The effect of honey and sucrose on lactic acid bacteria in vitro and in rat gut was studied to determine whether these organisms were affected differently by honey compared with sucrose. Under in vitro conditions, the number of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum counts increased 10-100 fold in the presence of honey compared with sucrose. Feeding of honey to rats also resulted in significant increase in counts of lactic acid bacteria. Although there was no significant difference in the counts of lactic acid bacteria in the small and large intestines of different groups, the honey-fed group showed a significant increase (P<0.05) in counts over the control and sucrose-fed animals. The results support the fact that consumption of honey has a beneficial effect on the physiological constitution of animals fed with it.