Determination of the effects of food preservatives benzoic acid and sodium nitrate on lifespan, fertility and physical growth in Caenorhabditis elegans
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Presently, the use of protective food additives such as benzoic acid and sodium nitrate is quite common. However, it was found that these additives, which initially appeared to be harmless, led to the emergence of a number of health problems. Cancer and diseases and deaths with no apparent causes are among the leading concerns. Therefore, the studies which can reveal the genotoxic potential of food preservatives and their negative effects on human health are very important in terms of ensuring food safety. Many model organisms are used to show these negative effects. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is an important model organism, which is frequently used in determining the negative effects and toxic doses of substances that are toxic to or may have toxic effects on humans. In the present study, the aim was to determine the effects of different doses of benzoic acid and sodium nitrate, which are among the protective food additives known to cause certain diseases in humans, on lifespan, fertility and physical growth of C. elegans. Within the scope of the study; instead of the standard nutrient, C. elegans was supplemented with 5 different doses (0.006 g, 0.01 g, 0.02 g, 0.05 g, 0.1 g/10 mL) of benzoic acid and consequently, sodium nitrate, and lifespan, fertility and physical growth changes were examined in C. elegans which were exposed to different doses of benzoic acid and sodium nitrate. The findings were evaluated by reaching to comparisons with the control groups. At the end of the study, it has been determined that 0.01 g, 0.02 g, 0.05 g, 0.1 g/10 mL doses of benzoic acid, and all the administered doses of sodium nitrate (0.006 g, 0.01 g, 0.02 g, 0.05 g, 0.1 g/10 mL) have detrimental effects on lifespan, fertility and physical growth in C. elegans. On the other hand, 0.006 g/10 mL dose of benzoic acid did not cause any significant difference in lifespan and when compared to the control group. However, at a dose of 0.006 g/10 mL of benzoic acid, physical growth and fertility was found to be less than that of control group. As a result, it was determined that benzoic acid and sodium nitrate have negative effects on lifespan, fertility and physical growth due to dose increase.