New research shows that the phenolic extract from maple syrup can boost antibiotics’ efficacy in fighting off infection.
They found that the extract increased the permeability of the bacteria, suggesting that it helps antibiotics gain access to the interior of bacterial cells.
Phenols present in the syrup are both antiseptic, which kills infections on living tissues and disinfectant, which destroys bacteria on nonliving objects.
In recent years, antibiotics have been losing to certain forms of highly-resistant bacteria known as “superbugs.”
High doses can kill healthy cells along with infection-causing bacteria, while also spurring the creation of microbes that no longer respond to known antibiotics.
Canadian researchers have found that the maple syrup extract may hold the key to eliminating the creation of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
The phenols, especially one called catechol, turbocharged the popular ciprofloxacin and carbenicillin antibiotics by helping them enter the bacteria cell more easily.
“Native populations in Canada have long used maple syrup to fight infections,” said Nathalie Tufenkji from McGill University in Canada.
The idea for the project really gelled when Tufenkji learned of the anti-cancer properties of a phenolic maple syrup extract. “That gave me the idea to check its antimicrobial activity,” Tufenkji said.
Thus it can be used as an antibiotic synergizer/potentiator for the treatment of different types of bacterial infections.
The proposed synergism-based treatment may expand the spectrum of existing antimicrobials, prevent the emergence of resistant strains and minimize potential cytotoxicity due to high antibiotic doses.
The research was presented at the American Chemical Society’s 253rd National Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco, CA.