Tuesday, July 28, 2009

M&Ms save lives

Whenever I see a food mentioned in a medical story, I cringe. Inevitably, the story will say the food is bad for us. I understand the hyperbole common to medical and science reporting. "Scientists have found..." really means "one study over here has found indications that might mean... ." But the damage has been done. I'll have to regard that food with suspicion. The study that says "no it isn't bad" is never given the same prominence in reporting. That's why I was happy to see a study that tells me that something I like is good.
The same blue food dye found in M&Ms and Gatorade could be used to reduce damage caused by spine injuries, offering a better chance of recovery, according to new research.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that when they injected the compound Brilliant Blue G (BBG) into rats suffering spinal cord injuries, the rodents were able to walk again, albeit with a limp.

Even the side effect is cool:
The only side effect was that the treated mice temporarily turned blue.

I think I'll need to keep a big bag of blue peanut M&Ms around just in case someone hurts their spine. Since M&Ms don't have a very long shelf life in this humidity, I should regularly get rid of the old ones and refresh my supply. It's the prudent thing to do.

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