Honey Proven Effective Preventing Osteoporosis

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Osteoporosis is currently a global health problem. In fact, Osteoporosis has become the top 10 degenerative diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Osteoporosis patients have an increased risk of fractures 2 to 3 times greater if there is minor trauma. Furthermore, osteoporosis patients are also at risk of experiencing fractures, disabilities, even dependence on others, and psychological disorders.

The decreasing bone density in patients with osteoporosis lasts progressively for several years without showing clear clinical symptoms. So it is often taken lightly by osteoporosis sufferers and only discovered after a fracture occurs.

Although estrogen deficiency is a cause of osteoporosis, the use of estrogen hormone supplements is considered risky. If it is used for long term, estrogen hormone supplements can trigger breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and bleeding in the reproductive organs. Therefore, alternative therapies with minimal side effects are needed.

With that background, Dr. Ira Sari Yudaniayanti, MKes., drh., conducted a study. The results are encouraging; it turns out that Apis dorsata bee honey has great potential to become an anti-osteoporosis drug. “Honey contains α-Cyclodextrin which has a prebiotic effect decreasing bone tissue absorption activity,” she explained.

The research conducted by the lecturer of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FKH) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) has been tested on mice where their ovaries were taken as a model of menopause. So there is a drastic decrease in estrogen and trigger osteoporosis.

The result of the study showed that Apis dorsata honey supplements can inhibit the decrease of cortical bone thickness and repair bone damage. So the bones will not break easily. “Giving 2g honey for each kg body weight has been proven to prevent the decrease in bone density and increase bone strength so that it is not easily broken or cracked,” she said.

Furthermore, honey contains flavonoids; more than 150 polyphenols like phenol acids; flavonols; catechins and cinnamic acid derivatives The flavonoid works as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory so that it can protect bone cell damage. Flavonoids can also trigger increased activity of osteoblast formation and suppress the number of osteoclasts by strengthening the bone immunity.

In the end, Ira continued, if honey consumption is followed with physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle, it is not impossible that many benefits will be obtained. “Honey consumption should also be balanced with jump training because it can increase alkaline phosphatase and calcium serum as a marker of bone metabolism,” she stated. (*)

Author: Erika Eight Novanty

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Reference: Yudaniayanti IS, Primarizky H, Nangoi L, Yuliani GA (2019) Protective effects of honey by bees (Apis dorsata) on decreased cortical thickness and bone impact strength of ovariohysterectomized rats as models for menopause, Veterinary World, 12(6): 868-876. Link                  : https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333945470_Protective_effects_of_honey_by_bees_Apis_dorsata_on_decreased_cortical_thickness_and_bone_impact_strength_of_ovariohysterectomized_rats_as_models_for_menopause

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