Joel's Biology Experiment! (in Off-topic)


Joel September 15 2011 1:21 AM EDT

As I'm sure many of you have heard, honey has great antibiotic properties. I have an experiment that I want you all to take part in; one that I'm sure most of you will enjoy taking part in!

Hypothesis: Eating honey daily will prevent the formation of canker sores.
Personal Observation: I had started eating honey a while back as a part of my daily diet. I used it in peanut butter and honey sandwiches. During this period of daily honey consumption I developed no canker sores, whatsoever! After I ran out of honey, I didn't have a chance to buy any for about 1 month. Now I have a very large and very painful canker sore on my lower lip! I am confident that it is being caused, or at least made worse, by bacterial infection. Its just getting deeper and wider and also spread to the part of my tongue adjacent to the sore. After treating my mouth with pure lime juice and salt, the sore on my tongue disappeared, having been rid of its infection. As a side effect, my large sore began to bleed, and I know that the acid wore my teeth away a bit, but the swelling around the sore went away. I have been treating my mouth daily with hydrogen peroxide, and the pain has lessened, but it is still painful to eat. I now wonder if the reason that I had no canker sores for quite a while, and I used to have them every week or two, was that I had been eating honey during that time.

Qualifications to take part in the experiment:
1.) You like honey!
2.) You develop canker sores frequently.

So, please, those that qualify, please begin to consume honey at least twice daily, added to anything you like, and report your condition in this thread! The first part of the experiment will last a month. During this first month, honey must be consumed at least twice per day. The second part of the experiment will consist of you ceasing you daily doses of honey and waiting a month to see if any canker sores develop, if they haven't during the first month.

Those who would like to participate, please post in this thread that you will do it! FOR SCIENCE!!

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 15 2011 1:23 AM EDT

How often is frequent? And what if the canker sores are part of injury? Like I bite my cheek and lips a lot accidentally.

Joel September 15 2011 3:11 AM EDT

What I consider frequent is from every week, to every other week. Since I am testing the antiseptic qualities of honey, factors, such as developing canker sores due to accidents, will also fall in line with this experiment, as long as it is truly accidental :P I don't want anybody biting their mouths up just to test this!

Joel September 15 2011 3:17 AM EDT

One more thing: I bite my mouth up a lot when I eat, and it is likely that I bit my lips and tongue plenty during the period in which I consumed honey, but I developed no sores. This current sore, I'm not sure, may actually be directly related to biting my lip open while eating. This experiment will show weather or not honey will prevent canker sores from all causes.

An additional theory: If your sores are caused by a certain virus that most people have, then, this test will also prove if honey has an effect on how long the sore lasts and how long it persists. An open sore in your mouth will undoubtedly become worse due to bacterial action, no matter the initial cause of the sore, such as biting or a virus.

Zenai September 15 2011 7:43 AM EDT

Joel Honey is a preventative because has natural enzymes that slow the aging process of the product. This property alone is partially applied to the surface it is in contact with, hence why honey was so prized in ancient times(aside from its sweetness and sustenance). Slowing the process of bacteria allows the body time to rally fight off the infection and heal the area.

The Saying that "Sickly Sweet Smell" came from ancient hospital because of the Honey they used in their treatments that soaked into bandaging along with pus.

Joel September 15 2011 8:05 AM EDT

Exactly why I hope this works! My thought, more in depth, is that some of the honey from what you ate will stay in your mouth to keep bacteria growth at manageable levels. With this extra bacteria population control, the levels of bacteria will never become high enough to cause a canker sore.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 15 2011 8:45 AM EDT

check out experiment 3 on this web page, it sounds a bit more definitive:

http://secure.sciencecompany.com/How-To-Grow-Bacteria-in-Agar-Petri-Dishes-W54.aspx

Joel September 15 2011 8:55 AM EDT

Eh, a petri dish is too different from a mouth... The honey is being tested to see if it has the ability to control bacteria growth, even in isolated pockets of the mouth, where canker sores often develop, due to undisturbed bacteria growth. These areas are only really exposed to saliva and motion when food is being eaten, so, the honey will be applied to those areas automatically.
This experiment is more akin to study groups that are used to test medicines. You know, those things you see on bill-boards and want ads in the paper, asking for people to join a test of a certain product, as long as they meet certain criteria related to what the product has been created for.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 15 2011 9:06 AM EDT

i am certain laboratory experiments come before the study groups for good reasons.

Joel September 15 2011 9:07 AM EDT

Also, just testing out the antibacterial effectiveness of honey, in a petri dish, wouldn't mean very much since it is the only tasty antibiotic that can be eaten and applied to the mouth. I don't think other antibiotics can be applied in the mouth. I usually read "For external use only" on antibiotic creams.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 15 2011 9:16 AM EDT

for it to work in the mouth though, wouldn't it have to have antibiotic properties in regards to common mouth bacteria assuming that is the cause of canker sores?

if you answer yes, then a petri dish test, as suggested above will determine that. if that works then you move on to tests to see if ingesting honey orally will help prevent canker sores in a population.

Joel September 15 2011 9:34 AM EDT

It has already been determined that bacteria find it completely impossible to live in honey. No bacteria will ever grow in honey. Its always sterile. Mouth bacteria will be no different. Bacteria find it hard to live in high sugar environments to begin with, due to them being susceptible to osmosis. In a high sugar environment, all the water in a bacteria cell will be drawn out of it, killing it instantly. I'm not sure if this is the only property of honey that causes it to be able to kill bacteria. This experiment, as is, should shed more light on the possibility of other antibiotic qualities of honey, since the small amount of sugar left by the trace amount of honey shouldn't be able to kill that many bacteria.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 15 2011 9:50 AM EDT

in the link i posted, they aren't talking about smothering it in honey. they specifically state that you place a paper disk with the test material on it on the culture material in the petri dish and see if there is a "halo" area around the disk where bacteria doesn't grow.

that in itself should test whether honey has anti-bacterial properties in regards to common mouth bacteria which in my opinion would be the first step to proving your hypothesis.

AdminNightStrike September 15 2011 10:10 AM EDT

You might want to get our resident doctor to weigh in on this...

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 15 2011 10:26 AM EDT

I've actually noticed the best things for my canker sores is a really clean mouth. If I start to get a canker sore, I just brush my teeth and extra time a day and make sure I use mouthwash often. It really seems to help them go away very quick, or never appear.

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] September 15 2011 12:41 PM EDT

looking at wikipedia and webmd, you may be jumping to conclusions that canker sores are caused by bacteria.

Joel September 15 2011 3:10 PM EDT

Alright, I guess I'll be doing this experiment by myself. No one wants to stay on topic and no one wants to participate in the experiment.
The topic was: Do you want to participate in this experiment?
Not: do you think this experiment is worthwhile, etc.
I should have known that no one would want to do any extra work, like, eat honey for a month and then not eat honey for a month... sheesh...

iBananco [Blue Army] September 15 2011 3:58 PM EDT

Honey is delicious and all, but canker sores aren't caused by pathogens, IIRC.
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