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Honey

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									                                    ALTERNATIVE MEDS UPDATE
                                    What you should know about the herbs and supplements patients use
                                    By Sherril Sego, FNP-C, DNP. Ms. Sego is a staff clinician at the Kansas City VA Medical Center
                                    in Kansas City, Mo., where she practices adult medicine and women’s health. She also teaches at
                                    the nursing schools of the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas.




                                                                             Honey
                                                                             The product of some extremely determined and
                                                                             industrious insects, this golden, sweet, sticky
                                                                             wonder of nature is a staple in many kitchens.
                                                                             Given the severity of this country’s obesity and
                                                                             diabetes epidemics, most sweeteners have got-
                                                                             ten a fair amount of negative press attention in
                                                                             recent years. In contrast, honey’s beneficial role
                                                                             in our culture has remained constant. In fact, its
                                                                             popularity appears to have increased.
ISTOCKPHOTO




              Background                                                     by geographic region, but the variation has not been found
                                                                             to be statistically significant.
              Perhaps the most amazing thing about honey is the proces-
              sion of events its production requires. One source claims      Science
              that it takes more than 60,000 honeybees in a single beehive
              traveling some 55,000 miles and dipping into more than two     Fresh from the hive, honey is free of microbial contamination
              million flowers to collect enough nectar for one single pound   of any kind.1 Because of this trait, it has been used for centu-
              of honey.1 Honey differs greatly in both color and content,    ries to aid in food preservation. The perservative property is
              depending on the region of the country and types of flowers     attributable to the fact that as some of honey’s simple sugars
              involved in its production.                                    enzymatically degrade, they produce a low level of hydrogen
                Technically, honey is composed of glucose, fructose, and     peroxide along with its associated mild antibacterial effect.1
              water.1 Honey produced in the United States has an aver-         Medically, honey has been used for everything from
              age glycemic index rating in the low 70s, making it at least   wound healing to gingivitis treatment. Medical-grade
              10 points lower than refined white sugar and high-fructose      honeys are filtered, g
								
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