New research suggests a natural sugar found in honey could prevent heart attacks.
The sugar is trehalose, which initiates a protein that causes immune cells to remove fatty plaque from arteries, the review found.
The study determined that Trehalose decreases the dimension of plaque in mice around 30%.
Plaque accumulates inside the arteries in a disorder known as atherosclerosis. This makes the arteries harden and become less elastic, placing individuals at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and even heart attacks.
Trehalose is also present in mushrooms, lobsters, and prawns.
How the study was carried out
Mice at risk of atherosclerosis were injected by researchers from Washington University with either trehalose or a different kind of sugar. Other mice were given trehalose orally.
Key research findings
Results, published in Nature Communications, revealed that mice provided with trehalose had plaques measuring 0.25mm across, compared to 0.35mm in the animals that were not injected with the sugar.
This is an approximate 30% decrease in plaque.
Plaque size did not decrease in the mice given the trehalose orally or those that were injected with a different type of sugar.
Trehalose is believed to activate a protein called TFEB, which causes plaque to be, removed by immune cells, known as macrophages.
What are the key findings?
Babak Razani, the lead author, stated: “In atherosclerosis, macrophages try to fix damage to the artery by cleaning up the area, but they get overwhelmed by the inflammatory nature of the plaques.”
He then explained that “Their housekeeping process gets gummed up.” and continued, “Trehalose is not just enhancing the housekeeping machinery that’s already there. It’s triggering the cell to make new machinery.”
What does this mean?
Trehalose may be a natural way for those who suffer from artery diseases or heart disease to treat their condition. These findings are more proof that society needs to do everything it can to save the bees!