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Maple syrup a 'superfood': researchers - Yahoo! News UK
Researchers have identified compounds in maple syrup with similar anti-inflammatory or anti-oxidant properties as blueberries, green tea and other "superfoods." Skip related content
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Initial studies suggest polyphenols in the syrup may help keep blood sugar levels in check Enlarge
"In our laboratory research we found that several of these compounds possess anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to fight cancer, diabetes and bacterial illnesses," said lead researcher Navindra Seeram, assistant professor of pharmacognosy at the University of Rhode Island.
Initial studies also suggest that polyphenols in the syrup may help keep blood sugar levels in check, important for diabetics, by inhibiting enzymes that are involved in the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, he said.
The discoveries of new molecules in the syrup also provide chemists with leads that could prompt synthesis of medications to fight other diseases.
The findings were presented this week at an annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California and are to be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Functional Foods.
The study was funded by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
A total of 54 beneficial compounds were identified by the researchers in pure maple syrup from Quebec, including five of which have never been seen in nature.
Among the new compounds is quebecol -- named in honor of the Canadian province of Quebec, which leads the world in maple syrup production.
The researchers believe it is created when a farmer boils off the water in maple sap to get maple syrup. It takes 40 liters (20.5 gallons) of sap to make one liter (two pints) of syrup.
The sweet sap is collected from maple trees in the spring when freezing and thawing cycles cause it to rise and flow from taps hammered into tree trunks.
Seeram said the irony of finding a potential anti-diabetes compound in a sweetener is not lost on him. "Not all sweeteners are created equal," he said.
But while it may make a good substitute for high fructose corn syrup on pancakes he discourages anyone from going out and drinking gallons of it in hopes of extracting the benefits.
The whole maple syrup and baking soda cancer treatment is sounding more legit as time goes by..
I do like some local pure Nova Scotia maple syrup and think it can be part of a healthful diet but I think a lot of this is marketing since it is maple syrup season. It is still sugar; mostly sucrose.
Key word is "pure", not Aunt Jemima
Us Canuks are the largest producer of it too!
Attended Maple Syrup Sunday this past March and purchased a quart of the magical stuff. We all have our 20% and this is one of mine. The sugar shack smelled like heaven!
You'll never see the light if you're in someone else's shadow, or said another way, life is like a dog sled team, if you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes
YAY for being Canadian!
I love maple syrup and it's my go to poison. A little goes a LONG way.
In fact, when I'm down to my goal weight, sunday macadamia nut butter pancakes and waffles are back on the menu!
The more I see the less I know for sure.
I love the real stuff and consider it part of my 20%. I use a little to flavour and sweeten whipped cream (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon) and put a bit (maybe 1/4 teaspoon) in my yogurt some days. I'm not too worried about it in small quantities since I seem to tolerate it fairly well and don't consume significant sugar otherwise. Nice to know it might have some positive qualities, but I enjoy my small indulgence in it now and then either way.
Oh, and it's mostly sucrose, not fructose, for those who are interested in such things.
“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde