Ain't She Sweet?

Pure maple syrup has 34 beneficial compounds to fight type 2 diabetes

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) It is an ironic finding that a nautral sweetener may fight diabetes. New research says not all sweeteners are created equal. 

University of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram has discovered 34 new beneficial compounds in pure maple syrup and confirmed that 20 compounds discovered last year in preliminary research play a key role in human health.

Five of these new compounds have never been seen before in nature.

dailyRx Insight: Use maple syrup as the sweetener for your pancakes.

Many of these newly identified compounds have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities which can fight cancer, diabetes, bacterial diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. 

That’s the reaction from the Canadian maple industry now that all of the great benefits are surfacing regarding maple syrup.

Seeram’s main focus is diabetes research. He collaborated with Chong Lee, professor of nutrition and food sciences in URI's College of the Environment and Life Sciences and found the beneficial anti-oxidant compounds in maple syrup, inhibit two carbohydrate hydrolyziing enzymes usable in Type 2 diabetes management.

One of the new compounds, named Quebecol after the city of Quebec, has a chemical structure never seen before in nature. Quebecol is formed during the heating process of maple sap.

Seeram believes the heating leads to the Quebecol formation.

Nearly 26 million individuals are affected by diabetes in the United States each year, with about seven million people going undiagnosed. Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease with no cure in which a person has high blood sugar because the body does not produce enough insulin (Type 1) or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced (Type 2). There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational. Several groups of oral drugs, are effective for Type 2, such as Glucophage, Glucotrol, and Prandin, among many others. The therapeutic combination in Type 2 may eventually include injected insulin as symptoms worsen. Along with the presence of physical symptoms, a common blood test known as the A1c can test for the disease.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
March 31, 2011
Last Updated:
April 4, 2011