DOI: 10.3390/biomedicines12020352 ISSN: 2227-9059

Amelioration of Cytogenotoxic Damage in Drug Abusers Supplemented with Folic Acid

Alejandro Salvador Gómez-Cabrera, Ana Elizabeth González-Santiago, José Francisco Rodríguez-Mora, Guillermo Moisés Zúñiga-González, Belinda Claudia Gómez-Meda, Raúl Cuauhtémoc Baptista-Rosas, Rolando Castañeda-Arellano, Arieh Roldán Mercado-Sesma, Laura Yareni Zúñiga, María Guadalupe Sánchez-Parada
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Background: Cytogenotoxic damage caused by the consumption of legal and illegal drugs in drug abusers has been demonstrated, primarily due to alterations in their antioxidant capacity, cellular repair mechanisms, and increased production of free radicals. Folic acid shows antioxidant activity by acting as a reducing agent, neutralizing present free radicals, and reducing genomic damage. Methods: The intervention involved administering 15 mg of folic acid, divided into three doses per day, to a group of 44 drug abusers. The frequency of nuclear abnormalities (NAs) was determined; micronuclei (MNs), nuclear buds (NBUDs), binucleated cells (BNs), abnormally condensed chromatin (CC), karyorrhexis (KX), pyknotic nuclei (PNs), and karyolysis (KL) were determined at different pre-treatment (baseline) and post-treatment time points at 15 and 30 days. Additionally, a group of 44 healthy individuals was used as the control group. Results: We observed a statistically significant decrease in the frequency of NAs in the drug abuser group (28.45 ± 17.74 before supplementation vs. 11.18 ± 7.42 at 15 days and 9.11 ± 10.9 at 30 days of supplementation). Specifically, it decreased the frequency of NBUDs, BNs, CC, KX, and PNs (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Our study demonstrates a clear improvement in cytogenotoxic damage in drug abusers supplemented with folic acid.

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