About this event

  • Date and time Tue 25 Feb 2020 from 8:45am to 4:40pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Food and Health, Medical Genetics

The UK government is currently consulting on plans to fortify flour and bread in the UK with folic acid. This meeting aims to review the field of human fertility issues in light of this proposal.

Folic acid fortification of flour and bread will significantly reduce the number of spina bifida conceptions but may have additional health implications, both positive and negative. We will look at how we should accommodate this change in policy, the issues raised by folic acid fortification, how these issues impact various medical disciplines and discuss whether other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12 or essential fatty acids, should be under consideration for food fortification.

We’ll also be exploring genetic factors, a new aspect of preconception medicine. We’ll discuss how genetic variants determine differences in how individuals metabolise folic acid, especially those referred for assisted conception, and how they can be successfully managed.

Meeting topics:

  • Learn how to improve and update clinical preconception care
  • Consider the long-term implications of folic acid fortification and how the process should be monitored
  • Consider the potential effects of folic acid fortification on the general population, especially older subjects at risk of dementia
  • The importance of genetic variants, such as the role of the T variants of the MTHFR gene in infertility, and know when it would be appropriate to test for this and similar genetic variants

These issues are relevant to public health doctors, general practitioners, gynaecologists and fertility clinic practitioners.

This meeting is jointly organised by the Food and Health Forum and Medical Genetics Section of the RSM.




Early bird pricing available until 11 October 2019.


RSM Fellow RSM Associate RSM Retired Fellow RSM Trainee RSM Student
£95.00 £55.00 £55.00 £55.00 £30.00

Non - Member

Consultant / GP AHP / Nurse / Midwife Trainee Student
£150.00 £75.00 £75.00 £45.00

Key speakers

Professor Nicholas Wald

The Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, London

Professor Michael Crawford

Director, Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition, Imperial College, London

Professor Yves Menezo

London Fertility Associates, Harley Street, London and Laboratire Clement Paris

Dr Jaleel Miyan

Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience, University of Manchester 


View the programme

Registrations, tea and coffee

Session one: Evolution of Preconception Medicine

Chair: Dr John Nichols, Royal College of General Practitioners

A formula for happy children

Rev Simon House, Chair of Mother and Child Foundation 

The case for folic acid fortification

Professor Nicholas Wald, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Panel discussion
Tea and coffee break

Session two: Genetic factors in folate metabolism and infertility

Chair: Dr Sarah Rae, Bedford Hospital 

Infertility in women with MTHFR SNPs treated with 5-MTHF

Professor Yves Menezo, London Fertility Associates and Laboratoire Clement, Paris

A paternal effect of MTHFR SNPs on gametes and embryos

Dr Arthur Clement, London Fertility Associates and Laboratoire Clement, Paris

Panel discussion

Session three: Current trends in preconception research

Dr Tatiana Christides, University of Greenwich 

Cerebral folate and cerebrospinal fluid: missing links in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric conditions

Dr Jaleel Miyan, University of Manchester 

A preconception protocol for the future

Professor Michael Crawford, Imperial College London 

Panel discussion
Close of meeting


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St,, Marylebone, London, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom