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The Hidden Dangers of Honey

Honey is hailed for its many healing properties and medicinal benefits, but there is also a darker side to it. Raw honey is not heated or filtered and has been associated with certain health risks.

Exercise & Fitness By Himanshu Sharma / Feb 20, 2015

The Dangers of Honey

Honey is hailed for its many healing properties and medicinal benefits, but there is also a darker side to it. Raw honey is not heated or filtered and has been associated with certain health risks. You can enjoy the health benefits of raw honey, but you need to ensure that it comes from a safe source. Here are the dangers and mistakes of the natural sweetener that you must be wary of.

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Food Poisoning

There is a risk that honey can become contaminated with germs from plants and bees. The issue of contamination is also there during collection, production and processing. Most of the harmful organisms cannot survive or reproduce, but bacteria that reproduce using spores may remain.

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Infant Botulism

Raw honey is a potential source of the Clostridium botulinum spores. According to The Centers for Disease Control, don’t give honey to infants under the age of 12 months as there lies a risk of infant botulism. The rare disease caused by the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum can cause varying degrees of paralysis.

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Allergies

There can be allergic reactions such as (itching, puffy skin and rash) in response to consumption of raw honey. Anaphylactic shock is a form of severe allergic reaction with symptoms of difficult breathing, low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, heart failure and possible death.

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Intoxication

According to the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, honey may have grayanotoxins and can cause trouble if large amount of it is consumed. These are  chemicals that are toxic to your nervous system. Honey intoxication side-effects include weakness, dizziness, sweating, nausea, vomiting and a prickling sensation. Heart problems are another possible side-effect.

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Diabetes Complications

Consumption of raw honey is tied to changes in cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose. In diabetes, raw honey intake can increase HDL cholesterol. One of the studies also found a rise in HbA1c (a marker of blood glucose levels) with raw honey consumption.

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Risks from Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Omega-6 fatty acids along with omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats. However, omega-6 fatty acids have been linked to health issues when taken from raw foods.

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Honey Dosage

Consumption of honey in moderation is equally important. Make sure you measure your servings to avoid accidentally over-consuming honey as one tablespoonful can give you 50-80 calories.

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