The Benefits of Administering Folic Acid in Order to Combat the Oxidative Damage Caused by Binge Drinking in Adolescent Rats

Alcohol Alcohol. 2016 May;51(3):235-41. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agv111. Epub 2015 Oct 3.


Aims: An important mechanism in alcohol-induced injury is biomolecular oxidative damage. Folic acid is supplied to chronic alcoholic patients in order to prevent this situation, as this is the main vitamin deficiency that they suffer from. Acute alcohol exposure, such as binge drinking, is one of the most widespread ethanol consumption models practiced by adolescents. However, there is no evidence of folic acid body profiles after this pattern of consumption.

Methods: Four groups of adolescent rats were used: control, alcohol (exposed to intraperitoneal binge drinking), control folic acid-supplemented group and alcohol folic acid-supplemented group. Folic acid levels, protein, lipid and DNA oxidative damage in serum, and liver glutathione (GSH) and reduced/oxidized glutathione ratio (GSH/GSSG) were measured.

Results: Binge-drinking rats had higher lipids and DNA oxidation levels. They also had lower hepatic GSH levels and GSH/GSSG ratio. Folic acid supplementation to binge-drinking rats does not change the serum protein oxidation but decreases lipid and DNA oxidation. Finally, GSH increased to control levels with folic acid supplementation.

Conclusion: Folic acid supplementation is an economic and efficient therapy against the oxidative damage in lipids and mainly in DNA stability caused by binge drinking during adolescence. It has also been demonstrated that folic acid increases GSH levels, improving the antioxidant status and revealing a hepatoprotective effect during binge drinking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Binge Drinking / metabolism*
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Folic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Folic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Lipids / blood
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Vitamin B Complex / blood
  • Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use


  • Blood Proteins
  • Lipids
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Folic Acid
  • Glutathione