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3,6-Anhydro-l-galactose, a rare sugar from agar, a new anticariogenic sugar to replace xylitol

Yun, Eun Ju, Lee, Ah Reum, Kim, Jung Hyun, Cho, Kyung Mun, Kim, Kyoung Heon
Food chemistry 2017 v.221 pp. 976-983
Streptococcus mutans, agar, dental caries, dietary carbohydrate, macroalgae, sugar substitutes, xylitol
The significance for anticariogenic sugar substitutes is growing due to increasing demands for dietary sugars and rising concerns of dental caries. Xylitol is widely used as an anticariogenic sugar substitute, but the inhibitory effects of xylitol on Streptococcus mutans, the main cause of tooth decay, are exhibited only at high concentrations. Here, the inhibitory effects of 3,6-anhydro-l-galactose (AHG), a rare sugar from red macroalgae, were evaluated on S. mutans, in comparison with those of xylitol. In the presence of 5g/l of AHG, the growth of S. mutans was retarded. At 10g/l of AHG, the growth and acid production by S. mutans were completely inhibited. However, in the presence of xylitol, at a much higher concentration (i.e., 40g/l), the growth of S. mutans still occurred. These results suggest that AHG can be used as a new anticariogenic sugar substitute for preventing dental caries.