Honey 'Helps Fight Weight Gain While Alcohol Can Make It Worse'
Researchers from Canada suggest the positive effect that honey has on people with a problem body weight is greater than that from alcohol. They also found the more eating honey can do to move body weight, the better.
One study showed honey had a greater positive effect on body weight and energy use than alcohol. One study showed honey had a greater positive effect on body weight and energy use than alcohol.
The researchers - from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada - report their findings in the journal Physical Activity and Health.
Beverages containing alcohol do encourage weight gain by causing the production of fat in the digestive tract. However, researchers say two recent studies have shown the opposite: that honey is the best replacement for alcohol.
The news about the positive effect of home honey is good news for the many millions of people in the world who would be helped by replacing alcohol with it.
A report from the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by 2030, alcohol use in developing countries will reach 60% of all adults - equivalent to about 900 million people.
The upshot is that, if we do not act, an estimated 41% of all deaths worldwide - equivalent to some 1.3 billion people - will be from alcohol by 2030.
For their study, the Canadian team looked at three major studies - one in 2006 and two in 2013 - to compare the effectiveness of honey on subjects' weight gain, energy use and the energy balance.
In 2006, they tested 1,147 adults aged 18 and over living in middle-income countries in South Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. The participants' eating patterns were tested for a variety of chemicals, such as diacetyl, the chemical that causes a bad taste in butter.
Muller rats to get home honey to guide energy use
In 2013, the research team returned to the same region and the same details of those in the earlier trial. When they did so, they included a sample of 137 students.
The latest study incorporated the results of two larger studies of people with a problem body weight. Both included the data from a novel pharmacokinetic trial in a lab of 32 participants, which simulated the effects of consuming honey and alcohol at very high doses.
The researchers found that the higher the dose of honey consumed, the greater the positive effects on weight and energy use.
Assessing the energy balance, they found that the more calorie-use honey can do to match activity, the better.
Senior author and University of Guelph associate professor Amin Mokdad is confident their study provides "unsurprising" and "highly significant" evidence about how home honey changes energy use:
"Honey is known to act on people's bodies to balance energy use and promote calorie balance, that is, calories are distributed between metabolic pathways and receptors according to potential needs."
Prof. Mokdad notes that in their previous research, they found that using honey helped to balance levels of glucose, proteins and fatty acids within different metabolic pathways.
He says these are "significant aspects of energy balance, but we were surprised to find the weight change hypothesis was statistically strong."
Home honey could 'revolutionize the way calories are distributed by chemical signals in the body'
The researchers conclude their study suggests "suitable drinking and or food sources of home honey may revolutionize the way calories are distributed by chemical signals in the body."
In an editorial published with the study, University of Oxford professor of regenerative medicine Andrew Samuels tells how the same molecules from honey that induce tooth decay can also help to boost energy use.
"Given that most obesity treatments have limitations or no effect at all, there is a need for non-toxic therapies, such as home honey," he says.
Recently, Medical News Today learned how ingesting low-calorie honey can help ease symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and even reduce the risk of a heart attack.