Natural Honey and Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Effects on Blood Glucose, Cholesterol, Triacylglycerole, CRP, and Body Weight Compared with Sucrose
It has been found that honey ameliorates cardiovascular risk factors in healthy individuals and in patients with elevated risk factors. The present study investigated the effect of natural honey on total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triacylglycerole, C-reactive protein (CRP), fasting blood glucose (FBG), and body weight in overweight individuals. There were 55 patients, overweight or obese, who were randomly recruited into the study and assigned into two groups: control group (17 subjects) and experimental group (38 subjects). Patients in the control group received 70 g of sucrose daily for a maximum of 30 days and patients in the experimental group received 70 g of natural honey for the same period. In the control and experimental groups, body weight, body mass index, body fat weight, total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, triacylglycerole, FBG, and CRP were measured before treatment and at day 31 after the commencement of treatment. Results showed that honey caused a mild reduction in body weight (1.3%) and body fat (1.1%). Honey reduced total cholesterol (3%), LDL-C (5.8), triacylglycerole (11%), FBG (4.2%), and CRP (3.2%), and increased HDL-C (3.3%) in subjects with normal values, while in patients with elevated variables, honey caused reduction in total cholesterol by 3.3%, LDL-C by 4.3%, triacylglycerole by 19%, and CRP by 3.3% (p < 0.05). It is our conclusion that consumption of natural honey reduces cardiovascular risk factors, particularly in subjects with elevated risk factors, and it does not increase body weight in overweight or obese subjects.