Obesity and its related spectrum of metabolic disorders have emerged as a global health epidemic in recent decades. Non-nutritive sweeteners (NNSs) are increasingly used to replace traditional caloric sugars to reduce energy intake while maintaining tasting flavor in foods and beverages, particularly useful for diabetics and individuals who need to control their blood sugar levels and minimize excessive weight gain.
Rebaudioside A (Reb A) is a natural product obtained from the extracts of Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni). Purified Reb A was approved by FDA in 2008 as GRAS. As a natural NNS, Reb A has been found to possess a variety of biological functions beneficial to organisms. The effect of Reb A on physiological aging, as well as on the healthspan and lifespan in model organisms, has not been previously investigated.
Recently, Dr. SHUI Guanghou’s team at University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) (institute: institute of genetics and developmental biology, CAS) reported that Reb A can extend both the lifespan and healthspan of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a model organism to study various biological processes. The beneficial effects of Reb A were principally mediated via reducing the level of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in response to oxidative stress and attenuating neutral lipid accumulation with aging. Transcriptomics analysis presented maximum differential expression of genes along the target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling pathway, which was further confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR); while lipidomics uncovered concomitant reductions in the levels of phosphatidic acids (PAs), phosphatidylinositols (PIs) and lysophosphatidylcholines (LPCs) in worms treated with Reb A. Results suggest that Reb A attenuates aging by acting as effective cellular antioxidants and also in lowering the ectopic accumulation of neutral lipids.
This work is published online in Antioxidants. LI Pan, a UCAS postgraduate student in Dr. SHUI Guanghou’s team, is the first author. Dr. SHUI Guaghou and Dr Lam Sin Man are the corresponding authors. This research was funded by the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFA0800901, 2018YFA0506902) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (92057202, 31871194).
Editor: GAO Yuan