Effect of honey on the body weight of glibenclamide treated alloxan induced diabetic rats


Onyebuchi Obia, Chinomso Ojiugo Ogwa, Sunday Ogbu Ojeka, Austin Azubuike Ajah, Arthur Nwafor Chuemere

Aim/ Background: One of the classical features of diabetes mellitus is weight loss which may become excessive in some cases. This basically results from muscle wasting due to increased catabolism of proteins. The commonly used anti-diabetic drug; glibenclamide may not effectively prevent the excessive weight loss experienced by some diabetics. This is the reason why some complain of even extreme weight loss while on medication. Thus addition of a natural product with the potential to prevent excessive weight loss and make diabetics appear healthy while on treatment may be necessary. The aim of the present study is to determine the effect of honey on the body weight of glibenclamide treated alloxan induced diabetic rats. Methods: This study was carried out between September and October, 2015. A total of 20 male wistar rats weighing 200-250g were grouped into four with 5 rats in each group. Diabetes mellitus was induced in all the rats by intraperitoneally injecting 2% alloxan solution as 200mg/kg body weight. Each rat was weighed before and after the experiment and recorded accordingly. The animals received respectively oral administration of the following: Group one; 5.0ml/kg/day of distilled water, Group two; 5.0ml/kg/day of 50% honey, Group three; 5.0ml/kg/day of 50% honey together with 0.6mg/kg/day of glibenclamide, Group 4; glibenclamide alone (0.6mg/kg/day). The animals were treated for 4weeks. Results: There was significant increase in the mean final weight of the honey treated group compared to their initial weight. Conversely, significant mean weight reduction was noted for rats treated with glibenclamide alone. However, when honey was added to glibenclamide treatment, the weight loss was minimized. Conclusion: The present study showed that addition of honey to glibenclamide in the treatment of alloxan diabetic rats significantly improved the body weight compared to when the drug was administered alone. The study suggests that glibenclamide has a limited capability to stimulate the already damaged beta cells to stimulate insulin. However, when given together with honey, its anti-oxidant components may have prevented excessive protein catabolism. There could also be possible honey-induced pancreatic beta cell regeneration.