An experiment with vitamins and aftertaste - Mothering Forums
I'm Pregnant > An experiment with vitamins and aftertaste
indiana 11:42 AM 07-28-2014
I had a crazy thought last night that maybe this nasty taste in my mouth (tangy, bitter, sour all at the same time) could be from my vitamin supplements. I'm taking an iron-free whole foods multi and a separate dose of folic acid (not from a food source) instead of prenatals right now, cause even the tummy-friendly iron made me feel awful.

I usually take my folic acid in the morning and then take my multi in small doses throughout the day.

Today, having skipped all of them, I have almost no nasty taste in my mouth, and I've even been legitimately hungry (instead of hungrynauseous) a couple times today. I don't even hate food today, which has been the prevailing symptom of this pregnancy (and I went to the doc today and saw a heartbeat, so I know there's still a baby kicking in there).

Has anyone else had this experience?

indiana 12:09 PM 07-28-2014
Guys, I just looked into this a little more. I eat almost entirely vegan (except for eggs), and I think my diet already includes tons of folate (found in whole grains, beans, leafy greens, etc...all the things I eat all the time). I just looked up the numbers in the foods I normally eat, and with the supplement, I'm totally ODing on folate. The safe upper limit is 1000mcg, and I guarantee I'm getting way more than that every day.

I should have looked up the safe upper limit for folate in the first place. I just assumed that since it was a B vitamin it would be really high, and EVERYONE keeps telling me to take my folic acid. I understand why the supplement recommendations for pregnant women assume we all eat McDonald's and hot dogs all the time, but then I wish there was a different set of recommendations for women who don't.

Hopefully the baby can't be harmed by excess folate. Lordy.

ETA: It looks like the SUL is only for synthetic folic acid (which is what I'm taking, but I'm not certainly not taking 1000mcg!). But if I'm already getting enough folate, I can see why my body would still react with some symptoms from a fairly high dose of folic acid, even if it's not above the SUL. I guess. All I know is that I feel great today!
neonalee's Avatar neonalee 06:29 PM 07-28-2014
Have you tried taking your other vitamin without taking the foliate? Curious. Also curious if you've tried that plant based liquid iron & did /did not sit well with you. Can't remember the name right now, I think it's made in Sweden?
indiana 07:08 PM 07-28-2014
I'm going to try the multi without the folic acid in a day or two. I've eaten so well today that I don't think I'll be doing any harm to wait and let my system clear out a bit. I bet the multi will go down fine. The flavor in my mouth was weirdly chemical, and one of the symptoms of excess synthetic folic acid apparently is that taste (says the NIH)!

I've been online looking for food-based folate supplements, but I can only find them in combination with other vitamins. My multi has 200mcg of food-based folate, and with my diet I wonder if that might be enough. Probably time for a call to the doc.

As for the Floradix, I'm very curious about it and might try it soon! My doc told me not to worry about iron too much yet anyway and see if I stomach it better once everything else (theoretically) calms down in the second trimester.

I'm kind of angry AND happy that I feel so much better today. I've been dutifully enduring this because I thought it was the baby!
monkeyscience's Avatar monkeyscience 07:19 PM 07-28-2014
Glad you found relief! And while, yes, it's recommended to take supplemental folic acid in pregnancy... plenty of us are too dang sick to take in enough food, let alone supplemental ANYTHING, and our babies turn out okay. I can't speak for food-based, but I have taken both methyltetrahydrofolate (also called Metfolin) and folinic acid, which are both more bioavailable than folic acid. They are pretty simple to find as non-combo supplements. I ordered my most recent folinic acid off of Amazon (they have the methyltetrahydrofolate, too), and previously bought the latter at a local vitamin shop. But if you've looked at your diet and feel confident you're getting enough folate, I really wouldn't sweat it.

As far as Floradix... yeah. I cannot take vitamins with iron in them even when not pregnant. Serious tummy ache. I've taken both liquid Florivital (it's yeast/gluten free, I think?) and the tablets. No tummy troubles at all. So I highly recommend it! If you don't like the taste (I didn't find it half as bad as I expected), dump a shot of it into orange juice. Tastes better, and the vitamin C helps with iron absorption.
indiana 06:06 AM 08-06-2014
I thought I'd post a quick update in case anybody else is struggling with this and could use the info. I went off of all my vitamins (except for B6 for nausea) for a few days to recover, and the bad taste did stay away. I still can get a gross taste in my mouth after eating certain foods, but now it's more of a food aversion thing and less of a weird bitter chemical taste that stays all day. My nausea and bloating have certainly lingered, but have never been nearly as bad as they were when I was on the folic acid. My symptoms are very manageable now.

After a break, I switched to New Chapter's Perfect Prenatal, which is food-based. I had avoided it before because I had done so poorly with the iron in Rainbow Light's Prenatal One and I figured it would be the same. But then I noticed how much less iron the New Chapter vitamins have - and spaced out over three pills. Since the iron-free multi I had been taking was New Chapter, I decided to give it a try.

The New Chapter prenatal is working FAR better for me. No iron issues and no issues from the folate. I highly recommend it if you're suffering from any first-trimester symptoms that just seem unreasonably awful. I guess that was what really clued me in. The way I was feeling felt unnatural and dramatic, like my body was reacting to something from the outside - not its own hormones (my body reacts pretty strongly to every drop of hormone it puts out, so I know how that feels!). Maybe there's something about synthetic folic acid that just makes some women sicker, even if it's for a good cause.

Hope this is helpful!
neonalee's Avatar neonalee 09:59 PM 08-06-2014
Floradix! That's it, thanks! I can't stand the taste but I always have a hard time finding the pills. I took new chapter with my first pregnancy & it was great. I switched to some other food based one for the start of this one because I was angry they sold out to J&J (I think that's who it was). The other wasn't bad but it was 4 giant pills that made me gag frequently. I went back to NC. I haven't paid enough attention to getting folic acid. Going to look into that. Thanks for all the info ladies!
monkeyscience's Avatar monkeyscience 10:14 PM 08-06-2014
Have you tried putting the Floradix in a little OJ? I've also used cranberry juice. I didn't even know the pills existed until I found them at my local health food store.