By Gavin Gear of ManukaGuard
What makes Manuka Honey different from all other honey? Manuka honey is the only honey that contains the compound Methylglyoxal and current research demonstrates how the methylglyoxal occurs in this remarkable honey. Manuka nectar contains the chemical dihydroxyacetone; the bees collect the nectar and in the hive this chemical converts to methyglyoxal
(dihydroxyacetone also comes from sugar beets).
All manuka honey is harvested from wild forests and bush lands in New Zealand and is sold globally as a food product in spite of it having well known and chronicled health benefits that are unique to manuka honey and distinct from health benefits of any other honey.
The FDA has approved via the 510K medical device process, wound care dressings for heavy exudation wounds, burns, diabetic injury or diabetic surgery that will not heal and pressure ulcers.
The wound dressings utilize a medical grade manuka honey that has been filtered to remove particles (purity) that could cause a problem if they were in a medical grade honey being placed into a wound. Medical Grade is sterilized most typically via the application of heat. The filtering and sterilization process changes none of the therapeutic characteristics of the honey.
Medical grade is used to support a healthy digestive system; it is probiotic and also provides prebiotic function in the colon; it is best used for chronic digestive issues again for the reasons stated above regarding purity.
Both retailer and consumer are confused by the two manuka grading systems and which grade of honey to use to provide the most benefit for a particular issue. Most would say the higher the number the greater the benefit and this is simply not accurate.
The UMF system of 5+, 6+, 8+,10+, 12+,16+, 20+ or the MGO system of is a measure of the antimicrobial strength. MGO 100, MGO 200, MGO 250, MGO 400, MGO 500 are the measure of the methylglyoxal content of the manuka honey. Both UMF and MGO are different methods of anti-microbial strength measurement.
That said, manuka honey has characteristics beyond microbial and neither of these grading systems demonstrate anything practical for the consumer regarding these other very significant therapeutic characteristics. FDA regulation does not permit the language describing these other characteristics on the product label. This leaves us with the issue of how to best direct the consumer to the right grade for a particular therapeutic use.
FDA compliant dietary supplement labeled manuka honey accomplishes this through the use of “Name Indications” and FDA compliant language on the label to guide the consumer, retail staff and professionals alike. Having both grading systems on the label also brings clarity to that issue.

2012:Peter Molan’s articles on

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.