Enzyme Benefits


Enzymes have been referred to as “life force” and for good reason—they make things happen inside our bodies!

Without enzymes, food that we eat will not be digested or absorbed by our bodies. Instead, it will rot and cause us a myriad of health problems in addition to nutritional deficiency. Inside every cell in the body, enzymes are needed to convert food into energy that we need to do everything – walk, run, think, work and even to breathe or blink. Our bodies cannot survive without enzymes because we even need energy for basic survival when we are sleeping!

Some people experience enzyme deficiency due to age, hereditary diseases and heavily processed foods, causing poor health: from tiredness and mental fog, to indigestion and poor appetite. A healthy diet with natural foods, such as pure honey, can introduce useful enzymes into our body.

Most of the enzymes inside honey are produced by bees and added into the honey. There are usually more than 10 different enzymes inside honey and together, they make honey the sweet and nutritious superfood that we all know.

Lovoury Honey, especially, has a high amount of natural enzymes, thanks to our healthy, well-cared bees, and our honey’s unadulterated and minimally processed state. Our honey is simply filtered to remove wax bits and bee parts, gently warmed to remove excess moisture, and bottled immediately. Enzymes are heat-sensitive, so we also harvest our honey in the shade and store it in a cool place.

Here are a few highly beneficial enzymes inside our honey :-

Diastase

You may already know diastase because its common name is amylase. It is a digestive enzyme whose main function is to break down starch (the large carbohydrates) into simple sugars that our body can absorb. Our bodies need a lot of diastase (aka amylase) because starchy carbohydrates are our staple food, therefore making up a very big part of our diet. These are examples of starchy foods:

  1. Rice
  2. Potato
  3. Wheat
  4. Corn
  5. Banana
  6. Oats
  7. Sago
  8. Couscous
  9. Rye
  10. Barley
  11. Cereals

Diastases inside honey help us digest our food better and reduce problems such as bloating, - and the embarrassment of flatulence.

honey, beecomb, harvest, pure

Honey Quality

The International Honey Commission (IHC) has determined that the quality of honey be measured based on its diastase enzyme activity level, and should be no less than 8 Schade units. This is due to 3 main reasons:

1. Many honey producers heat honey for pasteurisation and to reduce its moisture level. However, heating honey to a mere 60°C will damage most of its natural enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants. Diastase is heat sensitive so if the diastases’ activity is lower than 8 Schade units, it would most probably mean that the honey was excessively heated and may have lost a lot of its beneficial enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants.

2. Diastase activity level also reduces when honey is being kept for a long time so a diastase level above 8 Schade units would mean that the honey is fresh.

3. Some bee farmers feed their bees with sugar to make the bees produce honey all year round, even when the weather is unsuitable and there are no flowers. This method also produces honey faster than the traditional way where the bees fly up to 6 or even 8 kilometres each day to collect nectar from flowers. Research have found however that sugar-fed bees produce honey that has VERY LOW levels of diastase, other enzymes and NO plant-based antioxidants, which together, provide the many benefits honey. A diastase activity level above 8 Schade units indicates that the honey is produced by flower bees (not sugar-fed bees), so it WILL HAVE all the nutritional benefits as nature intended it to.

      Lovoury Honey has been tested by independent, accredited laboratories in Thailand and Germany, and results show high diastase enzyme activity of over 12 units for our Wildflower Honey and 18 units for our Longan Flower Honey.

      honey comb. bee, sweet

      Invertase

      Invertase is the enzyme that ripens nectar and turns it into honey. It does this by breaking the sucrose inside nectar into glucose and fructose, smaller sugar molecules which can be absorbed by the body. The glucose and fructose also gives the rich sweetness to honey.

      Glucose Oxidase

      Another enzyme called glucose oxidase breaks down glucose to form gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide, a strong anti-bacterial agent, during the ripening process of honey. The gluconic acid makes honey acidic, ranging between pH 3.2 to 4.5.

      The acidity of honey and the hydrogen peroxide content are among the main reasons why honey can fight and kill bacteria that even antibiotics sometimes cannot kill.

       

      References:
      1. Babacan S, Pivarnik LF, Rand AG. Honey Amylase Activity and Food Starch Degradation. Journal of Food Science. 2002. 67(5): 1625-1630.
      2. Bogdanov S, et al. Honey Quality, Methods of Analysis and International Regulatory Standards: Review of the Work of The International Honey Commission. Swiss Bee Research Centre; 2000.
      3. Bogdanov S, Jurendic T, Sieber R, Gallmann P. Honey for Nutrition and Health: A Review. American Journal of The College of Nutrition. 2008; 27: 677-689.
      4. Cooper GM. The Cell: A Molecular Approach. 2nd Edition. Sunderland: Boston University; 2000. 2: Chap 2.2.
      5. Leonard J. Honey vs Sugar: Is Honey Really Better for You Than Sugar? Medical News Today [Online]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317728.php [Accessed 18th March 2018].
      6. Molan PC. The Antibacterial Activity of Honey. New Zealand: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato. 5-28.
      7. White JW Jr, Chichester CO. Advances in Food Research. Vol 24. New York: Academic Press, Inc; 1978. 315-324.
      8. White JW Jr. Quality Evaluation of Honey: Role of HMF and Diastase Assays. American Bee Journal 132(11): 737-743 and 132(12): 792-794.
      9. British Nutrition Foundation. Starchy Foods (Carbs) [Internet]. British Nutrition Foundation [updated 2017 October; cited 2018 March 27]. Available from: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/basics/carbs.html?limit=1