Same blue dye in M&Ms and Gatorade linked to reducing spine injury
Posted Jul 29 2009 10:42pm
The treatment requires more than just eating M & Ms and drinking Gatorade, it needs to be delivered through an IV, and the side effects may temporarily turn you blue for a while until it fades and goes away. The study involved injecting rats with the BBG dye and the results compared to those who did not have any injections were quite different, with the treated rats making a better and even full recovery. I guess we could call this Code Blue. BD
(CNN) -- 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.
The researchers believe that BBG worked because it was able to block ATP from latching on to spinal cord neurons. ATP usually is welcome in cells because it provides the chemical energy needed to fuel metabolism. But when it gushes into the spinal cord at hundreds of times greater than normal levels, it causes neurons to go haywire and die, thus compounding the extent of the injury.
Nedergaard realized that BBG is a derivative of blue dye No. 1, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in foods, drugs and cosmetics. The dye is a widely used food additive – more than 1 million pounds of it are consumed each year in the U.S. with no toxic side effects in healthy people. In the rats, the only apparent side effect of taking BBG was a blue tint in the eyes and skin that faded over the course of a week.