Honey as an Anti-Inflammatory agent for Crohn’s Disease – An Extended Research Proposal
Introduction: 1 in 650 individuals in the UK will be affected by Crohn’s disease which currently has no cure. Despite its idiopathic cause,Crohn’s disease is characterised by chronic inflammation which can lead to a host of complications. Phamacological and surgical management aim to reduce this inflammation and induct periods of remission. Evidence suggests that honey could be used in inflammatory reduction in Crohn’s disease. Its bioactive compounds, polyphenols and antioxidants, has shown to reduce inflammation in vitro and in vivo studies. However, no study has tested honeys effects on intestinal inflammation in Crohn’s disease. This study proposes to test a honey with the highest total phenolic content in a 7 day intervention. Methodology: This study will be conduced as a double blind randomized control trial with 2 groups n=18. Group 1 (n =9) will receive 50g of a selected honey and Group 2 (n=9) will receive a sugar control. Those who meet the inclusion criteria will be invited to undergo pre intervention tests including pre and post measurements of inflammatory (C-Reactive Protein, TNF- α & IL-6) markers via venous blood and urine samples. The intervention time will last 7 days and symptoms indicative of inflammation will be measured before and after the week. It is proposed that data obtained will be analysed using a paired T-test and statistically evaluated using a P-Value Discussion: Polyphenols found in honey has been shown to produce favourable effects on inflammation in a healthy population and in rodent models induced with inflammatory conditions. There is no literature testing the effects of honey on intestinal inflammation on patients with Crohn’s disease. This study accounts for confounding variables such as preanthropometric testing and analysis of a diet diary during the intervention. This study, however, has a small sample size and a short duration, which may not produce statistically significant results nor be applicable to a population. Moreover, polyphenol bioavailability in patients with chronic inflammation has not been tested. Further research is needed in this area, and a larger sample size and longer duration may make this study more reliable. Conclusion: Crohn's disease is a life-long condition that has an increasing incidence in the UK. Honey is one of the longest-used natural therapies and may have a place in managing Crohn's disease. Its phenolic compounds have been shown to reduce inflammation for several different diseases with inflammatory pathogenesis. It has shown promising therapeutic action in the other form of IBD, ulcerative colitis, in rodent models by decreasing inflammatory mediators. This study proposes to use honey with a superior phenolic profile and content on individuals diagnosed with Crohn's disease in a 1-week randomised control trial with two groups – the honey control and the placebo control. This will directly assess the effects of honey on inflammation and inflammatory mediators by testing it against a control.