New highlights on folate MTHFR polymorphism from ICHOCM 2017. Really interesting scientific data have been presented at the just closed 11th International Conference on Homocysteine and One-Carbon Metabolism, held in Aarhus, Denmark last week. As a part of a wider plan, Gnosis is proud to have been official sponsor of the event.

During the four-day convention, many internationally experts gave lectures about the One-Carbon Metabolism (often referred as methylation cycle) and its link with Folate, SAMe and Glutathione, in order to share and learn the latest scientific knowledge and experiences and enhance our facilities.

The scientific program full of speeches and researches by the foremost scientists from all around the world brings you to the topic of the conferences that is "Taking science to the next level – challenging paradigms and conventions".

Among others, two special focuses have been devoted to:

1) the role of methyltetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism (MTHFR) and its incidence in health and disease, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Parkinson’s disease), birth defects, and comorbidities associated with obesity;

2) challenges to evaluating evidence of risks from high intakes of folic acid by supplementation.

For a company like Gnosis, pioneer in the development of vital components involved in methylation cycle and One-Carbon Metabolism network, this conference has been the timely occasion to explore, characterise and strengthen knowledge about the role of Quatrefolic®, the biologically active form of folate, that support the cycle independently of genetic variation of MTHFR enzyme, and free from risk of accumulation typical of folic acid administration.

MTHFR enzyme catalyzes the irreversible conversion of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to the active form of folate, the 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) and is considered the key in the One-Carbon Metabolism pathway. Deficiencies in production or function due to polymorphism are implicated with elevated homocysteine concentrations and consequently in chronic disease states.

MTHFR deficiency increases the risk of stroke, reports the work presented by Dr. Nafisa M. Jadavji et al. Stroke is a leading cause of disability and death world-wide. She has investigated the mechanism through which the MTHFR polymorphism may have a role using in vitro and in vivo tools. Study results point out that individuals with the homozygous polymorphism of MTHFR (TT genotype) have elevated homocysteine concentrations and that MTHFR deficiency increases vulnerability to stroke and leads to more severe impairment after stroke through increased apoptosis and oxidative stress.

Regarding folic acid scientific research is increasingly interested on the potential for adverse effects of high intakes of folic acid. Interesting results have been presented by Dr. Emily C. McGowan et al. on the hypothesis that the increased food allergy prevalence observed in recent years may involve changes in our nutrition, including increased exposure to folic acid through fortification and supplement use.

Moreover new highlights have been presented about the connection between One-Carbon’s perturbations and the deficiency of specific nutrients vital for life such as S-adenosylmethionine/SAMe, and glutathione, both present in Gnosis’ pipeline like Adonat® and Emothion™.

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