Skip to content

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Honey Sweetens Your Health

Honey boosts antioxidants -- your body's natural defense against disease
Font Size
A
A
A
By
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Medical News

March 30, 2004 -- Reaching for a spoonful of honey rather than sugar to sweeten your favorite food and drinks may help boost your body's natural defenses.

A new study shows that a daily dose of honey does more than just satisfy your sweet tooth, it also raises levels of disease-fighting antioxidants in the blood.

Researchers say honey contains varying concentrations of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Polyphenols are also found in fruits, vegetables, tea, and olive oil.

Although a previous study shows that a dose of honey can deliver a surge of antioxidants, researchers say this is the first study to look at the effects of long-term honey consumption.

The findings were presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, Calif.

Honey for Health

In the study, researchers fed 25 participants about 4 tablespoons of buckwheat honey per day for 29 days in addition to their regular diets. Two types of honey containing different amounts of polyphenols were tested.

Blood samples taken at the beginning and end of the study showed a direct link between honey consumption and levels of disease-fighting polyphenols. The more polyphenol-containing honey they ate, the higher the levels of antioxidants were in their blood.

Researchers Heidrun Gross of the University of California-Davis and colleagues say that antioxidants are thought to protect humans from disease by slowing potentially dangerous disease processes in the body. The compounds work by scavenging free radicals -- unstable compounds that can damage healthy cells and compromise their function.

Researchers say that given the fact that the average person consumes more than 150 pounds of sweetener per year, substituting honey in some foods for traditional sweeteners may be a healthier option.

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
fat caliper
Tool
 

Special Sections