Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Folic acid

Hallo

Is it ok to take a 5mg of Folic Acid daily.I have b12 injections every 12 wks.My doctor will not let me have it every 8 wks.I do top up in the last 4wks with the b12 spray and and sometimes a b12 patch.

I just wondered if too much folic acid could cause a problem?

I look forward to your advice.

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The body does need folate to process B12 but to be honest 5mg of folic acid is likely to be overkill as it is the dosage that is used to treat a folate deficiency, so, unless your GP has found that you are folate deficiency you'd be better off looking at your diet first and upping folate rich foods (as best source is food). Having said that I have to admit that I do also supplement but do that using 400 mcg tablets which are available as vitamin supplements.

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Thanks Gambit I suffer from ibs as well so I believe that's is why I need B12 as I mainly have the D type.I have to be very careful what I eat but will certainly look at my diet again.I must admit I do feel better after taking the folic acid.

It is a vicious circle I think.

Happy days.

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We are all so different and I believe folate supplementation is safe so if it works for you it is likely to be beneficial and not harmful.

My folate levels test high but I still see a significant benefit from taking about 3.4 mg of folic acid per day. However I self inject daily so would expect to need more to balance the B12.

Over the counter folic acid tablets are 400mcg (0.4mg) so you can try taking multiples of these to see what suits you. :-)

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I have my B12 injections every 12 weeks too and I also take 5 mg folic acid every day .I have asked for my injections to be given every 8 weeks but had no joy.i do find the folic acid helps and it was prescribed by my doctors

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5mg of folic acid is given for folate deficiency, and then only for around 4 months until it is corrected. If you don't have a deficiency, it will be way too much. I've read some medical journal articles that suggest long term supplementation of super high folic acid can increase the chances of developing certain cancers. (I'll locate these when I get a chance.) I was folate deficient and, like you have IBS-D. After 4 months of 5mg daily the deficiency was corrected and now I do fine with 400-800mcg daily.

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This is an article from the Telegraph (there are lots saying the same thing,but this seemed to be quite succinct): telegraph.co.uk/news/health...

But then other studies say the 'jury is out': medpagetoday.com/Hematology...

Personally I keep my folic acid supplement intake below 1mg a day. My GP cautioned me to stop using the 5mg last time my serum folate was tested, as the lab said my levels were far too high.

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I'll go with the Medpage article for three reasons - It's more recent, it quotes the actual paper where the results were published and it talks about whether or not the results are statistically significant.

Oh, and the Telegraph article also has one of my favourite journalistic hates - the use of the 'Does X cause Y?' headline. Note that they don't actually say that X does cause Y - so they can make scary implications with impunity.

Does reading the Daily Mail lower your IQ by 60 points?

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The Telegraph article was one of many saying the same thing, and I believe was drawn from the results of a clinical study. I did read the actual clinical study a couple of years back but haven't had time to locate it yet. I'll find it and post.

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The problem with reporting of studies is that often the study shows a statistical correlation between two things but then more research is needed to establish exactly what the causal link is and quite often the causal link isn't a direct one.

To take a B12 example - several studies have shown that people who are being treated with injections for a B12 absorption problem are more likely to develop tumours and the tumours are likely to be larger than the rest of the population. However, this doesn't mean that it is the B12 treatment that gives you tumour - truth is nobody has done the studies but it is known that being B12 deficient increases the risk of cancer so most probably explanation would be that the patient had developed a pre-cancer/cancer that hadn't been detected when the therapy started and the B12 therapy promotes growth of the cancerous cells as well as healthy cells leading to larger tumours. However, it would be a rare article in the press that would actually go through explaining the difference between a co-relation revealed in a study and a causal link.

Going back a few months there was a lot of coverage about high correlations between various medications in the elder and a higher risk of dying of stroke or heart attack. The impression you got from reading articles was that these drugs were dangerous when being prescribed to the elderly. However, many of them would be rather familiar to anyone who knows about B12 as drugs that cause absorption problems so my theory is that the causal factor is undiagnosed B12 deficiency caused by the drugs leading to cardiovascular problems. Very few of the articles gave any intimation that more work was needed on establishing the causal links rather than the correlation.

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They are all very good points, and from what I have read there is no definitive answer regarding whether folic acid 'is' actually harmful in higher doses.

Personally, I wouldn't think twice about taking it at 5mg for deficiency, but once the deficiency has been treated I would decrease the dose to be on the safe side. Plus there doesn't seem to be any need to take such a high dose in the absence of deficiency.

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Thank you all for your replies.I am really confused now lol.

I will I think get 400mcg and see how that goes.

Love to all

X

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No need for confusion. The general consensus is...

After treating the initial deficiency, daily supplementation with 400ug to 800ug should be sufficient.

Larger doses should not be necessary and may be harmful.

Try 400ug a day and see how it goes.

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Thanks fbirder I am going to try 400mcg.Thank you everybody.x

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I found that I got the b12 levels right first but was still having issues with tiredness and the PAS suggested that I get folate levels tested.

I don't remember the results but it got me started on folic acid.

I now find that folic acid gives me a kick of energy and mental clarity so I spread it around during the day.

I can get either 400 mcg or 800 mcg over the counter and so I take 1600 mcg in the morning and another 1600 mcg in the afternoon. Both just before my commute as it seems to help with keeping me awake and clear headed for the drive. I sometimes take another 1600 mcg before bed if I've had a rough day.

For me it is a balance between B12 and folic acid. Neither can do the job without the other. Google images "methionine loop" to get a picture of the interconnection between the two.

Also, although it doesn't interact directly with B12, alcohol does get rid of the other B vitamins. Hence the hangover. For me, a drink or two is like 10 and I get a 4 day hangover. It is not worth it even for the top wines my wife likes or even the local spirits.

Are you also supplementing with a daily multivitamin. This is needed to support the minerals, metals, and vitamins that the cels on the body need for metabolism.

I throw in an extra vit D because I've become photosensitive since starting on B12 injections.

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