Kids’ science projects and typical Pinoy Friday fare aside, here’s another reason to keep mung beans handy:
better known as monggo, these contain substances that could help fight sepsis.

Sepsis may be caused by persistent inflammation in the body, resulting in damaged tissues and organs. When an infection sets in, the body sends out chemicals along with antibodies. These chemicals trigger inflammation that can possibly spiral out of control and lead to organ damage. A DNA protein called HMGB1 controls the inflammation in our bodies, and in the case of sepsis patients, the said protein is released in large amounts. Approximately 750,000 Americans are affected by sepsis a year and as much as half die from it.

A study posted at ScienceDaily.com revealed that mung bean (locally known as "monggo") extract reduced the release of HMGB1 in septic laboratory mice. This helped survival rates increase from 29.4 percent to 70 percent. The researchers are positive that if the mung bean extract showed impressive results in mice, then humans with sepsis could also greatly benefit from it. Studies on how the mung bean extract will affect septic humans would be the next step in this study.

Monggo isn't hard to find. In fact, it's pretty easy to grow them even in your backyard. Try including this
healthy bean in your diet once in a while--just make sure that you have your uric acid in check.

(Photo by Stacy Spensley via Flickr Creative Commons)

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