Achiote (Bixa orellana) Lipophilic Extract, Bixin, andδ-tocotrienol Effects on Lifespan and Stress Resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Planta Med. 2021 Apr ;87(5):368-374. Epub 2020 Oct 29. PMID: 33124008
Darío R Gómez-Linton
The onset of many degenerative diseases related to aging has been associated with a decrease in the activity of antistress systems, and pharmacological interventions increasing stress resistance could be effective to prevent the development of such diseases. Achiote is a valuable source of carotenoid and tocotrienols, which have antioxidant activity. In this work, we explore the capacity of an achiote seed extract and its main compounds to modulate the lifespan and antistress responses on, as well as the mechanisms involved in these effects. Achiote lipophilic extract, bixin, and-tocotrienol were applied on nematodes to carry out lifespan, stress resistance, and fertility assays. The achiote seed extract increased the median and maximum lifespan up to 35% and 27% and increased resistance against oxidative and thermal stresses without adverse effects on fertility. The beneficial effects were mimicked by a bixin+-tocotrienol mixture. All the effects on lifespan and stress resistance were independent of caloric restriction but dependent on the insulin/insulin growth factor-1 pathway. This study could provide insights for further research on a new beneficial use of this important crop in health and nutraceutical applications beyond its use as a source of natural pigments.