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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Honey use can reduce the incidence of radio/chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis

A recent meta-analysis by Xu et al. showed that, compared with blank control, topical application of honey treatment could reduce the incidence of oral mucositis after radio/chemotherapy (P = 0.003). Honey has also been shown to reduce the level of pain in patients suffering from oral mucositis after radio/chemotherapy.

Although the exact etiology of the prophylactic effect of honey on the management of radio/chemotherapy-induced mucositis is not understood, investigators have proposed several hypotheses. It may act by the following mechanisms: 
  1. The sugar content in honey is very high; honey is hygroscopic and readily dehydrates bacteria and other microorganisms, thus demonstrating antimicrobial properties and reducing the severity of oral mucositis. 
  2. Honey contains glucose oxidase; this enzyme catalysis the oxidation of glucose to hydrogen peroxide, which has a local antimicrobial effect. 
  3. Clinical trials have also confirmed that honey can alleviate wound inflammation and accelerate granulation formation and epithelial crawling, accordingly promoting wound. healing.

Further multi-center randomized controlled trials are needed to support the current evidence.