How long does folate stay in your system

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
181 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m not sure, but since it is recommended to start taking supplements before pregnancy I would imagine it stays in your body for some time (otherwise there would be no point in starting prior to TTC).  You were also likely getting some from food (some food is fortified) and at any rate, there is nothing you can do now but start taking supplements again.  Try not to worry, and congratulations!

Post # 4
2474 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@stellabella:  Well, B vitamins (like folic acid) are water-soluble, meaning you pee out the extra (that’s why your pee looks so bright yellow after taking a multi B vitamin). So it probably didn’t stay in your system very long. However, I wouldn’t worry about it because so many foods are fortified with folic acid now or have folate in them naturally (bread, pasta, orange juice, spinach, lentils, beans, asparagus, broccoli, papaya). Just start taking your supplement ASAP and I think you and the baby should be fine. Congrats!!!


Post # 5
419 posts
Helper bee

Same thing happened to me. My doctor wasn’t worried at all. For what that is worth. There is some in breads and veggies. Unless you live on fast food you have been getting folate from natural sources, which is arguably better absorbed then folic acid. 


Post # 6
8480 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

If it’s water-soluble vitmain (like folic acid) it doesn’t build up in your system at all (you pee out the excess) but there are a lot of foods fortified with folic acid (bread, pasta, cereal) or natural sources of folic acid (rice, asparagus, avocado, beans, lentils, oranges, spinach, etc.).  Most likely you were getting some from your daily eating habits.

I wouldn’t worry, just start taking a prenatal vitamin now that you know.

I didn’t find out I was pregnant until afer 8 weeks and I wasn’t taking a prenatal.  Everything is fine with the baby.  I had lots of beans, rice, avocado, lettuce, oatmeal as part of my normal diet so I was definitely getting some.

Fat-soluble vitmains (A,D,E,K), on the other hand, do build up and are stored in your tissue.  With those you have the potential to build up too much (too much of anything is not good).

Post # 7
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

You’ll be fine and your body will not run out of folate. As the other ladies have said there’s plenty of foods out there that are fortified with folic acid, plus you’ll have been getting natural folate from food sources as well. Since the US started fortifying our food supply (assuming you’re in the US) it is VERY difficult for anyone to become folate deficient. 

Post # 8
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

The folate that you took is long out of your system– your body doesn’t retain folate very long as PP’s have said. However, there are many folate-rich foods you can eat (like canteloupe) and many fortified foods (breads, cereals) that have likely been giving you folate in the meantime. 🙂

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