Honey is often used as a sweetener and is one of those ingredients which are found in every household kitchens. Apart from being considered as a sweetener, honey is also used to treat various health problems because it contains a lot of nutrients and minerals that are beneficial four health. You would have also read about a lot of face masks that use honey as an integral ingredient.
But as they say, ‘all that glitters is not gold’. Just like how it has loads of benefits, honey also has certain side effects which range from mild to serious. It is very important to be aware of these side effects so that you can take appropriate measures to overcome them.
15 Side Effects Of Using Excess Honey
1. Stomach Cramps
Over consumption of honey on a regular basis can result in stomach cramps. This gastric problem can be resolved only if the honey is completely out of your system. So if you do consume honey on a daily basis, avoid over consumption of it.(1)
The next gastric problem that you could face is diarrhea which is not something that you would have associated with the consumption of honey. But it is true that people have suffered cases of diarrhea due to over eating of the sweet-tasting honey.(2)
3. Tooth Enamel
Want to keep your tooth safe and strong? Then it’s time to start controlling your honey cravings! Over indulgence of honey can erode your tooth enamel and also cause various dental cavities to form. This is because the acid present in honey attracts the bacteria called acidophilic. So remember that honey can negatively impact the health of your teeth.(3)
4. Acid Reflux Diseases
The acidic nature of honey is another one of its side effect. When you get exposed to acidic food over a period of time, it results not only in the erosion of your tooth enamel but also your stomach, intestines and esophagus lining. And all of this results in acid reflux diseases.(4)
Honey should be strictly avoided for children, especially infants. There is a risk of botulism poisoning because an infant’s digestive system is not mature enough to handle the botulism pores which are present in honey. Some of the signs of botulism are decrease in appetite, weakness, constipation, etc. There are also some major risks like muscle paralysis or even death if the botulism poisoning is not controlled. It is every important to detect and treat it immediately. This is the reason why honey is not recommended for children especially those who are below 12 years of age.(5)(6)
6. Allergic Reaction
People who are allergic to pollen, celery or other allergies related to bees should definitely not consume honey. Also the honey made from the plants under the Rhododendron genus should not be used since it is toxic. There have been instances reported where people have faced various allergic reactions like cough, asthma, shortness of breath, lung inflammation, wheezing, difficulty in swallowing, etc., due to the intake of honey.(7)
7. Weight Gain
This side effect is a no-brainer! It is but obvious that the sugar present in honey is going to result in a weight gain. Though you can use honey mixed with other ingredients for weight loss, taking it on its own will have the opposite results.(8)
8. Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is a problem suffered by a number of people. There are a number of reasons and factors that can lower your blood pressure and honey is one such ingredient. This is the reason why people already have low BP are advised not to consume honey.(9)
[ Read: Serious Side Effects of Garlic ]
9. Risk Of Bleeding
This may sound weird but there are instances reported that if you have any internal or external bleeding, consuming honey can actually aggravate your condition and increase the risk of bleeding. It is advisable to avoid honey if you have any bleeding disorders.(10)
Nausea and vomiting are some of the common and mild side effects of eating excess amount of honey. If you notice these side effects, just avoid honey for a few days or reduce the amount you intake.(11)
11. Absorption Of Nutrients
We all are aware that honey contains fructose but were you aware of the fact that this fructose content can hinder the absorption of nutrients by the small intestine? Since absorption of nutrients is absolutely essential, this is considered as a side effect of consuming excess honey.
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Constipation is also a side effect of consuming excess honey and the best way to avoid it is to stay within the limits. The approved limit of honey consumption on a daily basis is 10 tablespoons. So anything more than that over a prolonged period can leave you with a constipation problem.
Bloating is another gastric problem that you will have to bear if you eat more than the stipulated amount of honey every day. And you can relief only once the honey leaves your system. The best and only way to avoid bloating of your stomach is to monitor the amount of honey that you are consuming everyday.
14. Insulin Spike
The sugar in honey gets absorbed faster by your body since it does not contain any fiber in it. This in turn results in an insulin spike since the sugar levels in the blood increases directly. When there is fiber content present in the sugar, it does not get absorbed easily and hence there is lesser risk of insulin spike.
[ Read: Shocking Side Effects Of Ginger ]
15. Urinary Tract Infections
The final side effect mentioned in our list is the urinary tract infections (UTI). Consult a doctor and find out the reason if you are having any UTI. It may or may not be due to your honey consumption, hence it is important to find out the root cause.
We hope the above side effects would make you more vigilant about your honey consumption. Remember anything consumed in excess would only lead to health problems.
- Microorganisms in honey : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8880294/
- Honey may have a laxative effect on normal subjects because of incomplete fructose absorption : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7491882/
- Sugars and Dental Caries: Evidence for Setting a Recommended Threshold for Intake : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4717883/
- Prevention : https://www.cdc.gov/botulism/prevention.html
- Infant botulism following honey ingestion : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448763/
- [Infant botulism – why honey should be avoided for children up to one year] : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28742188/
- Allergy to honey: relation to pollen and honey bee allergy : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1590566/
- Obesity and Obesity Related Diseases, Sugar Consumption and Bad Oral Health: A Fatal Epidemic Mixtures : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5536157/
- Effects of natural honey consumption in diabetic patients: an 8-week randomized clinical trial : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19817641/
- Effect of natural honey on human platelets and blood coagulation proteins : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21715274/
- Honey : https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-honey/art-20363819
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