Honey may increase the blood glucose level. However, it may also contains some ingredients that give relief for diabetic patients. Is this true?
One of the main constituents present in honey that contributes largely in exhibiting antidiabetic effect is fructose. There is evidence that fructose tends to lower blood glucose levels in rodent models of diabetes. Mechanisms responsible for this may include a prolongation of gastric emptying time,reduced rate of intestinal absorption and reduced food intake. In addition to fructose, oligosaccharides such as palatinose (isomaltulose) present in honey have been reported to delay digestion and intestinal absorption of glucose resulting in reduced glycemia
Additionally, fructose has also been shown to stimulate glucokinase in hepatocytes which plays a significant role in the uptake and storage of glucose (as glycogen) by the liver.
Likewise, Honey contains a number of mineral elements such as zinc, selenium, copper, calcium, potassium, chromium, manganese and so on. Some of these minerals such as chromium are recognized for their role in the reduction of elevated blood glucose, maintenance of normal glucose tolerance and insulin secretion from the pancreatic β-cells.
Honey as an antidiabetic agent is likely to be more effective and beneficial if combined with conventional antidiabetic therapy. If combined with conventional antidiabetic drugs or insulin, the use of honey may necessitate lower doses of these synthetic drugs or insulin to achieve similar glycemic control.