A new study has found that sugar isn’t ALL bad. If you just ate a chocolate-covered donut, you might want to get the full explanation.
According to an article in BBC News, the study, which was done by researchers in New Zealand, found that a dose of sugar gel given to a premature baby inside his or her cheek can protect against brain damage. Dangerously low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, affects approximately one in ten babies born prematurely. If left untreated, it can cause permanent harm.
The gel therapy was used to treat 242 babies under the care of Professor Jane Harding and her team at the University of Auckland. The study then assessed whether the treatment with the sugar gel was more effective at reversing hypoglycemia than regular feeding alone.
The sugar (or dextrose) gel used to be given to premature infants frequently, but had fallen into disuse. According to Neil Marlow of the Institute for Women’s Health at University College London, the findings of this study, published in The Lancet, pointed to the fact that the administration of this gel should be resurrected.
An added benefit is the treatment is cost effective and easy to administer, which will reduce admissions to the already-overcrowded intensive care units.
"This is a very interesting piece of new research and we always welcome anything that has the potential to improve outcomes for babies born premature or sick,” said Andy Cole, chief executive of premature baby charity Bliss.
Cole adds that, while more research should be done on such treatments, this is a promising bit of news for parents of premature babies.
Did you have a premature baby? Would you consider this treatment?