Jesus Arellano Spadaro, Yukihiro Hishida, Yukihisa Matsunaga, Monique van Es‐Remers, Henrie Korthout, Hye Kyong Kim, Eefje Poppelaars, Hiskias Keizer, Eva Iliopoulou, Bert van Duijn, Marjolein Wildwater, Lotte van Rijnberk

3′sialyllactose and 6′sialyllactose enhance performance in endurance‐type exercise through metabolic adaptation

  • Food Science

AbstractHuman milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) belong to a group of multifunctional glycans that are abundantly present in human breast milk. While health effects of neutral oligosaccharides have been investigated extensively, a lot remains unknown regarding health effects of acidic oligosaccharides, such as the two sialyllactoses (SLs), 3′sialyllactose (3′SL), and 6′sialyllactose (6′SL). We utilized Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to investigate the effects of SLs on exercise performance. Using swimming as an endurance‐type exercise, we found that SLs decrease exhaustion, signifying an increase in endurance that is strongest for 6′SL. Through an unbiased metabolomics approach, we identified changes in energy metabolism that correlated with endurance performance. Further investigation suggested that these metabolic changes were related to adaptations of muscle mitochondria that facilitated a shift from beta oxidation to glycogenolysis during exercise. We found that the effect of SLs on endurance performance required AMPK‐ (aak‐1/aak‐2) and adenosine receptor (ador‐1) signaling. We propose a model where SLs alter the metabolic status in the gut, causing a signal from the intestine to the nervous system toward muscle cells, where metabolic adaptation increases exercise performance. Together, our results underline the potential of SLs in exercise‐associated health and contribute to our understanding of the molecular processes involved in nutritionally‐induced health benefits.

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