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Folic acid supplementation at lower doses increases oxidative stress resistance and longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans


Folic acid (FA) is an essential nutrient that the human body needs but cannot be synthesized on its own. Fortified foods and plant food sources such as green leafy vegetables, beans, fruits, and juices are good sources of FA to meet the daily requirements of the body. The aim was to evaluate the effect of dietary FA levels on the longevity of well-known experimental aging model Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we show for first time that FA extends organism life span and causes a delay in aging. We observed that FA inhibits mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and insulin/insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling pathways to control both oxidative stress levels and life span. The expression levels of stress- and life span-relevant gerontogenes, viz. daf-16, skn-1, and sir. 2.1, and oxidative enzymes, such as glutathione S-transferase 4 (GST-4) and superoxide dismutase 3 (SOD-3), were also found to be highly enhanced to attenuate the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) damage and to delay the aging process. Our study promotes the use of FA to mitigate abiotic stresses and other aging-related ailments.

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We are grateful to the Director, CSIR–CIMAP, Lucknow, India, for his kind support. The C. elegans strains used in this study were provided by the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center, which is funded by the National Center for Research Resources of NIH. BAA was supported by the CSIR, India (31/029(0251)/2013-EMR-I).

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Correspondence to Rakesh Pandey.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Laxmi Rathor and Bashir Akhlaq Akhoon contributed equally to this work.

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Rathor, L., Akhoon, B.A., Pandey, S. et al. Folic acid supplementation at lower doses increases oxidative stress resistance and longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans . AGE 37, 113 (2015).

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  • Folic acid
  • Oxidative stress
  • Dietary restriction
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Aging