International Journal of Food Research
ISSN: 2056-9734
Vol. 7(2), pp. 23-33, April 2020

Potential benefical effects of stingless bee honey (kelulut honey) on bones exposed to long-term dexamethasone

Elvy Suhana Mohd Ramli1*, Mohd Amir Kamaruzzaman1, Amardev Singh Thanu1, Norazlina Mohamed2,
Nur Azlina Mohd Fahami2, Mohd Rafizul Yusuf1 and Ima Nirwana Soelaiman2,

1Anatomy Department, Level 18, Preclinical Building, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Jalan Yalan Yaacob Latif, 56000, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2Pharmacology Department, Level 17, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Yalan Yaacob Latif, 56000, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

Received 20 February, 2020; Received in revised form 27 March, 2020; Accepted 01 April, 2020.


Osteoporosis, Dexamethasone, Stingless beet honey, Adrenalectomy, BMD.

Osteoporosis due to chronic exposure to glucocorticoids (GCs) is related to oxidative stress and is the leading cause of secondary osteoporosis. Stingless bee honey or ‘kelulut honey’ (KH) has been proven to have antioxidant properties. The aim of this study was to determine the potential benefit of KH in protecting the bone against chronic glucocorticoid therapy. Fourty eight adult male Sprague-Dawley rats, aged 3 months weighing 280-300 g were used in this study. Thirty two rats underwent adrenalectomy and were divided into four groups of eight. They were administered with 120 µg/kg/day of dexamethasone intramuscularly (AC) and supplemented with oral KH 200 mg/kg/day (KH200), 400 mg/kg/day (KH400) and 2% calcium in drinking water (PC). The AC group was given oral normal saline 0.1 ml/kg/day. Eight rats underwent sham procedure and were given vehicle palm olein 0.05 ml/kg/day intramuscularly and oral normal saline 0.1 ml/kg/day (Sham). The baseline control rats (BL) were euthanized without receiving any treatment. The rats were euthanized after two months of treatments. The results showed that AC had significantly lower osteocalcin and Cross Linked C-Telopeptide of Type 1 Collagen (CTX) with reduction in bone biomechanical strength and bone mineral density (BMD). KH200 and PC groups had significantly higher osteocalcin level and KH400 had lower CTX level compared to AC. KH200 and PC groups had higher biomechanical strength parameters (Modulus and stress) and BMD compared to the AC group. However, KH supplementation at both doses did not prevent changes to the BMD. The findings suggested that KH has potential benefits in protecting the bone against glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis.

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