When Will the Indian Government Stop Feeding the Public With Half-truths and Lies?

Deepti Pradhan
5 min readMay 15, 2021

The most recent half-truth is that 2-Deoxy-D-glucose (2DG) will arrest the spread of Covid-19. Show me the data!

From Reuters

The government, aided by media persons, is falling all over itself to get out stories on how Indian scientists have made the astounding finding that 2-Deoxy-D-glucose will mitigate the spread of Covid-19. The stories are followed by innumerable kudos and what not, without any scientific background and justification for its use provided to the public. As a scientist, what I find most alarming is that (in interviews that I have heard and read) those who are interviewed, scientists and non-scientists alike, have not bothered to credit decades of research on 2DG for them to even begin to consider using it as a possible treatment.

Let’s put things in perspective. Multiple Nobel Prizes have been awarded since 1902, for science that has shone a light on glucose. Glucose is by probably the most important molecule to our existence. Simply put, without glucose cells die. Some cells require more glucose than other cells; cells that are busy multiplying need more glucose to get the multiplication job done. Therefore, if you interfere with the supply of glucose to a cell, the cell will die. A quick PubMed search will reveal that at least since the 1950s various analogues of glucose have been tested as disrupters of a cell’s metabolism. Very quickly 2-Deoxy-D-glucose (2DG) became the analogue of choice to disrupt the availability of glucose to cells. Give cells 2DG, they die. It’s that simple. But there’s a catch.

All cells need glucose and have the capacity to take up glucose from the blood stream; they also have a similar capacity to take up 2DG. Those that are more active metabolically will take up more 2DG — just like when you exercise, muscles take up higher amounts of glucose because muscle cells are busy working (metabolically active), and to sustain themselves they need glucose. Given access to 2DG rather than glucose, the cell’s metabolism will come to a screeching halt because it doesn’t have the machinery to use 2DG as a source of energy, like it uses glucose.

Cellular machinery coming to a screeching halt means a cell will enter a state of doing nothing and eventually dying. In fact this was why…

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Deepti Pradhan

Employed at Yale University, Deepti is primarily a scientist & patient advocate. She runs Tilde Cafe, a forum to make science accessible (www.tildecafe.org)