Marie-Claude Vohl, Professor

School of Nutrition
Université Laval

Is maple syrup a natural and beneficial alternative to sucrose for metabolic health and exercise performance?

There is growing interest in replacing processed sugars and sweeteners with natural or less processed alternatives for better cardiometabolic health. Recent studies have also explored the potential role of the gut microbiota in the metabolic response associated with the consumption of these sugars. In addition, more and more athletes are seeking to improve their health and performance by consuming more unprocessed sugars, such as maple syrup, to achieve their goals.

During this session, results of recent animal studies and human clinical trials will be reviewed. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn how replacing sucrose with isoenergetic amounts of maple syrup can impact metabolic health as well as the composition and function of the gut microbiota in animal models of obesity and in overweight, insulin-resistant individuals. Furthermore, the carbohydrate requirements to fuel exercise performance in recreational and professional athletes will be reviewed.

Session sponsored by Québec Maple Syrup Producers

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Dr. Marie-Claude Vohl, Canada Research Chair in Genomics Applied to Nutrition and Metabolic Health, Professor at the School of Nutrition (Université Laval), and responsible of the Precision Nutrition Research Axis of the FRQS-funded Centre Nutrition, santé et société (NUTRISS), is conducting research with three objectives in mind. First, Dr. Vohl and her team are seeking to identify the genetic and epigenetic factors that modulate cardiometabolic disease risk factors in obese individuals. Second, they are identifying how these genes interact with diet to modulate cardiometabolic disease risk factors. Finally, they are studying the factors that hinder and facilitate the use of nutrigenomics results by health professionals. Since the beginning of her career, Professor Marie-Claude Vohl has published more than 310 peer-reviewed papers and 435 research communications. She has been invited to give several presentations in national and international conferences. Her research programs are funded among others by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.