Is Honey Good for Cholesterol
Small studies have suggested that honey benefits patients with high cholesterol concentrations. The present study aimed to confirm this finding in a larger group of subjects. Sixty volunteers with high cholesterol, stratified according to gender and hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitor (statin) treatment (yes/no), were randomized to receive 75 g of honey solution or a honey-comparable sugar solution once daily over a period of 14 days.
Baseline measurements, including body mass index (BMI) and lipid profile, were obtained, and subjects also completed dietary questionnaires and the Inventory for the Assessment of Negative Bodily Affect-Trait form (INKA-h) questionnaire.
Measurements were repeated 2 weeks later. BMI and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol values were significantly correlated (r = -0.487; P < .001) as were BMI and a lower ratio of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (r = 0.420; P < .001), meaning that subjects with a high BMI had a lower HDL cholesterol value. INKA-h scores and LDL cholesterol values were also significantly correlated (r = 0.273, P = .042).
Neither solution influenced significantly cholesterol or triglyceride values in the total group; in women, however, the LDL cholesterol value increased in the sugar solution subgroup but not in the women taking honey. Although ingesting honey did not reduce LDL cholesterol values in general, women may benefit from substituting honey for sugar in their diet. Reducing the BMI lowers the LDL cholesterol value, and psychological interventions also seem important and merit further investigation.