100% Pure Maple Syrup: A beneficial consumption when compared to other sweetening agents

LONGUEUIL, QC, Oct. 7, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Maple syrup lovers can keep enjoying the pleasures of consuming their national product, knowing that they're making a healthier choice. Indeed, the conclusions of a new study, presented in Québec City as part of the 7th Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics, show a favourable link between maple syrup and metabolic health. The in vivo study, conducted by a team led by Dr. André Marette, who holds a Ph. D. from Université Laval, aimed to compare the glycemic index of maple syrup to that of other sweetening agents, including brown rice syrup, corn syrup, agave syrup, honey, molasses and benchmark solution (dextrose), on healthy animals.

"As part of this comparative study, we observed a weak glycemic response to 100% pure maple syrup, which would be beneficial at the metabolic level, said Dr. Marette. Indeed, greater glycemic increases lead to higher insulin demands, thereby contributing to pancreatic fatigue, which in turn speeds up the development of type 2 diabetes. Consequently, the long-term onset of type 2 diabetes could be limited, as pancreatic functions are protected due to maple syrup's weak pancreatic response compared to other sweetening agents."

Furthermore, various elements, involving specific hormones, could be added to the list of positive metabolic effects of consuming 100% pure maple syrup. "First off, we have the low production of GIP, a gastrointestinal hormone known to play a major role in stimulating insulin production, explains Dr. Marette. In humans, high GIP levels could be linked to fasting and postfeeding hyperinsulinemia, meaning a higher-than-normal insulin count in the bloodstream, a state observed in insulin-resistant individuals. It also bears mentioning that the production of amylin, a pancreatic hormone secreted alongside insulin when 100% pure maple syrup is consumed, was significantly lower than levels noted upon consumption of brown rice syrup, corn syrup and the dextrose solution."

These results support discoveries made over the past few years on the natural properties of both the maple tree and its derivative, maple syrup, which contains a certain amount of glycemia-regulating molecules. Recent research has identified these same molecules and several others in maple syrup, produced from sap, a liquid that provides the tree with life-giving nutrients.

Maple syrup also contains a significant amount of phytohormones of the abscisic acid (ABA) family, a molecule that may help against the onset of insulin resistance. Furthermore, a recent analysis has also shown that the amount of polyphenols found in maple syrup is approximately five times greater than quantities found in honey, brown rice syrup and corn syrup, and 400 times greater than in agave syrup. Several studies1 have posited that consuming polyphenols regularly could have a positive impact on metabolic health, among other benefits.

Serge Beaulieu, President of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, is thrilled by the conclusions of this comparative study: "We are optimistic about this research that greatly contributes to our understanding of the potential health benefits of maple syrup. Dr. Marette's study confirms the effects of the active components naturally contained in maple syrup among animals. Clearly, there's still some work to be done and we'll continue to support this research every step of the way. In light of current knowledge on this matter, we are able to suggest that consumers seeking a quality sweetener choose maple products, which contain a wide variety of nutritious elements."

This study shows that, within the analyzed parameters, 100% pure maple syrup has an edge over other sweetening agents. "We could consider the metabolic effects of agave syrup to be similar to those of 100% pure maple syrup, but the former is very low in polyphenols and high in fructose, concludes Dr. Marette. Furthermore, several studies2 have shown that long-term consumption of a high-fructose diet can be linked to a build-up of liver triglycerides, glucose intolerance and blood pressure deterioration. The study we are presenting today lays the groundwork enabling us to conduct other long-term studies."

An estimated 2.5 million Canadians have been diagnosed with diabetes in 2010. From 2010 to 2020, an additional 1.2 million people are expected to be diagnosed with this illness, for a total of 3.7 million people3.

On behalf of the Canadian maple industry, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers would like to thank Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAC) for its financial support of this study.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers recommends consuming sweeteners in moderation, regardless of type.

About the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ)
The FPAQ was founded in 1966 with the mission of defending and promoting the economic, social and moral interests of its 7,400 maple businesses. These men and women are working together to collectively market their products. The FPAQ innovates and develops products for the domestic maple syrup industry and with the advantages brought by collective marketing. The quality of their work and their products has made Quebec the producer of close to 80% of today's global maple syrup output. For more information, visit www.siropderable.ca.

1Andriantsitohaina et al. Molecular mechanisms of the cardiovascular protective effects of polyphenols Br J Nutr. 2012 Nov 14;108(9):1532-49, Chuang et al. Potential mechanisms by which polyphenol-rich grapes prevent obesity-mediated inflammation and metabolic diseases Annu Rev Nutr. 2011 Aug 21;31:155-76

2Bray, G.A., Energy and fructose from beverages sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup pose a health risk for some people. Adv Nutr, 2013. 4(2): p. 220-5, Ludwig, D.S., K.E. Peterson, and S.L. Gortmaker, Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis. Lancet, 2001. 357(9255): p. 505-8  Basciano et al. Fructose, insulin resistance, and metabolic dyslipidemia Nutr Metab (Lond). 2005 Feb 21;2(1):5


SOURCE: Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers

For further information:

For more information or to schedule an interview with Dr. Marette or Mr. Beaulieu, please contact:

Bridget Ann Peterson
Project Manager - Massy Forget Langlois Public Relations
T: 514-842-2455, ext. 26 / C: 514-377-1752 / bapeterson@mflrp.ca

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Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers

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