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Study finds some new powers in maple syrup

University of Tokyo says Canadian 100 per cent maple syrup can promote liver health


Longueuil, Que. – There’s more good news for maple syrup lovers and Canadian maple syrup producers.

A study from Tokyo has found that maple syrup from Canada can promote a healthier liver.

Better results in liver function

Dr. Keiko Abe from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences led the study, which found that healthy laboratory rats fed a diet in which some of their carbohydrates were replaced with 100 per cent pure Canadian maple syrup yielded significantly better results in liver function tests than the control groups fed a diet with a syrup mix containing similar sugar content as maple syrup but without the beneficial compounds of maple syrup.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers says the study results will be published in the November 2011 issue of Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry.

The scientists say the study results are important as most healthy individuals take liver function for granted. According to the Canadian Liver Foundation, there are more than 100 liver diseases affecting approximately one out of 10 Canadians, including men, women and children.

Rich in antioxidants

Dr. Melissa Palmer, clinical professor and medical director of hepatology at New York University Plainview, says the preliminary results of this research emphasize how important it is to choose a healthy diet to help counteract lifestyle and environmental factors that may impact liver function, even the choice of a sweetener. In addition to Dr. Abe’s recent findings, adds Palmer, published research suggests that 100 per cent pure maple syrup may prove to be a better choice of sweetener because it was found to be rich in polyphenolic antioxidants and contains vitamins and minerals.

The study was funded by the Conseil pour le développement de l’agriculture du Québec and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on behalf of the Canadian Maple Syrup Industry and by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.