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Sugar makes the medicine work better
02 : 09 PM - 12/05/2011
London, May. 12 (BNA) -- A spoonful of sugar not only helps the medicine go down but also gives it a boost, a new study claims.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported today that researchers have found that taking antibiotics with sugar could dramatically improve their effectiveness against stubborn infections such as tuberculosis.

Laboratory tests showed that glucose and fructose - a type of sugar found in plants - stimulated bugs and made them more vulnerable to drug treatments. Professor James Collins said: "You know the old saying: 'a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down? This is more like 'a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine work'."

The scientists looked at a new way of tackling persistent bacteria by rousing them from hibernation using a simple weapon, sugar. They found that sugar acts as a stimulant that switches on normal bacterial responses, rendering the bugs vulnerable to antibiotic attack. Testing the strategy on Eschericia coli (E. coli) bacteria, a common cause of urinary infections, the researchers were able to eliminate 99.9 per cent of persisters within just two hours. Without sugar, the drugs they used had no effect.

The findings have the potential to improve the lives of untold numbers of people who struggle with nagging infections, while also reducing healthcare costs substantially, he added.


BNA 1008 GMT 2011/05/12

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