Can Maple Syrup Benefit Diabetes?

Recent research done on Maple Syrup compares and contrasts the Maple Trees’  protein’s, hormone’s and enzyme’s and how they may positively impact Diabetes in human’s.  Too good to be true?  While sugars have to be monitored in a diabetic diet, researchers are going deeper and exploring Abscisic Acid’s importance in an individual’s diet. 

The main phytohormone, abscisic acid, found in both maple water and maple syrup is getting alot of attention as the same phytohormone  that is also found in dark green vegetables like broccoli and in berries.  The abscisic acid travels up and down the tree stem and comes from the chloropasts in leaves, which also produce cartenoids that give color to fruit.  Looking more closely at how this special phytohormone operates within the tree has shown that it is able to to promote wound healing (via proteinase inhibitors)  also meaning that it can fend off pathogens. How does that tie into a human’s diet?   “Along with other effects, it is 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.” (News-Medical.net)

Dr Yves Desjardins, a professor at the Department of Phytology at Université Laval in Quebec, Canada and has studied Maple Trees and the production of it’s syrup.  Dr. Desjardins confirms that further studies  must be done in order to better conclude how maple syrup affects insulin homeostasis long term, and how we can more accurately understand the consumption of maple products and their affects on insulin behaviour.  Likewise, University of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram, specializes in medicinal plant research, has “found more than 20 compounds in maple syrup from Canada that have been linked to human health, and 13 of these compounds are newly discovered. ” (Medindia.net)
Food Sceintists eagerly await news, “Studying maple products is of particular interest to the food science sector when we consider that all the bioactive molecules of the sugar maple are carried in its sap and that these molecules are forty times more concentrated in maple syrup.”

Before adding maple syrup to your diabetic diet talk to both your Doctor and Diabetes Educator so that they can monitor any changes that you make in your diet and accurately document your blood chemistry.

Kim Crocker

REFERENCES
http://www.diabeticsnacks.org/
http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100305/Research-reveals-maple-syrup-and-maple-water-contain-abscisic-acid.aspx  March 5,2010

http://www.plant-hormones.info/abscisicacid.htm

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2010/05/c6318.html Montreal, Canada March 5, 2010
Medindia.net http://www.medindia.net/news/Anti-Oxidants-in-Pure-Maple-Syrup-Prevents-Cancer-Diabetes-Study-66716-1.htm  March 22, 2010

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