Thursday, January 19, 2006

Columnist Claims Bee Products Have No Medicinal Value

Be Sweet on Honey Despite its Limited Nutritional Value
By Patricia Aaron, Albuquerque Journal (USA), 1/18/2006

Honey is the nectar of flowers that is collected, modified and concentrated by the honeybee. During the summer months, bees store more honey than they can use and beekeepers harvest this surplus.

For every pound of honey harvested, the hive uses eight pounds for everyday activities. It's estimated that the bee must fly the equivalent of three orbits around the Earth to gather enough nectar for a pound of honey.

Honey, like table sugar (sucrose), contains glucose (dextrose) and fructose (fruit sugar). Honey is composed of 17 percent water, 38 percent fructose, 31 percent glucose and smaller amounts of other sugars, like sucrose. In table sugar, two monosaccharides are bonded together, and in honey, some of them are free. Whether you eat monosaccharides individually, as in honey, or linked together, as in table sugar, they end up the same way in the body - as glucose and fructose. . .

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that honey not be given to infants under 1 year. Honey may contain the spores of Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism. Bees may pick up environmental pollutants.

The significant difference between sugar sources is not between "natural" honey and "refined" sugar. Be wary of exaggerated nutrition claims that one product is more nutritious than another because it contains honey. Although pollen and royal jelly do wonders for bees, there is no evidence that they do anything out of ordinary for humans. There are plenty of reasons for liking honey, but nutrition and medicinal value are not two of them.

Patricia Aaron is the Extension Home Economist and a professor with the Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service and New Mexico State University.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This lady must first have a look to the Apitherapy Reference Data Base at then share with us her opinions on this subject...!

Dr. Stefan Stangaciu
President of the German Apitherapy Society