Honey improved memory and reduced anxiety in rats
Honey could help counter the effects of ageing and decrease anxiety, according to a study.
Scientists found a diet sweetened with honey improved memory and reduced anxiety.
Lynne Chepulis and Nicola Starkey at the University of Waikato in New Zealand conducted their tests on rats.
They raised them on diets of 10 per cent honey, 8 per cent sucrose or no sugar at all for a year.
The rats were two months old at the start of the trial, and were assessed every three months using tests designed to measure anxiety and spatial memory.
The honey-fed rats spent almost twice as much time in the open sections of an assessment maze then sucrose-fed rats, suggesting they were less anxious.
They were also more likely to enter novel sections of a Y-shaped maze, suggesting they knew where they had been previously and had better spatial memory.
Dr Starkey said: "Diets sweetened with honey may be beneficial in decreasing anxiety and improving memory during ageing."
She believes this could be due to the antioxidant properties of honey, which have previously been demonstrated in humans.
Honey has been used since ancient times as a food, medicine and beauty treatment. Apiculture, the practice of beekeeping to produce honey, dates back to at least 700 BC.
Honey results from the chemical reaction in the saliva of bees as they interact with nectar collected from flowers.
It has been used as an antiseptic therapeutic agent for the treatment of ulcers, burns and wounds. It also contains various micro-nutrients said to help prevent some cancers and combat hayfever. Sales of honey are soaring thanks to its healthy reputation. Retail analysts Mintel said sales had risen 14 per cent in the past two yeras making it the second-biggest seller in the sweet spread market.
Honey 'could counter the effects of ageing' | the Daily Mail
Mmmm that photo makes me want some! Who liked my little "joke" in the title