(NaturalHealth365) The very first global symposium focused on the health benefits of pure maple syrup was held in early April 2017. This symposium was part of the 253rd annual American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in San Francisco. This is a big deal – considering that the ACS is the largest scientific society in the world.
The special symposium was called “Chemistry and Biological Effects of Maple Food Products.” Scientists gathered to share research regarding the positive effects of maple syrup on inflammation, infection and the gut microbiome.
Maple syrup used traditionally by Native populations for its healing properties
Chronic inflammation is at the root of many diseases and conditions, including arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Inflammation is also a factor in liver disease, metabolic syndrome and brain health, and it can throw off the balance of the gut microbiome.
Maple syrup has been used by Native populations in Canada for centuries to help fight infection. The scientists in attendance at the ACS meeting as well as the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers have been studying the unique properties of pure maple syrup closely for nearly a decade.
Researchers have found that some of its health benefits are linked with a complex carbohydrate called inulin. This natural fiber acts as a prebiotic, encouraging the growth of positive gut bacteria which supports immune system functioning.
Key compounds in maple syrup boost the effects of antibiotics dramatically
This year, two additional compounds were discovered in maple syrup that have antioxidant properties. This brings the known count of beneficial phytonutrients in maple up to 65. In 2011, a polyphenolic molecule called Quebecol1 and an analogue called isoquebecol showed significant positive effects against inflammation.
Recent research out of McGill University has also found that maple syrup has can boost the antimicrobial effect of antibiotics dramatically. Arbenicillin and ciprofloxacin were administered along with maple syrup, and it was found that up to 90 percent less antibiotic could be used with the same healing results. These results hold tremendous promise for fighting viruses and “superbugs.”
Pure maple syrup also contains key vitamins and minerals that make it a “functional food.” A maple sap drink formulation was found to bring a symbiotic (both probiotic and prebiotic) benefit to gut flora balance. This could offer an added maple syrup benefit for persons taking antibiotics.
Maple syrup loaded with health-enhancing polyphenols
As you know, gut health and balance is crucial to immune system health. A healthy immune system can then in turn help protect the body against chronic inflammation – which is at the root of many debilitating health conditions.
While some inflammation is part of a normal immune system response, chronic inflammation can cause (or make worse) many health problems. Fortunately, we now know that foods rich in polyphenols like pure maple syrup are known to help fight off and prevent chronic inflammation.
Examples of other polyphenol-rich foods include lots of fruits and vegetables or green tea.
Maple products are produced in abundance in places like Vermont (in the United States) and Canada, with around 7,500 businesses and 44 million taps in Quebec alone. As awareness of the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of maple syrup spreads, interest and demand worldwide will no doubt increase for this sweet addition to the diet.
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