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Inhaled Sugar Helps Clear Lungs in Cystic Fibrosis

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Inhalation of a sugar called mannitol improves lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis, a serious genetic disorder characterized by abnormally thick mucus secretions in the lungs and other organs, according to a report by Australian researchers in the journal Chest. Anna Jaques, of Pharmaxis Ltd. in Frenchs Forest, New South Wales and colleagues explain that inhaled mannitol works by drawing fluid into the lungs, which dilutes the thick secretions in the air passages. These diluted secretions are easier for the patients to clear from their lungs.