CAM InteractionsHoney (incl Medihoney)

No effect of honey on intestinal and hepatic CYP3A

It’s suggested that honey may stimulate the CYP3A enzyme, and this might alter the metabolism of drugs.

Researchers in Germany studied the effect of repeated honey administration on human CYP3A enzyme activity using the benzodiazepine drug midazolam (Versed).

First, the details.

  • 20 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 10 days.
    • Honey (2 x 20 grams/day)
    • Artificial honey (2 x 20 grams/day)
  • Intestinal and hepatic CYP3A activity were measured.
  • 4 mg of medazolam were administered by mouth and 2 mg of midazolam were administered intravenously before, during, at after the last dose of honey.
  • The researchers were not aware of the treatment given — single-blind.

And, the results.

  • Before the study, metabolic clearance (elimination from the body) of midazolam was similar in both honey groups.
  • At no time during or at the end of the study did the clearance of midazolam change.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Neither honey nor artificial honey in amounts usually consumed affected the intestinal and hepatic CYP3A activity in healthy volunteers.”

Most drugs are metabolized by CYP3A enzymes, and variations in levels of these enzymes may influence whether patients will have a positive or adverse drug response.

12/26/10 19:22 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.