It seems like there are more reasons to drink maple syrup every day.
Earlier this year, scientists discovered a molecule in maple syrup with anti-inflammatory properties, and now, a group of researchers is saying syrup could be good for your brain, too.
University of Toronto professor and lead researcher Don Weaver announced their findings this past weekend at the annual American Chemical Society symposium in San Diego, California. According to the research, an extract in maple syrup may prevent proteins in brain cells from clumping together, which is the same type of damage that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. For those already diagnosed with the condition, the extract could prolong their lifespan by preventing any further tangling or clumping.
The phenolic-enriched extracts in maple syrup, which act as an antioxidant, are said to have similar neuroprotective effects to resveratrol, which is a compound found in red wine.
Naturally, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers is excited about the findings.
“We look forward to learning more about the potential benefits that maple syrup might have in this area,” the federation’s president, Serge Beaulieu, said in a statement.
But Weaver told CBC News that he “would not recommend chugging maple syrup just yet.”
So far, tests have only been conducted in a test tube, and researchers still need to determine whether the compounds found in the syrup will have the same impact on the brain when ingested.
But the potential for progress is pretty sweet news.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, 15 percent of Canadians 65 and over live with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, and it’s one of the leading causes of death in the country.