Dr. Chandler Marrs’ latest blog “A Molecular Boondoggle: Commercial Trehalose and Pathogenic Virulence” explains the connection. Indeed, it explains much more than just how we have created “superbugs” that resist antibiotics, survive even boiling or subzero temperatures. The method by which all these changes happen are show-stopping and yet, as you will read in Dr. Marrs’ paper, we encourage such pathogenic survival.
While reading her article, I went back in thought to bacteria and what it basically is. We need to remember that life on the planet started in bacterial form. Bacteria are the toughest creatures on the planet. The article doesn’t mention this but it is important to note that bacteria create spores of themselves (endospores) that can stay dormant for hundreds and thousands of years, can even travel in space, and land somewhere. There, if ideal circumstances arrive, the bacteria come alive. Indeed, bacteria are created to survive the toughest environment, even without our help. I thought this article was extremely thought provoking because it covers so many areas—and more areas of coverage are yet to come.
Dr. Marrs sums it up stating that “virulence is no more than a successful adaptation to a nutrient starved environment”, which is very correct—as you can now connect this to endospores as well. If the pathogens succumb to the environment they find themselves in—particularly in the human body, our goal—then the human wins; otherwise the pathogen wins. You may think that humans don’t provide a nutrient-poor environment to pathogens but think again! “[We] make virulence easy. With everything from the high calorie, low nutrient diets, to the very antibiotics used to treat these pathogens, we deplete nutrients…”
So, what’s the big connection of all this to Trehalose? Everything. “Trehalose is basically a preservative disguised as sweetener produced by the chemical company Cargill.” As a preservative, its job is to preserve—obviously. Here is what the manufacturer says:
“’Trehalose, a diglucose sugar found in nature, confers to certain plant and animal cells the ability to survive dehydration for decades and to restore activity soon after rehydration. This observation has led to the use of trehalose as excipient during freeze drying of a variety of products in the pharmaceutical industry and as an ingredient for dried, baked and processed food… It is especially well suited for sweetening nutritional drinks and other energy products used by consumers as part of their daily eating habits. As a multi-functional sugar with nearly half the sweetness of sucrose…’”
Now what’s great for the preservation of flowers for decor, but may not be so great for the preservation of food or of bacteria, or particularly not that great for our cells that are supposed to commit suicide (apoptosis). Our body is very well organized and cells that are not functioning optimally and don’t contribute energy (ATP) to the body properly are instructed to commit apoptosis. Cells that don’t obey these orders multiply and multiply—indeed, cancer may be connected to this. Perhaps Dr. Marrs’ next paper will elaborate on the potential connection here, as it is very important.
In the meantime, read and share her article that you find here, and start looking for the ingredient or additive Trehalose in the food you used to buy, because after this, you will not buy them anymore I am sure.
Your comments are welcome, as always.