Background: Evidence suggested the involvement of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases through oxidative stress. Consumption of antioxidant compounds was found to be beneficial on brain-health by reducing brain oxidative stress level and improve cognitive performance in animal. Stingless bee honey or locally known as Kelulut honey (KH) exert high phenolic content and widely used as food supplement.
Objectives: In this study, we aim investigate the effects of KH on the brain of MetS-induced rats.
Method: Forty male Wistar rats were divided into 5 groups; 8 weeks (C8) and 16 weeks control groups (C16), groups that received high carbohydrate high fructose (HCHF) diet for 8 weeks (MS8) and 16 weeks (MS16), and a group that received HCHF for 16 weeks with KH supplemented for the last 35 days (KH).
Results: Serum fasting blood glucose decreased in the KH group compared to MS16 group. HDL levels were significantly decreased in MetS groups compared to control groups. Open field experiments showed KH group exhibits less anxious behavior compared to the MetS group. Probe trial of Morris water maze demonstrated significant memory retention of KH group compared to MS16 group. Nissl staining showed significant decrease in pyramidal hippocampal cell in the MS16 compared to KH group.
Conclusion: KH has the ability to normalise blood glucose and reduce serum triglyceride and LDL levels in MetS rats, while behavior studies complement its effect on anxiety and memory. This shows a promising role of KH in attenuating neurodegenerative diseases through the antioxidant activity of its polyphenolic content.