Honey improves key measures of cardio-metabolic health: Study

Raw honey drove many of the beneficial effects in the studies, as did honey from monofloral sources

Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that honey improves key measures of cardio-metabolic health, including blood sugar and cholesterol levels, especially if the honey is raw and from a single floral source.

The researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials on honey, and found that it lowered fasting blood glucose, total and LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol, triglycerides, and a marker of fatty liver disease; it also increased HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol, and some markers of inflammation.

“These results are surprising, because honey is about 80 per cent sugar,” said Tauseef Khan, a senior researcher on the study and a research associate in nutritional sciences at U of T’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine. “But honey is also a complex composition of common and rare sugars, proteins, organic acids and other bioactive compounds that very likely have health benefits.”

Previous research has shown that honey can improve cardio-metabolic health, especially in in vitro and animal studies. The current study is the most comprehensive review to date of clinical trials, and it includes the most detailed data on processing and floral source.

Khan said that while processed honey clearly loses many of its health effects after pasteurisation, typically 65 degrees celsius for at least 10 minutes, the effect of a hot drink on raw honey depends on several factors, and likely would not destroy all its beneficial properties.

Image credit- shutterstock

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