Metabolic effects of honey (alone or combined with other foods) in type II diabetics


The metabolic effects of honey — alone or combined with other foods — were investigated in type II diabetics using 2 protocols: A) 33 g honey and 50 g bread (same amounts of carbohydrate) were given on alternate days to 12 patients. Blood levels of glucose, insulin and triglycerides were determined in venous samples before and every 30 min after meal ingestion (for a total of 3h). Areas under glucose curves were equal, although honey — compared to bread — resulted in higher blood sugar concentrations at 30 min (p<0.01) and lower at 90 min (p<0.05). B) Another 19 type II diabetics consumed on separate days 3 different meals: H (30 g honey), HA (30 g honey, 100 g almonds), HB (30 g honey, 125 g cheese, 10 g bread, 10 g butter). HA and HB contained the same amount of fat, but were different in fiber. No significant differences in the areas under glucose curves were observed. However, meal H produced earlier hyperglycemia than HA and HB (30 min: p<0.01). Insulin levels were higher after HB compared to H (p<0.05). Meals HA and HB were followed by higher triglyceride levels than H (p<0.05). It is concluded that: 1) honey and bread produce similar degrees of hyperglycemia in type II diabetics. 2) Fatrich foods added to honey do not alter the total hyperglycemic effect but result in higher triglyceride and insulin serum concentrations.

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Correspondence to Nicholas L. Katsilambros.

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Katsilambros, N.L., Philippides, P., Touliatou, A. et al. Metabolic effects of honey (alone or combined with other foods) in type II diabetics. Acta diabet. lat 25, 197–203 (1988).

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  • Blood sugar
  • Honey
  • Insulin, Triglycerides
  • Type II diabetics