"How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
We hear many warnings these days that tell us not to eat this food, it's full of cholesterol, or that food, it's loaded with fat. It's easy to come to the conclusion that the curse of sin has turned the whole creation against us. But God is a merciful God. He has given us the ability to learn about many of the beneficial foods and medicines that He has created.
One good example of this is Xylitol, also known as birch sugar. Earlier research showed that birch sugar, used more in Europe than America as a sweetener, inhibits growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay. Researchers in Finland wondered if birch sugar inhibited any other bacteria. They gave one group of pre-school children sucrose-based chewing gum and a similar group birch-sugar gum five times a day. The group that used the birch sugar gum had only about half as many ear infections. Scientists aren't sure how the birch sugar reduces ear infections. They suspect that it somehow prevents the bacteria that cause the infections from attaching to cells in the mouth and ear. If this is what happens, there is an added bonus. Since the sugar does not attack the bacteria directly, the bacteria would be unlikely to develop any defense against it.
In His mercy, God has given us more than just solutions to our problems in this life. Through His Son, Jesus Christ, He grants us the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. And through His Word, He tells us what salvation means.
Notes: N.S., "A sugar averts some ear infections", Science News, 10/31/98, v. 154, p. 287.
Photo: Courtesy of Anders Østergaard Madsen. (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
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