Protective effects of Tualang honey on bone structure in experimental postmenopausal rats.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of Tualang honey on trabecular structure and compare these effects with those of calcium supplementation in ovariectomized rats.
Forty female, Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups (n =8): four controls and one test arm. The control arm comprised a baseline control, sham-operated control, ovariectomized control, and ovariectomized calcium-treated rats (receiving 1% calcium in drinking water ad libitum). The test arm was composed of ovariectomized, Tualang honey-treated rats (received 0.2 g/kg body weight of Tualang honey). Both the sham-operated control and ovariectomized control groups received vehicle treatment (deionized water), and the baseline control group was sacrificed without treatment.
All rats were orally gavaged daily for six weeks after day one post-surgery. The bone structural analysis of rats in the test arm group showed a significant increase in the bone volume per tissue volume (BV/TV), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) and trabecular number (Tb.N) and a significant decrease in inter-trabecular space (Tb.Sp) compared with the ovariectomized control group. The trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) in the test arm group was significantly higher compared with the ovariectomized-calcium treated group, and the inter-trabecular space (Tb.Sp) in the test arm group was significantly narrower compared with the ovariectomized-calcium treated group.
In conclusion, ovariectomized rats that received Tualang honey showed more improvements in trabecular bone structure than the rats that received calcium.
Tualang honey (TH) is a Malaysian multifloral jungle honey. In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of studies published in medical databases regarding its potential health benefits. The honey is produced by the rock bee (Apis dorsata), which builds hives on branches of tall Tualang trees located mainly in the north-western region of Peninsular Malaysia. This review collates the results of the various studies of TH that range from research on tissue culture to randomised control clinical trials. Findings thus far show that, TH has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimutagenic, antitumor, and antidiabetic properties, in addition to wound-healing attributes. Some of its properties are similar to the well-researched Manuka honey (New Zealand and/or Australian monofloral honey). Distinct differences include higher phenolics, flavonoids, and 5-(hydroxymethyl) furfural (HMF). Compared with Manuka honey, TH is also more effective against some gram-negative bacterial strains in burn wounds.