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Open Access Commentary

Folate status of gut microbiome affects Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan

Theresa PT Nguyen and Catherine F Clarke*

Author Affiliations

UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Molecular Biology Institute, 607 Charles E Young Dr E, Los Angeles, CA 90095 USA

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BMC Biology 2012, 10:66  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-66

Published: 31 July 2012

Abstract

In a paper in BMC Biology Virk et al. show that Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan is extended in response to a diet of folate-deficient Escherichia coli. The deficiencies in folate biosynthesis were due to an aroD mutation, or treatment of E. coli with sulfa drugs, which are mimics of the folate precursor para-aminobenzoic acid. This study suggests that pharmacological manipulation of the gut microbiome folate status may be a viable approach to slow animal aging, and raises questions about folate supplementation.

See research article http://www.http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/10/67 webcite