Aussie honey good for gut health: new research uncovers prebiotic qualities

A world-first study has discovered that Australian eucalypt honey has prebiotic qualities, meaning that regular consumption could improve gut health.

Prebiotic foods stimulate the growth of gut bacteria that contribute to human health and reduce the growth of deleterious gut bacteria. Prebiotic foods are not digested by human enzymes, but reach the large intestine intact and act as a food source for beneficial bacteria including bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. 

The RIRDC-funded study analysed the chemical and functional properties of 20 Australian eucalypt honey samples, originating from Jarrah, Red Stringybark, Spotted Gum and Yellow Box eucalypt tree species. 

One of the coordinators of the study, Dr David Dall said the results of the research could lead to wide-reaching industry and human health benefits.

“For the first time researchers engaged in this study have been able to show in human trials that Australian eucalypt honeys have prebiotic qualities at levels that could help improve gut health, which can have a couple of important flow on effects,” Dr Dall said.

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Image credit: RIRDC