Mary Poppins sang that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”, and it seems that this may be true. A recent study found that infants, who on average receive more than a dozen vaccines by 18 months of age, cried less if they were given a few drops of a sugar solution prior to an injection.
The researchers from the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, Jordan, reviewed data from 14 studies of over 1500 infants between birth and a year of age. They and found those who were given the sugary solution a few minutes before being vaccinated cried for a shorter time than those who were given only water. It is thought that sugar triggers the release of pain-relieving chemicals in the body, and in turn reduces pain. Taste receptors that induce a sense of comfort may also be responsible for the reduction in crying.
Source: Science Daily, Dec. 11, 2012