Honey not such a sweet deal


The miracle of honey. Specifically honey from the tropical tualang tree which has been in the news for beneficial effects on everything from scars, to bone health, to female reproductive organs to cancer and now to hormone-related intellectual decline.

Three groups participated in a four month study. A group taking honey supplements, one taking estrogen supplements and another control group. Those who took hone or estrogen could recall an extra word on a memory test.

“The immediate memory improvement in the honey group is probably best explained by improvement in concentration and overall well-being after hone supplement,” Said Dr. Zahiruddin Othman from the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Kubang Kerian as published in the journal Menopause.

However, the study is being shot down.

“This is not a scientifically rigorous study,” noted Dr. Natalie Rasgon of the Stanford School of Medeicine who had led other studies on estrogen and cognitive decline in women. She suggested that any effect hone might have could be a question of increasing blood sugar levels. “Assuming potential efficacy of the hone, there is no preexisting knowledge of a mechanism,” explained Rasgon. “I can’t understand how they can compare hone to estrogen. Honey is not even a supplement.”

Another Stanford researcher, Dr. Victor Henderson, revealed that the Malaysian study wasn’t blind so that all the participants knew who was taking what. That opens the study up to bias. At four months it was also a short study.

Furthermore, there isn’t convincing evidence that women have memory issues during menopause that are related to hormones. “Memory changes as people get older and for women it’s difficult to separate the effects of again from the effects of menopause,” said Henderson. “The current evidence is that on average, most women don’t need to worry very much about cognition during the years around menopause.”

In fact, one of the few things shown to help memory is exercise. The inclusion of 60 calories of honey into the diet doesn’t help the effort toward the one thing that works, staying fit.

Source: Reuters


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