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This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of honey intake on bile secretion, bile electrolytes, bilirubin and cholesterol levels including plasma cholesterol in albino rats. 20 male albino rats (200-210g) were used in the study. The rats were assigned randomly into 2 groups (control and honey-fed groups), each group containing 10 rats. The control was fed on normal rat feed and water while the test group was fed on normal rat feed with honey added to its drinking water (1ml of honey to every initial 10ml of water) for 22 weeks. After 22 weeks the animals were starved for 12hrs before the experiment, weighed and anaesthetized with sodium thiopentone (6mg/100mg body weight) intraperitoneally. The common bile duct was cannulated and bile collected for 3hrs. The rate of bile flow was noted, the concentrations of bile electrolytes and bilirubin, bile and plasma cholesterol levels were determined in the control and test groups. The results obtained showed a significant (P<0.05) decrease in the rate of bile flow in the test (0.30±0.03ml/hr) compared with the control groups (0.45± 0.04ml/hr). There were no significant differences in the concentration of bile electrolytes and bilirubin in the two groups. However, there was a significant (P<0.05) increase in the bile cholesterol and decrease in plasma cholesterol levels in the test rats compared with the control. It is therefore concluded that chronic consumption of unprocessed Nigerian honey resulted in decrease bile flow, increase bile cholesterol and decrease plasma cholesterol in albino rats.
Key words: Chronic consumption, honey, bile secretion, cholesterol.