• Muhammad Majid
  • M. Azeem Younis
  • Abdul Khaliq Naveed
  • Muhammad Usman Shah
  • Zahid Azeem
  • Syed Haider Tirmizi


Technology, Rawalpindi, PakistanBackground: Honey has been shown to have beneficial effects on glucose and lipid profiles in patients at high risk of heart diseases. Therefore, this study was carried out to investigate the effects of natural honey on blood glucose and lipid profile in healthy individuals. Methods: A randomized controlled trial was carried out in the Army Medical College, Rawalpindi, Pakistan, spanning 4 weeks, that is, from 15th February to 15th March 2009. A total of 70 healthy young boarders of the same college were included in the study and randomly divided into two groups of 35 each using random number table. Seventy gram (70g) of honey was given to each individual in the experimental group daily for a period of 4 weeks while control group was kept on the same diet as that of experimental group except honey. The fasting glucose, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglyceride (TG) levels were measured before and after the experiment. Results: Fasting glucose levels in both groups were raised. However, the increase in the experimental group was significantly less than that in the control group (p<0.05). The levels of total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides in the control group increased while those in the experiment group decreased significantly (p<0.05), while HDL levels were decreased in the former and increased in the latter group (p<0.05). Conclusion: Natural honey consumption significantly limits the rise in blood glucose along with a significant decrease in the levels of total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, and increase HDL in young healthy adults.Keywords: Honey, Glucose profile, Lipid profile


Crane E, editor. The archaeology of beekeeping. London: Duckworth; 1983.

Pliny the Elder, editor. Naturalis Historica. Rome: Hackios; 1669.

Katsilambros NL, Philippides P, Touliatou A, Georgakopoulos K, Kofotzouli L, Frangaki D, et al. Metabolic effects of honey (alone or combined with other foods) in type II diabetics. Acta Diabetologica Latina 1988;25:197–203.

Cuhadaroğlu C, Utkusavaş A, Oztürk L, Salman S, Ece T. Effects of Nasal CPAP treatment on insulin resistance, lipid profile, and plasma leptin in sleep apnea. Lung 2009;187(2):75–81.

Yaghoobi N, Al-Waili N, Ghayour-Mobarhan M, Parizadeh SM, Abasalti Z, Yaghoobi Z, et al. Natural honey and cardiovascular risk factors; Effects on Blood Glucose, Cholesterol, Triacylglycerole, CRP and Body weight Compared with Sucrose. Sci World J 2008;8:463–9.

Al-Waili, NS. Natural honey lowers plasma glucose, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and blood lipids in healthy, diabetic, and hyperlipidemic subjects: comparison with dextrose and sucrose. J Med Food 2004;1:100–7.

Watford M. Small amounts of dietary fructose dramatically increase hepatic glucose uptake through a novel mechanism of glucokinase activation. Nutr Rev 2002;60:253–7.

Moore MC, Davis SN, Mann SL, Cherrington AD. Acute fructose administration improves oral glucose tolerance in adults with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2001;24:1882–7.

Moore MC, Cherrington AD, Mann SL, Davis SN. Acute fructose administration decreases glycaemic response to an oral glucose tolerance test in normal adults. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2000;85:4515–9.

Ezz El-Arab AM, Girgis SM, Hegazy EM, Abd El-Khalek AB. Effect of dietary honey on intestinal microflora and toxicity of mycotoxins in mice. BMC Complement Altern Med 2006;6:6.

Al-Waili, NS. Topical application of natural honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture for atopic dermatitis or psoriasis: partially controlled, single-blinded study. Complement Ther Med 2003;11:226–34.

Al-Waili NS. Clinical and mycological benefits of topical application of honey, olive oil and beeswax in diaper dermatitis. Clin Microbiol Infect 2005;11:160–3.

Al-Waili NS. An alternative treatment for pityriasis versicolor, tinea cruris, tinea corporis and tinea faciei with topical application of honey, olive oil and beeswax mixture: an open pilot study. Complement Ther Med 2004;12:45–7.

Okany CC, Atimomo CE, Akinyanju OO. Efficacy of natural honey in the healing of leg ulcers in sickle cell anaemia. Niger Postgrad Med J 2004;11:179–81.

Al-Waili NS, Haq A. Effect of honey on antibody production against thymus-dependent and thymus-independent antigens in primary and secondary immune responses. J Med Food 2004;7:491–4.

Al-Waili, N NS, Boni NS. Natural honey lowers plasma prostaglandin concentrations in normal individuals. J Med Food 2003;6:129–33.

Al-Waili NS. Effects of daily consumption of honey solution on hematological indices and blood levels of minerals and enzymes in normal individuals. J Med Food 2003;6:135–40.

Hume R, Boyd GS. Cholesterol metabolism and steroid hormone production. Biochem Soc Trans 1978;6:893–8.

Champe PC, Harvey RA, Ferrier DR, editors. Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews: Biochemistry. 4th ed. New Delhi: Wolters Kluwer; 2008.

MacDonald-Wicks L, Garg M. Oxidized LDL and Antioxidants in Atherosclerosis. In: Cheema SK, editor. Biochemistry of atherosclerosis. Australia: Springer; 2006;p.519.

Chepulis L, Starkey N. The long-Term Effects of Feeding Honey Compared with Sucrose and a Sugar-Free Diet on Weight Gain, Lipid Profiles, and DEXA Measurements in Rats. J Food Sci 2007;73(1):H1–7

Al-Waili NS. Effects of honey on the urinary total nitrite and prostaglandins concentration. Int Urol Nephrol 2005;37:107–11.

Smukler SR, Tang L, Wheeler MB, Salapatek AM. Exogenous nitric oxide and endogenous glucose-stimulated beta cell nitric oxide augment insulin release. Diabetes 2002;51:3450–60.

Tran PO, Gleason CE, Piotout V, Robertson RP. Prostaglandin E2 mediates inhibition of insulin secretion by interleukin-1 beta. J Biol Chem 1999;274:31245–8.

Marreiro DN, Geloneze B, Tambascia MA, Lerário AC, Halpern A, Cozzolino SM. Effect of zinc supplementation on serum leptin levels and insulin resistance of obese women. Biol Trace Elem Res 2006;112(2):109–18.

Bantle JP, Swanson JE, Thomas W, Laine DC. Metabolic effects of dietary fructose in diabetic subjects. Diabetes Care 1992;15:1468–76.

Abraha A, Humphreys SM, Clark ML, Mathews DR, Frayn, KN. Acute effect of fructose on postprandial lipaemia in diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. Br J Nutr 1998;80:169–75.

Swanson JE, Laine DC, Thomas W, Bantle JP. Metabolic effects of dietary fructose in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1992;55:851–6.

Feingold KR, Moser AH. Effect of glucose or fructose feeding on cholesterol synthesis in diabetic Animals. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 1985;249(5 pt 1):G634–41.

Frost G, Leeds A, Dore C, Madeiros S, Branding S, Dornhorst A. Glycemic index as a determinant of serum HDL-cholesterol concentration. Lancet 1999;353:1045–8.

Drexel H. Reducing risk by raising HDL-cholesterol: the evidence. Eur Heart J 2006;8 (Suppl F):F23–9




Most read articles by the same author(s)