Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Column Archive |  On Twitter: J Huget and MisFits  |  Fitness & Nutrition News  |  RSS Feeds RSS Feed

The Truth about Blue M&Ms

Surely you've read the headlines:

"Blue M&Ms 'Mend Spinal Injuries'"

"Blue M&Ms May Reduce Spinal Injuries"

"Can Blue M&Ms Cure Paralysis?"

(The Washington Post)

Most of us hardly need an excuse to eat M&Ms, blue or otherwise. But mending or reducing spinal injuries and curing paralysis should not be among our reasons for doing so.

In a study published online July 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that mice in which spinal injury had been induced regained the ability to walk if they received speedy intravenous injections of a blue dye that's chemically similar to the one used to color blue M&Ms (and blue Gatorade). The only observed side effect: The subjects' skin turned blue for a while.

The dye apparently hinders the activity of a substance that floods the injured area after a spinal-cord trauma occurs, causing inflammation and leading to irreversible damage. Researchers hope their work will eventually lead to a way that will prevent lasting damage from such injuries, for which no effective treatment exists.

No M&Ms were involved in the study. And there is absolutely no way to extrapolate from the findings that eating M&Ms could affect the health of one's spine.

Which is not to say you shouldn't enjoy a blue M&M now and then. Just keep your expectations in check.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  August 3, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  General Health  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Is That Right? "Eating organic food just makes sense."
Next: Jennifer & Julia


Are the blue M & Ms on the Delany list?


Posted by: leeincoltsneck | August 3, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, the intentionally-crippled mice who received injections of dyes colored red, green, yellow, brown, and dark brown shall spend the rest of their short, miserable lives confined to tiny little wheelchairs.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | August 3, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Don't you just love the colors that mice come in now? First you could inject them with green fluorescent protein so that they'd glow in the dark, and now, you can make them turn blue!

(Is this a sequel to the very rich who dye their poodles pink?)

Posted by: scottiedog | August 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Now that we have a good reason to eat blue and green M&M's, how soon will there be a reason to eat the red, yellow, and orange ones?

Posted by: blasher | August 3, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

So this is how science works: "Let's inject a mouse with blue dye and see if it fixes his spine!"

Posted by: Cosmo06 | August 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company