The Truth about Blue M&Ms
Surely you've read the headlines:
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.
Jennifer LaRue Huget
August 3, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: General Health
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