(Family Features) - Here's another reason to enjoy the sweet taste of 100% pure honey. A new study conducted at Purdue University has shown that consuming honey along with supplemental calcium enhanced calcium absorption in rats. In addition, the absorption of calcium was increased as the amount of honey was increased.
The study, led by Dr. Berdine Martin of Purdue University, was presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego in April.
"Many adults struggle to get the recommended amounts of calcium in their daily diet," said Dr. Katherine Beals, nutrition consultant to the National Honey Board.
According to the recently released Surgeon General's Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis (Oct 14, 2004), "By 2020, half of all American citizens older than 50 will be at risk for fractures from osteoporosis and low bone mass if no immediate action is taken by individuals at risk, health care professionals, health systems, and policymakers."
Osteoporosis is often referred to as a "silent" disease because many of those afflicted are completely unaware that they suffer from it. In fact, four times as many men and three times as many women have osteoporosis than report it.
One of the key strategies for reducing the likelihood of developing low bone mass (and subsequent osteoporosis) is to consume the recommended amounts of calcium. It is also important that the calcium consumed be absorbed by the body. Dietary factors that have been shown to enhance the absorption of calcium include vitamin D and the sugars found in honey.
"Although this study was done with rats, the preliminary results are very compelling," said Dr. Beals. "Of course, we would have to replicate the experiment in a human sample to see if the same holds true for people."
Following is a quick and easy smoothie recipe that tastes great and packs a powerful calcium punch. For more recipes using honey, go to www.honey.com.