London, Feb 15: Too much sugar may be harmful for the waistline, but it could help heal wounds faster than antibiotics, says a new research.
The study found that granulated sugar poured directly into bed sores, leg ulcers and even amputation promotes healing when antibiotics and other treatments have failed.
The sugar draws water from the wound into a dressing accelerating the healing process, which is prescribed in African folk medicine, said Moses Murandu, senior lecturer in adult nursing at Wolverhampton University.
He grew up in Zimbabwe where his father used sugar to heal wounds and reduce pain when he was a child. When Murandu moved to the Britain, he realised that sugar was not recognised as a traditional medicine that had something to offer, the Daily Mail reports.
One of the patients receiving treatment as part of the research is Alan Bayliss, from Birmingham, who was being treated at Moseley Hall Hospital’s amputee rehabilitation ward.
He underwent an above-the-knee amputation on his right leg due to an ulcer at the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Hospital Birmingham in January 2013, and as part of the surgery a vein was removed from his left leg.
For his post-surgery rehabilitation, Bayliss was moved to Moseley Hall Hospital where standard dressings were used but the left leg cavity wound was not healing effectively.
Nurses contacted Murandu and Bayliss was given the sugar treatment and within two weeks the wound had drastically reduced in size.
Bayliss, a 62-year-old electrical engineer, said: “It has been revolutionary. The actual wound was very deep – it was almost as big as my finger. When Moses first did the dressing he almost used the whole pot of sugar, but two weeks later he only needed to use four or five teaspoons.”
Staff Nurse Jonathan Janneman said: “One of the main benefits has been the morale of the patient. He could see the cavity in his leg as well as having been unwell and through operations.
“But the sugar has given something to hold on to. It is amazing that something as simple as sugar has given him a morale boost – the psychological benefit is up there with the physical benefits,” Janneman added.
So far 35 patients receiving treatment have seen their condition improve, with no adverse effects reported, compared with 16 patients who did not have the treatment.