For those who frequently purchase Manuke honeyCreated by:
What is UMF on labels of honey stand for and does it matter?
Honey has always been used as medicine for generations. Whenever one goes grocery shopping, it is immediately noticeable that among the selection of honey displayed, Manuka honey are always one of the most expensively priced selection.
In 1981, scientist discovered that certain strain of Manuka honey have special properties (Leptocin, DHA, Methylglyoxal) not found in any other variant of honey. These property are over and above the usual properties of honey. The enzyme activity found in other types of honey are introduced into the honey by the bees, but the enzyme properties of the Manuka honey comes from the nectar of the manuka flower.
These natural compounds act by inhibiting myeloperoxidase (MPO). MPO is released during an infection and triggers the inflammatory process in our body. Inflammatory or immune-mediated illness (such as asthma, Crohn's disease, vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis) are believed to be triggered by the increasing levels of MPO in our body. Recently, MPO has also been linked to the incident of cardiovascular attacks as well. Therefore, MPO and its downstream inflammatory pathways might be attractive targets for the prevention of all mentioned illnesses. However, there are currently no studies to prove that the above mentioned theory is true.
Not all manuka honey contain this unique ingredient and their quality vary in grade and strength. To help consumers differentiate between these honey, a grading system called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) has been developed, awarded to producers that meet the strict standard of UMF honey association. If you see UMF labeled on a honey jar, it means that the Manuka honey you're about to purchase is guaranteed to be natural, unadulterated, pure and produced in New Zealand. The numbers printed above the trademark indicates the level of special properties found in that particular jar. The numbers range from 5 onwards, with 16+ being the highest grade.
Therefore, the next time you're out grocery shopping, use the UMF grading system to guide you get the best quality Manuka honey your purse can afford or just stick to your usual brand since there isn't enough evidence to indicate how much more nutritious the UMF graded Manuka honey is compared to the regular stuff.