Every year, over 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer. It is the second most deadly cancer among both genders, behind only lung cancer. This could possibly due to the fact that survival rates among traditional cancer treatments, such as chemo and radiation therapy, is very low, slightly higher than 2% in fact.
Traditional therapy also damages healthy, non-cancerous cells and can lead to a variety of harmful health conditions unrelated to the cancer it is meant to treat. This shows that there is a need for alternative treatments to colorectal cancer, and according to the scientific journal Oncology Reports, there may already be one.
Maple Syrup and Cancer
According to a study published in the journal Oncology Reports, maple syrup may inhibit the cell growth and invasion of colorectal cancer cells in humans.
During the study, researchers tested three different types of maple syrups that were categorized by their color. The categories included Slightly Golden, Amber and Very Dark Brown. The researchers then examined the effect that these different types of maple syrup had on colorectal cancer cells during in-lab trials.
The researchers found that applying maple syrup to colorectal cancer cells not only inhibited the growth of these individual cells, but also kept them from spreading further and invading healthy tissue.
They also found that the darker the maple syrup was the more effective it was at inhibiting colorectal cancer cell growth and invasion. This is due to the fact that maple syrup’s antioxidant effects increase the darker it gets. Researchers attributed these anti-cancer properties to phenolic compounds found inside maple syrup such as lignans, coumarin, quebecol and ginnalin.
Choosing The Right Maple Syrup
If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, or feel you may be at risk of it for any other reason, then you may want to consider stocking up on some dark maple syrup. Remember, this is by no means a “cure” for colorectal cancer, it is simply a precautionary measure you can take to reduce your risk.
Since, according to the study, the darker the maple syrup was the more effective it was at fighting cancer cells, you should opt for the darkest maple syrup you can find. You can always do this by simply just visually comparing the darkness of the different maple syrups available, but unless your local grocery store has every single shade, you won’t know if you’re choosing the darkest grade available.
Maple syrup is generally classified into five different grades according to their shade: AA (extra light), grade A (light), grade B (medium), grade C (amber) and grade D (dark). Although some suppliers may use different classifications, this is the most common way maple syrups are identified. Some maple syrups are categorized by descriptions, such as “Golden Color & Delicate Taste” or “Very Dark & Strong Flavor”. In this case, opt for the darker and stronger ones.
Maple syrup is a natural and healthy sweetener, and can be used as a flavor additive to many meals (aside from pancakes). You can add it to your cereal or oatmeal, put it in yogurt, or add it to drinks (it goes great with an Old Fashioned). You can even use it to roast vegetables!
For some healthy and delicious maple syrup recipes, click here.