In America, there are high rates of obesity and obesity related diseases partially due to a high glucose diet. Possessing a propensity towards reversing a glucose rich diet, probiotics, live microorganisms such as yogurt, were used to combat this. To experiment with humans let alone mice would be tedious, so, another organism-the microscopic nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans was used. Because C. elegans possesses homology with humans, they can be used to study probiotics with application in humans. Sponsored by the Creative Inquiry program, this project analyzed the relationship between different probiotics and their effect on lifespan. With Escherichia coli OP50 as the control and varying Lactobacillus strains as the experimental groups, lifespan assays were conducted. Our results show that certain probiotics increase the lifespan and reverse the consequences of a high glucose diet. Conversely, certain probiotic species, such as Lactobacillus plantarum, can decrease and promote negative health consequences in C. elegans. From these results, the understanding of the human microbiome and better treatments for obesity and obesity related diseases can be made.
Nguyen, Diana; Tran, Steven; and Gitto, Andrew, "Probiotics Effect on Healthspan in the Model Organism Caenorhabditis elegans" (2015). Focus on Creative Inquiry. 91.