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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Maple Syrup: Food for Health?

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BanjoDuster - Posted - 03/30/2010:  12:59:36

This was an interesting read for me. Perhaps, some of you will find it of interest as well. ___________________________________________________

Maple syrup reduces cancer, diabetes risk

United Press International


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.

Articles featured in Life Extension Daily News are derived from a variety of news sources and are provided as a service by Life Extension. These articles, while of potential interest to readers of Life Extension Daily News, do not necessarily represent the opinions nor constitute the advice of Life Extension.

Edited by - BanjoDuster on 03/30/2010 13:28:54

brokenstrings - Posted - 03/30/2010:  13:10:20

Does it make a difference if you use Grade A/AA or B maple syrup? And it still won't spare your teeth! Don't get me wrong, I'm all for maple syrup!

BanjoDuster - Posted - 03/30/2010:  13:25:54

Hi Jessica,

I don't know any more about this article than what's written. I'd suggest that you may want to contact Navindra Seeram of the University of Rhode Island for an answer to your question. Regarding, "And it still won't spare your teeth!," If I had cancer and decided to eat maple syrup on a regular basis, and I was concerned about tooth decay, I'd brush more often and use alcohol-free mouth wash.

Gomer - Posted - 03/30/2010:  13:31:00

Anything with maple syrup is bound to be curative. Just reading your post makes me want to bite into some maple sugar candy, just in case.

BanjoDuster - Posted - 03/30/2010:  13:48:56

Gomer: I sense that you might have a "sweet tooth!" If so, keep that toothbrush nearby and ready for use!

bikebum - Posted - 03/30/2010:  14:36:31

Too bad I don't like Maple syrup. The only thing 'Maple' that I like is ..... wood.

BConk - Posted - 03/30/2010:  15:43:22

I get a dollop of pure maple syrple in my oatmeal every morning. I never considered it might be good for me...but even if it ain't, it ain't likely I'll stop eating it any time soon.

Voyageur - Posted - 03/30/2010:  20:03:15

Maple syrup...honey and cinnamon...yum, what's next? Not that I don't like blueberries, broccoli, tomatoes and carrots, but it's nice to have some sweet stuff on the list. Now if we could just get chips with onion dip included...

dingo - Posted - 03/31/2010:  05:56:11

My brother is having a really good year with his maple syrup. Looks like the pantry will be stocked full. I will trade him some fresh honey for it.

Remember this is real syrup, not Log Cabin and the other crap the stores sell that come out of some factory.

Gomer - Posted - 03/31/2010:  07:54:53

Has anybody ever had maple wine mead? That could be healthful too!

John Allison - Posted - 03/31/2010:  08:26:34

I figure that it makes trees grow big and strong and tall ..... it has to do the same for me.

Brian T - Posted - 03/31/2010:  09:40:59

Out here in the west, the birch syrup season is well underway. The syrup has that distinct aroma of the fresh-cut birch wood. Quite good.
It's interesting in that the birch trees 5-8" diameter are the best producers. And, you can't take too much without stunting the current year's leaf production.
Gomer: birch wine = skull-buster.

BanjoDuster - Posted - 03/31/2010:  11:30:52

Here is another excerpt about maple syrup. It is from an article posted on this link:

"At this point, we are saying, if you choose to put syrup on your pancakes, it may be healthier to use real maple syrup," Seeram said. He added that research indicates that 50 percent of consumers don't know if the syrup they use has real maple ingredients as many grocery store varieties contain just a small percentage of real maple syrup and then sweetened with sugar and corn syrup." [I added the underlining for emphasis.]

After reading this and other articles, I think we should do more research on the Internet before rushing out to a local grocery store to buy one or more jars of "maple syrup" that may be more in name, than content. That's the last think that I would want--another source of sugar! Health food stores and pure maple syrup distributors would be my sources of real maple syrup.

Edited by - BanjoDuster on 03/31/2010 13:10:36

RB-1 - Posted - 03/31/2010:  14:22:32

Just wondering....

Would Mahogany Syrup taste even 'sweeter'?

Gomer - Posted - 03/31/2010:  17:56:22

Of course at $25 a quart in the supermarkets, it is pretty heady stuff to pour on pancakes. I found the same stuff at Costoco for $13 and change.

BanjoDuster - Posted - 03/31/2010:  17:59:32


Good suggestion.

derwood400 - Posted - 03/31/2010:  18:57:51

Voyageur Posted - 03/30/2010 : 20:03:15
Maple syrup...honey and cinnamon...yum, what's next? Not that I don't like blueberries, broccoli, tomatoes and carrots, but it's nice to have some sweet stuff on the list. Now if we could just get chips with onion dip included...

I couldn't have said it any better than that.

Brian T - Posted - 03/31/2010:  20:54:23

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
IF it is Canadian and IF the label says: "Maple Syrup," it is 100% Canadian and 100% Maple Syrup by FEDERAL LAW. Easy to monitor and they check.

I don't have much of a "sweet tooth", the artificial corn syrup/high fructose cruddy substitutes taste much 'sweeter' to me.
Go big or go home.

Micki - Posted - 03/31/2010:  22:40:18

I order the real maple syrup from vermont country store. I can tell a difference in the taste of the real and the artificial. real maple syrup is hard to beat on pancakes, esp. Micki

Penel - Posted - 03/31/2010:  23:35:45

Over on an e-list for herbalists someone asked about Agave which is a sweetener. The herbalist Paul Bergner posted what follows. And then when asked, gave permission to be shared.

Later in the discussion someone brought up the question of honey. Paul's reply was that Honey was 50% Fructose.
He also commented that a little bit wasn't the problem. The problem was the massive amounts that people use over the course of time.

Permission to use maple syrup without restraints, without moderation?
What's its Fructose content? Its lower than agave or HSCF but how carefully is anyone monitoring their health here? Why take a chance with something you haven't got a clue how its actually affecting your health?

When I use maple syrup on pancakes the pancakes are whole grains (high fiber) and the oil used is coconut. Just the same, I don't lie to myself that the meal is the healthiest I could aim for.
The lesser of most evil perhaps though. Its no more than a special occasion breakfast in my house.

Dr. "Mercola" mentioned in the article is at

~~~~~~forward begins~~~~~~~~~~~

I recently sent this to a colleague asking about agave nectar . . . .

The short answer is that yes, agave "nectar" is that bad, the longer answer below. Although Mercola is a little distasteful in his sensationalism, what he says in this case is true. In nature typically in a piece of fruit, the sugar is a mixture of sucrose (glucose bound to fructose), free glucose, and free fructose. "Free" isn't really accurate, because its all tied up with fiber. If we would fill our bellies with fruit we would still only get a relatively small amount of free fructose. If we digest starch that has fructose in the chain of sugars in the starch, that is really slow. The result is that in the Krebs Cycle, the entrance of glucose into the cycle is highly regulated by enzymes, when ATP is adequate to high, if forms a brake on the glycolysis pathway, but fructose, on the one hand, enters the cycle one step below the control point. Historically, anthropologically, evolutionarily, we didn't need to evolve a control on the fructose metabolic pathway. If the natural pathway for glycolysis is like water rushing down a white water canyon, with a dam at the bottom to prevent flooding, the natural fructose pathway is like a small stream that enters -below- the dam with no control on it. because no control was necessary during our evolution.

So sucrose is broken into one glucose and one fructose when digested. Even though digestion of the disaccharide to the monosaccharides take some time and acts as a partial brake, because the extracted sugar is very concentrated, compared to eating a naturally sugary food, the glucose and fructose surge in the system. The glucose enters the controlled glycolysis pathway, but the fructose bypasses it, and floods the Krebs cycle and the related fat-building pathway in large amounts, symbolically like a -flood- into those pathways below the control point in glycolysis. Humans have no natural mechanism to deal with this, so the liver does 3 things, start making a lot of of fat and, if chronic, increasing the enzymes that manufacture fat, reduce the production of ATP via the Krebs cycle, and become resistant to the effects of insulin which would otherwise tell the liver to stop releasing glucose into the system. Current scientific thinking on the adverse metabolic effects of sugar, the cluster of diseases that appear when the sugar trade emerges in a region, is that the overfeeding of the fructose pathway and the resulting consequences are responsible for the insulin resistance and obesity. Glucose is not the culprit.

So . . . in the 70s the industry introduces high fructose corn syrup into the food supply. Most of it seems much like sucrose, 45 percent glucose and 55 percent fructose, not all that different. The problem is that in HFCS, the fructose is -free- it does not have to be split from sucrose, and is not bound to fiber. Now it literally floods into the liver with a much more devastating effect. A few years ago, the lead article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proposed the introduction of unbound liquid fructose into the food supply as -the- cause of the epidemic of obesity and diabetes that began to manifest around 1980 and continues to expand today. Free liquid fructose appears to be benign or even beneficial because there is no spike of glucose, or even of insulin after ingesting it. There is instead a spike of fat in the form of triglycerides, but no one notices that (only fasting TG are even measured in routine lab tests). And as the liver adapts to habitual use of sugar or fructose, -then- insulin resistance is increased and insulin and glucose rise to higher levels than before and the individual becomes pre- or full blown diabetic. By the way overloading the fructose pathways also produces elevated uric acid and can cause gout.

The process for making HFCS is to chemically strip the sugars off of the starch in corn, freeing them up. The process of making of agave nectar is similar (this is not agave sap), but the sugars are chemically stripped off of inulin starch, inulin being a fructo-oligosaccharide, having fructose as the dominant sugar in the chain, so the agave nectar might be 80-90% free fructose instead of 55% like the HFCS in soft drinks. Thus sugar is bad, HFCS is really bad, and Agave nectar is way worse than HFCS.

Paul Bergner
North American Institute of Medical Herbalism
Medical Herbalism Journal

Edited by - Penel on 03/31/2010 23:40:57

dingo - Posted - 04/01/2010:  06:12:49

Well after reading that, I will still stand with, if it comes naturally from the earth, it is good for you, if it is manmade it is not. I am glad I am able to stay out of the gocery stores.

BanjoDuster - Posted - 04/01/2010:  07:19:34

I found Penel's post to be interesting and enlightening, though extensive. It is important for me to mention here, that the research noted in my initial thread is just that--research. That small amount of information alone would not cause me to begin using or eating maple syrup on a daily basis to help prevent or treat cancer. However, it is enough to pique my interest to search the Internet for more information about the potential health benefits of maple syrup. Still, we shouldn't lose sight of the harmful effect of the intake of too much HFCS and other "sugars." It's far better to proceed slowly and with guidance, than to rush ahead blindly.

Penel - Posted - 04/01/2010:  08:21:15

Here's the thing of it as I see it, opening bits which were presented here first the folks who are going to get themselves in trouble by their consumption of sugars might latch onto something like maple syrup like its a pharmaceutical cure all

while those of us without a "sweet tooth" might think of it as a lesser of all evils. Our use of it might even be its unique flavor in spite of its sweetness.

Its hard for a sweet toothed person to understand that. They go for foods specifically for the sweetness and they very well might not even consider the rest of the flavors any food offers.
Butter cookies don't have to taste buttery for them, just sweet and they're not disappointed if Ginger ale is more sweet than its gingery.

Get away from over indulgent usage of the flavor sweet for a while and some folks say they can tone down their taste for that flavor
just as they say they might be able to tone down their taste for sour, bitter, salty, astringent. Senses are like that if you haven't totally "burnt" them out.
If you over expose them for an amount of time they take pity on us and turn down their receptibility.

That's one of the problems some nutritionists see with artificial sweeteners (besides what they think is the obvious chemical ones). People using them never reboot their taste for sweet. They always keep it cranked up so any less than highly sweet tastes bland to them.
They can't even appreciate a strawberry without extra sweetness added.

Penel - Posted - 04/01/2010:  09:06:45

Talking about the flavor sweet

Originally posted by Penel

just as they say they might be able to tone down their taste for sour, bitter, salty, astringent.

Those here that who might have studied Traditional Asian medicine would have noticed in my rant whine I forgot to mention the flavor know as pungent.
That means something in the assessment process of some of those traditions. In my case, yeah, the shoe fits.

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