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Effect of honey consumption on intestinal motility in male albino rats

EA Alagwu
JN Egwurugwu
RO Nneli
F Oguike
EE Osim


Summary: This study investigated the effects of honey on intestinal  motility and transit using twenty (20) male albino rats of Wistar strain weighing 210-220g. The rats were randomly grouped into control and  honey-fed (test) groups of ten (10) rats each. The control group was fed on normal rat chow ( Pfizer Company, Nigeria ) and water while the test  group was fed on rat feed, water and honey ( 1 ml of honey to every 10 ml initial drinking water daily) for twenty two (22) weeks after which the rats  were starved over night before the experiment and sacrificed by stunning. Laparatomy was immediately performed, proximal and distal portions of the intestine identified, cut and put in aerated tyrode solution. Cut sections of the ileum (2-3cm) were mounted on organ bath instrument for motility experiment with varying concentrations of acetylcholine and carbachol. Contractions were recorded as well as the intestinal transit in each group and lengths of intestine with total mean values calculated. Results  obtained showed that honey significantly decreased (p<0.01 ) intestinal transit in the test group (21.15±0.75 ) compared with the control group ( 35.96±1.15); decreased intestinal motility in the test group compared with the control and caused significant percentage reduction of intestinal motility with varied concentrations of acetylcholine and carbachol in the test group ( Ach-75.00±0.75%; Carbachol-79.00±0.28%) compared with the control group (Ach-62.00±0.39%; Carbachol-51.00±0.39%). In conclusion,  unprocessed Nigerian honey decreased intestinal transit, caused intestinal smooth muscle inhibition and motility and reduced sensitivity of   gastrointestinal tract to cholinergic agents.

Keywords: Honey, Intestinal motility, Intestinal transit, Diarrhoea  treatment.

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eISSN: 0794-859X