Honey for nutrition and health: a review

J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Dec;27(6):677-89. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2008.10719745.


Due to the variation of botanical origin honey differs in appearance, sensory perception and composition. The main nutritional and health relevant components are carbohydrates, mainly fructose and glucose but also about 25 different oligosaccharides. Although honey is a high carbohydrate food, its glycemic index varies within a wide range from 32 to 85, depending on the botanical source. It contains small amounts of proteins, enzymes, amino acids, minerals, trace elements, vitamins, aroma compounds and polyphenols. The review covers the composition, the nutritional contribution of its components, its physiological and nutritional effects. It shows that honey has a variety of positive nutritional and health effects, if consumed at higher doses of 50 to 80 g per intake.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Clostridium botulinum / isolation & purification
  • Glycemic Index
  • Honey* / adverse effects
  • Honey* / analysis
  • Honey* / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Sweetening Agents / chemistry*
  • Sweetening Agents / pharmacology*
  • Sweetening Agents / therapeutic use


  • Carbohydrates
  • Sweetening Agents