Effect of Natural Honey on Glycemic Control and Anthropometric Measures of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial

Fatemeh Sadeghi, Saedeh Salehi, Ali Kohanmoo Salehi, Masoumeh Akhlaghi


Background: Due to high content of fructose, honey has been introduced as a suitable natural sweetener for patients with type 2 diabetes. We investigated the effect of honey consumption on glycemic control and anthropometric measures of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: This randomized controlled crossover clinical trial was conducted on 53 patients with type 2 diabetes. The participants were randomly divided into groups of control (weight maintenance diet) or treatment (weight maintenance diet +50 g/day honey) for 8 weeks. After a 4‑week washout, the second phase began, in which the role of the groups was interchanged. Blood glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), glucose, insulin, and anthropometric characteristics were measured. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS. Repeated measures of ANOVA were used to test differences within‑ and between the two conditions.

Results: Forty‑two patients completed the study. HbA1c signifcantly decreased in control (-0.22%, P = 0.03) and nonsignifcantly increased in honey condition (+0.17%, P = 0.22). There was a signifcant difference between the two conditions (P = 0.02). Fasting glucose did not
signifcantly change in either honey or control condition but insulin concentrations (-0.85 ìU/ml, P = 0.01) and insulin secretion (-10.7%, P = 0.01) decreased signifcantly in the control condition. There was no signifcant difference in any of these parameters between the two conditions. Waist circumference decreased by honey treatment with a signifcant difference between the two conditions (P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Eight weeks consumption of 50 g/day honey increased HbA1c
and decreased waist circumference of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, honey, insulin resistance, type 2, waist circumference

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