Researchers at McGill University say a concentrated extract of maple syrup makes disease-causing bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics. The findings, which will be published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, suggest that combining maple syrup extract with common antibiotics could increase the microbes’ susceptibility, leading to lower antibiotic usage. The scientists prepared a concentrated extract of maple syrup that consists mainly of phenolic compounds. Maple syrup, made by concentrating the sap from North American maple trees, is a rich source of phenolic compounds. The researchers tested the extract’s effect in the lab on infection-causing strains of certain bacteria, including E. coli and Proteus mirabilis. By itself, the extract was mildly effective in combating bacteria. But the maple syrup extract was particularly effective when applied in combination with antibiotics. The extract also acted synergistically with antibiotics in destroying resistant communities of bacterial biofilms.

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