Folic acid attenuates homocysteine and enhances antioxidative capacity in atherosclerotic rats.
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2017 Jun 2. Epub 2017 Jun 2. PMID: 28575637
Atherosclerosis is a chronic disease that can seriously endanger human life. Folic acid supplementation modulates several disorders, including atherosclerosis, via its antiapoptotic and antioxidative properties. This study investigated whether folic acid alleviates atherogenesis by restoring homocysteine levels and antioxidative capacity in atherosclerosis Wistar rats. To this end, 28 Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups (7 rats/group) as follows: (a) wild-type (WT) group, fed only the AIN-93 semi-purified rodent diet (folic acid: 2.1 mg/kg); (b) high-fat + folic acid-deficient group (HF+DEF) (folic acid: 0.2 mg/kg); (c) high-fat + normal folic acid group (HF+CON) (folic acid: 2.1 mg/kg); and (d) high-fat + folic acid-supplemented group (HF+FA) (folic acid: 4.2 mg/kg). After 12 weeks, histopathological changes in the atherosclerotic lesions of the aortic arch were determined. In addition, serum folate levels, plasma homocysteine levels, plasma s-adenosyl-homocysteine levels, antioxidant status, oxidant status, and lipid profiles were evaluated. The results show aggravated atherosclerotic lesions in the HF+DEF group. Folic acid supplementation increased concentrations of serum folate. Further, folic acid supplementation increased high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, decreased plasma homocysteine levels and improved antioxidant capacity in atherogenic rats. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that folic acid alleviates atherogenesis by reducing plasma homocysteine levels and improving antioxidant capacity in rats fed a high-fat diet.