Consuming pure maple syrup extract may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disorder affecting motor neurons, researchers claim. Produced solely by concentrating the maple tree’s sap by bringing it to boil, pure maple syrup that originates from Canada is 100 per cent natural and comprises of therapeutic compounds which have potential benefits against Alzheimer’s disease and ALS, researchers said.
When cellular proteins fold improperly and clump together, they accumulate and form the plaque that is involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.
A study conducted by D Weaver and colleagues from the University of Toronto in Canada showed that maple syrup extract decreases the misfolding and aggregation of two peptides (B-amyloid and tau) in vitro.
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These peptides are considered as the two pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
Another study led by researchers at the University of Rhode Island in the US showed that maple syrup extracts prevent the aggregation of the beta-amyloid peptide in rats, and also extended the lifespan of roundworms.
Preliminary results of a recent study conducted at the University of Montreal in Canada also showed that maple syrup extends the lifespan of worms.
These findings suggest maple syrup has potential benefits against Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative diseases.
Maple syrup decreases the damages to neuronal proteins caused by mutations in the TDP-43 gene, which is involved in the development of ALS, researchers said.
Mutations in the TDP-43 gene cause the TDP-43 protein in neuronal cells to aggregate. This phenomenon is largely associated with the development of ALS, they said.
The effectiveness of natural products to diminish the damages to neuronal proteins has been subjected to little research.
A recent study by M Therrien and colleagues at the University of Montreal in Canada tested maple syrup for protective activity against the damages caused to neuronal cells by mutations in the TDP-43 gene in worms.
Maple syrup (at concentrations one per cent, two per cent and 4 per cent) showed a dose-dependent effect on suppressing the effects caused by the gene mutation, researchers said.
According to researchers, the combination of both the sugars and the phenols in maple syrup is involved in this neuroprotection.
This suggests that maple syrup can maintain neuronal integrity during aging, they said.