Scientists use sugar to build muscles

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

A team at the University of Washington used a chemical found in sugar to grow muscles in mice! You see, the mice were affected with something called muscular dystrophy (MD), which is a disease that causes muscles in the body to weaken. Anyone with this disease has trouble with things like walking or lifting. What’s even worse is more serious muscles like the heart and the diaphragm (which helps you breathe) are weakened as well. The chemical they used was called… get ready for a super long word… 2-acetyl4 (5)-tetrahydroxybutyl imidazo. Wow, what a tongue twister! We’ll call it THI for short. This tiny chemical is often found in sugar, soda, and candies. When the researchers gave mice with MD water mixed with THI, they observed that the muscles began to grow bigger and stronger! The team hopes this will be a future way to treat anyone with the disease, but for now, they are trying to improve what they do have to make it even better.