Brittany L. Grafa, Shaunak Kamat, Kuan Yu Cheong, Slavko Komarnytsky, Monica Driscoll, Rong Di (2017). Phytoecdysteroid-enriched quinoa seed leachate enhances healthspan and mitochondrial metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans. Journal of Functional Foods 37(1-7).
a. Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University, 59 Dudley Rd, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
b. Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers University, 604 Allison Rd, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
c. Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University, 600 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) phytochemicals have exhibited metabolic benefit in mammals, though their effects on aging and mechanisms of action remain unknown. Caenorhabditis elegans offers a practical in vivo model to study bioactivity since major metabolic pathways are conserved across phyla. We explored the effects of phytoecdysteroid-enriched quinoa seed preparation, termed quinoa leachate (QL), on behavioral and biochemical endpoints of wild-type C. elegans health. QL treatment (1.0 mg/mL or less) increased median lifespan from 9 to 11 d, improved locomotory performance from 103.5 to 114.9 head thrashes/min, and enhanced basal respiration rate by 37%. QL also reduced advanced glycation end-product (AGE) pigments by 24%, reactive oxygen species (ROS) by 20%, and body fat by 14%. 20-Hydroxyecdysone (20HE), the primary phytoecdysteroid in QL, conferred statistically similar benefit compared to QL at equivalent doses. Data suggest that quinoa supplementation slows C. elegans aging and improves metabolic health, and 20HE is the primary bioactive constituent responsible for favorable effects.