Effects of basswood honey, honey-comparable glucose-fructose solution, and oral glucose tolerance test solution on serum insulin, glucose, and C-peptide concentrations in healthy subjects

J Med Food. 2008 Sep;11(3):424-8. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2007.0608.


Studies suggest that honey has less influence on serum glucose concentrations than monosaccharides and disaccharides. This study aimed to confirm these findings conclusively by comparing directly the effects of honey, an identical sugar solution, and oral glucose tolerance (OGT) test solution on serum glucose, insulin, and C-peptide values in healthy subjects. Twelve healthy men with a mean age of 27.7 years, a mean body mass index of 23.2 kg/m(2), and no history of metabolic disorders participated in the study. Subjects underwent OGT testing to establish values and exclude preclinical diabetes. One week later they were randomly assigned to basswood honey or a glucose-fructose solution (honey-comparable glucose-fructose solution). The following week subjects were given the other solution. All solutions contained 75 g of glucose. Serum glucose was measured before drinking test solutions and every 10 minutes for 120 minutes afterwards. C-peptide and insulin were measured at 60 and 120 minutes. Serum insulin and C-peptide values at 60 minutes were significantly lower for honey. The mean serum glucose concentration was also lower for honey, but direct comparisons at the various times showed no statistically significant differences between solutions. However, the area under the concentration-time profile for glucose response was lower for the honey than the honey-comparable glucose-fructose solution. Honey had less effect on serum glucose, C-peptide, and insulin values than the honey-comparable glucose-fructose solution. Further study to elucidate underlying mechanisms may be worthwhile, as may investigation of the implications of these findings for diabetic patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • C-Peptide / blood*
  • Fructose / pharmacology*
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Male
  • Solutions
  • Tilia
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Insulin
  • Solutions
  • Fructose
  • Glucose