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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Folate makes me feel icky!

So my serum Folate levels were low-ish a while ago. And I read everywhere that you should take in some folate/ folic acid to aid in the absorption of B12, so I bought some Folate capsules (easier to absorb). I also have some B12 patches that contain folic acid. Happy days!

The problem is just that every time I take folate/ folic acid, I get a terrible headache and I feel really nauseous.

I have stopped taking anything that contains added folic acid for the moment, because that seems the simplest solution, but I was just wondering.

- does anyone else experience this?

- is it a side effect of Folic Acid/ Folate or is it something else?

- is it because it's synthetic Folic Acid/ Folate that it makes me feel ill?

4 Replies

Folate from food is definitely the best.

Possible you have a methylation issue - ie your body has problems converting folate in food into fully methylated forms used by cells - MTHFR - involves a range of genetic variations. For some variations methylated forms of folate are helpful - for others quite the opposite ... and there can be problems with folic acid.

Sorry can't be any more specific

This seems to be a reasonable introduction to MTHFR



Thanks for the helpful article. I will stick to marmite for now.


I seem to have the same issue. I got methylfolate to avoid the problem but I still had worsening headaches which eased off when I stopped taking it. My difficulty is I get lots of migraine anyway, so it's sometimes hard to tell what's causing what, but it definitely seems worse with folate/folic acid. I'm even wondering if the chronic daily headache I had years ago when pregnant was actually down to taking folic acid.

1 like

You should get your b12 levels up first . Don`t use folic acid - raw cabbage and kale are the best ways to get folate levels up but if you are going to supplement , use methylfolate and not folic acid . Get some methylcobalamin active b12 . Holland and Barrett sell a spray called B12 Boost which goes under your tongue . You can also get methylcobalamin on line - just google it . Take a couple of t-spoons per day of blackstrap molasses which contains b6 , iron and trimethylglycine which binds to homocysteine and helps the body expel it . Beetroot is also a very good source of trimethylglycine . Get some lecithin granules ( any good health food shop sells it ) and put a sprinkle on meals . Buy some coq10 and some omega 3 too .


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