DNC News


DNC NEWS:  Honey update

Subject:  Honey is more than sugar syrup, it increases blood antioxidant levels

One of my esteemed readers wrote wondering whether honey's antibacterial action was simply due to the combination of sugars contained within it and which are so hydroscopic that they bind up any free water and literally dehydrate any organisms they touch.  This is an interesting idea.  It's long been known that because of these properties, honey was an excellent preservative.  He suggested that perhaps other similarly composed sugar syrups might have a similar effect. As I pondered this question I found an article which was just posted yesterday which suggests that there is more to honey than sugar syrup.  It says that chronic honey consumers have increased levels of polyphenolic antioxidants in their blood.  It would seem unlikely that chronic sugar syrup consumption would have the same effect. Anyone want to volunteer for an experiment?

Honey may have sweet health benefits
29 Mar 2004

Honey may have sweet health benefits, according to researchers who conducted what is believed to be the first study of chronic honey consumption in humans. Biochemist Heidrun Gross and colleagues fed 25 study participants about four tablespoons each of buckwheat honey daily for 29 days in addition to their regular diets.

The volunteers were divided into two groups receiving honey that provided different amounts of polyphenols -- compounds found in fruits, vegetables and seeds that have been linked with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The researchers drew blood samples from the participants at given intervals following honey consumption. They found that there was a direct link between the honey consumption and the level of polyphenolic antioxidants in the plasma. These findings further strengthen existing evidence that suggests that honey in the diet can provide people with protective antioxidant compounds.

Paper: Effect of honey consumption on plasma antioxidant status in human subjects

Authors: Heidrun B. Gross, John A. Polagruto, Qin Yan Zhu, Derek D. Schramm, Carl Keen, UC Davis; Sun H. Kim, Konju National University, South Korea

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