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What you put on your pancakes could affect your brain

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June 22nd, 2016

Scientists have discovered that pure maple syrup contains a compound that may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and affects 11% of people over age 65. Health care costs associated with the disease were $226 billion in 2015. Several food products, including berries, red wine, green tea, and pomegranates, have been shown to possibly protect against Alzheimer’s. 

Promising studies

Now maple syrup might join the list. Researchers from the Krembil Research Institute in Toronto, Canada, and researchers from the University of Rhode Island presented separate studies at the American Chemical Society’s 2016 annual meeting. The group from Canada found that in laboratory studies, a maple syrup extract prevented clumping of two proteins called beta amyloid and tau peptide. Both of these proteins are associated with the plaque formation that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease.

The second group of researchers found that a pure maple syrup extract protected cells in rodents’ brains from developing tangling of beta amyloid proteins. In addition, the extract prolonged the lifespan of an Alzheimer’s roundworm model.

The scientists say that much more research is needed to explore the preliminary findings of these studies.

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