Roles of folate in skeletal muscle cell development and functions

Arch Pharm Res. 2019 Apr;42(4):319-325. doi: 10.1007/s12272-018-1100-9. Epub 2019 Jan 1.


Folate is the generic term for both naturally occurring food folate and folic acid, the fully oxidized monoglutamate form of the vitamin that is used in dietary supplements and fortified foods. It is a water-soluble vitamin B9 and is important for health, growth, and development. As a precursor of various cofactors, folate is required for one-carbon donors in the synthesis of DNA bases and other essential biomolecules. A lack of dietary folate can lead to folate deficiency and can therefore result in several health problems, including macrocytic anemia, elevated plasma homocysteine, cardiovascular disease, birth defects, carcinogenesis, muscle weakness, and difficulty in walking. Several studies have implied that folate might exert a positive effect on skeletal muscle development. However, the precise effects of folate in skeletal muscle development are still poorly understood. Thus, this review provides an updated discussion of the roles of folate in skeletal muscle cell development and the effects of folic acid supplementation on the functions of skeletal muscle cells.

Keywords: Akt; C2C12 cells; Differentiation; Folate; Folic acid; Sarcopenia; Supplementation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Folic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Development / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism


  • Folic Acid