Sugar could provide a natural, clean and cost effective alternative to conventional treatments for wounds, a University of Birmingham student has found.

A pioneering new study conducted by Moses Murandu into the healing effects of sugar has found that sugar acts to restore to health wounds that have previously failed to heal with conventional medicines.

Moses explains: “Sugar prevents the microorganisms growing by absorbing water and therefore preventing bacteria from feeding off the tissue underneath.

“The sugar has higher osmolarity, so it is drawing water from the wound and from the microorganisms. By maintaining high osmolarity between the wound and the sugar, the microorganisms are prevented from multiplying.”

In addition, an increased vascularity (blood supply) to the wound occurs as it equalises the fluid to the wound. This increased vascular response brings in oxygen and nutrients, which also keep the wound moist, and which help the cells to grow.

The sugar is sterilized, packed and sealed, but otherwise is normal granulated sugar; the more that is applied, the quicker the results. The reduced bacterial activity has another positive side-effect, as it kills any unpleasant odours that can accompany serious wounds.

Moses was born in Zimbabwe and recalls how his father would frequently treat his childhood cuts and ailments with sugar. As his career took him into medicine, Moses often reflected on the therapeutic properties of the substance and long-held a curiosity to investigate them further.

Finally on one occasion in 2004 when he returned to his homeland he decided to put his convictions about the curative properties of sugar to the test.

“A diabetic man in the village had a leg wound; I treated it with sugar and three weeks later it was healed. I even gave the man’s wife telephone advice once I had left and returned to England.”

Since the beginning of the year, Moses has treated 21 patients at the Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham. During the study, Moses has found that sugar treatment actually works better on diabetic patients and does not impact on insulin levels at all.

 With these initial findings from the pilot study, Moses will now begin a wider study, after winning a £25,000 grant.

Moses is very excited about the potential: “The reduced cost is a great advantage to using sugar to heal wounds. Sugar is readily available and relatively cost-effective. Medicines are so expensive that the implications of having a treatment like this that can be used in the developing world is hugely exciting.”


Further Media Information

Moses Murandu is available for interview, please contact Anna Mitchell,  Press Office on 0121 414 6029.