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Mysterious explosion of a deadly plague may come down to a sugar in ice cream

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In the early 2000s, a deadly gut infection began to surge. After decades of lurking in intestines and hospitals鈥攎ore opportunistic nuisance than lethal threat鈥攖he bacterium Clostridium difficile abruptly exploded, spreading rapidly and causing more severe diarrheal disease than ever before. By 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that C. diff infected nearly half a million people in the US that year, killing approximately 29,000.

Just WoW 馃槼

I was hospitalized for an infection and developed C. diff. It nearly killed me, I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and on meds for long after. To this day I take daily probiotics for gut health.

6 points6 months ago

probiotics for gut health.

Which ones, if you don't mind me asking?

You should keep in mind all statements that their product has any benefits are qualified by this disclaimer:

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

1 point6 months ago

Interesting, but does your statement hold to FDA allowed foods?

Ultimate Flora is recommended by my dietitian; gluten and lactose free.

2 points6 months ago

Why so many down votes?

Not sure, but could be promoting a specific brand.. rather than stating generic types of probiotics?


1 point6 months ago

Whoever are the downtrodden(DVers) I appreciate your comment... Thank you!

I think reddit's just been trained to downvote "gluten free" on reflex

Lol one should test by posting 鈥渕y dietitian recommends Super Flora Plus with premium gluten and minced meats鈥

Learned my lesson: no brand names no gluten free on reddit :)

The natural ones are best for me suffering from an autoimmune (which comes with a host of other illnesses) most of which are related to digestive issues. When I say natural I mean homemade yogurt, fermented vegetables, homemade sourdough or just even getting outside will net you some good bacteria for various reasons, the ocean might be the best outside source as it's microbial makeup is one of the closest to the human microbiome.

1 point6 months ago

I make homemade sourdough bread often. Love the stuff!

Thanks for the good info!

25 points6 months ago(7 children)
5 points6 months ago

The woman cleared out a 3 story home on multiple occasions.

Not to make light of your aunt's situation, but I once literally did that the morning after a case of cheap beer in college.

Cheap beer and arbys Shits are also no joke.

-25 points6 months ago(0 children)

People without consistent access to a shower usually don't smell great.

That is an understatement. The smell is usually overpowering and can be nauseating at least 20-30ft away.

7 points6 months ago

Lack of showers and toilet paper would be my guess?

Maybe he knows a homeless man and has smelled his poopies.

Quite a shitty way to die.

-4 points6 months ago

It鈥檚 a delicious way to die.

18 points6 months ago

I know you鈥檙e making a pun, but C-dif makes you shit yourself to death. No amount of ice cream in the world is worth it.

Not even phish food?

3 points6 months ago

One lick is all you get.

1 point6 months ago

Wtf...obviously the best is half baked

76 points6 months ago

If this trehalose stuff is widely used as a food additive, what is it called on the label? I've read hundreds of ingredient lists on food labels and I've never seen "trehalose".

Original Poster39 points6 months ago

I was wondering about this too. It may just be labeled as sugar, as it is technically a type of sugar.

Saw it for the first time the other day in some corn chips here in the UK (walkers under some other brand).

I looked it up specifically because some sugars give me a bad reaction (isomalt, sucralose..).

Really? You have a reaction to sucralose?

That鈥檚 pretty interesting since it鈥檚 supposed to not be digested at all by the body. What happens when you take some?

9 points6 months agoedited 6 months ago

I was trying to be vague because it's a bit vulgar, but I get a lot of wind. And it's notable.

It's not uncommon apparently.

For me, no other sweeteners cause any negative reactions, I'm not some crazy anti-chemical nut, I just noticed that sugar free sweets with isomalt caused massive wind, and from there also many other of the other alcohol sugars too.

Funny how on the web the only articles claiming "it cant possibly cause wind" are the ones sponsored by splenda. Tut tut.

Yeah it definitely does cause wind if you're intolerant of it.

I get the same problem, it's very uncomfortable, and it starts almost immediately after eating it.

I don't know about moosery2, but in my case eating too much sucralose or other kinds of sugars may have contributed to a bacterial overgrowth in my gut, which comes with its own set of problems. (Gastroenterologists can test for bacterial overgrowth by having you eat sugars and then measuring the amount of hydrogen and methane - bacteria waste products - you exhale.)

I wonder, if here in the states, it's allowed to slide by under "natural flavors" or some other catch all term.

"everything's natural if we say it is"

Well, there are specific requirements that must be met to be labelled as natural flavor, but since most things occur naturally somewhere, industry does get away with shoving a surprising number of ingredients under this label.

"they found that trehalose didn鈥檛 make RT027 grow more鈥攔ather, it produced more toxins, leading to more severe disease"


13 points6 months ago

There is a movie about it.

61 points6 months ago

Time to ban this specific sweetener.

Surprised there isn't a huge class action law suit. 29,000 deaths is a lot of cause.

-16 points6 months ago(2 children)
12 points6 months ago

Or we could ban this specific sugar and use other sugar instead that doesn't seem to have this problem.

Ooph. Ha, no one likes my comment, huh? I'm leery of banning any substance based on a single rodent study. We don't have enough info to say whether or not risks associated with the sugar justify banning.

I'm reminded of the aspartame studies that showed that that sugar substitute was linked to cancer. In mice. In mega doses. Aspartame was taken off the market... But now it's back. Turns out you need to drink hundreds of cans of Diet Coke a day to appreciably increase your cancer risk. Just pointing out that this could be a similar situation.

29 points6 months ago

Very interesting:

鈥淥n the basis of these observations, we propose that the widespread adoption and use of the disaccharide trehalose in the human diet has played a significant role in the emergence of these epidemic and hypervirulent strains,鈥 Britton and colleagues concluded.

Botox is botulism. Its not unusual for some strange things to have useful applications.

-2 points6 months ago


Botox can be useful, not only a vanity thing. There are people with extreme transpiration. When it is really bothersome (like having soaked clothes after just an hour of wearing, or being socially uncomfortable because of it) botox injections under the armpits get rid of that excessive sweating.

It is also used to treat muscular conditions. It certainly isn't only cosmetic. My guess is that the cosmetic aspect was discovered by accident

2 points6 months ago

It can also be used to treat migraines.

-6 points6 months ago(4 children)
4 points6 months ago

Well if it's lipstick then people may be ingesting a bit.

Not to mention that some things can be absorbed by the skin. I don't know if this is one of them though.

0 points6 months ago

It's a sugar, so no.

0 points6 months ago

Not enough to make any difference. Don't forget your body digests this, very little would be left. And if you start with basically none.....

14 points6 months agoedited 6 months ago

I haven't aten ice cream in a long time and I was just in the mood for some ...Not anymore

13 points6 months ago


Normally I'm against grammar corrections but, yes, this was particularly egregious lol.

It's just a dropped letter e away from being eaten.

Never was a English teacher




I scream ... you scream... we all scream ...

oh shit

I knew a guy who was on vacation is Spain and entered an ice cream eating contest. he ate so much, that he ended up developing really bad GI issues (he described them similar to crohn's disease) and became borderline diabetic afterwards. I wonder if it was related.

No, he probably just mechanically damaged his stomach/intestines which resulted in deficits caused by not absorbing nutrition elements correctly.

Pumping your stomach full of ice cold sugar with milk is not very smart!

3 points6 months ago

I really want some ice cream now

Factoid: Trehalose is the blood sugar of bees. It builds up in specialist water stressed plants, helping them to survive extreme desiccation. Some of these rely on micro-organisms to make the trehalose for them. Some Australian species allow their internal organelles to break down into a sort of glassy soup, from which they re-assemble undamaged when water becomes available.

0 points6 months ago

Fact: Factoid means incorrect information presented as true.

Not on this side of the ditch. Here, it means a stand alone statement without context of much justification, but which provides a dramatic punctuation or introduction to something more moderate. "Mysterious explosion of deadly plague..." is not quite a factoid, but then it's not quite a fact, being neither a mystery nor an explosion. (Or strictly speaking, always deadly, or best understood as a plague.) :)


It can also mean "an interesting item of trivia". Both definitions are correct, so OC wasnt wrong.

0 points6 months ago

I suppose, but that is only because some people used the word incorrectly for so long. It鈥檚 intention is the definition i sited.

Never thought I would ever say i'm glad I'm lactose intolerant

Given the properties:

Trehalose鈥檚 strong bond means it鈥檚 resistant to breaking down in high temperatures and acidic conditions. It also seems to have a gel phase that stabilizes and protects cells from extreme dryness and cold.

This stuff is probably used in lots of canned and frozen foods.

Hmm - although it makes for a great headline, in practice I wouldn't change my behaviour wrt to occassional ice cream consumption. Moderation, people!

from the original commercial use study:

"Trehalose (alpha,alpha-trehalose) is a naturally occurring sugar containing two D-glucose units in an alpha,alpha-1,1 linkage. Trehalose functions in many organisms as an energy source or a protectant against the effects of freezing or dehydration. ... On the basis of these toxicity studies, human studies in which doses of trehalose were administered to various populations, and consumption of trehalose in commercial products in Japan, it is concluded that trehalose is safe for use as an ingredient in consumer products when used in accordance with current Good Manufacturing Practices.

2 points6 months ago

Trehalose is also very prevalent in shrimp and insects.

Moderation, people!

This has zero to do with the amount consumed.

If you have the bacteria AND you consume this sugar, it's a bad combination.

It's purely a matter of timing.

The article calls out that it's a nuisance in hospitals, so the best basic plan is to avoid ice cream when in hospital, and maybe for a couple days after you visit one.

Given the fact that it is naturally present in a number of food groups in low concentrations and that the bacteria respond to it at very low concentrations, I would still maintain that moderation is important. That is, moderation by infrequent intake as well as total volume rather than a daily intake of a small volume of, say ice cream

Given the sugar's properties and the fact that it isn't called out on labels, it sounds like you have to take in only a small volume of anything frozen or canned.


Sugar is just bad.

4 points6 months ago

How so? I presume you mean sucrose, too?

5 points6 months ago

I think by sugar he means natural sugar and not artificial sweeteners.

8 points6 months agoedited 6 months ago

Fructose should be considered an anti-nutrient at this point. Nothing good about it. Highly correlated to fatty liver, visceral fat & metabolic syndrome. Only gets metabolized by the liver unlike glucose. Sucrose is 50/50 glucose & fructose.

Fun enough, the one mentioned in the article is trehalose, which is two glucose molecules combined.

Trehalose has about 45% the sweetness of sucrose at concentrations above 22%, but when the concentration is reduced, its sweetness decreases more quickly than that of sucrose, so that a 2.3% solution tastes 6.5 times less sweet as the equivalent sugar solution.

Comment deleted6 months ago(25 children)
41 points6 months ago

Yeah, try chocolate with no sugar, or even ketchup...

I'll keep on sweetin it up thanks.

The word you need is MODERATION, don't binge

16 points6 months ago

I gave up sugar about 20 years ago. You soon find that your sensitivity to sugar goes up and you can't eat foods you once enjoyed.

That happened to me in the last few months when I quit sugar (including sugar substitutes).

Things that were delicious a year ago are unbearably sweet to me now

you can't eat foods you once enjoyed.

why would i want to do that then

1 point6 months agoedited 6 months ago

why would i want to do that then

I don't care what you do. However, I found foods that once tasted like straw became much more tasty.

Because they鈥檙e horrible for you. I have cavities in my teeth and have to seriously consider a future of living with osteoporosis thanks to a decade of sugar overconsumption in my 20s.

That sounds terrible.

I mean, most of us go through this. I remember when I was a wee lad, I could down a box full of milk chocolate all by myself in one night. Now two bites is all I can do without forcing myself.

I'm going through this

Not really. I treated it like coming down from any drug addiction. You felt great in the moment, but after a year or two of being clean you look back at your old ways and realize you actually felt like crap.

Unfortunately I鈥檝e done permanent damage to my teeth and health from years of sugar over-consumption, but now that it鈥檚 out of my system there鈥檚 no way I could ever go back. I used to drink 32 oz of Dr. Pepper daily, and now even the smell is disgusting to me.

5 points6 months ago

Yep. I thought so at the time.

4 points6 months ago

I'm sure you'll live forever

-1 points6 months ago

I'm sure you'll live forever

"I can consume it in MODERATION, don't binge"

-- Alcoholic

-- Meth head

-- Extreme sport participant

-- Cigarette smoker

-- Sugar consumer

Trying to justify their use by calling others "stupid" is a strong sign of addiction.

-2 points6 months ago

I'm none 9f those prick

Life ain't worth living if you don't let yourself eat cake and cookies once and awhile.

2 points6 months ago

How many do you have?

-8 points6 months ago(0 children)

That advice is for drugs and whoring.

The cakes and cookies should've been replaced with a beef jerky culture, but no instead we got this kids crap.

I can't imagine in america though.

I noticed this to a small degree when we cut out full calorie soda for a while. I could almost TASTE the sugar itself, it was so sweet

-13 points6 months ago(0 children)

A vegan diet still allows for sugar.

1 point6 months ago

Go to /r/keto - yup, vegans

0 points6 months ago

No. I did try a non meat diet to save money once. That did not last

Those things also need moderation. Modern chocolate and ketchup and every kind of sauce is almost always way too sweet for me. At least chocolate usually has a large variety to choose from.

-3 points6 months ago

Chocolate and ketchup are the opposite of moderation. Sugar is their main ingredient.

Mystery clickbait

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