Running apache as root is a Bad Idea.
Here's the error that pops up when I attempt to do so:
Error: Apache has not been designed to serve pages while
running as root. There are known race conditions that
will allow any local user to read any file on the system.
If you still desire to serve pages as root then
add -DBIG_SECURITY_HOLE to the EXTRA_CFLAGS line in your
src/Configuration file and rebuild the server. It is
strongly suggested that you instead modify the User
directive in your httpd.conf file to list a non-root
If you are having permissions problems, running the affected program as root is the wrong way of solving them. Change the permissions of the files/directories as necessary, or add the user that apache runs as to a group with rights to those files/directories (NOT the root group). If apache runs as the nobody user (it does on my system), you'll probably want to create a special apache group and user, and then change the ownership of those files as necessary.