Effect of natural honey from Ilam and metformin for improving glycemic control in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

Document Type : Original Research Article


Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Urmia University, Urmia, I.R. Iran


Objective(s): Diabetes mellitus is a public health problem and one of the five leading causes of death globally. In the present study, the effect of Metformin with natural honey was investigated on glycemia in the Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
Materials and Methods: Thirty Wistar male rats were randomly divided into six groups including C: non ‌diabetic rats received distilled water, CH: non diabetic rats received honey, CD: diabetic rats administered with distilled water, DM: Metformin treated diabetic rats, DH: honey treated diabetic rats, and DMH: diabetic rats treated with a combination of Metformin and natural honey. Diabetes was induced by a single dose of Streptozotocin (65 mg/kg; i.p.). The animals were treated by oral gavage once daily for four weeks. At the end of the treatment period, the animals were sacrificed and their blood samples collected. Amount of glucose, triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol, total bilirubin, and albumin were determined in serum.
Results: Group CD: showed hyperglycemia (252.2±4.1 mg/dl), while level of blood glucose was significantly (p<0.01) reduced in groups DH (124.2±2.7 mg/dl), DM (108.0±3.4 mg/dl), and DMH (115.4±2.1 mg/dl). Honey in combination with Metformin significantly (p<0.01) reduced level of bilirubin but Metformin alone did not reduce bilirubin. Honey alone and in combination with Metformin also significantly reduced triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL and increased HDL, but Metformin did not reduced triglycerides and increased HDL.
Conclusion: The results of the present study demonstrated that consuming natural honey with Metformin improves glycemic control and is more useful than consuming Metformin alone. The higher therapeutic effect of Ilam honey on lipid abnormalities than Tualang honeywas also evident.