Sunday, August 24, 2014

Did You Know That There's Sugar in Your Shrimp and Lobster?

It was shocking enough for many in the Paleo/ancestral and LC communities to learn that there's a super-"safe" starch called resistant starch. When they get around to investigating trehalose, their minds may really be blown! Trehalose (aka "mushroom sugar") is a super-healthy sugar that's found in fungi (such as shiitake, maitake, nameko, and Judas's ear mushrooms), sea algae, honey, and even crustaceans (such as shrimp and lobster) and insects.

As with resistant starch, Paul Jaminet, the "safe-starches" guy, was ahead of the crowd, touching on trehalose back in 2010:

Trehalose may provide some amazing benefits. Physician and anti-aging researcher James Watson reported that trehalose "activates autophagy via an mTOR-independent mechanism." (Autophagy – the housekeeper in every cell that fights aging, Posted on 19 April 2013)

Paleo dieters and Peatarians alike might be interested to learn that trehalose has been found to suppress lipid oxidation, a partiular concern with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that are sensitive to oxidation. Trehalose may also "have a kind of suppressive effect on the development of osteoporosis." (Novel functions and applications of trehalose, Takanobu Higashiyama, Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 74, No. 7, pp. 1263–1269, 2002.

Diabetics have been reporting that trehalose improves their blood sugar numbers. (JC Spencer, "The Sugar Trehalose is helping Diabetics,"

Trehalose even reduced the symptoms of parkinsonism in mice. (Trehalose ameliorates dopaminergic and tau pathology in parkin deleted/tau overexpressing mice through autophagy activation, Neurobiol Dis., 2010,

Out of curiosity, I've been experimenting with a trehalose powder (I know, I know, an "evil processed powder"! ;-) ). Instead of causing my teeth and gums to become coated in gunk, I find it slightly cleans them. It seems to reduce my remaining minor dandruff a bit too, though that's more difficult to tell. I haven't noticed any negative effects. It's a bit pricey, though, so I doubt I'll buy much more of it. Trehalose may at least be another reason to eat mushrooms, crustaceans and honey, and some day maybe even insects.

No comments: