pISSN 1907-3062 | eISSN 2407-2230 | Universa Medicina content is searchable on DOAJ, Google Scholar, and OAI

Natural honey reduced atherogenic and coronary risk indices in Wistar rats

Olumide David Olukanni, Yewande O. Alagbe, Oreoluwa T Akande, Adedayo T. Olukanni, Gbenga G. Daramola, Oluyomi S. Adeyemi
Submission date: Sunday, 13 January 2019
Published date: Friday, 31 January 2020
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18051/UnivMed.2020.v39.4-12


The biochemical mechanism underlying the nutraceutical effects of honey is poorly understood, thus making its functions more a matter of speculations. In this study, we investigated the effects of honey on the atherogenic and coronary risk indices in Wistar rats.

An experimental design comprising two groups of rats fed with normal rat chow but with the experimental group receiving 10% honey in water and the control group water alone, for five weeks. Blood samples were collected weekly from each group, and the level of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), reduced glutathione (GSH) and total protein were determined. The lipids profile (total cholesterol, total triglycerides, LDL and HDL) were also determined, and the atherogenic and coronary indices were estimated. Data were analyzed, and p<0.05 was considered significant.

There were no significant changes in both groups’ serum SOD and CAT across the weeks of study. The LDL cholesterol of the honey-treated rats, however, decreased significantly (9.95 mg/dL) compared to the controls (27.07 mg/dL) (p=0.000). In contrast, honey intake elevated the HDL cholesterol (18.37 mg/dL) relative to 12.25 mg/dL in the control group (p=0.003). Consequently, honey treatment caused significant depletion of atherogenic and coronary risk indices (76.13%, p=0.001) and (50.37%, p=0.023) respectively.

We show evidence that the regular intake of honey, at a concentration as low as ten percent of total water intake, may lower factors for the onset of hypertension and coronary diseases.


Honey; Atherosclerosis; Coronary risk; Anti-oxidant; Oxidative stress

Full Text:



Costantino S, Paneni F, Cosentino F. Ageing, metabolism and cardiovascular disease. J Physiol 2016;594:2061–73. doi:10.1113/JP270538.

Sengupta B, Narasimhulu CA, Parthasarathy S. Novel technique for generating macrophage foam cells for in vitro reverse cholesterol transport studies. J Lipid Res 2013;54:3358–72. doi:10.1194/jlr.M041327.

Van Raamsdonk JM, Hekimi S. Superoxide dismutase is dispensable for normal animal lifespan. PNAS 2012;109: 5785–90. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1116158109

Rahal A, Kumar A, Singh V, et al. Oxidative stress, prooxidants, and antioxidants: The interplay. BioMed Res Int 2014; Article ID 761264, 19 pages. http://doi.org10.1155/2014/761264.

Cianciosi D, Forbes-Hernández TY, Afrin S, et al. Phenolic compounds in honey and their associated health benefits: a review. Molecules 2018;23:pii:E2322. doi: 10.3390/molecules23092322.

Rahman M, Gan SH, Khalil MI. Neurological effects of honey: current and future prospects. Evid Based Complement Altern Med 2014;2014:958721. doi: 10.1155/2014/958721.

Prasetyo RH, Safitri E. Effect of honey to mobilize endogenous stem cells in efforts intestinal and ovarian tissue regeneration in rats with protein-energy malnutrition. Asian Pac J Reprod 2016;5:198-203. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apjr.2016.04.008.

Samarghandian S, Farkhondeh T, Samini F. Honey and health: a review of recent clinical research. Pharmacogn Res 2017;9:121–127. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.204647.

Jerkovic I, Tuberoso CI, Gugic M, Bubalo D. Composition of sulla (Hedysarum coronarium L.) honey solvent extractives determined by GC/MS: norisoprenoids and other volatile organic compounds. Molecules 2010;15:6375–85. doi: 10.3390/molecules15096375.

Hossein MS, Ali MY, Jahurul MHA, Abdel-Daim MM, Gan SH, Khalil MI. Beneficial roles of honey polyphenols against some human degenerative diseases: a review. Pharmacol Rep 2017; 69:1194–205. doi: 10.1016/j.pharep.2017.07.002.

Ciappini MC, Stoppani FS. Determination of antioxidant capacity, flavonoids, and total phenolic content in eucalyptus and clover honey. J Apic Sci 2014;58:103-11. doi: 10.2478/JAS-2014-0010.

Ramli NZ, Chin KY, Zarkasi KA, Ahmad F. A review on the protective effects of honey against metabolic syndrome. Nutrients 2018;10:1009. doi:10.3390/nu10081009.

Gomes T, Feás X, Iglesias A, Estevinho LM. Study of organic honey from the northeast of Portugal. Molecules 2011;16:5374–86. doi: 10.3390/molecules16075374.

Iglesias A, Feás X, Rodrigues S, Seijas JA, et al. Comprehensive study of honey with protected denomination of origin and contribution to the enhancement of legal specifications. Molecules 2012; 17:8561–77. doi: 10.3390/molecules17078561.

Mushtaq R, Mushtaq R, Khan ZT. Effects of natural honey on lipid profile and body weight in normal weight and obese adults: a randomized clinical trial. Pak J Zool 2011;43:161–9.

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 2008;73:H1–H7. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2007.00592.x.

Association of Analytical Communities. AOAC Official Method 998.12. C4 plant sugars in honey. Internal standard stable carbon isotope ratio. 27–30 (Gaithersburg, 2014)

Wildman REC. Handbook of nutraceuticals and functional foods. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL, USA; CRC Press;2016.

Zeka K, Ruparelia K, Arroo RRJ, Budriesi R, Micucci M. Flavonoids and their metabolites: prevention in cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Diseases 2017;5:19. doi:10.3390/diseases5030019.

Erejuwa OO, Sulaiman SA, Wahab MS. Honey—a novel antidiabetic agent. Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8:913–34. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.3697.

El Sohaimy SA, Masry SHD, Shehata MG. Physicochemical characteristics of honey from different origins. Ann Agric Sci 2015;60:279–87. doi:10.1016/j.aoas.2015.10.015.

Al-Bayati MA, Jamil DA, Al-Aubaidy HA. Cardiovascular effects of copper deficiency on the activity of superoxide dismutase in diabetic nephropathy. N Am J Med Sci 2015;7:41–6. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.152077.

Al-Sabaawy OM. The relationship between serum lipid profile and selected trace elements for adult men in Mosul City. Oman Med J 2012;27:300–3. doi:10.5001/omj.2012.74.

Ranasinghe P, Wathurapatha WS, Ishara MH, et al. Effects of zinc supplementation on serum lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Metab (Lond) 2015;12:26. doi:10.1186/s12986-015-0023-4.

Saad-Hussein A, Khadiga SI, Mohgah SA, et al. Effects of zinc supplementation on oxidant/antioxidant and lipids status of pesticides sprayers. J Complement Integr Med 2019; pii: /j/jcim.ahead-of-print/jcim-2019-0001/jcim-2019-0001.xml. doi:10.1515/jcim-2019-0001.

Barrios V, Escobar C, Cicero AF, et al. A nutraceutical approach (Armolipid Plus) to reduce total and LDL cholesterol in individuals with mild to moderate dyslipidemia: review of the clinical evidence. Atheroscler Suppl 2017;124:1-5.

Hendreni AD, Adesiyun T, Quispe R, et al. Dyslipidemia management in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: Current guidelines and strategies. World J Cardiol 2016;8:201–10. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v8.i2.201.

Erejuwa OO, Nwobodo NN, Akpan JL, et al. Nigerian honey ameliorates hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Nutr 2016;8: 95. DOI:10.3390/nu8030095.

Nurmasitoh T, Pramaningtyas MD. Honey improves lipid profile of diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rats. Univ Med 2015;34:177–86. https://dx.doi.org/10.18051/UnivMed.2015.v34.177-186.

Bahrami M, Ataie-Jafari A, Hosseini S, Foruzanfar MH, Rahmani M, Pajouhi M. Effects of natural honey consumption in diabetic patients: an 8-week randomized clinical trial. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2009;60:618–26. doi: 10.3109/09637480801990389.

Afroz R, Tanvir EM, Hossain MF, et al. Protective effect of Sundarban honey against acetaminophen-induced acute hepatonephrotoxicity in rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2014;2014:143782. doi:10.1155/2014/143782.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Universa Medicina

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License
Universa Medicina by Faculty of Medicine, Trisakti University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://univmed.org/ejurnal/index.php/medicina/