Anti-Aging Effect of Riboflavin Via Endogenous Antioxidant in Fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster

J Nutr Health Aging. 2017;21(3):314-319. doi: 10.1007/s12603-016-0752-8.


Objectives: This study investigated the effect of riboflavin on aging in Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly).

Design: Experimental study.

Setting: Naval Medical Research Institute.

Participants: Fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

Intervention: After lifelong supplement of riboflavin, the lifespan and the reproduction of fruit flies were observed. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was used to mimic oxidative stress damage to fruit flies and the survival time was recorded.

Measurements: The activity of copper-zinc-containing superoxide dismutase (SOD1), manganese containing SOD (SOD2) and catalase (CAT) and lipofuscin (LF) content were determined.

Results: Riboflavin significantly prolonged the lifespan (Log rank χ2=16.677, P<0.001) and increased the reproductive capacity (P<0.01 for day 15; P<0.05 for day 30) of fruit flies by lifelong supplement. The survival time of fruit flies damaged by H2O2 was significantly prolonged (Log rank χ2=15.886, P<0.001), the activity of SOD1 (P<0.01) and CAT (P<0.01) was enhanced, and the accumulation of LF (P<0.01) was inhibited by riboflavin supplement.

Conclusion: Riboflavin prolonged the lifespan and increased the reproduction of fruit flies through anti-oxidative stress pathway involving enhancing the activity of SOD1 and CAT and inhibiting LF accumulation. Riboflavin deserves more attention for slowing human aging.

Keywords: Riboflavin; aging; lifespan; oxidative stress; reproduction.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Lipofuscin / metabolism
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Riboflavin / pharmacology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1 / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Lipofuscin
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1
  • superoxide dismutase 2
  • Riboflavin