Monday, June 14, 2010

Honey Improves Health of Infants with Protein-Energy Malnutrition

Effect of Honey on Gastric Emptying of Infants with Protein Energy Malnutrition
European Journal of Clinical Investigation, Volume 40 Issue 5, Pages 383 - 387

Background: Patients with protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) have delayed gastric emptying time (GET) which may affect nutritional rehabilitation. This study was designed to examine the effect of honey on GET during nutritional rehabilitation of PEM patients.

Patients and methods: Thirty patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to one of two equal groups. One group received conventional nutritional rehabilitation therapy and the other received honey in addition. They were compared with 20 age- and sex-matched controls. History taking, clinical examination and laboratory tests were performed for enrolled cases and GET was assessed using abdominal ultrasonography. These parameters were performed before and 2 weeks after nutritional rehabilitation.

Results: The GET was significantly delayed in the PEM groups compared with the controls. Further significant delay occurred in the honey supplemented group after nutritional rehabilitation, while the un-supplemented group showed significant shortening of GET. The improvement of anthropometric measurements and laboratory parameters was equally noticed in the two PEM groups upon nutritional rehabilitation but their rate of change was distinctly higher, although non-significant, in the group supplemented with honey.

Conclusion: Honey supplementation increased GET in PEM patients with positive effect on the improvement in the anthropometric measurements and serum albumin which makes us wonder that this delay in GET might be primarily a compensatory phenomenon and it was augmented by the use of honey. Larger scale studies with longer term follow up are recommended to further clear this point and assess any changes in the absorptive indices in honey supplemented PEM patients.

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