An essential trace element, selenium is nonmetallic, gray in appearance, and similar to
sulfur in its chemical composition. It is often available in single or multivitamin
Why do you need it?
Selenium is needed to activate a number of hormones produced by the thyroid gland. It also activates an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase, which may help protect the body from cancer, and has been shown to induce “apoptosis” (programmed cell death) in cancer cells. Selenium also plays a vital role in the functioning of the immune system. Studies have found that selenium supplementation stimulates the activity of white blood cells. It also enhances the effect of vitamin E, one of three vitamins that act as antioxidants.
How much selenium should you take?
According to the National Academy of Sciences, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of selenium is as follows:
* Adult men: 55 micrograms/day
* Adult women: 55 micrograms/day
* Children aged 7-10: 30 micrograms/day
* Infants: between 10-15 micrograms/day
* Pregnant/lactating women: between 65-75 micrograms/day
What are some good sources of selenium? Brazil nuts are the best source of selenium. Yeast, whole grains, garlic and seafood are also good sources. Some vegetables may contain considerable amounts of selenium depending on the content of selenium in the soil.Mustard seeds emerged from food ranking system as a very good source of selenium .
What can happen if you don’t get enough selenium?
While most people do not consume enough selenium on a daily basis, severe deficiency is
rare. Soils in some areas are selenium deficient, and people who eat foods grown primarily
on selenium-poor soils can be at greater risk for deficiency. The most notable condition
caused by selenium deficiency is Keshan disease, which causes an abnormality of the heart
muscle. Some studies have shown that patients with AIDS have abnormally low levels of
selenium. Other research has demonstrated an association between heart disease and depleted levels of selenium.
What can happen if you take too much?
Taking large amounts (more than 1,000 micrograms) of selenium per day can cause the loss of fingernails, teeth, and hair; nausea; and fatigue. In conjunction with iodine-deficiency induced goiter, selenium supplementation has been reported to increase the severity of low thyroid function.
Because many nutrients are crucial to the body’s natural ability to cope, a daily multivitamin and mineral is especially important during times of stress. Take vitamin B complex as well; the extra B vitamins it supplies promote the health of the nervous and immune systems and can counteract fatigue. Calcium and magnesiumare worthwhile too, because they can relieve muscle tension and strengthen the heart.
Warnings: High doses of some B vitamins can be toxic and/or cause nerve damage. Vitamin B6 may prevent the drug levodopa from working properly and folic acid and vitamin B6 have been show to interfere with some anticonvulsants.
Calcium, Magnesium:Dosage: 250 mg of each twice a day.
Comments: Take with food; sometimes sold in a single supplement.
Warnings: People who have thyroid or kidney disease should check with their doctor before taking calcium or magnesium. Calcium and magnesium may decrease the absorption of some antibiotics such as doxycycline, minocycline, and tetracycline. Calcium may intensify the potassium-depleting effects of diuretics such as chlorothiazide, hydrocholorothiazide, and indapamide. Avoid calcium supplements made from dolomite, oyster shells, or bonemeal because these compounds may contain unacceptable levels of lead.
Honey is a sweet and viscous fluid produced by Honeybees from the Necter of Flowers.Honey is sigficantly Sweeter than table Sugar and has attractive chemical properties for baking. Honey has a distinctive flavor which leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners.Liquid honey does not spoil. Because of its high sugar concentration, it kills most Bacteria by Plamolysis . Natural airborne yeasts cannot become active in it because the moisture content is too low. Natural, raw honey varies from 14% to 18% moisture content. As long as the moisture content remains under 18%, virtually no organism can successfully multiply to significant amounts in honey, though, importantly, enough bacteria survive to make honey dangerous for infants.
HONEY FORMATION:Honey is laid down by bees as a food source. In cold weather or when food sources are scarce, bees use their stored honey as their source of energy. By contriving for the bee swarm to make its home in a hive, mankind has been able to semi-domesticate the insects. In the hive there are three types of bee: the single queen bee, a seasonally variable number of drone bees to fertilize new queens and some 20,000 to 40,000 worker bees. The worker bees raise larvae and collect the nectar that will become honey in the hive. They go out, collect the sugar-rich flower nectar and return to the hive. As they leave the flower, bees release nasonov pheromones. These enable other bees to find their way to the site by smell. Honeybees also release nasonov pheromones at the entrance to the hive, which enables returning bees to return to the proper hive. In the hive the bees use their honey stomachs to ingest and regurgitate the nectar a number of times until it is partially digested. It is then stored in the honeycomb. Nectar is high in both water content and natural yeasts which, unchecked, would cause the sugars in the nectar to ferment. After the final regurgitation, the honeycomb is left unsealed. Bees inside the hive fan their wings, creating a strong draft across the honeycomb. This enhances evaporation of much of the water from the nectar. The reduction in water content, which raises the sugar concentration, prevents fermentation. Ripe honey, as removed from the hive by the beekeeper, has a long shelf life and will not ferment.
The beekeeper encourages overproduction of honey within the hive so that the excess can be taken without endangering the bees. When sources of foods for the bees are short the beekeeper may have to feed the bees other forms of sugar so they can survive.
HONEY COMPOSITION:Honey is a mixture of sugars and other compounds. The specific composition of any batch of honey will depend largely on the mix of flowers consumed by the bees that produced the honey. Honey has a density of about 1500 kg/m3 (50% denser than water), which means about 12.5 pounds per US gallon.
Typical honey analysis
Glucose: 31% Sucrose: 1%
Other sugars: 9% (maltose, melezitose)
Source: Sugar Alliance
The analysis of the sugar content of honey is used for detecting adulteration
TYPES OF HONEY: Blended
Most commercially available honey is blended, meaning that it is a combination of honeys from different sources. China is the world’s largest producer of honey (256,000 tonnes in 2001), followed by the United States (100,000 tonnes), Argentina (90,000 tonnes), Turkey (71,000 tonnes), Mexico, Ukraine and India (HERE WE CAN SEE )
Polyfloral honey is derived from the nectar of many types of flowers. Monofloral
Main article: Monofloral honey
Different monofloral honeys have a distinctive flavor and color due to differences between their principal nectar sources. Beekeepers keep monofloral beehives in an area where the bees have access to only one type of flower, because of that flower’s properties. In practise, because of the difficulties in containing bees, a small proportion of any honey will be from additional nectar from other flower types.
Some of the main types of monofloral honey (and their main countries of production) include: apple blossom (United Kingdom), acacia (Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania), cherry blossom (United Kingdom), clover (Canada, New Zealand), eucalyptus (Australia), heather (United Kingdom), lavender (France, Spain), lime blossom (China, Poland), orange blossom (France, Spain), wild thyme (France, Greece, New Zealand) and sunflower (France, Spain) . Honeydew
Honeydew producer (barklice) on a Silver FirInstead of taking nectar, bees can take honeydew, which appears similar to honey and consists of the sweet secretions of aphids or other plant sap-sucking insects. Most important of these is the aphid Marchalina hellenica which feeds on the sap of the Turkish Pine. Honeydew from pine forests has a piney taste and is prized for medicinal use in Europe and Turkey. Bees collecting this resource have to be fed protein supplements, as honeydew lacks the protein-rich pollen accompaniment gathered from flowers.
In New Zealand honeydew nectar is produced from a small, scaled insect (Ultracoelostoma assimile) living in the bark of two of New Zealand’s beech forests, mostly black beech (black from the sooty mold growing on the surplus nectar covering the trunks and branches) and, to a lesser extent, red beech. In the early morning sunlight, the droplets of nectar glisten like the morning dew, giving the name honeydew.
Germany’s Black Forest is a well known source of honeydew-produced honeys.
Honeydew honey has a full aroma, is heady, almost pungent, and malty with a thick red amber color.
Honeydew has strong markets in some areas, but in many areas beekeepers are disappointed with a honeydew crop, as they are unable to market the stronger flavored product. Honeydew has a much larger proportion of indigestibles than light honeys, which can cause dysentery, resulting in the death of colonies in areas with cold winters. Good beekeeping management requires the removal of honeydew prior to winter in colder areas.
USES OF HONEY IN GENERASL:
The main uses of honey are in cooking, baking, spreading on bread or toast, and as an addition to various beverages such as tea. Because honey is hygroscopic (drawing moisture from the air), a small quantity of honey added to a pastry recipe will retard staling. Raw honey also contains enzymes that help in its digestion, several vitamins and antioxidants.
Honey is the main ingredient in the alcoholic beverage mead, which is also known as “honey wine” or “honey beer” (although it is not wine or beer), and metheglin. It is also used as an adjunct in beer. Beer brewed with greater than about 30% honey as a source of sugar by weight, or mead brewed with malt (with or without hops), is known as braggot.
Honey is used in traditional folk medicine and apitherapy, and is an excellent natural preservative, it also has a low glycemic index.
Most vegans consider honey to be an animal product and avoid using it, instead choosing sweetening alternatives such as agave nectar, rice syrup or stevia.
Without commercial beekeeping, large-scale fruit and vegetable farming and some of the seed industry would be incapable of sustaining themselves, since many crops are pollinated by migratory beekeepers who contract their bees for that purpose.
In ancient history, the Ancient Egyptian and Middle-Eastern peoples also used honey for embalming the dead. However, only rich and powerful people had the luxury of this type of funeral. Scythians, and later the other Central Asian nomadic people, for many months drove a wagon with a deceased ruler around the country in their last rites mourning procession, carrying the body in a casket filled with honey.
MEDICAL USES OF HONEY:
For around 2000 years, honey has been used to treat a variety of ailments through topical application, though it was not until modern times that the cause of infection was understood. Now, has shown that the folk remedy of using honey to treat wounds has a scientific explanation: it acts as an antiseptic/antibacterial agent. As an antimicrobial agent honey has potential for treating a variety of ailments. Antibacterial properties of honey are the result of the low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect, and high acidity. OSMOTIC EFFECTS:
Honey is primarily a saturated mixture of two monosaccharides. This mixture has a low water activity; most of the water molecules are associated with the sugars and few remain available for microorganisms, so it is a poor environment for their growth.
Hydrogen peroxide in honey is activated by dilution. However, unlike medical hydrogen peroxide, commonly 3% by volume, it is present in a concentration of only 1 mmol/l in honey. Iron in honey oxidizes the oxygen free radicals released by the hydrogen peroxide.
glucose + H2O + O2 â†’ gluconic acid + H2O2
When used topically (as, for example, a wound dressing), hydrogen peroxide is produced by dilution with body fluids. As a result, hydrogen peroxide is released slowly and acts as an antiseptic. Unlike 3% medical hydrogen peroxide, this slow release does not cause damage to surrounding tissue. Acidity
The pH of honey is commonly between 3.2 and 4.5 This relatively acidic pH level prevents the growth of many bacteria responsible for infection.
OTHER MEDICAL APPLICATIONS:
The most common use of honey is as an anti-microbial agent used for dressing wounds, burns and skin ulcers. This application has a long history in traditional medicine. Additionally, the use of honey reduces odors, reduces swelling, and reduces scarring; it also prevents the dressing from sticking to the healing wound .
Some claim that one drop of honey directly on the eye can treat mild forms of conjunctivitis.
Due to it’s antiseptic properties, honey (especially when combined with lemon) can be taken orally by Pharyngitis and Laryngitis sufferers, in order to soothe them.
Though widely believed to alleviate allergies, local honey has been shown to be no more effective than placebos in controlled studies. This may be due to the fact that most seasonal allergies are caused by tree and grass pollens, which honeybees do not collect.
In Ayurveda Honey has various application in curing different kind of disease. (1)
HONEY AND INFANTS: Giving honey to infants can be hazardous because some infants can develop the disease known as infant botulism. This occurs because there is a natural bacterium in the honey which cannot be filtered out. The bacteria then produces a toxin, known as botulin, in the infant’s intestines. After the child is more than a year old, the intestine has matured and the bacteria cannot grow. Even the honey in some processed foods can cause botulism. After an infant ingests this bacterium, the disease can occur within a few hours or even up to a week.
(Help taken from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey)