Effect of honey intake on serum cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoprotein levels in albino rats and potential benefits on risks of coronary heart disease

Niger J Physiol Sci. 2011 Dec 20;26(2):161-5.


The beneficial effect of honey has been widely reported particularly in the treatment of wounds and gastrointestinal tract disorders. However there is paucity of reports on its effect on the plasma high density lipoproteins (HDL), very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides (TG) including cholesterol levels despite common consumption of honey worldwide including, Nigeria. The effect of the widely consumed unrefined Nigeria honey on plasma HDL, VLDL, LDL, TG, cholesterol and cardiovascular risk predictive index (CVPI) was studied using 20 adult male albino rats to ascertain its scientific and clinical relevance. The rats were randomly assigned into 2 groups, the control and honey-fed (test) groups, ten in each group. The rats weighed between 190-200gm at the start of the study. The control group was fed on normal rat (Pfizer-Nigeria) while the test group was fed on normal rat feed and honey (1ml of honey was added to 10ml of drinking water given once every day) for 22 weeks. At the end of the experiment, the rats were anesthetized with thiopentone sodium and blood collected by cardiac puncture. Serum TG, HDL, VLDL, LDL and total cholesterol in the control and the test groups were determined. The results showed significant increase in the level of plasma TG, HDL, and VLDL in the test group when compared with the control group. In contrast, there were significant decreases in the levels of plasma LDL and total cholesterol in the test when compared with the control group. Computed values of CVPI showed significant increase in the test values compared to that of the control. It is concluded that consumption of unrefined Nigeria honey significantly improved lipid profile and computed cardiovascular disease predictive index in male albino rats.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, VLDL / blood
  • Coronary Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control*
  • Diet*
  • Honey*
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Risk Assessment
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Cholesterol, VLDL
  • Lipoproteins
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol