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Sugar's Healing Powers

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- We all know that sugar makes good foods taste better, helps breads rise, creates cookies' crunchiness or chewiness, and protects the safety of jams and jellies. But, did you know the same preserving power sugar brings to jams and jellies can also help heal wounds?

Sugar is one of Mother Nature's most miraculous creations. Many of the same properties that make sugar an excellent food preservative also bestow it with its healing powers. Sugar has been used to treat wounds according to records dating back to 1700 B.C. Today, scientists here and abroad are rediscovering sugar's wonderful healing powers and reporting surprising success in the use of sugar to treat serious wounds and especially burns that fail to respond to conventional therapy.

When sugar is applied to an open wound, it absorbs the wound's moisture necessary for the growth of infectious bacteria. Physicians also believe sugar supplies the very nourishment damaged tissues require for healing and re-growth.

From the Microbiology Infectious Diseases Journal, Vol. 7, 1998, p. 524-25: "Sugar is thought to exert an antibacterial effect by lowering water activity; the desloughing and debridement that is achieved with the paste is in part related to an osmotic effect on necrotic tissue and in part to mechanical cleaning."

From the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Vol. 78, 1996, p. 82-85: "Granulated sugar has been used with success in treatment of open mediastanitis after cardiac surgery with the bacterial contamination of the wounds being eliminated in a few days. This study also suggested that sugar treatment leads to faster healing of infected wounds than conventional packing methods."

From the Southern Medical Journal, November 1981: "Over a 56-month period we treated 605 patients for wounds, burns, and ulcers with granulated sugar and povidone-iodine. Rapid healing ensued... The requirements for skin grafting and antibiotics were greatly reduced, as were hospital costs for wound, burn and ulcer care."

So, maybe Mary Poppins wasn't wrong when she said a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Science is showing that it helps wounds heal, as well as preserve the safety of our foods.

SOURCE Sugar Association
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