Maple syrup, in all its sticky and delicious glory, might actually serve a purpose other than to make your waffles soggy – it could help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
In a study by Dr. Donald Weaver with the University of Toronto, the golden liquid was found to stop the misfolding and clumping of two types of proteins found in brain cells, which means the plaque that’s associated with Alzheimer’s won’t accumulate.
Essentially, Canada’s national food not only tastes amazing, it also may prevent a disease that was long thought to be incurable.
“Natural food products such as green tea, red wine, berries, curcumin and pomegranates continue to be studied for their potential benefits in combatting Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Navindra P. Seeram, lead researcher in a University of Rhode Island study about the effects of maple syrup on Alzheimer’s disease.
“And now, in preliminary laboratory-based Alzheimer’s disease studies, phenolic-enriched extracts of maple syrup from Canada showed neuroprotective effects, similar to resveratrol, a compound found in red wine.”
Seeram’s study found that maple syrup prevents tangling of beta amyloid proteins, another good thing to stave off the degenerative disease that affects memory.
In order to get the most benefits, however, the maple syrup should be pure – the kind that comes directly from the sap of the maple tree.
Unsurprisingly, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers is pretty stoked about this discovery.
“We already know that maple has more than 100 bioactive compounds, some of which have anti-inflammatory properties,” says QMSP president Serge Beaulieu. “Brain health is the latest topic of exploration and we look forward to learning more about the potential benefits that maple syrup might have in this area.”
The Alzheimer’s Association says someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with the disease every 67 seconds.