Folic Acid...how much? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 22 Old 04-07-2009, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just found a bottle of vegetarian folic acid (finally!) and now I feel like it isn't enough.

It is 1mg. How much do you/should you take to prevent birth defects.

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#2 of 22 Old 04-07-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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First off let me start by saying that Folic Acid is usually measured in micrograms (mcg). So 1milligram (mg) = 1000mcg. That means the supplement you are taking provides 1000mcg of Folic Acid. Prior to pregnancy it is recommended that people get at least 400mcg. Once pregnant it jumps to 800mcg and that is the minimun required to prevent birth defects. You can begin taking 800mcg even when just ttc as having reserves of this vitamin BEFORE pregnancy can only be beneficial. Lest you begin worrying that you're taking too much let me also say that in general most of the B vitamins are very safe and it is both beneficial and safe to take doses of up to 1000mcg or 1mg for months prior to pregnancy as well as during. In fact it is critical for the first six weeks in order to stave off spinal cord and brain abnormalities. Let me also mention that with the B vitamins (which Folic Acid is) it is VERY important to take the FULL range of B vitamins not just one. In otherwords no Folic Acid supplements by themselves unless you are also taking a multi or a B complex that has all the B vitamins present. The reason for this is that too much of one of the B vitamins can cause a deficency in another. Folic Acid specifically is known to mask vitamin B12 deficiencies. So that's some food for thought as well!
Long story short - yes, you are taking the perfect amount!
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#3 of 22 Old 04-07-2009, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by witchypants View Post
First off let me start by saying that Folic Acid is usually measured in micrograms (mcg). So 1milligram (mg) = 1000mcg. That means the supplement you are taking provides 1000mcg of Folic Acid. Prior to pregnancy it is recommended that people get at least 400mcg. Once pregnant it jumps to 800mcg and that is the minimun required to prevent birth defects. You can begin taking 800mcg even when just ttc as having reserves of this vitamin BEFORE pregnancy can only be beneficial. Lest you begin worrying that you're taking too much let me also say that in general most of the B vitamins are very safe and it is both beneficial and safe to take doses of up to 1000mcg or 1mg for months prior to pregnancy as well as during. In fact it is critical for the first six weeks in order to stave off spinal cord and brain abnormalities. Let me also mention that with the B vitamins (which Folic Acid is) it is VERY important to take the FULL range of B vitamins not just one. In otherwords no Folic Acid supplements by themselves unless you are also taking a multi or a B complex that has all the B vitamins present. The reason for this is that too much of one of the B vitamins can cause a deficency in another. Folic Acid specifically is known to mask vitamin B12 deficiencies. So that's some food for thought as well!
Long story short - yes, you are taking the perfect amount!
That was very throughout!
Thank you.

Although, please clarify one thing for me...
No folic on its own unless I am taking a multi too? Just trying to think if I could get my vitamins from food sources, I don't like to use multis very much, but still want to take the folic because of the benefits.
-So in short, if I don't take a B-vit or multi, folic is still beneficial and only I would be deprived of possible other b vits?

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#4 of 22 Old 04-07-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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Have you had any bloodwork to see if you have a clotting factor disorder? Just checking as my gyn regularly tests for this. I know I have a clotting disorder, as it's genetic. I actually take an xtra 2mgs (2000mcgs) to make a grand total of 2.8mg w/my prenats. Just a suggestion, as the plain old 1000mg may not be enough if you may have a clotting factor

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#5 of 22 Old 04-07-2009, 10:25 PM
 
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I have read that taking MORE than 1000mcg (assuming you don't have a clotting disorder) is actually not beneficial...I can't remember where I read it, but I'm wondering if anyone else has heard this?

I think it was tied to the fact that there are foods fortified with folic acid (mostly bread, I believe).

Anyway, I hope I'm not just confusing you.
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#6 of 22 Old 04-07-2009, 10:48 PM
 
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Yeah, 800mcg is recommended before you conceive and 1mg after you are pregnant. Wow! I didn't know you could get 1mg of folic acid without a prescription. What product did you find that in? All the over the counter preparations I have seen only go as high as 800 mcg.

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#7 of 22 Old 04-07-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stealthmode View Post
I have read that taking MORE than 1000mcg (assuming you don't have a clotting disorder) is actually not beneficial...I can't remember where I read it, but I'm wondering if anyone else has heard this?

I think it was tied to the fact that there are foods fortified with folic acid (mostly bread, I believe).

Anyway, I hope I'm not just confusing you.

OT: I have to stick to an almost complete paleo diet, so I usually do not get anything fortified (oh how I miss bread!! LOL). More than 1mg isn't beneficial if you do not have a clotting disorder. If you do, like the women in my family, we are prone to forming clots between the placenta and the uterine wall. So xtra folic acid and a baby asa a day to help to keep that clot from forming. He is a link http://www.mdperinatal.com/index.php...d=16&Itemid=10

You can safely take up to 4mg of Folic Acid a day, when it is necessary.

Sorry, just thought I'd mention the clotting thing, as it can be pretty common.

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#8 of 22 Old 04-07-2009, 11:25 PM
 
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I had a DD with a neural tube defect, unfortunately she was still born. I was taking the daily recommended dose of folic acid and had I been taking 10X that it would have decreased the chances of a birth defect. Having said that most families that have these types of birth defect have had no prior history of neural tube defects. I found it important to educate people on the importance of folic acid and put this together, not to mention I have done hours and hours of research on folic acid. A lot has to do with preconception but there is a folic acid section at the bottom. Hope you find what you are looking for.

http://pamperedpregger.ning.com/grou...ryingtoconcive


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#9 of 22 Old 04-07-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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My Reproductive Endocrinologist prescribed me 5 mg of folic acid. She said that is the new standard/recommendation. It used to be 1 mg but now it's 5 mg.

2twins.gif Twin Girls on November 11, 2010
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#10 of 22 Old 04-08-2009, 01:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by KellyTTC#1 View Post
My Reproductive Endocrinologist prescribed me 5 mg of folic acid. She said that is the new standard/recommendation. It used to be 1 mg but now it's 5 mg.
Ack! I guess I need to have a chat with my doc!
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#11 of 22 Old 04-08-2009, 09:06 AM
 
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I do not know if anyone is intertested, but my son and I are taking a med called Deplin for treating our ADHD naturally. It's a food grade folate that's 7.5mg in 1 pill, and is absorbed better by your body. It actually works on my son's adhd, and I've just been taking 3.75mg of this a day w/a my prenats (okay, so I cannot add! LOL). You may not need as much as regular Folic Acid, as this is has an immediate absorption by the body, unlike regular folic acid, where our bodies waste so much of it. Maybe that's why he does not want me taking the entire pill anymore, just half. Here's some info on it..

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-9534...l&pagenumber=4 vary small blurb

http://www.deplin.com/media/riskfactors/

So, my 3.75mg of Deplin is actually way more than the average 5mg. I should have said it was from Deplin, but I was really sleepy when I first replied. My ins does not pay for this, and it is $50/month for mine and my son's supply. Well we share the 30 pills/mo. He is thinking of actually dropping me down to 1/4 tablet/day, but he does not want to at this exact moment. The use is off label, but if you can absorb more folic acid, I'm all for it :-). I know, we are not all quick to jump at meds, but I thought if there was something out there that could help us get more folate, it might be ouse. HTH

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#12 of 22 Old 04-08-2009, 09:48 AM
 
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Ack! I guess I need to have a chat with my doc!
Yes, my doc said it was only available under prescription--that's in Canada, not sure about other countries.

2twins.gif Twin Girls on November 11, 2010
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#13 of 22 Old 04-08-2009, 11:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by KellyTTC#1 View Post
My Reproductive Endocrinologist prescribed me 5 mg of folic acid. She said that is the new standard/recommendation. It used to be 1 mg but now it's 5 mg.
:::m so glad to hear this! this will greatly reduce the chances of many neural tube defects! Im surprised I didnt hear this sooner.

I tried google-ing that to see if I could find some references and couldnt 8( do you know where I might find something on that?


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#14 of 22 Old 04-08-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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That was very throughout!
Thank you.

Although, please clarify one thing for me...
No folic on its own unless I am taking a multi too? Just trying to think if I could get my vitamins from food sources, I don't like to use multis very much, but still want to take the folic because of the benefits.
-So in short, if I don't take a B-vit or multi, folic is still beneficial and only I would be deprived of possible other b vits?
IMO you are unlikely to be able to get all of your vitamins needs met for pregnancy strictly from food sources. IF you ate a mostly raw, totally organic diet rich with a wide variety of foods, picked straight from your garden then right into your mouth, then yes, you could likely get all your vitamin and mineral needs met without additional supplementation. But few if any of us can do that. Nonorganic farming practices, travel from farm to store, cooking, preparing, processing, all these things take the vitamins out of our food. It's not like you'd need to worry about birth defects if you went ahead and just took the folic acid. But depriving yourself of the vitamins and minerals necessary to build a baby will likely show up PP. At the very least I'd recommend you take a B-complex along with your folic acid ESPECIALLY if you're vegetarian! But that's just my two cents. Obviously it's your body - your call.
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#15 of 22 Old 04-08-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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Witchypants...do most prenatal vitamins address your issues? Mine has 800mcg of Folic Acid, 8 mcg of B6 and 8mcg of B12.

-K
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#16 of 22 Old 04-09-2009, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Witchypants - Thanks for your concerns. I just needed to know about the possible issues with other B's if I wasn't taking a multi. I understand what you mean about food sources, and it goes beyond that from our actual soil. I do take a multi, just not consistently, so I wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to be doing more harm than good. I'm still months off from TTC, so right now I'm more focused on the folic bit, and plan on consistently taking a prenatal (if I can swallow it).

Also, I have my own personal issues with multis. When I do take one it is whole food sources only.

But, thanks for the info on dosage. Now, couldn't someone just take 4-5 tabs of 1mg folic acid to get the new recommended dose instead of getting a prescription?

The brand I'm currently taking is Nature's Harmony, found at Atlantic Superstore.

Thanks ladies

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#17 of 22 Old 04-09-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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We are TTC and I've started taking a B-Complex in the morning and the evening along with one prenatal a day. I will be getting almost 2mg of folic acid a day - plus what's in food sources. I'm reading "Let's Have Healthy Children" by Adele Davis (it's from the early 80s) and she also strongly recommends large amounts of vitamin b 6...which is part of the reason I'm taking two b-complex a day.

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#18 of 22 Old 04-09-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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Hesperia Yeah I realized I didn't really address your actual question fully last time. I'm glad you wrote back because I was planning on posting again to say basically, 'No you would not be doing more harm than good taking the folic acid'; and if you're taking a multi even occasionally I'd say you're fine. Sorry - didn't mean to come off preachy or anything.
As you said: So in short, if you don't take a B complex or multi, folic is still beneficial and would only possibly deprive you of other b vits; again it can specifically mask a B12 deficiency. But that's it.

blondemom2bstl Yes, most prenatals do (yours suounds fine). And my guess is, your prenatal also has the rest of the B's as well. You may or may not recognize them by their chemicle names but they are:
B1=Thiamin
B2=Riboflavin
B3=Niacin
B5=Pantothenic Acid
B6=Pyridoxin HCl/pyridoxal 5-phosphate
B9=Folic Acid
B12
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#19 of 22 Old 04-09-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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Thank you Witcypants!!! You are exactly right!
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#20 of 22 Old 04-09-2009, 07:14 PM
 
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Thank you Witcypants!!! You are exactly right!
Oh you're so very welcome! Always glad to be of service when I'm able!
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#21 of 22 Old 04-10-2009, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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WP - thanks for all your help. You didn't sound preachy at all. Sorry if I came off gruff, reading it over I sounded defensive! Haha.

Folic acid (b9) is water soluble right? So, if one were to take 'extra' in from food sources or multis and supplementation, it would basically just be excreted. Hmmm I still feel like 1mg isn't enough.

More research (and hours in the day) needed.

The folic acid I take is in canada is anyone was wondering, I forgot to mention. $3.49 for 90.


Thanks again everyone

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#22 of 22 Old 04-12-2009, 05:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hesperia View Post
WP - thanks for all your help. You didn't sound preachy at all. Sorry if I came off gruff, reading it over I sounded defensive! Haha.

Folic acid (b9) is water soluble right? So, if one were to take 'extra' in from food sources or multis and supplementation, it would basically just be excreted. Hmmm I still feel like 1mg isn't enough.

More research (and hours in the day) needed.

The folic acid I take is in canada is anyone was wondering, I forgot to mention. $3.49 for 90.


Thanks again everyone
Oh no, LOL I didn't think you came off as gruff or defensive I just reread mine and worried it might have sounded preachy...
Anywhoo, yes all of the B vitamins (and the C's for that matter) are water soluble and therefore excreted daily. If you're taking 1mg daily I still think it would be enough but if you're concerned you could break your vitamin in half (unless of course it's a capsule - which it probably is) and split up taking it in the AM and then again in the PM. Alternately you could take one in the AM and one in the PM. Honestly I don't think you'd need that much though unless you were treating some specific condition. I use this rule of thumb. If my pee is still bright yellow and I've been drinking pleanty of water then I'm good on my B's. If it's clear then it's time for more B's.
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