Honey, Cherries and weight control (not related)

News of the moment.

The start date for the healthy weight loss programme is 25th February 2013. You know it makes sense.

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Honey as a Cough Suppressant

The use of over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medications is discouraged by professionals. Home remedies, such as honey, are inexpensive and could be safe alternatives for the treatment of cough. A trial in Israel compared the effects of a single nocturnal dose of honey with placebo on overnight cough and sleep symptoms for children with upper respiratory infections.

10 g of honey was taken 30 minutes before the children went to sleep

Cohen and colleagues concluded that honey given at bedtime was more effective than placebo in reducing the frequency and severity of night-time cough. They suggest that honey could be used as a safe and effective cough suppressant for children 1 year of age and older.

Honey has many potential medicinal benefits, including antioxidant activity. When considering the relatively low cost of honey (compared with OTC cough and cold medications) and concerns over the vasoactive agents in OTC cough and cold preparations, honey seems to be an attractive option.

Gout and cherries

October 3, 2012 — Patients with gout were less likely to report acute attacks after 2 days of eating cherries or imbibing cherry extract than during periods after no cherry intake, according to data reported in Arthritis & Rheumatism by Yuqing Zhang, DSci, and colleagues from Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts.

Risk for gout attacks was reduced by 75% when cherry intake was combined with allopurinol use. Dr. Zhang said, “We found that if subjects took allopurinol alone, it reduced the risk of gout attack by 53%; if subjects took cherry alone, it reduced the risk by 32%; if they took both, the risk of gout attack was reduced by 75%”.

A cherry serving was defined as one-half cup or 10 to 12 cherries.

“The gout flare risk continued to decrease with increasing cherry consumption, up to three servings over two days.” Further cherry intake was not associated with additional benefit.

In an accompanying editorial, Allan Gelber, MD, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and Daniel Solomon, MD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University Medical School in Boston, write that the findings are promising but reiterates the need for randomized clinical trials to confirm that consumption of cherry products could prevent gout attacks.

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