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August 12, 2009

Does Honey Relieve Allergy Symptoms? NO!


Came across an interesting blog article by allergist Dr. Ves Dimov regarding whether honey actually helps allergic individuals.

The blunt conclusion was that honey does NOT help people with their allergies. As quoted from a Fort Worth newspaper article, "The bees don't know what you're allergic to," he said. Most people are allergic to windborne pollens that come from grass and trees, but bees mostly gather flower pollens, he said. Another problem: You'd have to eat dozens of pounds of honey for it to be beneficial, the allergist said. There isn't enough pollen in the natural sweetener to make a big impact."

In fact, there was a research study done in 2002 where 36 participants who complained of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis were randomly assigned to one of three groups receiving:

1. locally collected, unpasteurized, unfiltered honey
2. nationally collected, filtered, pasteurized honey
3. corn syrup with synthetic honey flavoring

All participants consumed 1 tablespoon/day and were instructed to maintain a diary tracking 10 subjective allergy symptoms.

Neither honey group experienced relief from their symptoms in excess of that seen in the placebo group.

This study did not confirm the widely held belief that honey relieves the symptoms of allergy.

Reference:
Effect of ingestion of honey on symptoms of rhino conjunctivitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2002 Feb;88(2):198-203.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this! My mom used to force me to eat honey every day when I was younger. I'll show this post to her :)

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