Mannitol and bacteria: Here is another... - Cure Parkinson's

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Mannitol and bacteria

LAJ12345 profile image
31 Replies

Here is another piece on mannitol selectively growing bacteria. My husbands faeces analysis showed a big imbalance of aerobic bacteria over anaerobic with large numbers of corynebacterium and streptococcus. Has anyone else who has been taking mannitol had a faeces analysis for bacteria? I would be interested to know if you have the same imbalances. He had no bifidobacterium and not enough lactobacterium so is the mannitol to blame?

“An MSA plate with Micrococcus sp. (1), Staphylococcus epidermidis (2) and S. aureus colonies (3).

Mannitol salt agar or MSA is a commonly used selective and differential growth medium in microbiology. It encourages the growth of a group of certain bacteria while inhibiting the growth of others. This medium is important in medical laboratories as one method of distinguishing pathogenic microbes in a short period of time.[1] It contains a high concentration (about 7.5%-10%) of salt (NaCl), making it selective for Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus and Micrococcaceae) since this level of salt is inhibitory to most other bacteria.[2] It is also a differential medium for mannitol-fermenting staphylococci, containing carbohydrate mannitol and the indicator phenol red, a pH indicator for detecting acid produced by mannitol-fermenting staphylococci. [3] Staphylococcus aureus produces yellow colonies with yellow zones, whereas other coagulase-negative staphylococci produce small pink or red colonies with no colour change to the medium.[4] If an organism can ferment mannitol, an acidic byproduct is formed that causes the phenol red in the agar to turn yellow.[1] It is used for the selective isolation of presumptive pathogenic (pp) Staphylococcus species.[5]”

31 Replies
KERRINGTON profile image

Sorry, I don't have info, just a question..does this info mean mannitol may produce bad bacteria in some of us ?

NRyan profile image

I read this on another site on the internet when researching Mannitol. It is the reason why I haven't turned to Mannitol and hesitate to do so.

Kia17 profile image

Mannitol can act as prebiotics and depends on what type of bacteria we have in our gut ,mannitol feed those bacteria to grow .Taking correct types of probiotics can help the balance in our gut, specially those bacterias that produce β-hydroxybutyrate.

LAJ12345 profile image

I don’t know. That is what I am wondering. It may be that it feeds the bacteria you don’t want and suppresses the ones you do. Or maybe the 12g is such an insignificant amount when you look at all of the sugars produced by digesting carbs that it makes no difference. But if you are on a low carb, no sugar diet it is a larger % of all carbs. That is why I wonder if anyone else has had this faeces test for bacteria. It would be good to see if it common or whether he just has more of this bacteria anyway. He has been on doxycycline for ages for roceacea so that may be the culprit and mannose may be irrelevant. Given the positive benefits of mannose I don’t want to put people off it if it is working for them and causing no issues, but I just wanted people to be aware of this issue.

alexask profile image
alexask in reply to LAJ12345

I only do about 3 grams as any more makes me too loose if you know what I mean. Perhaps 3 grams in the morning with coffee then Probiotics after lunch?

alexask profile image
alexask in reply to LAJ12345

Also having had two days off Mannitol I noticed it, so had to go straight back on!

glenandgerry profile image
glenandgerry in reply to alexask

Curious to know - what did you notice alexask?

alexask profile image
alexask in reply to glenandgerry

Return of a touch of orthostatic hypotension, slight tremor when going to sleep. Face grumpy.

Gioc profile image

in subject treated wisely also by Art here:

LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to Gioc

I think maybe it is a good thing if you have the correct bacteria in your gut that convert mannose into SCFAs but if you have bad mannose eating bacteria it might not be so good.

Gioc profile image
Gioc in reply to LAJ12345

yes! but I think you would see it physically, I use xylitol and some rice warming in the diet.

in reply to LAJ12345

Right off the bat, you know that long term doxy is going to radically alter the gut biome and not likely in a good way! Doxy is also associated with a decline of the SCFA butyrate as is PD. That can't be a positive thing. The mannitol can help in this respect as a butyrate agonist, but you are correct in that only if there are enough of the correct bacteria left for producing butyrate in combination with the mannitol. Gio found a probiotic that had one family member bacteria that is a known butyrate producing bacteria when combined with a prebiotic like mannitol or xylitol. In his case , I believe he tried both and felt the xylitol worked better for him. You can verify that with him. The butyrate is quite anti-inflammatory and brings with it gut healing qualities which are important for the inflammatory PD.

Looking for alternatives to doxy would be a useful exercise. Is the doxy controlling the rosacea? What else has your husband tried for the rosacea? Anything natural? Can your describe the current state of the rosacea after all of this time on doxy? There are some who feel that some cases of rosacea may be caused by a type of mite, but that point is not clear or proven by any means. Trying to repopulate the gut in a specific manner will be more than challenging as long as the doxy is always in play. The gut analysis illustrated this fact pretty clearly!


LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to

Hi Art, he has gone off the doxy as his faeces analysis shows almost all his bifidobacterium have gone and he has too many aerobes compared with anaerobes. I found an article saying if you go off and on it too many times it could cause liver damage and he had come off it for a month to do the faeces test then gone back on it and felt quite ill. He has now been taking berberine and allicin alternating with probiotic under the instruction of a naturapath to try and rebalance his gut but is not feeling very well.

The acne is coming back but the redness of the roceacea hasn’t yet. It has been a month. ACAC has written a very detailed explaination on how to rebalance the gut under a post on depression so I have just reposted the whole thread today as it is very good. They think the protocol has been too brutal and should have been done one thing at a time starting with the scd diet.

I actually bought some of that probiotic that you mentioned but one of the bacteria has some bad write ups especially for people with impaired immunity so I am a bit worried about trying it.


in reply to LAJ12345

There are other bacterial strains which can be effective for the acne if you do not feel comfortable using the one Gio used. Return it and get your money back so you can get one that you feel comfortable with. Fermented food and drink will also be useful.


LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to

Thanks, that’s a very interesting article.

I can’t return the ones we have. Unfortunately being in NZ we had to order them from amazon through a friend in the US as Amazon doesn’t ship here so it is too complicated to return them.😕 I suppose I could onsell them. I suppose the strain of bacteria in them might be different to the one that has caused problems but given he is feeling quite unwell I think it would be unwise to give them to him.

in reply to LAJ12345

I agree, why take it when you/your husband are not comfortable with it? There are plenty of probiotics without it and apparently some are likely to be beneficial for the acne and the gut diversity. I use a 25 strain probiotic with 30 billion CFU and it does not contain those particular strains. it contains FOS as the prebiotic, but I also add xylitol to increase the butyrate producing potential. Gio took that particular product to specifically try and increase butyrate production.


LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to

Thanks Art, could you please tell me what the brand and type of probiotic that you use please? And where you source it from? I am trying to find L. Paracasei NCC2461 as it seems like it is effective treating acne, roceacea, dandruff and excess sebum which are all problems my husband has had for decades but can’t seem to find anyone who sells it. Do you know how much difference the strain number makes? I found one with the same name but different number.

in reply to LAJ12345

I am doubtful that you will find that specific strain as I believe it has only been used in a handful of studies and is not available in any commercial products. I never understand why they do studies using bacteria strains that are not available to the public.

I use a product called Epic Pro, but I am not recommending it or the supplier, just saying I use it and have had recent problems with this supplier, so not recommending either one.

Has you husband tried any alternatives for the acne?


LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to

Well he has been on the doxycycline for years which kept it under control but killed everything else too I think. Now he is taking berberine, allicin alternating week about with this probiotic

Which has L rhamnosus, B. lactis, B. breve and B. longum.

He has also used in the past for a while before having all his testing done which is made in NZ. I guess the doxy killed off all of these.this one does have the paracasei but I don’t know how similar it is to the one in the study. What does the strain number mean? Is it just the batch but basically the same, or are they totally different?


12 Superior & Premium Probiotic Strains providing 75 billion live cells (CFU).

Including HOWARU restore® blend providing 40 billion live cells (CFU):

Lactobacillus Acidophilus (strain ATCC-SD5221)

Lactobacillus paracasei (strain Lpc-37)

Bifidobacterium lactis (strain Bi-07)

Bifidobacterium lactis (strain Bi-04)

Plus premium strains providing 35 billion live cells (CFU):

Lactobacillus plantarum (strain Lp-115)

Lactobacillus salivarius ssp. (strain Ls-33)

Lactobacillus casei (strain Lc-11)

Bifidobacterium breve (strain Bb-03)

Lactobacillus acidophilus (strain La-14)

Lactobacillus rhamnosus (strain Lr-32)

Lactobacillus bulgaricus (strain Lb-87)


Ps just looked up different strains and found the same bacteria with different strain can be totally different.

in reply to LAJ12345

The different strain number is used for a couple of reasons. Usually if it has been developed by a private lab, they are looking for specific reactions in testing that they will be able to repeat in future testing and possibly make a commercially available product that will incorporate that specific strain in it, but these strains do not always make it into commercial products.

That second probiotic looks like a pretty good one! I like the high CFU count!

Even though that is a very high count, look at this article where they used four common everyday bacteria that are typically found in quality probiotics and synbiotics to see if it would have a positive effect on Alzheimer's patients.

It did, but they were also giving the patients 400 billion CFU of each of the four strains or 1.6 trillion CFU / day. Keep in mind that this high dose showed positive results in just 12 weeks! The patients receiving the probiotics in milk had modestly improved test scores while the placebo group declined slightly on the test score. This may be part of the reason why Fecal Microbiome Transplants (FMT) seem to work so fast when they do because it is a larger volume and generally it is known to be replacing what is missing. I really wish they had followed through on this study because not many things show benefit like that for AD and a followup study should have gone larger and longer to see if there would continue to be improvement beyond the original 12 weeks. A 6 or 12 month study would have been very telling. Can you imagine if a 12 month study showed further improvement? That would make probiotics more valuable than any of the current medications for AD and would clearly suggest that FMT could potentially be a viable treatment option for AD. So close yet so far! Once again I think it just comes down to money. Not enough money in probiotics to make it worth doing the research. There is more money to be made on the current AD meds which do little to nothing to actually improve the condition.

I think a major problem with many probiotic studies is the dosing schedule is too low and possibly not frequent enough. I suspect dosing at each meal could also affect the outcome of these studies. In the mean time fermented foods and drinks may offer higher bacteria counts and more diverse bacteria and an appropriate prebiotic seems like a must in order to get the most out of the bacteria that is being added to the gut and to help repair the damaged gut that has permeability issues.

The available studies are clear in showing many health benefits associated with these healthful gut additions.

I think that in the future it would make a lot of sense to include a fecal bacteria analysis with each annual checkup to have an exact history and basis when trying to rebuild the gut biome to improve overall health. Just think if you could create you own FMT at a time when you are in a very healthy state and then the doctor just gives you your own FMT from a frozen stockpile of your own making whenever you are sick!


LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to

Brilliant idea! That sounds like a basis for a new company! I wonder if anyone has thought of that before? I suppose people will be reluctant to pay for it when they don’t think they will need it but it’s too late once you do. Maybe instead of cryogenically freezing bodies to promote longer life they should be offering to freeze your faeces. Wouldn’t take as much space either😁.just one small one would do it!

I heard about a trial I think it was in NZ where obese teens were being given capsules to swallow of faecal bacteria from healthy slim teens. They were screened for pathogens and designed to breakdown at the correct point in the gut and I think they were successful in losing weight. I will try and find out about that trial. I wonder if there are any leftovers 😝

Here it is..

Ps I am going to write to him and ask if it is possible to buy some of these . Probably not, but they must be approved if they are feeding them to teenagers.

Out of interest have you seen this product?

A friend of ours has a son with ADHD who has been in a research project where they have taken these. It made the word of difference to him. It seems to have a lot of the same things that hubby is taking in it but I can’t seem to get an answer out of them about how much of each of the “other “ ingredients there are in them, like NAC, ALC, ginseng, grape seed, ALA, lithium orotate but it does list all the amounts for the vitamins and most minerals on the label.

in reply to LAJ12345

The prebiotics are also quite useful in weight management because some can increase the gut bacteria called Akkermansia muciniphila.

I am wondering if your husband is fairly slim?


LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to

He wasn’t slim pre diagnosis in April this year. He was just at the bottom end of obese by BMI. We have changed diet to more vege, no sugar, gluten, meat and fish once per week, less dairy. Now he is in the middle of normal BMI.

Rhyothemis profile image
Rhyothemis in reply to LAJ12345

I know this is an old post, but I thought I should mention that doxycline can have beneficial effects apart from its antibiotic activity; it reduces inflammation (that's why it is used for acne rosacea and ocular rosacea) and it has been found to reduce the toxicity of alpha-synuclein in mouse models of PD. On balance, I don't know if it is good or bad, that's something I think each person would have to figure out for themselves with the consultation of their dr.

LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to Rhyothemis

My husband’s gut biome was very weird when tested and most of the beneficial bacteria were absent. He had been on doxy for years for roceacea. I am not certain it caused this but it is likely. I think it was the beginning of a downward spiral. Now he controls it with a sugar free diet, and alternating berberine/Allimed one week, probiotics the next. This keeps it at bay but for sure it is more expensive than doxy and more difficult as I have to keep reordering them all! And if he goes off it for a month or so it gradually comes back, but it did with doxy too.

Whatever you do don’t go off and on doxy too may times as it can damage the liver. Also you have to be careful if you are taking multi vitamins, iron, calcium, anti acids etc as they don’t mix.

JAS9 profile image

Where is it written that something that has good effects can't also have some harmful ones? It would be a lovely world if that were true, and sometimes we can find a win-win-win. But I am very leery of something like Mannitol, which seems a little bit exotic. Sometimes it's not immediately obvious that something has a negative effect, and Mannito's potential side effects were already pretty scary. Might be time for some to re-evaluate?

MGP201 profile image


LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to MGP201

Hi to you too😊

Bolt_Upright profile image

Hi LAJ12345, so... where did you come down on Mannitol? I am considering dropping it. Thanks, Bolt.

LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to Bolt_Upright

He’s still taking a tbs per day in his morning coffee. I am not sure one way or another. He stopped for a while then started again. It doesn’t making a noticeable quick difference but might make gradual improvements. I don’t know.

Bolt_Upright profile image
Bolt_Upright in reply to LAJ12345

I just heard the results of the Mannitol trial in Israel. In a small group of patients no difference from placebo was demonstrated over 36 weeks. They should be published next month. Maybe there will be good news in the fine print.

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