Scientists working out of Quebec City’s Université Laval have synthesized a molecule which has anti-inflammatory properties and is only found in maple syrup . The molecule, appropriately called quebecol, is created during the process of turning tree sap into the delicious pancake topping.
While the research is still in its early stages, bio-organic chemist Normand Voyer and a colleague from the dental faculty have high hopes for it. Unfortunately there is not enough naturally occurring quebecol in maple syrup to move it from the kitchen to the medical cabinet, but in a synthesized form it could be used to reduce inflammation caused by diseases and conditions like arthritis—or even in everyday items such as toothpaste.
“This paves the way for a whole new class of anti-inflammatory agents inspired by quebecol,” Voyer said in a press release, “That could compensate for the low efficacy of certain treatments while reducing the risk of side effects.”
Interestingly, the scientists were not under a private contract when they began studying the sugary substance—they just take a lot of pride in Canada’s natural resources.
“If you can provide a scientific basis of something that is in the cultural tradition in Canada, why not do it.” Voyer told Buzzfeed Canada.
Now someone just has to figure out the health benefits of poutine and we’ll be all set!
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