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The Gut–Brain Axis, Cognition and Honey

Abstract

Honey has been trusted in traditional healing and wellness in most of the civilizations. Modern medicine has accepted wound healing properties of honey in burns and ulcers. There is tremendous evidence regarding antioxidant, antibacterial, anticancer, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties of honey. There are some experimental—in vitro and in vivo data and a little clinical data demonstrating role of honey in reversing the effects of neurodegenerative disorders and cognitive amelioration. Despite all the proven and assumed goodness, honey has not been able to establish to its full potential as a brain tonic under modern science. A casual search on PubMed and Cochrane databases reveals that there is not enough research on the neuroprotective aspects of honey. However, dissection of key components of the composition of honey has deciphered many compounds which are individually appreciated for their role in improvement of cognition and neurodegenerative disorders. The recent acceptance of gut–brain axis and role of microbiome in the development and modulation of neuronal functions has led to new insights; growing data recognizes honey as a prebiotic. It may be concluded that improvement in cognitive functions is a cumulative effect of the unique chemical composition of honey and it may not be identical for all types of honey. More longitudinal research is required to establish honey as a brain tonic.

Keywords

  • Honey
  • Gut-brain axis
  • Diet
  • Cognition
  • Gut microbiota
  • Nootropic agent
  • Prebiotic agent

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Zahir, F., Alhewairini, S.S., Mahamood, M. (2020). The Gut–Brain Axis, Cognition and Honey. In: Rehman, M.U., Majid, S. (eds) Therapeutic Applications of Honey and its Phytochemicals . Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-6799-5_17

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