The effect of honey supplementation on drosophila melanogaster hemocyte count
Nirav Kottury, John Leddo
Immune diseases, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, are a growing problem; according to the CDC, an estimated 3,049 people died daily from 2020 to 2021 of COVID-19 immune complications, surpassing death rates of even heart disease and cancer. As a result, many people have turned to honey to help boost immunity. Natural honey has remained a popular treatment for infected wounds and ingredient in numerous naturally-made immune medications, despite there being no justified studies on honey’s immune health benefits. Thus, there arises a need to confirm whether honey is safe to boost immunity. The effects of honey on Drosophila melanogaster’s immune system were tested. Hemocyte count was a proxy measurement for immune health; hemocytes are cells that destroy pathogens and trigger a fast-acting immune response. Using a needle to puncture the larvae, the hemocytes for each larva were drained into wells and evaluated by a cell counter. 80 trials were conducted for each of the two groups, and the 2061 hemocytes per larva for the non-honey-fed larvae was statistically significantly larger than the 1319 hemocytes per larva for the honey-fed larvae. Despite the long-held belief that honey is beneficial for the immune system, the research conducted supports the contrary.