This has been demonstrated by the molecular and cellular biology researchers at the Max Planck Institute who have managed to block neuron degeneration in the C. elegans worm by adding these compounds. This research has recently been published in the Biology Open journal. Parkinson’s disease affects the neurons in the substantia nigra or “black substance” of the brain. Their mitochondrial activity shuts down and the brain cells die. The DJ-1 gene, originally suspected to be carcinogenic, is now proven to be linked to Parkinson’s disease.
Its main function is to purify the organism of the toxic by-products of mitochondrial metabolism. Its derivatives, D-lactate and glycolate, allow increased mitochondrial activity to be maintained and thus prevent the degeneration of neurons linked to Parkinson’s disease.
Further research is required to better understand how these two substances produce these curative and preventive effects but a project has been set up to develop a yogurt that is enriched with D-lactate, thereby protecting against Parkinson’s. The authors conclude that it is also “very tasty”.