New Animal Laboratory Studies confirm that not all Sugars are Created
NEW YORK, March 18, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - There is more good news about
pure maple syrup. Researchers from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Japan
joined together on March 16th at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), in
Dallas, Texas, for a full-day symposium devoted to a number of studies
that examined potential new health benefits found in maple syrup and
other natural sweeteners. One study found that maple syrup from Canada
does not cause the same spike in blood insulin levels as some other
sugars in tests performed with laboratory animals. The scientists
reported this, and other new promising data, that have implications for
both healthy individuals and those suffering from Type 2 diabetes and
metabolic syndrome, which is a collection of heart disease risk factors
used to describe a cluster of conditions, such as high blood pressure,
abnormal cholesterol levels, increased blood sugar and excess body fat
around the waist, that occur together.
The session was organized and chaired by Dr. Navindra Seeram, associate
pharmacy professor at the University of Rhode Island and a leading
scientist in the maple syrup research field. When collectively
reviewed, these research findings suggest that maple syrup's unique
cocktail of constituents may be the source of new health benefits.
These findings may help support discoveries made over the past few
years on the inherent properties of pure maple syrup that comes
directly from the sap of the maple tree, making it an all-natural
product with unique health benefits.
Dr. André Marette from Laval University, Quebec, Canada, presented
results from the very first animal studies comparing maple syrup's
potential effect on blood sugar to other types of sweeteners, including
sucrose (commonly known as table sugar). "These in vivo studies showed
that rats fed with maple syrup did not have as much of a spike in blood
sugar levels when compared to rats fed with sucrose," noted Dr.
Marette. "The next step is to repeat this study in humans. While more
research is needed, our findings may help people at risk for metabolic
syndrome to make better choices when selecting a sweetener for their
daily intake. We know today that not all sweeteners are created equal
when it comes to glucose control and insulin resistance."
Scientists from Japan also contributed to the symposium. "While more
research is needed, our preliminary findings also suggest that maple
syrup may have a positive effect on metabolic syndrome and could play a
role in the prevention of it," said Dr. Keiko Abe from the University
of Tokyo. Using nutrigenomics to study how nutrients affect our body's
genes, Dr. Abe analyzed the effects of maple syrup extracts with
varying levels of polyphenols. Mice with Type 2 diabetes that were fed
a maple syrup extract showed improved insulin sensitivity, increased
breakdown of fats in the blood and better regulation of body weight
compared to animals on a control diet without maple.
Identified less than 20 years ago, metabolic syndrome is widespread. The
American Heart Association reports that 47 million Americans, or one in
six people, have it. Metabolic syndrome is related to insulin
resistance, believed to run in families and, according to the American
Heart Association, is more common among African-Americans, Hispanics,
Asians and Native Americans. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of
diabetes affecting more than 380 million people worldwide, according to
the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
Drs. Marette's and Abe's studies were conducted on the heels of
scientific discoveries made by Dr. Seeram over the past three years. In
2011, Seeram's work unearthed 54 polyphenols in maple syrup, some of
which boast similar antioxidant benefits to those compounds found in
red wine, berries, tea and flaxseed. This year, his lab identified nine
additional compounds with antioxidant properties and potential health
benefits, bringing the total count of phytonutrients known to date to
63. "Pure maple syrup from Canada has a unique chemistry and
combination of natural compounds," said Seeram. "The synergistic effect
among the multiple constituents found in maple syrup could be the
reason for the potential health benefits of this sweetener. I am
excited to see the results from human trials."
Serge Beaulieu, President of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup
Producers, is encouraged by the comparative studies presented at ACS:
"We are optimistic to understand more about the potential health
benefits of maple syrup in the next few years. Dr. Marette's and Dr.
Abe's animal studies, in addition to the new polyphenolic compounds
found in Dr. Seeram's lab, pave the way for human studies, which we
plan to start next," said Beaulieu.
The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers does not promote an
increase of sugar consumption. When choosing a sweetener for moderate
use, pure maple syrup has more healthful compounds compared to some
other sources of sugar.
ABOUT THE FEDERATION OF QUEBEC MAPLE SYRUP PRODUCERS
The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers was founded in 1966 with
the mission of defending and promoting the economic, social and moral
interests of its 7,400 maple family farms and businesses. These men and
women are working together to collectively create quality standards,
knowledge and market their products. Quebec is responsible for 93
percent of the Canadian production and close to 80 percent of today's
global maple syrup output. Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
contribute 7 percent of the total Canadian production. The Federation
is proud to lead the International Innovation Network on Maple Products
from Canada in the name of the entire Canadian maple syrup industry.
For more information, please visit purecanadamaple.com or ilovemaple.ca.
The University of Rhode Island's research grant was funded by the Conseil pour le développement de l'agriculture du Québec (CDAQ) and the Federation. Funding of CDAQ is provided through
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Advancing Canadian Agriculture and
Agri-Food (ACAAF) program.
The University of Tokyo's research grant was funded by the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec
(MAPAQ) and the Federation. Funding of MAPAQ is provided through the "Soutien aux stratégies sectorielles de développement Volet 1: Appui au
développement sectoriel" program.
First segment of University of Laval's research grant was funded by
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Federation. The funding
of AAFC is provided through the program "Growing Canadian Agri-Innovations."
SOURCE: Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers
For further information:
For more information or to schedule an interview with Dr. Marette or Dr. Seeram, please contact:
Bridget Ann Peterson
Massy Forget Langlois Public Relations
514-842-2455, ext. 26/C: 514-377-1752
Senior Account Executive