A popular syrup found on many breakfast tables may prove to be a boon to both horse and human treatment for diseases characterized by chronic inflammation. According to Biotech Daily, researchers at UniversitÃ© Laval in QuÃ©bec City, Canada, quebecol, a compound developed during the processing of maple syrup has strong anti-inflammatory qualities.
This research paves the way for a whole new class of anti-inflammatory agents, inspired by quebecol, which could compensate for the low efficacy of certain treatments while reducing the risk of side effects for both horses and humans.
This substance that forms during the process that renders maple sap into syrup was found to have potent anti-inflammatory properties that may be developed into drugs for treatment of diseases characterized by chronic inflammation such as arthritis.
Investigators at UniversitÃ© Laval (QuÃ©bec City, Canada) reported in the November 27, 2015, online edition of the journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters that they had prepared and tested precursors of the polyphenolic compound quebecol and its derivatives. Analysis of maple sap before it was converted into syrup suggested quebecol was not naturally present in the sap but, instead, was formed during extraction or processing.
Experiments conducted with cultures of immune system macrophages demonstrated that quebecol had an anti-inflammatory effect on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced NF-kappaB activation and inhibited the secretion of two pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha).
Some derivatives of quebecol were even more effective than the original molecule. "The most powerful derivative has a simpler structure and is easier to synthesize than quebecol," said senior author Dr. Normand Voyer, professor of chemistry at UniversitÃ© Laval. "This paves the way for a whole new class of anti-inflammatory agents, inspired by quebecol, which could compensate for the low efficacy of certain treatments while reducing the risk of side effects."