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Molecules. 2012 Feb 15;17(2):1900-15. doi: 10.3390/molecules17021900.

Fructose might contribute to the hypoglycemic effect of honey.

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1
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia. erejuwa@gmail.com

Abstract

Honey is a natural substance with many medicinal properties, including antibacterial, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, antioxidant and antihypertensive effects. It reduces hyperglycemia in diabetic rats and humans. However, the mechanism(s) of its hypoglycemic effect remain(s) unknown. Honey comprises many constituents, making it difficult to ascertain which component(s) contribute(s) to its hypoglycemic effect. Nevertheless, available evidence indicates that honey consists of predominantly fructose and glucose. The objective of this review is to summarize findings which indicate that fructose exerts a hypoglycemic effect. The data show that glucose and fructose exert a synergistic effect in the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas. This synergistic effect might enhance intestinal fructose absorption and/or stimulate insulin secretion. The results indicate that fructose enhances hepatic glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis and storage via activation of hepatic glucokinase and glycogen synthase, respectively. The data also demonstrate the beneficial effects of fructose on glycemic control, glucose- and appetite-regulating hormones, body weight, food intake, oxidation of carbohydrate and energy expenditure. In view of the similarities of these effects of fructose with those of honey, the evidence may support the role of fructose in honey in mediating the hypoglycemic effect of honey.

PMID:
22337138
DOI:
10.3390/molecules17021900
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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