Last year all the rage, for a day, was that eating pizza could prevent norovirus. Except that’s not really what the research was about. Today’s concentrated-extract-has-antibiotic-properties story comes from McGill University where researchers have evaluated the effects of maple syrup on human pathogens.
According to the university’s news website, an upcoming publication shows that a phenolic heavy extract made from maple syrup (not maple syrup itself) was ‘mildly effective; against E. coli and Proteus mirabilis.
I’m not sure what mildly means.
The release also says that there was a synergistic effect when used in conjunction with actual antibiotics.
Synergistic wasn’t really defined.
Prof. Nathalie Tufenkji’s research team in McGill’s Department of Chemical Engineering prepared a concentrated extract of maple syrup that consists mainly of phenolic compounds. Maple syrup, made by concentrating the sap from North American maple trees, is a rich source of phenolic compounds.
The researchers tested the extract’s effect in the laboratory on infection-causing strains of certain bacteria, including E. coli and Proteus mirabilis (a common cause of urinary tract infection). By itself, the extract was mildly effective in combating bacteria. But the maple syrup extract was particularly effective when applied in combination with antibiotics. The extract also acted synergistically with antibiotics in destroying resistant communities of bacteria known as biofilms, which are common in difficult-to-treat infections, such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
“We would have to do in vivo tests, and eventually clinical trials, before we can say what the effect would be in humans,” Tufenkji says. “But the findings suggest a potentially simple and effective approach for reducing antibiotic usage. I could see maple syrup extract being incorporated eventually, for example, into the capsules of antibiotics.”
Of course, the paper isn’t available yet.