Swedish scientists say mead may be the key to fight antibiotic-resistant pathogens


Swedish scientists are manufacturing their own mead, an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey and water, they believe could help fight against antibiotic resistance.

Scientists Tobias Olofsson and Alejandra Vasquez have researched bees and their honey for years. In 2014, their research found that honey itself, combined with lactic acid bacteria found in the honey stomach of bees, was successful in treating wounds in horses that had previously been resistant to treatment.

They say the combination of lactic acid bacteria and honey produces hundreds of antibacterial substances, which have killed off all of the human pathogens they have been tested against.

Olofsson and Vasquez have collaborated with a brewery to create Honey Hunter’s Elixir, a mead that uses natural fermentation produced by the honey and bacteria, a more old-fashioned way of producing mead. The modern production of mead adds wine yeast instead, which doesn’t have the same benefits. Many of the useful bacteria are killed off through the production of industrial yeast, taking away the health benefits.

The mead is still in the research stage, and it’s unclear how many pathogens this mead could be used against.

“We will have volunteers drinking this drink and measure different parameters to see if the compounds the bacteria produce could end up in the blood system and for that to cause a prevention or a cure for infections,” Vasquez told Reuters.

If the human research is successful, this mead could be a useful tool for doctors to help combat the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. It could also help aid countries who have more access to honey than powerful antibiotics.

Their mead research is further detailed at Living Antibiotics website.


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