Deuterated Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Reduce Oxidative Stress and Extend the Lifespan of C. elegans

Front Physiol. 2019 May 28:10:641. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00641. eCollection 2019.


Chemically reinforced essential fatty acids (FAs) promise to fight numerous age-related diseases including Alzheimer's, Friedreich's ataxia and other neurological conditions. The reinforcement is achieved by substituting the atoms of hydrogen at the bis-allylic methylene of these essential FAs with the isotope deuterium. This substitution leads to a significantly slower oxidation due to the kinetic isotope effect, inhibiting membrane damage. The approach has the advantage of preventing the harmful accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by inhibiting the propagation of lipid peroxidation while antioxidants potentially neutralize beneficial oxidative species. Here, we developed a model system to mimic the human dietary requirement of omega-3 in Caenorhabditis elegans to study the role of deuterated polyunsaturated fatty acids (D-PUFAs). Deuterated trilinolenin [D-TG(54:9)] was sufficient to prevent the accumulation of lipid peroxides and to reduce the accumulation or ROS. Moreover, D-TG(54:9) significantly extended the lifespan of worms under normal and oxidative stress conditions. These findings demonstrate that D-PUFAs can be used as a food supplement to decelerate the aging process, resulting in extended lifespan.

Keywords: C. elegans; deuterated fatty acid; essential fatty acids; lifespan; linolenic acid; lipid peroxidation; oxidative stress; polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA).