With the scary prospect of the rise of the antibiotic-resistant super bug looming, where can we turn? According to some researchers, to maple syrup as it seems to turbo-charge the current crop of antibiotic drugs.
Taking maple syrup with antibiotics makes the bacteria more susceptible to the drugs, say researchers from McGill University. They reckon the syrup's phenolic compounds are the key ingredient.
Thus far, they have tested the syrup only in a laboratory, but they are confident it could work if it was used on people. Maple syrup extract could even be added to antibiotics in the future, they think.
The researchers used it on bacteria such as E.coli and Proteus mirabilis, which is responsible for urinary tract infections. On its own, maple syrup extract was mildly effective against the bacteria, but it had a devastating effect when it was combined with antibiotics.
It was even effective in killing resistant bacteria known as biofilms, which are common in difficult-to-treat infections.
The maple syrup was bought at local stores in Montreal before being frozen in order to make the extract.
(Source: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2015; AEM.00239-15)