Recent work in network coding shows that, it is necessary to consider both the routing and coding strategies to achieve optimal throughput of information transmission in data networks. So far, most research on network coding has focused on the model of directed networks, where each communication link has a fixed direction. In this paper, we study the benefits of network coding in undirected networks, where each communication link is bidirectional. Our theoretical results show that, for a single unicast or broadcast session, there are no improvements with respect to throughput due to network coding. In the case of a single multicast session, such an improvement is bounded by a factor of two, as long as half integer routing is permitted. This is dramatically different from previous results obtained in directed networks. We also show that multicast throughput in an undirected network is independent of the selection of the sender within the multicast group. We finally show that, rather than improving the optimal achievable throughput, the benefit of network coding is to significantly facilitate the design of efficient algorithms to compute and achieve such optimal throughput. I.