Trehalose, a well-known stress-protector of biomolecules, has been investigated for its effect on the mobility, hydration and hydrogen bond interaction of lactose using diffusion-ordered NMR spectroscopy and NMR of hydroxy protons. In ternary mixtures of trehalose, lactose and water, the two sugars have the same rate of diffusion. The chemical shifts, temperature coefficients, vicinal coupling constants and ROE of the hydroxy protons in trehalose, lactose and sucrose were measured for the disaccharides alone in water/acetone-d6
solutions as well as in mixtures. The data indicated that addition of trehalose did not change significantly the strength of the hydrogen bond interaction between GlcOH3 and GalO5' in lactose. Small upfield shifts were however measured for all hydroxy protons when the sugar concentration was increased. The chemical shift of the GlcOH3 signal in lactose showed less change, attributed to the spatial proximity to GalO5'. Chemical exchange between hydroxy protons of lactose and trehalose was observed in the ROESY NMR spectra. Similar effects were observed with sucrose indicating no specific effect of trehalose at the concentrations investigated (73 to 763 mg/mL) and suggesting that it is the concentration of hydroxy groups more than the type of sugars which is guiding intermolecular interactions.