Could a Sweetener Used in Diabetic Food Be a Tool In The Fight Against Parkinson’s Disease?

It sounds almost too good to be true: Mannitol, a common sweetener used in diabetic food, may be a weapon in the fight against neuron decline in Parkinson’s Disease.

“In 2013, researcher Daniel Segal, PhD, his longtime collaborator, Ehud Gazit, PhD, and several colleagues at Tel Aviv University published preclinical research showing that mannitol could prevent the aggregation of toxic clumps of alpha-synuclein protein. In animal models of Parkinson’s, they saw that it eased certain Parkinson’s-like symptoms and stemmed the loss of the dopamine-producing (dopaminergic) neurons that are lost over the course of the disorder.”

Research into Mannitol’s effects on alpha-synuclein is still in the early stages. But since the additive is both common, inexpensive, and has decades of history on store shelves, studies into its efficacy should be able to ramp up quickly.

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