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Date syrup naturally fights pathogenic bacterial infections


Date syrup

(NaturalNews) Dates are a fantastic natural, raw, sweet treat. When turned into a thick, sticky, brown liquid, they make a great natural substitute to sugar, maple syrup or honey. Although date syrup is nothing new – it has been a popular staple in Middle Eastern kitchens and natural treatments for decades – these days, the West is slowly falling in love with its natural sweet taste, too.

Dates are a great source of energy, natural sugars, fibers, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They have been used in the Middle East to treat or prevent constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, diarrhea, abdominal cancer and many other conditions.

While these treatments have been passed on from generation to generation and have proven their effectiveness throughout the years, dates and date syrup have recently caught the attention of the scientific world, too.

More effective than manuka honey


Recent research, presented at the Society for General Microbiology's Annual Conference in Birmingham, found date syrup to be as effective, or even better, than manuka honey in fighting a wide range of pathogenic bacterial infections.

Most of the diseases and disorders successfully treated with date syrup are all associated with inflammation and bacterial infections. This sparked the curiosity of Hajer Taleb, a PhD student from the Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK. She made it her mission to research the antibacterial effects and put these age-old traditional remedies to the test.

For her study, she used date syrup from Basra, southern Iraq, which is considered one of the best regions for date and date syrup production. She was able to identify a number of phenolic compounds that naturally form in the ripening fruits. These little substances already showed some powerful antioxidant and antibacterial activity in previously published work.

When date syrup was mixed with a wide range of bacterial cultures such as the illness-causing Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, it inhibited their growth in about six hours. Although similar bacterial activity is found in manuka honey, known for its wound-healing properties, date syrup handles it much faster.

Date syrup as a clinical topical treatment

Although research is still in its early stages, Taleb and his supervisor, Ara Kanekanian, believe that date syrup may replace honey as a clinical, topical antibacterial treatment for wound infections in the future.

However, Kanekanian remains very cautious and states: "While this work is currently in vitro, it suggests that date syrup could exhibit health benefits through its antibacterial activities, similar, or in some cases, better than honey. At this stage, this has mainly been attributed to the presence of phenolic compounds. However, until further research is undertaken, we caution people against using the syrup to treat wounds."

Be sure to get the real thing

If you are thinking about making the swap and giving date syrup a try, make sure to get the real thing. Taleb also tested the effect of artificial syrups made from constituent sugars found in dates. These lack the phenolic compounds and weren't as effective.

Sources for this article include

ScienceAlert.com

MicrobiologySociety.org

OrganicFacts.net

Science.NaturalNews.com

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