18 answers

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.
Thanks

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Hi E.

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.

M.

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.

More Answers

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.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Ditto what Ivette said.

Hi E.,

No. It is ok to folic acid more than the recommenation. The extra won't store in your body anyway.
Good luck.

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.

I would talk to your doctor, especially after what Ivette, a pharmacist, said.

"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

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.

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.

http://www.click2houston.com/health/3915033/detail.html

Also, so much food is now 'fortified' with folic acid (bread, cookies, etc) that is possible to exceed inadvertantly the daily recommended dose.

HI E.,

Talk to your doctor about it. I just read an article that said that too much folic acid can be very bad if you have a history of colon cancer in your family. Always discuss anything you are going to take with your doctor before you take it.

Hi E.- I'm 6 mos along and at my first appointment my doc recommended taking an add'l folic acid supplement along with my prenatal vitamins. (I'm not sure if the fact that I'm overweight had anything to do with it)

I am sure there is a such thing as too much folic acid and while I am not sure what the "benchmark" is... I can share my experience with you. Currently, 26 weeks pregnant and taking a combination of a prenatal called Prenate DHA, it has DHA, folic acid and folate (www.prenate.com) and Folgard (www.drugs.com/cdi/folgard.html) both are prescriptions. The Dr. took me off over the counter prenatals after my first appt. siting the benefits of the DHA and the overall benefits of the prescribed version. And I started the Folgard while I was trying to conceive and continue it even now. Unfortunately I can not remember the amount of Folgard mg, I want to say its 400 mg. I haven't had any problems. Read up on the Prenate DHA on their website --I was quite impressed. Then have a discussion with your Dr. to discuss the best approach. Hope this helps.

To be on the safe side I would only take a DHA supplement without folic acid if your prenatal already contains it. I take "Expecta Lipil" DHA supplement found at Walgreens. It only contains DHA. Good luck

Hi E.

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.

M.

Most Doctors recommend extra folic acid to prevent birth defects. As far as I have been told by my doc there is no such thing as too much. He suggested that if I didn't take a folic acid supplement other than prenatals to drink lots of Orange Juice which contains a signifigant amount of folic acid. As for DHA I take Expecta Lipil made by infimil, found at babies r us or walgreens. This is my second pregnancy. I am taking the same supplements that I took with my 21 month old daughter and she is great. Good luck to you.

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.

I have been told there is no such thing as overdoing in on the folic acid when you are trying to get pregnant. I was taking it in addition to prenatals and when I saw my doctor he said I could probably even increase the dose of folic acid I was taking. It is especially important during the first trimester. Now I am 21 weeks and I still take folic acid in addition to my prenatal vitamins. I am not sure about DHA though. Good luck!

I would suggest cod liver oil instead of an artificial DHA supplement. It has other vitamins and things in it in their natural form that the body can process more easily. It really doesn't taste that bad, either (I mix mine with some orange juice).

Anyone that I know of that has had a previous miscarriage they recommend that they take 1mg a day. I do also know that if you do not have enough folic acid then it is possible for the baby to be born with Cleft Lip or Palate.

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