Sweet success? Study backs mannitol for Parkinson’s disease

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gene, Neurology

Sweet success? Study backs mannitol for Parkinson’s disease
The sweetener mannitol may help decrease the risk of Parkinson's disease by reducing the  potentially dangerous 'clumping' of proteins in the brain, according to new research.

The study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry​, suggests that the artificial sweetener could be a novel way to reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases because it prevents clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein forming in the brain — a process that is characteristic of Parkinson's disease.

Led by Professors Ehud Gazit and Daniel Segal from Tel Aviv University, Israel, the research team found that mannitol was among the most effective agents in preventing aggregation of the protein in test tubes before testing its ability to block formation in fruit flies and mice.

Study details

Gazit and Segal first identified the structural characteristics that lead to the development of clumps of alpha-synuclein, before the team began to hunt for a compound that could inhibit the proteins' ability to bind together.

Then, in order to test the capabilities of the sweetener in the living brain, the team turned to transgenic fruit flies engineered to carry the human gene for alpha-synuclein.

They used a 'climbing assay' test in which the ability of flies to climb the walls of a test tube indicates their locomotive capability. Initially 72% of normal flies were able to climb up the test tube, compared to only 38% of the genetically-altered flies. However when the team then added mannitol to the food of the genetically-altered flies for 27 days and repeated the experiment 70% of the flies could complete the test.

In addition, the team saw a 70% reduction in aggregates of alpha-synuclein in mutated flies that had been fed mannitol, compared to those that had not.

Segal and Gazit noted that these findings in flies were then confirmed in a second study which measured the impact of mannitol on mice engineered to produce human alpha-synuclein. After four months, the researchers found that mice given mannitol also showed a dramatic reduction of alpha-synuclein in the brain.

Segal noted that the benefit of mannitol as a compound to reduce the risk of and possibly even treat Parkinson's is in that it is already approved for use in a variety of foods and for clinical interventions.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

OPUNXIA ORGANIC FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET WELLNESS

OPUNXIA ORGANIC FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET WELLNESS

BIONAP Srl | 28-Oct-2021 | Data Sheet

OPUNXIA™ has a high concentrated and standardized polysaccharides profile. It is produced in powder form through specialized technologies to ensure the...

Botanical extracts from the Mediterranean rim

Botanical extracts from the Mediterranean rim

Robertet Health & Beauty | 28-Sep-2021 | Product Brochure

The Mediterranean rim is one of earth’s most biologically rich terrestrial regions. It induces a special flora, with arborescent crops and evergreen trees...

COGNIGRAPE™ GRAPE EXTRACT FOR COGNITIVE HEALTH

COGNIGRAPE™ GRAPE EXTRACT FOR COGNITIVE HEALTH

BIONAP Srl | 07-Sep-2021 | Product Brochure

COGNIGRAPE™ is a standardized solid extract obtained from a Sicilian grape variety. Thanks to the high content of ANTHOCYANINS and PROANTHOCYANIDINS, COGNIGRAPE™...

Related suppliers

2 comments

Mannitol for MS?

Posted by Bernie Desgagnes,

Could the same be said for MS?

Report abuse

Iron chelator Mannitol

Posted by Tom Hennessy,

The effects of Mannitol may be due to its ability to chelate iron.
"Mannitol, a hydroxyl scavenger and weak iron chelator"

Iron in the brain is being studied in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's.
"Iron content in basal ganglia in Parkinson’s disease"

Report abuse

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars