Molecule of the Week

D-Mannitol

July 7, 2008

D-Mannitol [(2R,3R,4R,5R)-hexane-1,2,3,4,5,6-hexol] is a reduced sugar found in plants ranging from flowering ash (the biblical “manna”, from which it gets its name) to seaweed. It can be prepared by the electrolytic reduction of glucose. It is an unusual sugar alcohol because it is slightly acidic in aqueous solution. It has several medicinal uses, including the controversial practice of reducing intracranial pressure following head trauma.