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Chinese bean may help reduce the risk of sepsis

Category: General Health

Recent studies published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM), has discovered that mung beans may help combat sepsis, a condition in which the body has an adverse reaction to bacteria and releases harmful chemicals, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The research, which was conducted at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, found that mung beans were able to reduce levels of a protein known as HMBG1, in mice. HMBG1 causes inflammation and, in large quantities, it can lead to damaged organs and body tissue, subsequently causing ailments like sepsis. The mung beans, which are native to India and traditionally served in Chinese cuisine, were shown to improve the survival rate in the mice: When the mice consumed the bean, they had a survival rate of 70 percent, whereas the mice that did not eat the bean had a survival rate of 29.4 percent.

"Many traditional medicinal herbs have been successfully developed into effective therapies for various inflammatory ailments, and now we have validated the therapeutic potential of another medicinal product, mung bean extract," said research author Haichao Wang, Ph.D. "Demonstrating that mung bean extract has a positive effect on septic mice shows promise that this bean can also have a positive effect on septic humans."

Dr. Wang also noted that additional research will need to be performed to ensure that mung beans can effectively protect humans from sepsis without any health risks.

Sepsis symptoms
According to the NIH, sepsis can cause dangerously low blood pressure and eventually put a person into shock. The lack of blood flow can also result in the kidneys, liver, lungs and central nervous system shutting down. Symptoms of the ailment include, chills, delirium, shaking, a skin rash and rapid heartbeat.

Detection and symptoms
To diagnose sepsis, besides through blood testing, healthcare providers may conduct a white cell blood count and a test to monitor kidney function, the NIH notes. Treatment usually includes intravenous administration of antibiotics, oxygen or other fluids. Patients may also receive medication to increase blood pressure, undergo dialysis in cases or kidney failure or receive assistance from a breathing machine when the lungs fail.

Sepsis is often lethal, especially in people who have been suffering from certain ailments for a long period of time or have weak immune systems. It can also cause long-term debilitating damage to certain organs.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that the rate of people hospitalized due to sepsis nearly doubled from 11.6 hospitalizations for every 10,000 people in 2,000 to 24 hospitalizations for every 10,000 people in 2008.

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