You may have heard rumors about green M&M dye and “mojo” but the blue M&M dye may have its perks, too. And proof of it.
Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that rats suffering from spinal cord injuries were able to walk again after being injected with the compound Brilliant Blue G (BBG). BBG is the same dye found in blue M&Ms and blue Gatorade, go figure. Side effect: the mice turned blue . I think it’s rather adorable, don’t you?
Previous research performed in 2004 looked at adenosine triphosphate (ATP), also known as the “energy currency of life”, and its effect on spinal cord injuries. The results found that oxidized ATP blocked the affect of ATP which caused harm due to the sudden influx of ATP which killed off healthy cells after an injury. What does this matter? Well, BBG acts in the same way as oxidized ATP following spinal cord injuries — favorably. In spinal injuries among rats which cause immobility, those treated with BBG were able to walk again while those left untreated never regained their mobility .
Why is this important? Approximately 15% of humans suffering spinal cord injuries receive steroids; the majority of spinal cord injuries (85%) are left untreated. Steroid treatments work moderately well, at best. Treatments such as BBG provide ground-breaking research. While BBG does not offer a cure, it offers more potential improvement than ever before .
Researchers are currently looking into getting the first clinical trial for BBG use on humans to be approved .
. Blue M&Ms Linked to Reducing Spine Injury. CNN. July 28, 2009.