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Open Access Research article

Effects of Gelam and Acacia honey acute administration on some biochemical parameters of Sprague Dawley rats

Suhana Samat1, Nor Azmi Md Nor1, Fuzina Nor Hussein2 and Wan Iryani Wan Ismail1*

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical BioPharmaceutics Research Group (CBRG), Brain and Neuroscience Core, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450, Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia and Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam Campus, 42300 Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

2 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:146  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-146

Published: 4 May 2014



Since ancient times, honey has been used for medicinal purposes in many cultures; it is one of the oldest and most enduring substances used in wound management. Scientific evidence for its efficacy is widely studied, but systemic safety studies are still lacking. It is essential to study the impact of consumption of honey on the health and proper development of the consumer. Therefore, the present study was designed to observe the effects of acute administration (14 days) of Gelam honey (GH), a wild harvesting honey and Acacia honey (AH), a beekeeping honey, on male and female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats.


An acute oral study was performed following OECD test guideline 423, with minor modifications. In the study, GH, AH and sucrose (S) were administered at 2000 mg/kg body weight. Animals were observed for the next 14 days. Gross pathology was performed at the end of the study. Animals were observed for mortality, morbidity, body weight changes, feed and water intake. Clinical biochemistry, gross pathology, relative organ weight and histopathological examination were performed.


Rats fed with honey did not exhibit any abnormal signs or deaths. Results showed a decrease in weight gain and energy efficiency, but significantly increased in total food intake and total calories in female rats fed with GH, compared to control (pā€‰<ā€‰0.05). Nevertheless, a significant increase in body weight was observed in male rats in all honey-treated groups. Male rats fed with AH significantly decreased in total food intake, total calories and energy efficiency. Both male and female rats fed with GH displayed a significant decrease in triglycerides compared to control group. Hepatic and renal function levels were within acceptable range. The gross necropsy analysis did not reveal changes in any of the organs examined.


Our results suggest that acute consumption of GH and AH at 2000 mg/kg body weight of male and female SD rats has some discrepancy effects on biochemical parameters but in line with OECD regulation. Gelam honey may have potential in controlling weight gain and triglyceride levels in female rats compared to Acacia honey. SD rats have some effect on biochemical parameters, an exploration of which would make for intriguing analysis.

Acacia honey; Acute consumption; Gelam honey; Sprague Dawley rats