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Maple Syrup Extract Could Raise Efficacy Of Antibiotics To Fight Infections [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 05, 2017 09:07 PM EDT

A study revealed that maple syrup extract could help fight infections as it raises the efficacy of antibiotics.

Nathalie Tufenkji, Ph.D. and her team from the McGill University in Canada investigated the action of this extract in some in vitro tests and with fruit flies and moth larvae. They found that maple syrup extract had a synergistic effect on antibiotics, and together were more potent to fight infections.

Tufenkji was fascinated about maple syrup which has been used by indigenous people of Canada in folk medicine. It contains phenolic compounds which are known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. They are formed during the heating process of making the syrup.

The researchers isolated the extract from the sugar and water in the syrup, and used it for the experiments. When used by itself against bacteria, it did not appear to have any impact. With the antibiotics ciprofloxacin and carbenicillin, they worked synergistically. It allowed the investigators to use fewer amounts of antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

This effect was observed during in vitro research with bacteria such as E. coli, and was further found to prevent biofilms from developing as well. Biofilms are a group of bacteria sticking to each other and adhering to surfaces, known to develop resistance to antibiotics.

When fruit flies and moth larvae were fed with disease-causing bacteria and antibiotics, they lived longer with maple syrup extract compared to the insects that did not get a dose of the extract, the University of Minnesota CIDRAP reported.

Antibiotics play a very significant role in treating infections and preventing infection during surgeries, cancer chemotherapy and child birth. However, in recent years, misuse has led to bacteria becoming resistant to several drugs, also called "superbugs," such as those that cause gonorrhea, staph infections and tuberculosis.

Unnecessary use of antibiotics could also kill beneficial bacteria that help lower the number of disease-causing ones, according to Medical News Today.

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