Monday, March 03, 2008

Honey and Diabetes Go Together Safely: DUHS Expert

By Irfan Aligi, Daily Times (Pakistan), 2/3/2008

KARACHI: Pure honey, especially from the wild, is a blessing for ailing diabetics and can be used without any harm as it has multifactor anti-bacterial, haemostatic and nutritious properties, explained Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) Prosthodentics Department Head and Dental Care for Physicians Programme Director Prof. Dr Muhammad Amin.

According to Prof Amin, it was just a misconception and old wives’ tale that such patients should avoid using pure and natural honey. In fact, pure honey is used to maintain oral hygiene and various inflammatory problems of the teeth and gums such as gingivitis periodontitis, plaque and caries, he said, adding that in many cases it yields far better results than some antibiotics.

“In my clinical practice, the use of pure honey for ulcerative conditions of the buccal [mouth cavity] membranes, tongue and gums has yielded extraordinary results especially when other case-related medicines have failed to heal the wound,” he said.

Open ulcers are better healed with honey when applied locally instead of medicated gel, ointments or creams. In one case of Hepatic Cirrhosis, the ulcer of the mouth and tongue were completely healed with honey, while selective therapy did nothing good for the case.

Associate Prof Dr Rana Qamar Masood, the director of the Sarwar Zuberi Liver Centre and National Institute of Liver and Gastrointestinal Diseases, told Daily Times that although the use of honey is not recommended medically it has been clinically established that it works for different problems. In the case of viral hepatitis-C, the use of honey is not usually discussed but because of the nutrition it offers, it could be used as an energizer. The sick or even the healthy can take one teaspoon of honey with lukewarm water for an instant source of energy.

Ear, Nose and Throat specialist Dr Qaisar Sajjad said that there were no restrictions on the use of honey but as far as he knew its use as a medicine has not yet been documented. However, clinical experiences are different as compared to scientifically conducted studies. Honey might be used as an instant source of energy because it contains natural sweetening agents.

However, in an article published in Journal of Medicinal Food (Sep2007, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p473-478), titled, ‘Subjects with Impaired Glucose Tolerance Exhibit a High Degree of Tolerance to Honey’ the findings of a study were discussed. The experts studied the relative tolerance to honey and glucose of people with impaired glucose tolerance or mild diabetes…

They concluded that from the investigation that honey may prove to be a valuable sugar substitute for subjects with impaired glucose tolerance or mild diabetes…

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