Folate can be a valuable sports nutrition ingredient, says Gnosis

May 30, 2019

Gnosis by Lesaffre is making the case for using folate in sports nutrition supplements. 

Gnosis by Lesaffre (Desio, Italy) is making the case for using folate in sports nutrition supplements. Personalized nutrition trends are leading people to products that fit specific nutritional needs, and in the case of folate, there is a population of people who would benefit from folate supplementation, especially if they want to improve athletic performance. For example, people with polymorphisms of genotypes in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), an enzyme involved in folate metabolism, or a low dietary folate intake are at risk of hyperhomocysteinemia, which is the abnormally high level of homocysteine in the blood. Those with hyperhomocysteinemia are at risk of skeletal muscle malfunction as well as cardiovascular disease.

For example, Gnosis cites a 2016 study1 in which randomly selected soccer players and sedentary male students without the polymorphism in TT genotypes of MTHFR had more favorable body composition and performance measures such as aerobic and anaerobic threshold rates, compared to subjects that did have the polymorphism. MTHFR is an enzyme that allows the body to transform food folate and folic acid into the active form of folate, 5-Methylfolate, used by the body’s cells. Consumers can find 5-Methylfolate in products like Quatrefolic from Gnosis, which the firm says has a direct role in the synthesis of new cells and in the building and repairing of body tissues, including those injured due to physical activity.

“Whereas it is really known that folate plays an important role in human growth and development, and people need to maintain an adequate intake of folate during all stages of life – pregnancy, lactation, childhood and aging, but also for infertility and mood - the significant function of folate for active people who practice sports should be better known,” says Lorena Carboni, product support specialist for Gnosis. “Athletes often do not assume the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of folate, with potential nutritional impairment. To increase knowledge on this topic we have just issued a specific digital magazine which is totally focused on Quatrefolic and sport.”


1. Dinç N. et al. “The effect of the MTHFR C677T mutation on athletic performance and the homocysteine level of soccer players and sedentary individuals.” Journal of Human Kinetics, vol. 51 (2016): 61-69