Adding a dollop of honey to your daily diet may help to fight your aging process, according to researchers from the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.
The researchers fed 2-month-old rats a diet containing 10 percent honey, 8 percent sucrose, or no sugar at all for 12 months. They were tested every three months to measure their anxiety and spatial memory.
Honey-fed rats seemed to hold up better to the effects of aging. Specifically:
Honey-fed rats spent close to double the time in open sections of an assessment maze than sucrose-fed rats, which suggests they were less anxious.
Honey-fed rats were more likely to enter novel sections of a Y-shaped maze, which suggests they knew where they had been before and had better spatial memory.
The researchers believe that a honey-sweetened diet may also decrease anxiety and improve memory in aging humans. The beneficial effects may be due to the antioxidant properties of honey.
The study was funded by Fonterra, a dairy company that’s looking to market a honey-sweetened yogurt.
Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour meeting at Newcastle University,
UK September 5-7, 2007
New Scientist September 14, 2007