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Medical Myths

Honey is good for babies and also helps in weight loss

View and read about All the Medical Myths here.

All the great news about honey talks about how all the ancients thought of honey as a great remedy and used it to treat such a large variety of conditions that you would begin to think that honey was the next best to the mythical elixir.

Many articles say that modern scientific research has actually confirmed that most of these good things might actually be true. The real fact is that many of the benefits of honey may be circumspect and not really benefits at all.

In the first place it is risky to give honey to infants (babies who are not yet 1 year old). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, office of food safety has an article on its Web site that cautions about the risk of botulism in infants who are given raw honey. This is because spores of the bacteria that cause botulism may travel from the dust and soil to where honey is being extracted or canned. Botulism can affect everybody but immune responses do ensure that the body puts up a fight and counters the threat. Infants do not have a developed immune system and therefore are at a greater risk of acquiring the infection. So feeding raw honey to infants is not recommended at all.

The second, much touted, benefit of honey was its supposed role as an effective substitute for sugar. This was expected to make it indirectly beneficial to diabetics and to weight watchers. Some sources even added that honey mixed with cinnamon directly led to a reduction in cholesterol.

Unfortunately none of these claims are true. Honey contains more calories and carbohydrates than synthetic sugars and is not beneficial at all to diabetics or weight watchers. The claims of honey and cinnamon being able to directly reduce cholesterol have no substantiated scientific attestation.

A review of current scientific papers on honey was conducted by doctors and researchers affiliated to the Alberta Beekeepers Association, Canada and they have fairly evaluated claims and counter claims and come up with a balanced set of recommendations for Health Canada.

Honey does have its benefits as a natural source of nutrition, antioxidants, and agents that help in combating some infections and inflammations. However it s always better to talk to your doctor about whether regular intake of honey as a supplement to treatment or medication is actually good for you.

References

1.       Smith , Dr. Michelle Annette: Homemade Baby Food – Make it Safely: Office of Food Safety, FDA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/homemade_babyfood.html January 27, 2011

2.       http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/medicinal-uses-of-honey

3.       http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264667.php , 10 Aug 2013

 4.       Lutz, Susan; Chunara, Shirzad; Kennedy, Rae; Literature Review of Honey and Health Benefits, August 2007

 

 

 

 

 

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