A cure for Alzheimer's may be closer -- and tastier -- than we think, according to findings presented at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting. The findings revealed that pure maple syrup has the potential to protectively impact brain cells.
Researchers found real maple syrup -- the kind that comes from the sap of a maple tree -- helps prevent two types of proteins found in brain cells from clumping together. When these cellular proteins, beta amyloid and tau peptide, improperly accumulate together, plaque is formed in the brain, causing Alzheimer's and other brain diseases.
And if that news wasn't sweet enough, scientists found that maple syrup extract also could prolong Alzheimer's patients lifespans by protecting the brain cells from fibrillating, or clumping together. Maple syrup keeps beta-amyloid from sticking together or becoming tangled, the scientists found.
Not surprisingly, the news was heralded by Serge Beaulieu, president of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. In a press release, he said, "We already know that maple has more than 100 bioactive compounds, some of which have anti-inflammatory properties. Brain health is the latest topic of exploration and we look forward to learning more about the potential benefits that maple syrup might have in this area."
Maple syrup is just the latest food linked with slowing or preventing Alzheimer's. Berries, red wine and pomegranates have all been studied for their potential benefits.
Alzheimer’s disease is a condition that worsens over time and causes memory loss, difficulty with language, concentrating, planning, and organizing. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans have the disease.