Researchers Identify Molecule with Anti-inflammatory Properties in Maple Syrup

In an exciting development for maple syrup lovers and epidemiologists alike, scientists in Quebec have isolated the molecule in maple syrup with anti-inflammatory properties, called quebecol, and have synthesized the molecule in the lab.

“This paves the way for a whole new class of anti-inflammatory agents, inspired by quebecol, that could compensate for the low efficacy of certain treatments while reducing the risk of side effects.”

Discovered in 2011, quebecol is the result of chemical reactions during the syrup-making process that transform the naturally occurring polyphenols in maple sap.  Researchers placed macrophages in petri dishes with bacteria and watched the response.  Normally, macrophages react by triggering an inflammatory response, but in the presence of quebecol the response was blocked.   Some derivatives of quebecol are even more effective at suppressing inflammation and easier to synthesize than quebecol itself.

The study, coauthored by Sébastien Cardinal, Jabrane Azelmat, Daniel Grenier, and Normand Voyer, was published in a recent issue of the journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters.