Here is some positive health news that might make Canadians proud in a way. A study found that maple syrup could actually keep a liver healthy. That’s right; what we drizzle on pancakes just might slip into the realm of healing foods. Let’s look closer.
The health breakthrough comes from the University of Tokyo. It’s an early study, conducted on rats. Researchers fed them a diet where some of the carbohydrates they ate were replaced with pure maple syrup from Canada. These rats showed significantly better results in liver function tests than the control groups fed a diet with a syrup mix containing similar sugar content to maple syrup.
So it appears true that maple syrup is the key. A healthy liver health is extremely important, as it performs hundreds of functions essential to human life. These include storing energy, regulating blood glucose levels, producing amino acids and, its best-known role, filtering harmful substances from the blood.
Liver disease not related to alcohol consumption is estimated to affect 25% of people in the United States. It shows up most often in middle-aged people who are overweight, have abnormal blood lipids, and have diabetes or insulin resistance conditions that, when grouped together, are known as “metabolic syndrome.”
Lifestyle choices such as poor diet, stress, and lack of exercise can impair the liver, as can exposure to environmental pollutants. These results show that maple syrup may be part of a liver-friendly diet, counteracting the lifestyle and environmental factors that may impact liver function. The study found that pure maple syrup was rich in polyphenolic antioxidants, as well as a slew of vitamins and minerals.
The specifics were that rats got a diet consisting of 20% pure maple syrup, or 20% syrup mixture with similar sugar content to that of maple syrup. After 11 days, the rats on the maple syrup diet showed significantly decreased levels of the specific enzymes that would indicate a struggling liver. This finding contributes to our growing understanding of the incredible health potential of maple syrup.
Previously, we learned that maple syrup contains antioxidant compounds that may actually help regulate blood glucose levels, increase insulin release, and thus possibly help manage type 2 diabetes. Now, as it turns out, the sticky sweetness strengthens could the liver as well.