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

Eun Ju Yun, Ah Reum Lee, Jung Hyun Kim, Kyung Mun Cho, Kyoung Heon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


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 5 g/l of AHG, the growth of S. mutans was retarded. At 10 g/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., 40 g/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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-983
Number of pages8
JournalFood Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 15


  • 3,6-Anhydro-L-galactose
  • Agar
  • Anticariogenic
  • Dental caries
  • Red macroalgae
  • Streptococcus mutans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science
  • General Medicine


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