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What is Trehalose?

Trehalose is a sugar that has antioxidant and cryoprotective effects. It can be found in animals, plants, and microorganisms. In cells with trehalose, the cells can be dehydrated and then returned to normal function when water is introduced. It has been shown to have antidepressant properties and can also treat fatty liver disease.

1) Trehalose Protects the Eye

Trehalose can prevent cell damage from UVB rays and increase the rate of healing when UVB damage has occurred (R).

Dry eyes in mice were improved when giving eye drops with trehalose (R).

In humans, dry eye symptoms were reduced when given a 7-day treatment containing trehalose (R).

Eye drops with trehalose preserve human corneal cells (R).

2) Trehalose Has Cardiovascular Benefits

Trehalose improves resistance artery function and reduces the risk factor for cardiovascular disease (R).

Autophagy in specimens with trehalose can maintain cardiac function and mitochondrial quantity (R).

Trehalose increases hypercoagulation in tuberculosis patients (R).

3) Trehalose Protects from Cryopreservation

In bovine calf testicular tissues with trehalose, cell viability and antioxidant enzymes were higher than those without trehalose (R).

Trehalose protects the membrane of ram sperm but did not help with motility and morphology after thawing (R).

Karan Fries (cattle) sperm quality after cryopreservation is better than sperm without trehalose (R).

Boer goat semen treated with trehalose increase motility and membrane integrity after cryopreservation (R).

Cell cultures were better preserved after thawing and were not significantly impacted by glycerol and dimethylsulfoxide (R).

4) Trehalose Is Neuroprotective

By triggering autophagy, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) production is prevented (R).

Trehalose can raise progranulin levels which can benefit those with neurodegenerative disease (R).

Trehalose prevents glia cell breakdown, which can worsen Huntington disease (R).

Trehalose can prevent protein misfolding, a phenomenon that triggers neurodegenerative diseases (R).

5) Trehalose Has Gastrointestinal Benefits

Guava juice and trehalose protected the pancreas and kidney from Type II Diabetes injury (R). Trehalose prevents excessive sugar transport, benefitting autophagy (R) (R).

In rats, there was less gastric injury when rats were introduced to a human gastric carcinoma cell line (R).

Trehalose triggers autophagy, which may prevent insulin resistance-induced myocardial contractile defect and apoptosis (R).


  • Induces enzyme in glucocorticoid receptor (R)
  • Triggers autophagy (R)(R)(R)
  • Improves the expression of an active MeTPS1 gene (R)
  • Increases progranulin expression (R)
  • Increases LC3-I to LC3-II conversion (R)
  • Inhibits p62/SQSTM1 accumulation (R)
  • Increases breakdown of mHTT and alpha-synuclein proteins (R)
  • Reduces mRNA levels of interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-like ligand 1A, interleukin-10, NADPH oxidase 4 and inducible NO synthase levels (R).
  • Increases in inflammatory and T-cell cytokines (R).
  • Increases CD4+ T cells in lung tissues (R).
  • Decreases clot formation time and increase clot firmness (R).
  • Decreases mutant huntingtin, α-synuclein, and phosphorylated tau (R).
  • Reduces produced of amyloid-β peptide (R).
  • Protein stabilizer when damaged by UVB rays (R).

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