by Angela Van Alten, Nutritionist and Beekeeper's Daughter
A study recently published in the journal Molecules has given excellent scientific insight into the many health benefits of honey. The review published lends great credibility to what we've known for a long time - that honey has the ability to both slow and prevent the diseases of aging.
The journal stated:
"The global prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), atherosclerosis (plaque in the arteries), cancer and Alzheimer's disease is on the rise. These diseases, which constitute the major causes of death globally, are associated with oxidative stress."
The authors gave an excellent definition of what oxidative stress is and what it does to your body over time:
"Oxidative stress is defined as an “imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in favor of the oxidants, potentially leading to damage”. Individuals with chronic diseases are more susceptible to oxidative stress and damage because they have elevated levels of oxidants and/or reduced antioxidants. This, therefore, necessitates supplementation with antioxidants (such as honey) so as to delay, prevent or remove oxidative damage."
The journal went on to say this about honey and the health conditions it has been shown to help with: (many of which we've discussed here on Bee Pollen Buzz.com)
"Honey is a natural substance with many medicinal effects such as antibacterial, hepatoprotective (protects the liver), hypoglycemic (lowers blood sugar), reproductive, antihypertensive (prevent high blood pressure) and antioxidant effects."
The review went on to say that honey may reduce oxidative stress in the gut, in the liver, pancreas, kidneys, reproductive organs and in the blood.
The authors then urgently recommended that more studies be done on the anti-oxidant effect of honey in humans with chronic or degenerative diseases.
This study reaffirms what we already know - that health really does lie in the hive! So what does this mean for you on a daily basis and how do you take advantage of this knowledge?
I recommend that we all consume at least one teaspoon of raw, unpasteurized honey per day to obtain some of the health benefits of this magical substance. And on days that you are active, consume more - perhaps a full tablespoon.
The exact amount of honey that humans need to consume each day to obtain the disease preventing effects it offers is not known exactly. Let me know how much you consume and perhaps we can start a knowledge base for the world!
Read the complete study in the journal Molecules, 2012, 17(4), 4400-4423.