African Journal of Biomedical Research

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Differential effect of honey on selected variables in alloxan-induced and fructose- induced diabetic rats

F Adesoji, A Oluwakemi


Honey contains a high concentration of fructose, a monosaccharide, capable of raising blood sugar level after oral ingestion. It is thus a paradox that nutritional experts have advocated its use as a nutrition supplement in patients with diabetes mellitus. It has also been used, over the years, as a sweetener by those who wish to avoid the use of sugar. The effective use of sugar in diabetes may be due to its other constituents, especially the various antioxidants that are abundant in honey. Glycemic effect of honey on alloxaninduced diabetes and with concomitant administration of fructose was studied in male rats of the Wistar strain. Alloxan was injected into the rats through a tail artery and three days later, a confirmation of successful induction of diabetes was made by demonstration of hyperglycemia in the rats. Another group of rats received daily oral ingestion of fructose. At the end of three weeks it was found that daily ingestion of honey for three weeks progressively and effectively reduced blood glucose level in rats with alloxaninduced
diabetes. Honey also caused a reduction in hyperglycemia induced by
long-term ingestion of fructose, albeit to a lesser degree than its effect on
alloxan-induced hyperglycemia. Honey could not reduce blood glucose in
controlled rats that received neither alloxan treatment nor fructose ingestion, even though it caused an increase in body weight, irrespective of other substances concomitantly administered to the rats. It is thus apparent that honey may be a useful adjunct in the management of diabetes, while serving as a sweetener, especially if taken in moderate quantities. (Afr. J. Biomed. Res. 11: 191 - 196)

Key Words: Honey, Alloxan-induced diabetes, Fructose-induced diabetes, Rats
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