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Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Persistent Bacteria Go Down

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the catching-more-bugs-with-sugar dept.

Medicine 166

Doctors have discovered that adding sugar to antibiotics increases their ability to knock out persistent staph infections (abstract). Certain types of bacteria called persisters shut down their metabolic processes when exposed to antibiotics. Adding sugar keeps the bacteria feeding, making them more susceptible to drugs. From the article: "Adding such a simple and widely available compound to existing antibiotics enhances their effectiveness against persisters, and fast. One test showed that a sugared up antibiotic could eliminate 99.9 percent of persisters in two hours, while a regular antibiotic did nothing. Doctors believe that this discovery will help treat urinary tract infections, staph infections, and strep throat, but its most life-saving application may be against the age-old disease tuberculosis. This infection of the lungs kills many people, and is hard to fight off. A little sugar could help save a lot of lives."

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Let me be the first to say it... (4, Funny)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138432)

I'm taking this with a grain of salt.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138450)

I've always said a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138498)

Yes. The joke was made in the TITLE!

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (4, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138488)

Just wondering how long it would take for the bacteria to become resistant to this technique.

Is there a reason why it would remain hard for the bacteria to stay dormant in the presence of antibiotics as long as there is sugar around?

Might be trivial enough for the bacteria to evolve around this by next month ;).

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (3, Insightful)

cripkd (709136) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138548)

Well, wouldn't that mean the bacteria would have to learn NOT to feed on sugars? How would it know when is it safe to consume it ? Or it would have to learn to not feed on sugars as long as antibiotics are present.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138580)

Oops I meant to say this instead:
"Is there a reason why it would remain hard for the bacteria to stay dormant in the presence of sugar as long as there are antibiotics around?"

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138664)

Is there a reason why it would remain hard for the bacteria to stay dormant in the presence of antibiotics as long as there is sugar around?

Yes. Bacteria are simple. Feed in presence of food, dormant in absence of food is simple behaviour that can be trivially implemented using some chemical signals. Feed in presence of food and absence of antibiotic, dormant in presence of antibiotic is harder. You have to process two signals, do some weighting, and then select the correct behaviour.

You also need to think about the intermediate steps. A bacterium on the way to evolving this behaviour would almost certainly not get it right first time. If it doesn't feed in the presence of sugar and the presence of non-fatal doses of antibiotics (or the absence of antibiotics), then it will be selected against in favour of ones that do. If it does feed in the presence of antibiotics, then it will die.

Remember, evolution is only good at selecting local maxima, not global maxima, and the path to this involves jumping from one local maximum to another. If someone were intelligently designing bacteria, then it would be a lot easier...

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138754)

If someone were intelligently designing bacteria, then it would be a lot easier...

Many a fundies head would explode, as this would simultaneously prove that there is a creator and that she's malevolent.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (2)

jplopez (1067608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138800)

I she what you did there.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (1)

wamatt (782485) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138932)

Thanks that pretty interesting. I didn't make the connection before between global and local maximisation.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139000)

Even better ... if you RTFAbstract ... is that is does not depend on the bacteri resuming growth. It kills them in their sleep

This potentiation is aminoglycoside-specific, it does not rely on growth resumption and it is effective in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139124)

Incidentally, I haven't designed any bacteria myself, but I've worked with people who have. All things considered, creating such a bacterium should just be putting a few pieces together. [partsregistry.org] And then waiting overnight. Twice.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (3, Informative)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139260)

A bacterium on the way to evolving this behaviour would almost certainly not get it right first time.

You need to get a grasp of Carl Sagan's "Billions and Billions" when thinking about bacterial evolution.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139578)

You may be underestimating the complexity of the changes to the bacterial DNA that will overcome this problem. Platitudes don't make science.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (3, Interesting)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138834)

Personally I'm wondering just exactly how much sugar they were planning on adding to the typical American diet.

It's not like antibiotic prescriptions always used to come with strict instructions to not eat any sugar...

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (3, Interesting)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139416)

The wild card here is the immune system. If the presence of antibiotics switches bacteria to dormant mode - that may give the immune system time to create sufficient antibodies to wipe them out.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139650)

It is only the American diabetic bacteria that are susceptible to this method anyway. Bacteria elsewhere aren't as round and don't consume large amounts of sugar.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139764)

Just wondering how long it would take for the bacteria to become resistant to this technique.

Probably about as long as every other antibiotic modification - *maybe* doctors will grow up and tell their patients to grow up and fight it if it's not something that's going to cause loss of life/limb/sight since the next round of antibiotics might not be so simple to engineer.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (1, Funny)

DataDiddler (1994180) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138534)

They still need to do a double blind study to verify this technique's efficacy versus sugar pill.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (2)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138646)

Was there a line missing in the article?
"This study was brought to you by the corn-syrup industry."

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138840)

Any sugar would do, so the fructose, the lactose, the maltose, the saccharose and the glycose producing industry would sponsor this study too.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (2)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139356)

Was there a line missing in the article? "This study was brought to you by the corn-syrup industry."

I just can't wait until the giant "fluids and rest" industry finally lets go their stranglehold and releases the common cold cure.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138544)

I was wondering how sugar compares to spice. Or to everything nice.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (4, Insightful)

jittles (1613415) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138600)

All I have to say is this: It looks like Mary Poppins was right.

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (1)

AgentSmith (69695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139138)

It's a jolly 'oliday wiv you Dr. Poppins!

Oh, don't be such a chav'vy pratt, Bert, and hand me the scalpel.

All right! It was a 'oliday! Now I'm callin' me barrister and
it'll be the high jump for you when 'e's done with the discrimination and
harrasment suit!

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138846)

Really? I think this is sweet! ;p

Hunting (1, Offtopic)

blinkwing (1687842) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138434)

Don't hunters already use this method, somehow? Bait an animal with food to lure it out in the open and then kill it?

Re:Hunting (3, Insightful)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138436)

Yes, but we've yet to develop nano-sized shotguns, so that'll have to wait.

time to stop the black coffee. (1)

SquirrelDeth (1972694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138438)

Maybe some sugar in my coffee will help get rid of the bone infection in my jaw after the dentist screwed up my root canal. They got me on 2 types of antibiotics the infections hurts my face up to my eye. Funny thing is I try and avoid sugar even though I really like sweet coffee. Doubt it is that simple though.

Re:time to stop the black coffee. (2, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138490)

If it was that simple then it would fail to account for the fact that diabetics (who go around with high blood sugar levels almost all the time) are more prone to all types of infection than non diabetics.

Re:time to stop the black coffee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138586)

Takes both sugar and antibiotics, probably linked somehow, more than just mixed together.

Re:time to stop the black coffee. (5, Interesting)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138642)

High blood sugar does not necessarily mean you ate a lot of sugar, in fact, the summary sounds like they are talking about white sugar. White sugar is far from the only sugar out there. The basic rule of thumb is: if the ingredient ends with "ose", it's a sugar (sucrose, dextrose, lactose, fructose, etc). Btw, I come from a family with a long history of Diabetes (both type 1 and 2).

Re:time to stop the black coffee. (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138672)

The sugar and the antibiotic have to be present at the same time. Hitting the bacterium with sugar and then antibiotic will have the opposite effect - it will feed, divide, and then go dormant, so you'll end up with more bacteria, not less.

Re:time to stop the black coffee. (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139020)

If it was that simple then it would fail to account for the fact that diabetics (who go around with high blood sugar levels almost all the time) are more prone to all types of infection than non diabetics.

With diabetes one could have a triple blind study.

Sing it together! (0)

Rainwulf (865585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138446)

a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down

Re:Sing it together! (0)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138530)

Just die already, slow and painfully.

Re:Sing it together! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138650)

Mary Poppins really was ahead of her time.

Re:Sing it together! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138736)

Yes, the joke was made in the TITLE!

Re:Sing it together! (2)

bytesex (112972) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138788)

And in Soviet Russia, the TITLE is made in the joke!

Re:Sing it together! (4, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138778)

Apparently, it also helps the poison go down...

Mary Poppins was right n/t (0)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138452)

A spoon ful of sugar helps the medicine go down or in this case more effective.

Re:Mary Poppins was right n/t (2)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138630)

I always thought n/t meant "no text", indicating the post itself was empty (which isn't possible with /.)
Could you please enlighten me?

Re:Mary Poppins was right n/t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138838)

Shhhhhh! Or Disney will be suing doctors for a license fee every time a treatment is performed.

test commenting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138462)

just ignore

Re:test commenting (2)

bytesex (112972) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138798)

No I won't!

Discovered? (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138478)

Discovered? No, we've known this and used this for years. It's a typical procedure to treat difficult wounds that are failing to close by 2nd or 3rd intention with sugar or honey. We also grind up fenitoin pills (used to treat epileptics) and add them to the wound, since fenitoin stimulates fibroblasts and helps with would healing. Of course this is not an FDA approved use of the drug, but it works.

Except with honey... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138508)

...the reason why we currently think honey works is not because of sugar, but because of enzymes in it which produce hydrogen peroxide.

Re:Discovered? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138520)

We use honey because it's antibiotic(kills bacteria) and it's contains sugar that just kill everything by osmotic pressure.

The part about bacteria keeping their metabolism going untill they die if you add sugar to the antibiotic is new.

Re:Discovered? (1, Redundant)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138696)

It also fails to explain why diabetics have higher infection rates than non diabetics... there's something missing.

Re:Discovered? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138750)

I'm not an expert, but it seems to me that since diabetics have high sugar levels constantly, the periods during which the antibiotics are not present will feed the bacteria without killing it, reversing the effect.

Seems common sense to me that for this to be really effective, you need to keep sugar levels low when the antibiotics are not present.

Re:Discovered? (3, Interesting)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138784)

Blood sugar levels != physical sugar present, doesn't quite work that way.

Re:Discovered? (4, Informative)

woolpert (1442969) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139012)

Diabetics have higher infection rates because they have worse circulation and lower-functioning immune systems. Neither of which have anything whatsoever to do with this discovery.

Re:Discovered? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138774)

We use honey because it works. We used them long before discovery of antibiotics.

Re:Discovered? (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139282)

Discovered? No, we've known this and used this for years.

True, but the pahrmaceutical industry can't make money with mere table sugar. What will be new here is the discovery that only a patentable sugar analogue or derivative is truly effective, at a cost of around $1,000 per dose.

Re:Discovered? (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139602)

You see, this is a new and novel use for an existing compound so it is patentable.

In other news, the price of table sugar spiked to nearly $1K/ounce today. Corn syrup producers were seen dancing in the streets.

Re:Discovered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139364)

My family has been using spider web wrapped around wounds since my granny's granny's time in the old world.
Also a good old mix of vinagre, egg white and sugar.

xylitol might be even better (2)

swell (195815) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138570)

Xylitol is another form of sugar that in addition to low calories and insulin response, kills bacteria and the evil Helicobacter pylori that causes cavities and ulcers. Stay tuned for the 2027 study that will prove it effective!

Re:xylitol might be even better (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138954)

Not sure you are understanding what this is about.

Bacteria will essentially "turtle" in the presence of antibiotics. It lays dormant with its shell closed. But in the presence of food, it wants to open up to consume the food and perform cellular divisions. It is during this time that the bacteria are vulnerable. I get the feeling Xylitol won't be as effective.

Re:xylitol might be even better (4, Informative)

secondhand_Buddah (906643) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138994)

I was actually reading about this this morning. Sugars have 6 carbon atoms, while Xylitol has 5. Bacteria and yeasts only consume sugars that have 6 carbon atoms, so effectively Xylitol would not have the same effect.

Not quite (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139806)

Studies have pointed to the fact that many bacteria still "eat" the Xylitol -- they just can't digest it, and starve, or are otherwise impaired. Not a bad thing in these cases.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21037297 for one of many cromulent studies out there involving bacterial uptake of Xylitol.

I'm a little confused... (2)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138584)

How exactly can this technique be used to fight tuberculosis, which lives in the lungs? The sugar in the antibiotic would be absorbed into the blood stream before the antibiotic could get to the infection. Unless they're talking about inhaling the antibiotic with the sugar.. which I suppose is a possibility.

Maybe it's some kind of bonding process that bonds the sugar to the antibiotic? I suppose I could read the article if I was that curious.

Re:I'm a little confused... (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138810)

Probably safer to just inhale the sugar at the right time.

So (1)

CTU (1844100) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138606)

Taking a can of soda with a medicine will help it work better? Glad I already did that :)

Ludens Cough Drops (0)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138610)

It's not candy, it's medicine dammit.

Placebo Effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138612)

Perhaps there is more to the placebo effect than we realize! lol

Re:Placebo Effect? (2)

Liam Pomfret (1737150) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138758)

Considering that the standard placebo is a sugar pill, it's certainly something that should be investigated.

Sugar is going to cost $1000 per pound (0)

trout007 (975317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138636)

when they get the patent.

no it won't , demand for sugar won't increase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138718)

until we run out of gasoline, then the price of sugar might go to $1000/pound, but by then we'd all have probably switched to biogas and biodiesel

Re:Sugar is going to cost $1000 per pound (4, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138756)

I wouldn't mind that, then maybe they wouldn't put sugar in every freaking thing. In many places one can't even find yoghourt without added sugar.

Re:Sugar is going to cost $1000 per pound (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139098)

They don't. They put HFCS in everything
USA!USA!

Re:Sugar is going to cost $1000 per pound (2)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138984)

Well, they can't patent sugar itself - only this use at most (would Mary Poppins count as prior art?). However, it will need to be manufactured to GMP standards and the particular brand of sugar being administered would need to be shown to be bioequivalent to the sugar used in the trials. So, expect to pay a few bucks for your one-spoon measured dose.

Of course, that is only required if the company making the sugar wants to sell it with advertising that indicates that it is medically useful. I doubt anybody will go to this level of trouble. However, with litigation being what it is, I wouldn't be surprised if somebody comes out with such a brand and doctors all flock to it (nobody ever got sued for prescribing Niaspan(TM)).

What might be more likely is that somebody comes up with some kind of novel sugar analog that CAN be patented, and that would be expensive, but would likely have stronger clinical support (since with financial backing you can do more trials/etc).

We really need more publicly-funded clinical trials. Right now most trials have huge conflicts of interest, and they are only run on expensive products, since those are the only ones where somebody has the financial interest to pay the cost of an expensive trial.

Food (1)

elsJake (1129889) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138698)

Most antibiotics are to be taken just after a meal , when your blood sugar levels are peaking.
However , maybe a little more sugar wouldn't be a bad idea.

Let's patent it! (2, Insightful)

gte275e (91656) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138702)

I can see it now. Drug companies will take their existing antibiotics, add a bit of sugar, and then upcharge $5 per fill for Sugarfukitol over normal Fukitol.

Let's patent sugar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138852)

Patent sugar, sue the sugar manufacturers for infringement, destroy the sugar industry. When sugar is only available in our pills, charge $200 for a box of them. Shut down production after 5 years, and lock up the patents for the next 200 years. Implement worldwide. Profit! Sugar is gone.

Re:Let's patent sugar! (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139068)

Patent sugar, sue the sugar manufacturers for infringement, destroy the sugar industry. When sugar is only available in our pills, charge $200 for a box of them. Shut down production after 5 years, and lock up the patents for the next 200 years. Implement worldwide. Profit! Sugar is gone.

Eric Holder is that you?

Re:Let's patent it! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138966)

Yes, pretty please with sugar on top?

Cutting the sugar? (1)

caspy7 (117545) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138712)

If these bacteria feed on sugar, then wouldn't significantly cutting down on sugar when treating them make good sense?
I know I've never had a doctor make such a recommendation before though.

Re:Cutting the sugar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138808)

Well, it would also cut you, since your body also feeds on sugar (burns it up with oxygen).
Of course that will be very hard, since your body has emergency reserves for about two weeks in your organs (liver, heart, etc). And you can transform body fat too.
So it's not only dangerous to void the body of sugar, but utterly impossible.

Obviously, the opposite (pure sugar in large quantities [think "breakfast cereals" or glucose tablets) will quickly kill you too, as all the helper agents and building material would be missing. Like a non-greased engine with no repairman or maintenance, flooded with fuel. Just that you 'd need more than two dozen kinds of "greasing", and repairs are constantly needed. But you'd also have to put back most of the fuel for "later" (fat depots) or the thing would drown.

You would have to use a transport molecule, to move the sugar killer straight to the bacteria. Or kill their sugar processing mechanism. But that is already tried all the time.

Re:Cutting the sugar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138812)

Back when the Atkins diet was really popular and Dr. Atkins was alive he made statements on TV as to cutting out sugar when dealing with an infection. That's the only instance I can think of though.

Re:Cutting the sugar? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138854)

If these bacteria feed on sugar, then wouldn't significantly cutting down on sugar when treating them make good sense?
I know I've never had a doctor make such a recommendation before though.

Bacteria tend to be incredibly flexible with their metabolism, so while the *can* feed on this sugar you can almost guarantee that if you somehow cut it off they'd just find something else to digest.

The other problem with pathogenic bacteria is that they often work their way into places where they can feed off your bodies natural resources, like the blood glucose. You can't get rid of that without starving your own cells so it's not really an option. Some bacteria including the one responsible for tuberculosis have actually found ways of entering one or other type of human cells, so they can sit inside them and multiply off the nutrients your cells take up.
   

Re:Cutting the sugar? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139270)

If these bacteria feed on sugar, then wouldn't significantly cutting down on sugar when treating them make good sense?
I know I've never had a doctor make such a recommendation before though.

Not eating sugar will not limit the amount of sugar present in the body, even if you never eat any actual sugars your body always converts carbs into sugars.
Also, sugar is the fuel that drives your mitochondria to make ATP, which in turn drives almost every other process in your body. Not a good thing to limit is it? (if you somehow tried to 'catch' all the sugar in your body)
And another besides, bacteria don't feed exclusively on sugar, it's just the preferred food. If sugar is not available most bacteria can feed on a variety of other compounds, including but not limited to, amino acids, oligopeptides, proteins etc, all readily available in your body. The reason adding sugar to antibiotic works is because of this sugar preference and that most bacteria are hardwired to start metabolizing and dividing as fast as they can in the presence of a preferred sugar, and thus will be vulnerable to the antibiotic.

corepirate nazi holycost to end abruptly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138820)

no big surprise, as these neogod freaks re-discredit each other daily now. they change like the 'weather' does? the zeus weapon remains unstable. disarm.

Medical-grade....sugar. (0)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138836)

I'm expecting a "new formula" for damn near every drug that could benefit from this...of course big pharma is going to claim they added "medical-grade" sugar, to justify the 200% price increase.

Re:Medical-grade....sugar. (1)

unkiereamus (1061340) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138910)

I doubt very much that there will be a 200% price increase.

Big pharma will, however, gladly take a brand new patent out on each antibiotic+sugar as the old patent is running out.

Much more lucrative, that.

Re:Medical-grade....sugar. (1)

Boombox2003 (1352089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138916)

I'm expecting a "new formula" for damn near every drug that could benefit from this...of course big pharma is going to claim they added "medical-grade" sugar, to justify the 200% price increase.

Its not normal sugars, its amino-modified sugars. They are not absorbed in the gut these are a different molecule altogether.

Hidden efficacy of placebo? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138848)

What does this mean for previous studies that use a sugar pill for placebo?

If the placebo itself was causing a positive reaction instead of being neutral, how much material needs to be reviewed again?

Read the article itself not just the summary! (3, Insightful)

Boombox2003 (1352089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138912)

Can people please read the article before making inane comments, we are talking about aminoglycosides here not glucose, fructose or sucrose. This is a amino-modified sugar that are not absorbed in the gut. They have been around for a long time but until now they had not been used in conjunction with specific metabolites. So this has nothing to do with diabetics or blood sugar.

Re:Read the article itself not just the summary! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138964)

Can people please read the article before making inane comments, we are talking about aminoglycosides here not glucose, fructose or sucrose. ...
So this has nothing to do with diabetics or blood sugar.

Err, the antibiotic they tested with was gentamicin, which is an aminoglycoside. The metabolites they tested with it were sugars like glucose and fructose, as well as stuff like glycerol and pyruvate.

So yes, they actually *are* talking about adding sugar.

The aminoglycoside is the *antibiotic* (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139386)

The glucose is the metabolite and is used alongside an aminoglycoside antibiotic. It is aminoglycoside dependent because adding the sugar only works with aminoglycoside antibiotics: mannitol (the sugar) was tested with gentamicin (an aminoglycoside antibiotic), ofloxacin (a quinolone antibiotic) and ampicillin (a beta-lactam, specifically a penicillin antibiotic) and the only one which showed an improved response was the mannitol + gentamicin combination.

Glucose, mannitol and fructose then showed the greatest response with gentamicin (ribose, glycerol etc were much lower).

Have you read the article?

I've heard of this before... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138940)

I've heard of putting sugar on a cut with some antibiotic ointment, supposedly to promote faster healing. I hadn't heard that it was supposed to improve the effectiveness of the antibiotic, though. I thought it was to promote cell growth.

-jcr

a tea spoon of sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36138942)

helps the medicine go down :-)

Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Persistent Bacteria Go (1)

jackie8612 (2071074) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138968)

This was an interesting article. I especially like the the fact that sugar can aid in the improvement of the antibacterial meds and rid the pesky little bacteria

combo (2, Interesting)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138990)

So apparently a placebo (sugar pill) actually CAN have real effect!

Mary Poppins was right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139056)

A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Really? Big Pharma strikes again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36139078)

Love it... guess the old home remedy of "spoonful of sugar and lemon juice" to get rid of colds or other maladies faster wasn't ever factored into...? Big Pharma is nothing but a bunch of money-grubbing meat heads. They don't give a crap about mankind. They'd rather pump everyone full of drugs so you continue to stay sick and buy their medicines/remedies. Eat whole and natural foods and you'd be amazed at how healthy you become.

Re:Really? Big Pharma strikes again... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139162)

Yes because antibiotics do wonders on colds.

Or maybe it's a competely unrelated thing to making lemon (with it's high vitamin C content) palatable?

Please refuse antibiotics from the evil Big Pharma next time you have an infection.

What took them so long to cypher this? (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139148)

It is hardly surprising this method works. It is one man has used for several millennium or more when making beer. Once yeast is pitched it will consume all or a good portion of the existing sugars. Once the alcohol content reaches a certain level or there is no more sugars left, they will go dormant. You can reactivate them by adding more sugar; there is of course a limit to the amount of additional sugar that can be added and the yeasts alcohol tolerances; some yeast strains are more tolerant of high alcohol levels than others.

May Poppins was right! (1)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139262)

Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down!

In this case that old adage happens to apply to both the host and the invader.

Mary Poppins was right? (1)

BubbaJonBoy (691386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139674)

So - lemme get this... Mary Poppins was right? A spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down?

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