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Abstract Title:

The Mechanism of Honey in Reversing Metabolic Syndrome.

Abstract Source:

Molecules. 2021 Feb 4 ;26(4). Epub 2021 Feb 4. PMID: 33557218

Abstract Author(s):

Khairun-Nisa Hashim, Kok-Yong Chin, Fairus Ahmad

Article Affiliation:

Khairun-Nisa Hashim


Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of five risk factors comprising central obesity, hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia, and hypertension, which predispose a person to cardiometabolic diseases. Many studies reported the beneficial effects of honey in reversing metabolic syndrome through its antiobesity, hypoglycaemic, hypolipidaemic, and hypotensive actions. This review aims to provide an overview of the mechanism of honey in reversing metabolic syndrome. The therapeutic effects of honey largely depend on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of its polyphenol and flavonoid contents. Polyphenols, such as caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, and gallic acid, are some of the phenolic acids known to have antiobesity and antihyperlipidaemic properties. They could inhibit the gene expression of sterol regulatory element-binding transcription factor 1 and its target lipogenic enzyme, fatty acid synthase (FAS). Meanwhile, caffeic acid and quercetin in honey are also known to reduce body weight and fat mass. In addition, fructooligosaccharides in honey are also known to alter lipid metabolism by reducing FAS activity. The fructose and phenolic acids might contribute to the hypoglycaemic properties of honey through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B insulin signalling pathway. Honey can increase the expression of Akt and decrease the expression of nuclear factor-kappa B. Quercetin, a component of honey, can improve vasodilation by enhancing nitric oxide production via endothelial nitric oxide synthase and stimulate calcium-activated potassium channels. In conclusion, honey can be used as a functional food or adjuvant therapy to prevent and manage metabolic syndrome.

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Sayer Ji
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