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Biology

Impryl is formulated to contain the key donor and cofactor molecules involved in 1C metabolism. These molecules were chosen specifically because they help support proper functioning of 1C metabolism, which in turn leads to five critical biological outputs. Importantly, each of output has a beneficial effect on egg and sperm biology.

1C Metabolism Overview

1C metabolism is an interconnected network of biochemical cycles (folate and methionine) and biochemical pathways (betaine and transsulfuration) that involves the transfer of a single methyl group from one molecule to another. This seemingly simple process facilitates a diverse array of important biological output, including: homocysteine recycling, synthesis of DNA and RNA, cellular energy production, natural antioxidant activity and gene expression.

Why are these biological outputs important?

 

Homocysteine Recycling

Homocysteine is a central intermediate in the methionine pathway of 1C metabolism. Elevated levels of homocysteine (hyperhomocysteinemia) can occur when 1C metabolism is suboptimal, due to lifestyle choices like alcohol or tobacco use, poor diet or underlying genetic variation (see below); and hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for multiple reproductive health issues, including male and female infertility, preeclampsia, miscarriage, and neural tube defects like spina bifida. These extremely serious health outcomes are likely why 1C metabolism utilizes three unique mechanisms to promote homocysteine recycling to methionine and prevent hyperhomocystenemia.

DNA and RNA Synthesis

For cells to function normally, they must be able to synthesize DNA and RNA at the right time. This is particularly true for eggs and sperm during reproduction. For example, spermatogenesis (sperm development) must begin with DNA synthesis for each and every sperm cell; in fact, without the ability to synthesize DNA, sperm could not be made. While eggs don’t need to make DNA, they are dependent on RNA synthesis to make protein during folliculogenesis and ovulation. In the absence of this RNA synthesis, these processes could not occur normally. For cells to synthesize DNA and RNA they need molecular building blocks called nucleotides, and the folate cycle of 1C metabolism creates a critical pool of nucleotides to specifically support DNA and RNA synthesis.

Natural Antioxidant Activity

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are toxic molecules that are formed during normal cellular events, like energy production, or by harmful external agents, like radiation, smoke, certain drugs and heavy metals. Excess ROS create a metabolic imbalance called oxidative stress, which is known to have a negative effect on eggs and sperm, both independently and when they are attempting to fuse during fertilization. Due to these detrimental effects, your body has several mechanisms to deal with ROS, the most important of which is the naturally occurring antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione is synthesized by the transsulfuration pathway of 1C metabolsim, and has two important roles: 1) neutralization of excess ROS and 2) regeneration of the active forms of other natural antioxidants, including Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Together, these activities maintain metabolic balance and permit normal cellular function.

Cellular Energy Production

In the cells in your body, including eggs and sperm, tiny structures called mitochondria are busy producing the energy needed to support cellular function. As a by-product of cellular energy production, however, mitochondria produce a toxic molecule called ROS, as described above. If not dealt with properly, accumulation of excess ROS cause irreversible damage, which leads to mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death. Fortunately, the transsulfuration pathway of 1C metabolism sustains natural antioxidant activity (see above) that prevents ROS from causing damage, thereby allowing the mitochondria to produce energy to support things like sperm motility.

Gene Expression

From the earliest moments of your life, gene expression has been occurring to produce specific biological output, like your eye color or the shape of your nose. One way this happens is through an important process called epigenetics, which is just a fancy way of saying that gene expression can be influenced without changing the underlying DNA sequence. One well-known example of this phenomenon is the transfer of activated methyl groups to DNA or histone proteins to either increase or decrease gene expression. Methylation of genes and proteins play important roles in virtually all cell types, including sperm and eggs, and for methyl groups to be properly deposited and regulated, cells need both a pool of activated methyl donors and natural antioxidant activity. The central importance of 1C metabolism in gene expression is illuminated here, since the methionine pathway leads to synthesis of your body’s most important methyl donor (SAMe), and the transsulfuration pathway generates the powerful antioxidant glutathione (see above). These two molecules help ensure that genes are expressed in the right place and at the right time, which is important for production of eggs and sperm, fertilization and embryonic development.