Could Maple syrup enhance the effect of our antibiotics? researchers think so

Maple syrup may help fight disease-causing bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains that often grow in health-care settings, says a study published online in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Concentrated extracts of maple syrup combined with antibiotics significantly reduced the growth of four common bacterial strains and bacterial communities called biofilms, the study found.

Bacterial biofilms accumulate on medical surfaces and devices, such as catheters and artificial joints, and are responsible for many antibiotic-resistant hospital infections, research has shown.

The maple-syrup extracts appeared to damage the outer membrane of bacterial cells, increasing their susceptibility to antibiotics, and to disable cellular mechanisms called efflux pumps associated with antibiotic resistance, the researchers said. The extracts also reduced the activity of genes in the bacteria linked to antibiotic resistance.

Maple syrup contains plant-based compounds called phenols that have exhibited antioxidant and anti-cancer properties in previous studies, according to researchers. Maple syrup may reduce the dose of antibiotics needed to kill biofilms, they said.

The study, at McGill University in Montreal, used concentrated maple-syrup extracts developed from syrup purchased at local markets in August 2013. The extracts and four phenols isolated from maple syrup were tested separately and in various combinations, with and without the antibiotic ciprofloaxin, against Escherichia coli, or E.coli; Proteus mirabilis, a common cause of urinary-tract infections; and two strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, associated with hospital-acquired infections.

Maple-syrup extract alone suppressed the growth of biofilms for all four strains. But pairing the extract with ciprofloaxin reduced E. coli and P. mirabilis biofilm formation by about 70% and the two P. aeruginosa strains by 83% and 54%, compared with control cultures treated with just ciprofloaxin.

Of the phenols tested, only catechol, when combined with ciprofloaxin, significantly reduced the growth of all four bacterial strains. Catechol may be responsible for maple syrup’s antimicrobial properties, the study suggests.

Caveat: Maple-syrup extracts combined with antibiotics haven’t been tested in human trials.

Now that print is dead, maple syrup may officially be the greatest thing made by trees.

Title: Polyphenolic Extract from Maple Syrup Potentiates Antibiotic Susceptibility and Reduces Biofilm Formation of Pathogenic Bacteria

This nutritional inspiration comes from Kylie one of our resident CF parents who is passionate about using natural therapies to supplement mainstream treatments.  For many of us these 5%ers are among a bunch of things that we try and incorporate into our diets and routines. If it can’t hurt and it’s received well by our children, why not try it? After all, life’s too short to wait until everything is proven. So if that sounds like you, here are a couple of little snack ideas using maple syrup to get you started… (‘grams of fat’ count in brackets as gf)

7-recipe_maple-milkshake_600x935Maple Syrup Milkshake | What you’ll need

¼ cup pure maple syrup, plus more for serving (optional)

2 cup whole fat milk (4.4gf)

1 tsp. vanilla extract  & 1 tbsp Chia seeds (4.7gf)

2 scoops Conoisseur vanilla ice cream  (19.6gf)

Half a banana

Puree ingredients until smooth; pour into serving glasses and drizzle with more syrup, if you like.

Total Fat count | approx 30 grams fat

Brown Butter Maple Pumpkin Bread | What you’ll need


12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted until it becomes brown and cooled, plus room-temperature butter for pan (see my guidelines below)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan

2 tsp baking powder & 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon & 1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree

3  eggs &  1/2 cup fresh cranberries

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour two loaf pans; set aside.

Over a low heat in a medium saucepan, cook the butter until it is warm, brown and develops a nutty aroma. This should take about 7 minutes, but don’t despair if yours takes longer, just look for the brown solids to form. At first, your butter will bubble and foam and you might think to yourself, “How do I know it’s really brown?” Relax – before you know it, the foam will subside and you’ll see the liquid butter which will then tell you if it’s ready or not! Once butter is done, turn the heat off and set it aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together both sugars, pumpkin, melted butter and eggs. Add the flour mixture, the cranberries and stir to just combine. Do not overmix.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for 50 minutes, rotating mid-way, until a toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean.

Remove from oven, and let cool 10 minutes; invert pans and transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: If making 1 loaf and the rest in muffins, muffins bake in about 20-25 minutes – check after 20 for done-ness by inserting a toothpick. And if it comes out clean, your muffins are done. The loaf, however, will take longer!

Makes 2 loaves, or 1 loaf and 8 or so muffins.

Loads more recipes can be found here at Buzzfeed

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