The “Sweet” Beauty of Maple Products

Disclaimer: The findings discussed are lab based and further studies need to be done.

With over 100 species of maple trees, there is relatively little known about each type. URI researchers are the types that have hardly been researched, like the sycamore maple (A. pseudoplatanus). The leaves of the sycamore tree were tested and compounds with known health benefits were found. 

A group of compounds called gallotannins was found within the sycamore leaves. Many different types of these compounds were seen, along with a new molecule discovered for the first time. Gallotannins are important for your body because they have high antioxidant activities. Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals, which are known to damage healthy cells and even your DNA. Things that cause free radicals in your body include smoking, pollution and UV rays from the sun, among many others. So, incorporating maple products with rich antioxidants into your diet can be very beneficial!

These antioxidant substances were found at a very high dosage. They were 13 times more potent than the prescription drug acarbose, which is chemically similar to gallotannins and used to control blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes.

So not only do maple products taste great, but they can help protect your body from harmful chemicals and lower your blood sugar to a healthy standard. Who would have thought something so sugary would actually lower your blood pressure? That’s the “sweet” beauty of maple products.

Reference: Zhang, L.; Tu, Z-C.; Yuan, T.; Ma, H.; Niesen, D.B.; Wang, H.; Seeram, N.P. New gallotannin and other phytochemicals from sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) leaves. Natural Products Communications, 2015, 10, 1977-1980.