Category Archives: Meetings and Exhibitions

Vitamin B12 and One Carbon Metabolism in Health and Disease

Vitamin B12 and One Carbon Metabolism in Health and Disease
New Delhi, India 8-10th March 2013

“Vitamin B12 is an important micronutrient linking our diet to health. Deficiency of this vitamin leads to high levels of homocysteine, a key intermediate in the one carbon metabolism pathway that has been associated with several complex disorders. Reports from various parts of India have projected that 30-60% of the population irrespective of the age group are deficient in Vitamin B12.

However, despite the wide prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency there has been a lack of concerted efforts from the clinicians and researches to understand the importance of vitamin B12 in India and conditions arising due to its deficiency, some of which are trans-generational. This meeting would focus attention on this important public health issue for the Indian population.

The meeting will deliberate on the genetic, epigenetic and dietary factors that predispose Indians to vitamin B12 deficiency and hyper-homocysteinemia and provide mechanistic insights on the role of one carbon metabolism in health and disease”


To see the presentation which Axis-Shield made at the conference please click here

Vitamin B12 Symposium 2012

Vitamin B12 Symposium 2012
Nancy, France, September 20th-22nd 2012

This scientific congress reviewed current findings in the field of Vitamin B12. The added utility of Active-B12 was reviewed and discussed in several sessions and was once again shown to be the best single marker of B12 status. Some of the topics are shown below with a summary of the presentations:

The Application of serum holotranscobalamin, supported by methylmalonicacid as a front-line test to assess vitamin B12 status in a mixed patient population.

A. Sobczynska-Malefora, Nutristasis Unit, GSTS Pathology, London, UK

“Assays for holotranscobalamin and MMA can be successfully utilised in tandem to define vitamin B12 status in large mixed patient populations. Initial automated screening by holotranscobalamin identifies an indeterminate cohort who benefit from confirmatory testing by MMA”

Is HoloTC a more valuable biomarker of Vitamin B12 intake and status?

CF Hughes, Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, University of Ulster

“These results support the conclusion that holoTC is a more sensitive biomarker of vitamin B12 status than the more traditional biomarker, serum total B12. HoloTC was more strongly correlated than serum total B12 to dietary intakes in both younger and older adults. HoloTC was able to detect small changes in vitamin B12 intake that were not detected by serum total B12”

HoloTC, the active B12

E. Nexo, Dept of Clinical Biochemistry, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark

“HoloTC or Active-B12 denotes the part of circulating plasma cobalamin available for cells of the body. Current data supports holoTC as a promising biomarker for vitamin B12 status, both when holoTC us used alone or in combination with other biomarkers. Notably holoTC is the biomarker of choice in situations where measurement of total cobalamin is inadequate. During pregnancy total cobalamin declines despite a normal vitamin B12 status while holoTC remains unchanged. In children severely vitamin b12 deficient because of a lack of transcobalamin (total TC), total cobalamin may remain within the reference interval while no holoTC is detected. Finally, newly absorbed vitamin B12 occurs as holoTC, and therefore an increase in holoTC upon oral loading with vitamin B12 can be used to judge the capacity for uptake of the vitamin”

MMA, Hcy and other metabolic markers of vitamin B12 deficiency

W.Herrmann, Dept of Clinical Chemistry, Saarland University, Germany

“Vitamin B12 deficiency is more widespread in the population than has been assumed so far. Measurement of total vitamin B12 has limited diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, especially in the concentration range <400pmol/L…..a lowered serum holoTC concentration (but normal MMA) is the earliest marker of vitamin B12 deficiency and signals that the body does not have sufficient available vitamin B12…Lowered holoTC combined with raised MMA and homocysteine levels are indicative of metabolically manifest vitamin B12 deficiency. The new markers enable the detection of vitamin deficiency notably more often.”


B-vitamins and Choline 2012

This well-attended conference in Leipzig in March 2012 once again highlighted the increasingly important role of testing for Active-B12 (Holotranscobalamin).

Following this conference, an International Expert Panel released the following Consensus Statement.

Pernicious Anaemia Society, June 2011

Pernicious Anaemia Society: Diagnosing B12 Deficiency – Problems, Consequences and Resolution
June 2011, Porthcawl, Wales

The Pernicious Anaemia Society held a symposium and study day in Porthcawl, Wales in June 2011 to highlight the problems of diagnosing B12 deficiency and the potentially serious implications. A number of informative talks were given from leading experts on Vitamin B12.

The speakers recognised that current testing for B12 status using the Total B12 assay is flawed due to the non-specific nature of the test. Several of the speakers recommended the use of the more specific and sensitive Active-B12 assay for diagnosing B12 deficiency.

Dr Fiona Porter-Smith, GP, Cwm Garw Practice, Bridgend.
The Problems of Diagnosing B12 Deficiency: The Patient Perspective

Professor John Scott, Professor of Molecular Medicine, Trinity College Dublin
The Absorption of Vitamin B12 and it’s Interruptions; revisited

Dr Anne Molloy, Clinical Lead, Vitamin Research Group, Trinity College Dublin
Should HoloTC be the first line diagnostics procedure for assessment of vitamin B12 status? A comparison of the performance of blood indicators of tissue B12 status

Professor Helga Refsum and Professor David Smith, University of Oxford
Low-normal B12 status: assessment, prevalence and association with disease

Dr Siddarth Banka, Regional Genetics Service, University of Manchester
Pernicious Anaemia – Genetic Insights

Professor John Hunter, Professor of Medicine, University of Cranfield
Does the large bowel sometimes have an effect on B12 metabolism?

Dr Joseph Chandy, GP, Shinwell Medical Centre
A Protocol for B12 Diagnosis and Treatment by Primary Care Clinicians

The symposium concluded with a powerful documentary made by the society entitled ‘Living with the Fog’. The film highlights the serious issues in diagnosis and treatment of B12 deficiency and the devastating effects it can have on patients.

For further information please see

8th International Conference on Homocysteine Metabolism Lisbon, June 19-22nd 2011

8th International Conference on Homocysteine Metabolism
Lisbon, Portugal June 19-22nd 2011

Several sessions at the conference focussed on Homocysteine in relation to Vitamin B12. The importance of correctly estimating B12 levels was once again highlighted. Some of the presentations and posters from the conference are shown below. For more information on these presentations, please contact Axis-Shield.

Plasma vitamin B12 and holoTC – between uptake and utilisation
Ebba Nexo (Aarhus, Denmark)
Vitamin B12 intracellular trafficking
Brian Fowler (Basel, Switzerland)
Holotranscobalamin predicts tissue vitamin B12 status (red cell cobalamin) in elderly subjects with significantly greater accuracy than either total serum cobalamin or methylmalonic acid
Anne Molloy (Dublin, Ireland)
Baseline homocysteine is crucially important in trials with B vitamin: the VITACOG trial
David Smith (Oxford, United Kingdom)
Cognitive function in an elderly population: interaction between vitamin B12 status, depression and apolipoprotein E4. the Hordaland homocysteine study
Anna Vogiatzoglou (Reading, United Kingdom)