Newsletter December 2013

Wynberg Pharmacy Sun Valley Pharmacy
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Newsletter November / December 2013
What are the health benefits of honey?

Honey is a sweet liquid produced by honey bees using nectar from flowers through a process of regurgitation and evaporation. It has high levels of monosaccharides, fructose and glucose, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6 and contains about 70 to 80 percent sugar, which gives it its sweet taste - minerals and water make up the rest of its composition.

The health benefits of consuming honey date back to Greek, Roman, Vedic, and Islamic texts. The healing qualities of honey were referred to by philosophers and scientists all the way back to ancient times, such as Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) and Aristoxenus (320 BC).

Over four thousand years ago, honey was used as a traditional ayurvedic medicine, where it was thought to be effective at treating material imbalances in the body. Honey has been consumed for thousands of years for its supposed health benefits. In pre-Ancient Egyptian times, honey was used topically to treat wounds. Egyptian medicinal compounds more than five millennia ago used honey. The ancient Greeks believed that consuming honey could help make you live longer.

The beneficial properties of honey have been explored in modern times, and there is evidence to suggest that these historical claims may hold some truth.

  • Honey may be helpful in preventing GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux).
  • Honey shortens the duration of bacterial diarrhoea in infants and young children.
  • Topically applying honey is an effective way of treating diabetic ulcers that don’t respond to antibiotics.
  • Honey has successfully helped to heal burns, • Honey may be useful in minimizing seasonal allergies.
  • Honey is useful in treating children with night-time coughs.


Vitamin B Supplements May Guard Against Stroke

Previous research has yielded conflicting findings about whether taking vitamin B supplements affects the risk of stroke and heart attack. Some studies have concluded that taking vitamin B supplements may actually increase the risk!

Findings from 14 clinical trials that included a total of nearly 55,000 people, compared vitamin B supplement use with a placebo or very low-dose vitamin B. The participants were followed for a minimum of six months. There were a total of nearly 2,500 strokes among the participants in the studies, all of which showed some benefit of taking vitamin B.

Overall, vitamin B supplements reduced the risk of stroke by 7 percent, but did not appear to reduce the severity of strokes or the risk of death from stroke. The researchers found that folic acid, a supplemental form of folate (B9) that is common in fortified cereals, appeared to reduce the beneficial effect of vitamin B. They also found that vitamin B12 had no effect on stroke risk.
"Based on our results, the ability of vitamin B to reduce stroke risk may be influenced by a number of other factors, such as the body's absorption rate, the amount of folic acid or vitamin B12 concentration in the blood, and whether a person has kidney disease or high blood pressure.”

"Ischaemic strokes can have many different causes, the most common being hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking and obesity. But there is a definite group of patients that may suffer a stroke due to deficiency of vitamins and enzymes”.
Recipe of the Month : Caramel and Banana Cheese Dessert with Pecan Nuts

Caramel and Banana Cheese Dessert with Pecan Nuts 

Serves 6-8

Don't blame me if you allow your diet to slip! This stuff is one of the most decadent treats that have come out of our kitchen. It is sweet and positively addictive. We reduced the water in the cheesecake recipe to ¾ cup to make for a slightly firmer bottom layer. Best to prepare cheese layer and leave it in the fridge, covered, overnight. At the same time mix the banana and lemon into the caramel and leave overnight at room temperature to develop and 'marry' the flavours.

¾ cup (180 ml) cold tap water
1 x 250 g Ina Paarman's Lemon Cheesecake Mix
1 cup (250 ml) fresh cream
1 T (15 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 x 360 g tin Nestlé Treat Caramel
1 T (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 ripe bananas, sliced
50 g pecan nuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Mix Cheesecake according to package instructions and add lemon juice.
Spoon and level the cheesecake mixture into an unbuttered dish. Cover and leave to set for 4 hours or overnight. Spoon the caramel out of the tin into a medium size mixing bowl and soften it with a spatula, stir with lemon juice until smooth. Gently fold in bananas.

Spoon all of the banana mixture over the cheesecake in the dish. Sprinkle nuts over the top.

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Newsletter December 2013