(Closed) Is there such thing as too much Folate?

posted 5 years ago in TTC
Post # 3
862 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

It’s a B vitamin which is water soluble so I don’t see a risk with it. I used to take the Rainbow Lite vitamins, but then my DH was pretty concerned about all of the vitamins in there and the quantity. You really only need folic acid or folate if you eat a healthy diet. DH tests vitamins and drugs all day as a chemist. It is possible to have *too* much of a good thing.

Post # 4
13 posts
  • Wedding: February 2017

I have never heard of too much folate… it’s very important so your baby doesn’t develop any neural tube defects such as spina bifida which can be fatal. I work in the medical field, but please talk to your doctor about your concerns!

Post # 5
984 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I have also heard that recent studies say that too much folate can lead to autism.


Post # 8
249 posts
Helper bee

The average person should take 400mcg – 1000mcg daily. People at high risk of neural tube defects (spina bifida etc) take more like 5000mcg/d. New studies are potentially linking very high folic acid levels with autism, and these women are taking much more than the recommended 400-1000mcg/d. 


Hope that helps!

Post # 9
6799 posts
Busy Beekeeper

View original reply
MissKayteeDee :  The folate is necessary to ensure closing of the neural tube in the first trimester.  However as in the link listed by someone above, Johns Hopkins has produced a study that indicates a link between folic acid and Autism.  BUT it needs a ton more research to figure out who, why, how, etc.  I believe what it said was that new mothers were given a blood test just after birth and those who had a larger amount lingering in their system had a somewhere in the teens percentage higher chance of having a child with Autism.  But – why aren’t they metabolizing it the same way as other moms?  Is there an age issue?  Genetics? Is it folic acid or folate or both?

For me, I think it’s always best to get your nutrients the natural way.  And that means not in tablet form.  There is a reason they aren’t called Folate tablets and are called Folic Acid indtead.  That reason is that there is some chemical difference, no matter how slight, between the two.  So maybe our bodies don’t metabolize the acid as well as we’d hoped.  Maybe they are no longer absorbing the real deal correctly.  Again, so much more needs to be studied to find out the reasons behind the correlation.

In the meantime, I’m drinking green smoothies almost daily for my naturally acquired folate and will not be taking prenatals at all.  I’m already going to be an old mom if I become pregnant, I’m not going to throw another issue into the mix if at all possible.

Post # 10
46 posts
  • Wedding: July 2016

View original reply
MissKayteeDee :  I suspect you are trying to convert the amount of folate in your multi-vitamin to nanomoles per liter to see if you are taking to much folate. This is not possible with the information given for two reasons.

Reason 1:

mcg stands for micrograms, which is a unit of mass. You can convert a mass (grams, micrograms, etc.) to moles if you know the molar mass of the chemicals spicies (e.g., folate). Molar mass has the units grams/mole. So, for example, mass (in grams) of folate divided by molar mass (in g/mole) of folate would give you moles of folate.

nanomoles per liter is a unit of concentration. Notice we have moles, but you also have liters, which is a unit of volume.   

You can not conver mass (grams, micrograms, or whatever) of folate to moles/volume of folate without knowing volume. The volume part is an unknown variable because you don’t know how your body processes the folate with out actually measuring it once the folate is processed.

Reason 2:

These woman in the article took some amount of folate (grams, micrograms, or whatever). The folate was process by the body, after which some concentration of folate remained in the blood stream. The scientist measured this concentration in the blood. The article goes on to say:

But the researchers say they don’t know exactly why some of the women had such high levels in their blood. It could be that they consumed too many folic acid-fortified foods or took too many supplements. Or, they say, it could be that some women are genetically predisposed to absorbing greater quantities of folate or metabolizing it slower, leading to the excess. Or it could be a combination of the two.


So, unless you know how your body processes an specific amount (grams, micrograms, etc.) of folate, and the resulting concentration of folate thereafter, you can’t determine an optimum amount (in grams, micrograms, etc) of folate you should consume.


Post # 11
119 posts
Blushing bee

It’s a water soluble vitamin so you pee out any excess that’s not absorbed. Your body only absorbs what’s needed.

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