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Alterations in Bacterial Metabolism Contribute to the Lifespan Extension Exerted by Guarana in Caenorhabditis elegans

Reigada, Inés and Kapp, Karmen and Maynard, Claire and Weinkove, David and Valero, Marta Sofía and Langa, Elisa and Hanski, Leena and Gómez-Rincón, Carlota (2022) 'Alterations in Bacterial Metabolism Contribute to the Lifespan Extension Exerted by Guarana in Caenorhabditis elegans.', Nutrients, 14 (9). p. 1986.


Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is a widely consumed nutraceutical with various health benefits supported by scientific evidence. However, its indirect health impacts through the gut microbiota have not been studied. Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model to study both the direct and indirect effects of nutraceuticals, as the intimate association of the worm with the metabolites produced by Escherichia coli is a prototypic simplified model of our gut microbiota. We prepared an ethanoic extract of guarana seeds and assessed its antioxidant capacity in vitro, with a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, and in vivo, utilizing C. elegans. Additionally, we studied the impact of this extract on C. elegans lifespan, utilizing both viable and non-viable E. coli, and assessed the impact of guarana on E. coli folate production. The extract showed high antioxidant capacity, and it extended worm lifespan. However, the antioxidant and life-extending effects did not correlate in terms of the extract concentration. The extract-induced life extension was also less significant when utilizing dead E. coli, which may indicate that the effects of guarana on the worms work partly through modifications on E. coli metabolism. Following this observation, guarana was found to decrease E. coli folate production, revealing one possible route for its beneficial effects.

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Publisher statement:© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/)
Date accepted:05 May 2022
Date deposited:24 October 2022
Date of first online publication:09 May 2022
Date first made open access:24 October 2022

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