About Folate

The terms « Folate » and « folic acid », also known as vitamin B9, are often used interchangeably to indicate a group of water-soluble B-vitamins. Actually, there are differences in the forms:

1st generation - Food folate

Refers to the various tetrahydrofolate derivatives naturally present in foods.

2nd generation - Folic acid

Got its name from folium, the Latin word for leaf, when it was isolated from spinach in 1941. It is a synthetic oxidised molecule, that does not occur in nature but can be utilised by the human body as a precursor to form natural folates that are biologically active. Folic acid lacks coenzyme activity and must be reduced to the metabolically active form within the cell, through a series of biochemical steps before it can be used by the body’s cells in vital metabolic pathways such as DNA production, cell reproduction and homocysteine metabolism.

3rd generation - (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate calcium salt

In 1989 Bioresearch S.p.A. was the first company to evaluate the real importance of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (or methylfolate) and filed the use of stable pharmaceutical composition of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. The calcium salt of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate is available commercially and represents the third generation of folate. Until now, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate calcium salt was the only folic acid derivative available on the market, and able to penetrate the body cells without the need of further metabolism process.

The 4th Generation: Quatrefolic®

The goal for Gnosis by Lesaffre’s R&D was to develop an innovative folate salt form able to overcome the existing calcium salt form limitations related to stability and poor solubility. In February 2008, Gnosis by Lesaffre patented a new generation of folate derivative, brand named Quatrefolic®, (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate glucosamine salt.

Quatrefolic® represents the fourth generation folate endowed with long-lasting stability as well as a peculiarly high water solubility, improved bioavailability, and well-established safety.

Newsletter - Quatrefolic

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