Honey and cardiovascular risk factors, in normal individuals and in patients with diabetes mellitus or dyslipidemia

J Med Food. 2013 Dec;16(12):1063-78. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0285.


Diabetes mellitus, hypercholesteremia, hypertension (HTN), and obesity are well-known risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Various medications are currently in use for management of these comorbidities. Undesirable side effects are unavoidable and the ultimate and ideal goal is hardly achieved. Honey and other bee products are widely used in traditional medicine for management of many diseases. Others and the authors have found potent biological activities of these products. Honey is now reintroduced in modern medicine as part of wound and burn management. Honey has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities. More studies are exploring other aspects of honey activity such as its effect on blood sugar, body weight, lipid profile, C-reactive protein, nitric oxide, proinflammatory prostaglandins, and homocysteine. Growing evidence and scientific data support the use of honey in patients with diabetes, HTN, dyslipidemia, obesity, and CVD. This review discusses clinical and preclinical studies on potential influence of honey on diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular risk factors, and emphasizes the importance of conducting more clinical and controlled studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Weight
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology*
  • Dyslipidemias / prevention & control
  • Homocysteine / blood
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Nitric Oxide / blood
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Prostaglandins / blood
  • Risk Factors


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Prostaglandins
  • Homocysteine
  • Nitric Oxide
  • C-Reactive Protein