Прочитайте рассказ и выполните задания 12–18. В каждом задании обведите букву A, B, C или D, соответствующую выбранному вами варианту ответа.
Honey as medicine
When I get a sore throat, I always find a cup of tea with some honey very soothing. But I always assumed that the restorative power of honey was in my head. Historically, honey has been prescribed as a folk remedy for millennia. So I’ve been content to accept that honey is a tasty placebo or a silly substitute for real medicine. Now, my convictions are being challenged, as researchers are getting new evidence of honey’s medical benefits making honey a surprisingly effective cure-all.
Honey’s main effects come primarily from its antimicrobial properties. Most bacteria cannot grow in honey. I found this quite surprising, because bacteria love sugar. Honey contains around 40% fructose and 30% glucose making it a great treat for microbes. However, honey is also acidic and acids prevent the growth of bacteria. Although honey contains a fair amount of water, it’s supersaturated with sugar and does not provide support for bacterial growth.
Honey also contains a substance called glucose oxidase. When combined with water and oxygen, glucose oxidase forms gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. In other words, diluted honey can serve as an excellent antiseptic, while being far less likely than ordinary hydrogen peroxide to harm already-damaged tissue. In practical terms, this means that honey applied on a wound promotes healing just as well as, or in many cases better than, conventional ointments and dressings. So, it not only prevents infection, but it also functions as an anti-inflammatory agent, reducing both swelling and pain and even scarring. So, honey has been shown to be extraordinarily effective in the treatment of wounds, burns, and surgical incisions.
Honey can be used not only outside of the body. It can help with many internal problems too. Thanks to its antimicrobial action, it soothes sore throats and kills the bacteria that sometimes cause them. There’s also the suggestion that it can reduce tooth decay. Moving down the esophagus and through the digestive tract, honey can help to heal ulcers and upset stomachs. It also regulates intestinal functions, alleviating both constipation and diarrhea. Honey also contains a variety of antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Now that we’ve looked into the gleeful frenzy over the miraculous properties of honey, I want to temper your enthusiasm a bit. The bad news, if you can call it that, is that not all honey is created equal. The chemical composition of honey to a great extent depends on the source that makes the basis of honey. For example, honey from manuka, a bush in New Zealand, contains an antibacterial component, which is even more useful than ordinary honey in combating infections. Honeys vary not only in color and flavor, but in their medicinal properties, with some varieties being much more potent than others. But, because it’s impossible to regulate the comings and goings of millions of bees, there’s no way to guarantee that honey from any location will be chemically the same from year to year or free of contamination from pollutants the bees may have found their way into.
But it is important not to feed honey to a child under one year of age because honey sometimes contains botulinum spores. By the time of a child’s first birthday, there are usually enough beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract to make it be eaten safely. But anyway, honey supplies must be tested thoroughly and regularly.
12. The author’s skeptical attitude towards honey was based on the …
A) excessive public attention paid to it.
B) lack of reliable information about it.
C) poor results of treatment with it.
D) position of official medicine.
13. The author was surprised about antibacterial properties of honey because …
A) it contains a lot of sugar.
B) he didn’t know about its acidic nature.
C) he thought it contained too much water.
D) he thought it was ideal for growing bacteria.
14. According to the text, diluted honey has the chemical qualities that …
A) don’t reveal themselves under the direct sun light.
B) don’t make it possible to use it in ointments.
C) help to cure skin problems.
D) make it compete with traditional skin remedies.
15. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a problem honey can help to heal?
A) Heart diseases.
B) Tooth cavities.
C) Joint pain.
D) Stomach illness.
16. The healing properties of honey greatly depend on …
A) the health of bees.
B) proper maintenance of beehives.
C) the plants from which bees produce it.
D) weather conditions and humidity.
17. It can be implied that the healing qualities of honey from certain location …
A) depend on its colour.
B) are difficult to predict.
C) are related to its flavour.
D) may be regulated.
18. When speaking about honey and children the author underlines that …
A) newborn children should not be given honey.
B) honey helps to grow useful bacteria in children.
C) honey is the best present for a child’s first birthday.
D) children should be fed honey under medical guidance.