纽约时报 | 糖的隐藏力量:替代抗生素治愈伤口

The hidden healing power of sugar 糖的隐藏力量:替代抗生素治愈伤口 As a […]

The hidden healing power of sugar

As a child growing up in poverty in the rural Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, Moses Murandu was used to having salt literally rubbed in his wounds when he fell and cut himself. On lucky days, though, his father had enough money to buy something which stung the boy much less than salt: sugar.

在津巴布韦东部高地农村地区长大的穷孩子穆兰多(Moses Murandu),从小习惯摔跤受伤或有割伤时,用盐来擦拭创面。不过有时走运的话,他父亲多花些钱能买对伤口刺激小得多的东西――糖。

Murandu always noticed that sugar seemed to help heal wounds more quickly than no treatment at all. So he was surprised when, having been recruited to come to work as a nurse for the UK’s National Health System (NHS) in 1997, he found that sugar wasn’t being used in any official capacity. He decided to try to change that.


Now, Murandu’s idea finally is being taken seriously. A senior lecturer in adult nursing at the University of Wolverhampton, Murandu completed an initial pilot study focussed on sugar’s applications in wound healing and won an award from the Journal of Wound Care in March 2018 for his work.

如今,穆兰多的想法终于受到到重视了。穆兰多现是伍尔弗汉普顿大学(University of Wolverhampton)成人护理系的高级讲师,他完成了一项初步试验性研究。该研究主要聚焦于糖在伤口愈合中的应用,并在2018年3月获得了《伤口护理杂志》(Journal of Wound Care)的奖项。

In some parts of the world, this procedure could be key because people cannot afford antibiotics. But there is interest in the UK, too, since once a wound is infected, it sometimes won’t respond to antibiotics.


To treat a wound with sugar, all you do, Murandu says, is pour the sugar on the wound and apply a bandage on top. The granules soak up any moisture that allows bacteria to thrive. Without the bacteria, the wound heals more quickly.


Evidence for all of this was found in Murandu’s trials in the lab. And a growing collection of case studies from around the world has supported Murandu’s findings, including examples of successful sugar treatments on wounds containing bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Even so, Murandu faces an uphill battle. Funding for further research would help him reach his ultimate goal C to convince the NHS to use sugar as an alternative to antibiotics. But a great deal of medical research is funded by pharmaceutical companies. And these companies, he points out, have little to gain from paying for research into something they can’t patent.


The sugar Murandu uses is the plain, granulated type you might use to sweeten your tea. In the same in vitro trials, he found that there was no difference between using cane or beet sugar. Demerara, however, wasn’t as effective.


The pilot showed that strains of bacteria grew in low concentrations of sugar but were completely inhibited in higher concentrations. Murandu started recording case studies in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Lesotho (where he first trained in nursing). Included among them is a woman living in Harare.


“The woman’s foot had been measured, ready to be amputated, when my nephew called me,” Murandu says. “She had had a terrible wound for five years, and the doctor wanted to amputate. I told her to wash the wound, apply sugar, leave it and repeat.


“The woman still has her leg.”


This, he says, is one example of why there is so much interest in his methods, particularly from parts of the world where people can’t afford antibiotics.


In total, Murandu has now carried out clinical studies on 41 patients in the UK. He hasn’t yet published the trial results but has presented them at national and international conferences. One question he had to answer during his research was whether sugar could be used on diabetic patients, who commonly have leg and foot ulcers. Diabetics need to control the level of glucose in their blood so this isn’t an obvious healing method to use on them.


But he found that it worked for diabetics without sending their glucose levels soaring. “Sugar is sucrose C you need the enzyme sucrase to convert that into glucose,” he says. As sucrase is found within the body, it is only when the sugar is absorbed that it is converted. Applying it to the outside of the wound isn’t going to affect it in the same way.


While Murandu continues his research on human patients, across the Atlantic US veterinarian Maureen McMichael has been using this healing method on animals for years.

穆兰多在英国继续其人类患者临床试验之时,在大西洋彼岸的美国一位兽医麦克迈克尔(Maureen McMichael)已用这种方法治疗动物好多年。

McMichael, who works at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, first started using both sugar and honey on pets back in 2002. She said it was a combination of the simplicity of the method and the low cost that attracted her C especially for pet owners who couldn’t afford the usual methods of bringing the animal to the hospital and using sedation.


McMichael says that they keep both sugar and honey in their surgery and often used it on dogs and cats (and occasionally on farm animals). Honey has similar healing properties to sugar (one study found it to be even more effective at inhibiting bacterial growth), though it is more expensive.


“We have had some really great successes with this,” McMichael says. She gave an example of a stray dog that had come to them after being used as “pitbull bait”, hung from a harness and attacked by pitbulls being trained for fighting. The dog came in with up to 40 bite wounds on each limb C and was healed within eight weeks.


“She was a stray so there was no money for her. We treated her with both honey and sugar and she did fabulously,” McMichael says. “She’s all healed now.”

麦克迈克尔说: “因为它是一只流浪狗,没有主人付钱治疗。我们用蜂蜜和糖帮它敷伤口,它的恢复能力惊人,现在都已经痊愈了。”

As well as being cheaper, sugar has another upside: as more and more antibiotics are used, we are becoming resistant to them.


Back in the UK, tissue engineering specialist Sheila MacNeil of the University of Sheffeld has researched how naturally occurring sugars can be used to stimulate the re-growth of blood vessels. Her research stemmed from from her work on tumours, when she noticed that one particular small sugar derived from the breakdown of DNA (2-deoxy-D-ribose) kept cropping up. MacNeil’s team experimented by applying this sugar to the membrane surrounding chick embryos. According to MacNeil, the sugar stimulated double the number of blood vessels than would grow without it.

麦克尼尔(Sheila MacNeil)是英国谢菲尔德大学的一名人体组织工程学的专家。她的研究方向之一是人体自然产生的糖分如何促进血管再生。这个研究来自于她对肿瘤的研究。她发现某种从DNA分解提取出来的特殊糖分(2-脱氧-d-核糖)会不断再生。据麦克尼尔发现,团队实验人员将这种单糖放置于鸡胚胎薄膜中,它促进了血管细胞的再生,细胞数量比没有糖分的对照组要高出一倍。

But of course these types of naturally occurring sugars found in our bodies are a long way from the type of everyday sugar used by Murandu in his experiments. The “dream ticket”, MacNeil says, would be to find a sugar that could be used in both ways. She believes this is the next step research should take.


Meanwhile in Wolverhampton, Murandu’s plan is to set up a private clinic using his sugar method. He hopes that one day sugar will be commonly used, not only by the NHS but also at public hospitals in some of the other countries where he has been working. He continues to get regular emails from around the world, asking for his advice C and guides patients remotely over email and texting. His far-away clients send him photos of their results along with their gratitude when they are healed.


It is an ancient method and one used unofficially by many poor people in developing countries, but for Murandu it was only by coming to the UK that he realised the significance sugar could have in the medical world. He sees it as a blending of his local knowledge with the modern research facilities in Britain.


“Like sugar, the knowledge came raw from Zimbabwe, was refined here C and is now going back to help people in Africa,” he says.


本文由 语料库 作者:Tmxchina 发表,其版权均为 语料库 所有,文章内容系作者个人观点,不代表 语料库 对观点赞同或支持。如需转载,请注明文章来源。