April 19, 2008,
E.O. asks from Vallejo, CA on April 16, 2008
Is There a Such Thing as Too Much Folic Acid???
I was wondering if anyone knows if there is such a thing as too much Folic acid when trying to get pregnant? I am trying to get pregnant and just started taking prenatal pills, but I was told you should also take DHA? THey sell tablets with that and folic acid, but I am concerned that if I take that in addition to the prenatal that it could cause more problems.
M.E. answers from San Francisco on April 19, 2008
You have already had lots of replies, so I hope this helps too. Folic Acid is a B vitamin and the average person should take at least 400mg, and this is not so easy to get from food, so all women of childbearing age should take extra. Also, B vitamins should not be taken in isolation, look for a multivitamin-mineral that contains ample doses of all 8 B vitamins. You can then take additional folic acid with the multivitamin. Take a DHA (Omega 3) separately, this is essential for brain development. Choose a high quality DHA supplement that has had all heavy metal toxins removed from the oil, and is extracted using from cold water fish. You can safely have 1200mg of DHA a day. I would recommend a book called Secrets of Supplements, The Good, the Bad and the Totally Terrific by Gloria Askew.
P.G. answers from Salinas on April 17, 2008
There may be an extra side effect to taking too much Folic Acid and with me that was having a hard time doing the #2. A question that I have is are you enemic and that is why you started taking it. Prenatal Folic Acid (iron) is what I took after I was pregnant. Unless you have been diagnosed as being enimic there should be no need to take it.
That's just me. Aloha.
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A.K. answers from San Francisco on April 16, 2008
Not to worry. Excess FA (like most vitamins) will come out in your pee. My doctor had me take a prenatal and an additional 400mcg of FA. I got pregnant in 3 months and my daughter is very healty.
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M.M. answers from San Francisco on April 17, 2008
Ditto what Ivette said.
C.V. answers from Sacramento on April 17, 2008
No. It is ok to folic acid more than the recommenation. The extra won't store in your body anyway.
I.Y. answers from Sacramento on April 17, 2008
Hi, I am a pharmacist and hope I can help.
Folic acid is safe for most people, but high doses (over 1000mcg/day) of folic acid might cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, rash, sleep disorders, irritability, confusion, nausea, stomach upset, behavior changes, skin reactions, seizures, gas, excitability, and other side effects. In addition, preliminary research suggests folic acid might increase the risk of heart attack in people who have heart problems. Other preliminary research suggests high doses might increase the risk of cancer. Yes, the body will try to eliminate the folic acid that you don't need, but, knowing all of this, why take the risk? I would suggest to limit to no more than 1mg (1000mcg)/day unless your doctor has approved a higher dose. There is a DHA capsule available by the name of Expecta that does not contain Folic Acid. It comes in a yellow box and most pharmacies carry it. I think I've also seen it at Babies R Us and grocery stores.
R.D. answers from San Francisco on April 17, 2008
I would talk to your doctor, especially after what Ivette, a pharmacist, said.
N.S. answers from San Francisco on April 17, 2008
"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women consume no more than 1,000 micrograms of synthetic folic acid a day."
The March of Dimes has a good article on folic acid. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/173_769.asp
R.F. answers from San Francisco on April 17, 2008
When I told my obgyn I wanted to get pregnant she prescribed folic acid ( I was in my early 40's then). I continued to take this together with my prenatal vitamins after I got pregnant and I had a normal healthy baby boy. As they usually say here, consult your doctor to be sure because I don't know about DHA. I just bought the folic acid from Walgreens.
C.S. answers from San Francisco on April 19, 2008
Be careful with those supplements, especially when vitamins are taken in isolation and over the recommended daily recommendation. Scientists still don't understand the synergistic effects that vitamins and nutrients have upon one another, and taking large quantities of one vitamin separated from those nutrients with which it occurs naturally might have dangerous effects. Although unsubstantiated, there is a theory of taking large amounts of folic acid and autism.
Also, so much food is now 'fortified' with folic acid (bread, cookies, etc) that is possible to exceed inadvertantly the daily recommended dose.