Metabolic effects of honey in type 1 diabetes mellitus: a randomized crossover pilot study

J Med Food. 2013 Jan;16(1):66-72. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0108. Epub 2012 Dec 20.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the metabolic effects of 12-week honey consumption on patients suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM). This was a randomized crossover clinical trial done in the National Institute for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Cairo, Egypt. Twenty patients of both sexes aged 4-18 years with type 1 DM and HbA1C<10% participated in the study. They were randomized into two equal groups (intervention to control and control to intervention). The dietary intervention was 12-week honey consumption in a dose of 0.5 mL/kg body weight per day. The main outcome measures were serum glucose, lipids, and C-peptide, and anthropometric measurements. None of participants were lost in follow-up. The intervention resulted in significant decreases in subscapular skin fold thickness (SSFT; P=.002), fasting serum glucose (FSG; P=.001), total cholesterol (P=.0001), serum triglycerides (TG; P=.0001), and low-density lipoprotein (P=.0009), and significant increases in fasting C-peptide (FCP; P=.0004) and 2-h postprandial C-peptide (PCP; P=.002). As possible long-term effects of honey after its withdrawal, statistically significant reductions in midarm circumference (P=.000), triceps skin fold thickness (P=.006), SSFT (P=.003), FSG (P=.005), 2-h postprandial serum glucose (P=.000), TG (P=.003), and HbA1C (P=.043), and significant increases in FCP (P=.002) and PCP (P=.003) were observed. This small clinical trial suggests that long-term consumption of honey might have positive effects on the metabolic derangements of type 1 DM.

Trial registration: NCT01554566.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Child
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Honey / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides

Associated data