Produced to be the nourishment of the queen bee, royal jelly is also a true elixir of youth for our brain. In fact, as a recent review shows, royal jelly is able to improve cognitive function both in healthy people and in the case of a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, increasing neuronal survival and counteracting oxidative stress and inflammation. The research is available online, published in the journal Antioxidants thanks to the collaboration between a Japanese team and an Egyptian team (Ali et al, Antioxidants, 2020).
How to keep your brain young forever
Getting old yes, but aging well, that could be the purpose for years to come. And when we talk about aging well, we also mean that it is important to better preserve cognitive function, protecting the brain from neurodegeneration such as Alzheimer's. For this, help can certainly come from the diet, but care must be taken. In fact, there is no single food that, alone, can counteract degenerative diseases, just as there is no single food that fights cancer, depression or diabetes. Instead, we can count on a healthy and balanced lifestyle and a varied diet that includes some foods considered to be protective for the brain, such as, for example, berries, green tea and, indeed, royal jelly, the topic of today's article. In order to understand the action of royal jelly on the brain, the researchers analyzed, compared and summarized the results of previous studies. Let's see what emerged.
Royal jelly protects the brain
Royal jelly is a concentrate of nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, such as group B, vitamins C, A and E, mineral salts, such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, manganese and selenium, and fatty acids. These substances give royal jelly anti-obesity and anti-tumor properties and, very importantly for the purpose of protecting the brain, also an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging action. Studies have found that royal jelly is beneficial for the healthy brain. In fact, in this case, taking royal jelly has been able to improve spatial memory by almost 50%, which is essential for remembering paths and where an object has been placed, and the ability to retain memories. But the benefits were also observed in the case of an Alzheimer's diagnosis. In this case, royal jelly increased the production of antioxidants and reduced free radicals in areas of the brain such as the hippocampus, one of the first regions to be affected by neurodegeneration. Not only that, royal jelly has been shown to protect the brain through several processes. For example, it is able to reduce the synthesis of beta amyloid proteins, the accumulation of which is the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. But royal jelly is also able to counteract neuroinflammation, which, together with the accumulation of beta amyloid proteins, is the trigger for the development of Alzheimer's disease. In addition, royal jelly stimulates neurogenesis and the synthesis of neutrophins, such as the brain derived neutrophic factor or BDNF, which are proteins responsible, among other things, for the formation of new synapses between neurons, thus promoting neuroplasticity.