Honey could play a part in reducing the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases in old age, a report has revealed.
Scientists have found that the common cupboard essential could prevent neuroinflammation in the hippocampus region of the brain – warding off diseases such as dementia.
High in sugar, it possesses natural antioxidants and therapeutic properties which could help to prevent cognitive decline.
It has also been shown to help in a variety of other medical conditions, such as IBS and cancer, the scientists added.
Over a five-year period, honey was given to around half of the total 3,000 participants. At the end of the study, 489 people had developed dementia.
Just 95 of those eating honey went on to develop the disease, compared with 394 of those who weren’t eating honey.
Food has long been linked with an increased or decreased risk of developing dementia. However, Dr Richard Isaacson, a dementia expert, said it’s a complicated area of science.
“There’s no one magic piece of food that someone can eat and prevent Alzheimer’s, but incremental changes absolutely can have a positive effect,” he said.
“I’m a strong believer that, yes, what you eat can influence brain health. But I think if everything is done in moderation, that’s fine.
“Many people say “don’t eat bread” or “don’t eat meat”. Yes, studies have shown that red meat and bread are not brain healthy, and I try to limit my intake of meat. At the same time, everyone needs to make their own individual dietary decisions. When my patients decide to go vegan, I think it’s brave. If they want to, that’s great. If they don’t, there are other ways to stay brain healthy.”