Maple syrup reduces cancer, diabetes risk

March 26, 2010 at 7:49 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, March 26 (UPI) -- Maple syrup can substantially slow the growth of cancerous cells in several cancers and help reduce the risk of diabetes, U.S. researchers found.

Navindra Seeram of the University of Rhode Island found 13 new antioxidant compounds that were not known to exist in syrup until now. Several of these antioxidants newly identified in maple syrup are reported to have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-diabetic properties.

Maple syrup contains substantial quantities of abscisic acid, a phytohormone known to stimulate insulin release through pancreatic cells and to increase sensitivity of fat cells to insulin, which makes it a potent weapon against metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Seeram presented his findings on Canadian maple syrup at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in San Francisco.

A second study by researchers at the Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi suggests maple syrup can substantially slow the growth of cancerous cells in the prostate and lungs and to a lesser extent in the breast, colon and brain more effectively than blueberries, broccoli, tomatoes and carrots.

The study is published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

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