Forget everything you know - sugar could be good for you after all

FOR DECADES we've been warned to stay away from sugar - but new research has found that some sugars could, in fact, be good for you.

Sugar could aid healing
Sugar could aid healing

Academics from the University of Sheffield, working with a team from Lahore in Pakistan have discovered a new use for sugar which can aid healing by encouraging blood vessel formation.

It could be used to help tackle the increasing number of non-healing skin wounds associated with age, poor blood supply and diabetes, and even save money for health care providers.

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The research, conducted in part by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the School of Clinical Dentistry, found that sugar can help aid new blood vessel formation, also known as angiogenesis. Sugar was added to a hydrogel bandage to stimulate the formation of new blood vessels - which are crucial for wound healing as blood vessels carry blood around the body to supply it with oxygen and nutrients.

Prof Sheila MacNeil said: “Throughout the world, people are living longer and unfortunately experiencing more non-healing skin wounds associated with age, poor blood supply and diabetes. These are often difficult to treat and are very expensive for healthcare systems to manage.

“The new skin healing technique using simple sugars, promises to aid wound healing more simply, meaning patients would need less treatment, clinicians could treat more patients and significant savings could be made by national healthcare systems.”