ESPE Abstracts (2014) 82 P-D-1-3-129

The Effect of Honey on Plasma Glucose and Insulin Concentrations in Obese Prepubertal Girls

Ioanna Faraklaa, Georgios E. Papadopoulosa, Eleni Kouia, Jessica Arditia, Paraskevi Moutsatsoub, Maria Drakopouloua, Ioannis Papassotiriouc, George P. Chrousosa & Evangelia Charmandaria


aDivision of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, First Department of Pediatrics, University of Athens Medical School, ‘Aghia Sophia’ Children’s Hospital, Athens, Attiki, Greece; bDepartment of Biological Chemistry, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Attiki, Greece; cDepartment of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Athens Medical School, ‘Aghia Sophia’ Children’s Hospital, Athens, Attiki, Greece


Background: Honey is known for its medicinal and health promoting properties. It contains phytochemicals with high phenolic and flavonoid content, which contribute to its high antioxidant activity. Recent studies performed in adult healthy subjects suggest that honey has a beneficial effect on plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations compared with monosacharides and disaccharides from different sources.

Objective/hypotheses: To compare the effects of oral honey (OHTT) and glucose tolerance test (OGTT) solutions on plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations in obese prepubertal girls.

Methods: Thirty healthy obese prepubertal girls aged 11.59 (± S.E.M.: 0.4) years with a BMI above the 90th centile for age (27.60±1.38 kg/m2) underwent initially a standard OGTT and an OHTT 2 weeks later. Both solutions contained 75 g of glucose. Plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations were determined before the solution administration and at 30 min intervals thereafter for a total of 3 h. Subsequently, subjects were randomized to either receive 15 g of honey or 15 g of marmelade daily, while both groups complied with dietary instructions. Six months later all subjects were re-valuated with an OGTT and an OHTT.

Results: Upon initial evaluation, plasma glucose concentrations at 120 min were significantly lower at the OHTT than the OGTT (91.00±2.58 vs 104.44±2.99 mg/dl, P=0.001). At the end of the study, all subjects demonstrated a significant reduction in BMI (26.59±1.38 vs 27.60±1.38 kg/m2, P<0,001). Serum insulin concentrations at 0 min (21.48±4.57 vs 41.23±7.47 μIU/ml, P<0.01) and at 120 min (45.47±6.35 vs 71.79±11.99 μIU/ml, P=0.007) were significantly lower at OHTT than the OGTT.

Conclusions: Honey had a beneficial effect on stimulated plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations compared with the standard OGTT solution. These findings indicate that honey might delay or prevent the development of insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes in obese children.