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Sugar Triggers the Functioning of Antibiotics

by Ana

The study says that sweet stuff wakes up Bacteria in taking up medicine. A spoon of sugar taken with the medicine, not only makes the swallowing of medicine easy, it increases the potency of the medicine.

The results of the study show that Sugar can make some antibiotics more effective in decreasing the Bacterial Infections.

The researcher says that addition of Sugar to medication may not be good for some dangerous Bacterial Infections including Tuberculosis and Staph etc.

Image by Caro Wallis

Source by : flickr

This study is conducted on animals So far, the researchers believe that this study should be checked on the Human Beings too. If the study yields good result then it will be really beneficial. The working of the antibiotics that we have will improve due to the addition of Sugar and we will not need new expensive drugs.

The researcher James Collin a professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University says that the patients will not need to take so many doses of Antibiotics to fight with their repeated Infections.

Collins further hoped that this technique will help to reduce the recurrent Infections.

The results of this study were published on the May12, 2011.

Persistent Bacteria

Some bacterial infections like Staph, Strep, Tuberculosis, Ear Infection and Urinary Tract Infection are a dangerous infection and these infections reoccur when they are treated with the Antibiotics.

These infections reoccur because of some Bacteria known as Persisters. These Persisters survive even after the Antibiotic treatment. Infections due to Persisters last for months and they reoccur even after the patient recovers.

Sometimes these infections can also spread to the other parts of body like Kidneys etc.

Bacterial Persistors are not like Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. The persistors survive because they have Genetic Mutation that protects them from Antibiotics.

When the antibiotics start working in the body, the Persistors act as dead elements. They stop their metabolic functions and lie stationary in the body and save themselves from the Antibiotics used to poison them.

The use of Sugar will wake up the Bacteria and kill them.

The Sugar makes the Bacteria alive and then allows them to take Antibiotics.

Collins and his colleagues tested this technique on Mice which had Urinary Tract Infection. Treatment of this Infection with Antibiotics and Sugar was able to kill 99.9% of Bacteria. The treatment with just Antibiotic had no effect on this Infection.

This technique works only for a class of antibiotics called Aminoglycoside.

The Sugar used during the treatment can also make a difference.

The researchers are still trying to investigate whether Sugar can improve the treatment of Tuberculosis or not.

Hurdles in the Study

The researcher Nathalie Q. Balaban at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel studied persistent bacteria and said that this is a very interesting research. Balaban was not involved in this study, she reviewed the study.

She further said that according to this study Sugar can trick Bacteria, control the metabolism to make the Antibiotics more effective against the Cells that normally dodge Antibiotics.

Balaban said the study depicts that this treatment worked on the Urinary Tract Infection in Mice, but still further research is required to determine if this treatment will work on the Human Beings too. The major problem that will occur will be getting the Sugar compounds to the place of Infection.

She said the Sugar provided to the Human Body will break down but it is not necessary that Sugar will reach the Site of Infection.

Balaban said that treating any other Infection in the Body with Sugar is not the easy task because the problem will be the same to get the Sugar at the site of Infection. In Mice the Sugar and the Antibiotic is added in to the Veins, which led to the perfect result. The result of this research in the Human Beings may vary.

Collins said that creating the treatment for people will become simple if Sugar is added to the Antibiotics but reaching of Sugar to the site of Infection will be a great challenge.

The researchers have to check their technique on the drugs that are taken orally. They are also noticing the type of Sugar that was used for Mice.

Mannitol is a type of Sugar that is not metabolized by the Human Body and it is easier to transport that to the site of Infection.

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