Fermented cereal-origin gerobiotic cocktails promote healthy longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans .
There is growing interest in dietary interventions, particularly gerobiotics, that directly target aging. Several single-strain gerobiotics have proven to be beneficial in alleviating aging and age-related functional declines across species, but multistrain/multispecies gerobiotics have been proven even more advantageous due to the potential synergy and additive effects among individual isolates. However, there is very limited research on how multistrain/multispecies gerobiotic combinations or cocktails extend healthy longevity. This study comprehensively analyzed probiotic bacteria from traditionally fermented Barnyard millet and compared their efficacy in promoting healthy longevity under various combinations using Caenorhabditis elegans . We have shown that dramatic lifespan extension can be achieved by combining gerobiotics, and the effect was found to be strictly strain-specific. Among the 120 combinations tested, we identified two synergistic gerobiotic combinations, cocktail 55 (combination of B. licheniformis PS70, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus PS77, and L. amylovorus PS60) and cocktail 112 (combination of L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus PS77, L. lactis PS10, and P. pentosaceus PS91), extending the mean lifespan of C. elegans by up to 46.2% and 53.1%, respectively. Our mechanistic study showed that the life-promoting effect of cocktail 55 relied on the p38 MAPK-SKN-1 pathway, while cocktail 112 acted on multiple signaling pathways, including IIS, β-catenin, and TGF-β pathways, to achieve its impact on the host. Moreover, feeding gerobiotic cocktails improved several healthspan markers reported to decline with age. These observations showed that the gerobiotic cocktails target different subsets of the gene regulatory network controlling the aging process in C. elegans , thereby extending healthy longevity.
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