark honeys like buckwheat and Manuka (there is no published concentration of MK molecules though), a few important points have been underlined.

 

  • Honey is not just a concentrated mix of simple sugars, rather a complex bioactive compound whose properties are probably also based on its colloidal state
  • Hi-content in polyphenols and hydrogen peroxyde (and ensuing antibacterial activity) in buckwheat honey
  • Metal-chelating properties of polyphenols (I didn't know that)
  • Hi content in natural melanoidins (Melanoidins are compounds generated in the late stages of the Maillard reaction from reducing sugars and proteins or amino acids during food processing and preservation. )
The chemical interactions between the polyphenols, proteins, sugars and the Maillard reaction products in a viscous solution of fructose and glucose led to the formation of colloidal particles folded into compact, dense, micron-size spheroidal structures (Brudzynski, Miotto, Kim, Sjaarda, MaldonadoAlvarez & Fukś, 2017). This two-phase colloidal system was necessary to support honey’s antibacterial activity and hydrogen peroxide production. The dilution of honey with water profoundly affected this conformation and its functional state, leading to a loss of antibacterial activity and ability to produce hydrogen peroxide (Brudzynski et al.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks McCoy!   Interesting article.    Like Gordo,  I'm a big fan of buckwheat honey --  and I always welcome any scientific info  that helps justify my personal preferences.

 

Previously we discussed some of the fascinating ingredients in honey in this thread:

 

https://www.crsociety.org/topic/12328-dr-joel-fuhrmans-approach/?do=findComment&comment=21295

 

Honey - A Novel Antidiabetic Agent

Int J Biol Sci. 2012

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3399220/

 

 

And here's a new article on the same topic:

 

Honey and Diabetes: The Importance of Natural Simple Sugars in Diet for Preventing and Treating Different Type of Diabetes

Edited by Sibiriak

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Sibiriak, thanks for reminding those interesting posts and articles. I'm starting loosing track of all things I wrote and read in this forum. Maybe I should begin to keep a dedicated notebook.

 

I wonder though about the right daily dosage of honey. Any negative effects would stem from excess calories. But, for an healthy, active individual, with good glucose homeostasis, what could really be a deleterious effect aside from some accumulated bodyfat?

 

I'm eating lots of carbs recently, 220 grams per day on average, with 145 gr simple sugars, equally distributed among fructose, glucose, sucrose. the effects on fasting glycaemia have been an increase of 5 mg/dl, from 85 to 90, usually, although it varies, from 75 to 92. I might avoid some fruits and keep 2 tbsps of honey maybe...

 

How much honey do you eat daily?

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Mccoy,   I probably average around 1-2 tbsps/day.    I'll get a container of some excellent Siberian dark honey and sometimes overdo it.  Then when it runs out,  I'll take a short break from it.   So it depends a bit on the supply.  I generally get the honey from special sources,  not from supermarkets.

Edited by Sibiriak

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"Minimally processed" is a vague term. I see from the photo that the honey flows. From my understanding (maybe wrong?), honey that is really minimally processed is mostly in a solid state. So, for example, TJ's sells a honey I sometimes use, which is "unfiltered and uncooked" and it is a solid mass that has to be scooped, like ice cream. My understanding is that cooking is what allows it to flow, and also if the honey is too clear (as the photo seems to indicate), it is probably filtered. But I have not done a lot of research on honey, so that buckwheat stuff may just be the bee's knees (a British expression that I find particulary apt in this situation, ha, ha).

 

Tomb,

AFAIK, the propensity to cristallize of a honey depends on various factors, among which content of fructose, temperature, age from harvest, assuming it has been untreated.

 

For example, pure chestnut honey (which I love and eat in lieu of buckwheat) is dark, bitterish and liquid, fructose-high. Sometimes it tends to crystallize if it's not pure (some other flora) and if it's cool outside.

 

chestnuthoney-1.jpg

 

Another honey which is, if 'pure', invariably liquid, is acacia honey. It's very high in fructose, clear, and has a bland, very delicate flavour, unlike the strong and bitter chestnut:

 

This is an example of teh very light yellow color of a pure specimen of acacia honey. I imagien it has few polyphenols, but it's an exceptional sweetener in some cases.

I never ever saw this fructose-rich honey crystallized. 

 

acacia_1024.jpg

 

 

Sometimes things are complicated by the fact that bees have not harvested a predominant flora.

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Though I rarely used sweeteners ( my own take perusing the references is with the low quality clinical data any potentially [ what in many cases may be subtherapeutic in vivo ] protective effect may be outweighed by the impact of the added calories as an add-on, though certainly honey can be a healthy in that in many cases it would be superior as a substitute for other sweeteners if some sweetening is called for or is “needed” for a dish), I have to say that the diversity and complexity of honey food science is very interesting, and I appreciated the references, which made for nice fodder.

 

Sorry for the off-topic but -

Sibiriak, thinking of you in the setting of the tragic fire - I hope you and your family are well & solidarity in this difficult time.

Edited by Mechanism

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The buckwheat honey I get in Siberia is always crystallized (or rapidly crystallizes).

 

I was trying to see if it can be ordered in Italy, since that variety is unknown here. They ship a Polish buckwheat honey which looks crystallized. Either Tomb is right, or the crystallized ones are not pure, or the low temperature does the trick. 

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Sorry for the off-topic but -

Sibiriak, thinking of you in the setting of the tragic fire - I hope you and your family are well & solidarity in this difficult time.

 

Heck, I missed the news but I'm seeing that it has been a real tragedy, and the criminally absurd behaviour of turning the alarms off and keeping emergency exits locked...

 

AFAIK, Sibiriak lives in Krasnoyarsk which is 275 miles from Kemerovo, probably he hasn't been invoved in the fire, 

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OK, here is a more in depth study, it appears that crystallization does eventually take place since the water in the honey is evidently oversaturated with sugars, but at a rate which is very different from honey to honey, and very much dependent upon the environment temperature, composition, processing, catalysts.

 

Buckwheat and chestnut are classified as slow crystallizing honeys. The Acacia honey (called black locust in the article) is classified as very slowly crystallizing. 

 

Bee World Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tbee20 Crystallization of Honey Khalil Hamdana a Apeldoorn, the Netherlands Published online: 01 Apr 2015. To cite this article: Khalil Hamdan (2010) Crystallization of Honey, Bee World, 87:4, 71-74, DOI: 10.1080/0005772X.2010.11417371 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0005772X.2010.11417371

 

 

Different types of honey will crystallize at different rates. Some honey crystallizes within a few weeks after extraction from the combs, whereas others remain liquid for months or years. The following factors influence the speed of   crystallization: • the nectar source collected by bees (the sugar composition of honey). • the methods in which honey is handled (processed).   • the temperature in preservation. The time it will take the honey to crystallize depends mostly on the ratio of fructose to glucose and the glucose to water ratio.  Honey high in glucose sugar, with a low fructose to glucose ratio, will crystallize more rapidly. Honey from  alfalfa, cotton, dandelion, mesquite, mustard and rape (brassica napus) will fall into this category. Honey with a higher fructose to glucose ratio (containing less than 30% glucose) crystallizes quite slowly and can stay liquid for several years without special treatment, for example, robinia (black locust), sage, longan, tupelo and jujube/sidr (ziziphus spina‐christi).   The higher the glucose and the lower the water content of honey, the faster the crystallization.  Conversely , honey with less glucose relative to water is a less saturated glucose solution and is slow to crystallize. Honey with heightened water content often crystallizes unevenly (not as a homo‐ geneous mass) and separates into crystallized and liquid parts.   The speed with which honey crystallizes depends not only on its composition, but also on the presence of catalysts, like seed crystals, pollen grains and pieces of beeswax in the honey. These minute particlesserve as nuclei for crystallization. Raw honey (unheated and unfiltered) contains bits of wax, pollen and propolis, and crystallizes faster. Honey that has been processed (e.g. heated and filtered) will remain in its liquid form longer than raw honey due to the elimination of nuclei. Honey prepared for commercial market is usually heated and filtered. Heating and filtration of the honey dissolve any sugar crystals and remove foreign particles that might be present in it. Therefore, the crystallization is hindered.     ••••••••

Edited by mccoy

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The speed with which honey crystallizes depends not only on its composition, but also on the presence of catalysts, like seed crystals, pollen grains and pieces of beeswax in the honey. These minute particles serve as nuclei for crystallization.    Raw honey (unheated and unfiltered) contains bits of wax, pollen and propolis, and crystallizes faster. Honey that has been processed (e.g. heated and filtered) will remain in its liquid form longer than raw honey due to the elimination of nuclei. Honey prepared for commercial market is usually heated and filtered. Heating and filtration of the honey dissolve any sugar crystals and remove foreign particles that might be present in it. Therefore, the crystallization is hindered.

 

That supports TomBAvoider's basic point and certainly conforms with my experience.

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I deem it to be basically sugar, but since my biome test, I decided to amp up my probiotic foods intake, thus my search for answers on honey.

AIPater had posted a little study on honey and its CV benefits:
 

 

I figure a couple of jars a year won't hurt, so I ordered some buckwheat honey ( Goshen Honey Amish Extremely Raw Buckwheat Honey ) and some chestnut honey. I find the chestnut honey more interesting, as it comes from Georgia (the country) and someone on Amazon posted the following in the comments:

"The Caucasian Bee, to which Georgia is the central homeland, is the bee known for its longest proboscis, enabling it to extract nectar from the deepest nectar tissues, where no other species can. Therefore honey produced by the Caucasian bee is of the utmost quality. This is what prompted me to look for the Georgian honey, and I was happy to discover it on Amazon. This particular honey is from Chestnut tree and has incredible aroma and delicious taste. Once I tried a spoonful of this honey I have start craving for it nonstop. This honey is so good that it will blow your mind."
 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W8FMFCB/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_gBtPDb151VK5X

I am not sure it's true and don't have the time to check now, but it's a great bee story :)

Edited by Ron Put

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Hah, it wasn't hard:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasian_honey_bee

Beneficial for beekeeping[edit]

  • Gentle and calm on the comb
  • Longest proboscis, so it can extract nectar from the deepest nectar tissues, where no other species can
  • Ardent brood production – raising strong colonies
  • Colonies reach full strength in mid-summer, which is good for areas where the highest nectar flow is in mid-summer
  • Very great user of propolis
  • In its native area a better honey producer than the European dark bee

Not beneficial for beekeeping[edit]

  • Colonies do not reach full strength until mid-summer, which is an undesirable trait for areas with the highest nectar flow in the spring.
  • The great use of propolis may be seen as undesirable as it makes hive management more difficult. Frames and hive boxes are glued together more substantially.
  • Over-wintering in northern climates is not good due to susceptibility to nosema.
  • Inclined to drifting and robbing

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I just tasted the Buckwheat honey and the Chestnut honey.

To my taste, the Chestnut honey is superior, not as sugary. It tastes a little like molasses, with a slight coffee-like taste. Maybe I am biased by the the super-long Georgian bee proboscis, but this stuff is a winner.

I am curious, how is the blood glucose of those here who eat honey regularly?

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9 hours ago, Ron Put said:

To my taste, the Chestnut honey is superior, not as sugary. It tastes a little like molasses, with a slight coffee-like taste. Maybe I am biased by the the super-long Georgian bee proboscis, but this stuff is a winner.

I am curious, how is the blood glucose of those here who eat honey regularly?

The Chestnut honey is definitely my favourite, I love that bitterish chocolatey-coffey taste.

I'm eating honey pretty regularly now; my fasting BG varies, the latest two samples were 87 and 90 mg/dL, sometimes it was higher. Besides honey I'm eating lots of carbs though, simple and complex like fruits and bread.

In my case, eating little carbs invariably triggers a catabolic response, eating many carbs (and protein) helped me in reversing this trend, gain bodyweight and boost muscle hypertrophy. Ole mTOR governs. Feed him leucine and Insuline/IGF-1, he'll put himself at work. And mTOR activation is not necessarily bad as we know.

Edited by mccoy

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This stuff is tempting :) I just finished the jar of buckwheat honey and have about 40g left in the chestnut honey jar. I've been eating about 20g per day, although I binged yesterday and ate almost 80g (pot is legal where I live and I took advantage of it yesterday, thus the munchies :D ).

Since it's really sugar, I'll give it a rest for about 3 months and then get another two jars.

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