Did Thomas Jefferson Discover a Cure for Rx-Resistant Superbugs?

(HEADLINE HEALTH) He wrote the Declaration of Independence, served as our first secretary of state, and our second president. His likeness is etched into Mount Rushmore.

It looks like Thomas Jefferson was onto something; scientists now say that maple syrup “can be used as an antibiotic synergizer/potentiator for treatment of different types of bacterial infections.”

Not bad for a farmer from rural Virginia.

But Thomas Jefferson’s contributions to birthing the nation may be rivaled by the fruits of his lesser known passion – farming and health.

Jefferson was a passionate farmer and botanist. He sought to learn all he could about bringing forth healing foods from the land. We know this because Jefferson was also a meticulous record keeper.

But what if Thomas Jefferson discovered a cure for one of one of the most deadly threats of the 21st century – drug resistant superbugs?

Thomas Jefferson was a prominent member of the Society for Promoting the Manufacture of Sugar from the Sugar Maple Tree, founded by the young nation’s most prominent medical doctor, Dr. Benjamin Rush. Among the benefits of maple sugar promoted by the society was that it ‘prevented malignant fevers.’

In 1791, Jefferson rode by horseback from Virginia to Vermont, in part to promote the production of maple sugar.

Fast-forward 225 years and Jefferson’s idea is getting renewed attention. A report by Medical News Today says that ‘Maple syrup extract boosts antibiotics, may ward off superbugs.’

Health officials estimate that more than 2 million people in the United States are infected with superbugs every year, and more than 23,000 die from them.

Details below on the possible health benefits of maple syrup …

Maple syrup extract boosts antibiotics, may ward off ‘superbugs’

If there was a Mount Rushmore for science and health, Thomas Jefferson might be on that one, too.

(Ana Sandoiu, Medical News Today) It is well-known that prolonged exposure to high doses of antibiotics can increase tolerance and sometimes strengthen the very bacteria that antibiotics are trying to kill.

New research, however, suggests that an extract from maple syrup may boost the efficacy of antibiotics and reduce their side effects.

Antibiotics – the commonly used drugs that fight off bacteria – have been helping us to ward off infections for almost a century, since the invention of penicillin in 1929.

However, in recent years, antibiotics have been losing to certain forms of highly resistant bacteria known as “superbugs.”

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than 2 million people in the United States are infected with these superbugs every year, and more than 23,000 die as a result.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also warn against the dangers of developing resilient forms of gonorrhea, tuberculosis, and staph infections as a result of over-prescribing or misusing antibiotics.

The NIH cautions that antibiotics kill a lot of the “good” bacteria that are responsible for keeping the human body healthy and immune to infections.

A new study, however, offers hope in the fight against superbugs. A team of researchers in Canada set out to examine the effects of a natural extract from maple syrup on the therapeutic action of antibiotics.

“Native populations in Canada have long used maple syrup to fight infections. I have always been interested in the science behind these folk medicines,” says Nathalie Tufenkji, Ph.D., who came up with the idea of investigating the antimicrobial action of maple syrup extract while studying the same aspects in cranberry extracts.

“There are other products out there that boost antibiotic strength, but this may be the only one that comes from nature,” Tufenkji says. Read the full story at Medical News Today.

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