Folic Acid query plz

Hi to you all, I love this site you are all so knowledgeable! I was diagnosed with PA in 1992 when I was in my 30s, approx 2ys later when I had to change Dr's the GP said to me 'you know you must never take Folic Acid again' I said I didnt know (only ever given it in my many pregnancies) didn't give it another thought but I read on here that people with PA do take folic acid etc or have I mis understood? Would appreciate your thoughts. Many thanks. x

15 Replies

  • A good milti vit will more than likely contain it anyway. Think having too much is more the issue, but seemingly like most things PA it varies person to person.

  • Hi,

    I'm not a medic but I have read that taking folic acid can mask the effects of a B12 deficiency on red blood cells.

    see Management section in next link

    I don't understand why your GP said 'you know you must never take Folic Acid again' .

    I thought that good levels of folate in the blood were needed as folate, iron and B12 work together in the body.

    Do you know your current folate levels, also b12, iron and Full Blood Count (FBC)?

  • Sleepybunny is correct when she says that a lot of folate can mask the macrocytic anaemia one often finds with a B12 deficiency. That's the only reason to avoid it - if you suspect the patient is B12 deficient and you believe that macrocytic anaemia is the best way to diagnose that.

    But in your case you know that you're B12 deficient and the only reason you'd check for macrocytic anaemia would be if you thought you weren't taking any B12. And 20% of people with PA don't have macrocytic anaemia anyhow.

    So there is no reason at all why you shouldn't take folic acid and many reasons why you should.

    Again, LisaHelen has it right when she says that a good multivitamin should have all the folic acid you need.

  • Hi

    What is the best multivitamin to buy that has folic acid in it please?

  • Any Tesco multivitamin or multi-B vitamins should be good.

  • Thanks fbirder

  • Many Tesco vitamins contain aspartame.

  • I take Life Extension multi which contains mostly bioavailable forms of vitamins and minerals (no iron or copper though). It's the only multi I've found that contains methylcobalamin and methylfolate.

  • Hi

    Is that on the uk pls

  • I get mine from Amazon UK

  • I use asda own brand a-z multi vit & minerals only has 200ug -says 100% recommended amount but i know others take at least twice this.

  • really difficult to understand why your GP would have said that though there was a period when the BCSH guidelines were very unclear on B12 and folate deficiency and many did interpret the way things were phrased as saying that you should not be treated with folic acid if you had a B12 deficiency - whereas what was really intended was that people should be treated for both folate and B12 deficiency if both are present - treating a folate deficiency and ignoring a B12 deficiency is a no-no.

  • Hi miniskirt I've had P.A. for nearly 45 years and have supplemented with Folic Acid 400μg daily for more years than I can remember and I'm still "clivealive" at 75.

    Folate can also be found in breakfast cereals and in Canada, folic acid is added to all white flour, enriched pasta and cornmeal products.

    It wouldn't hurt to have your folate level checked because as others have said B12 and Folate work "hand in hand" with each other.

    My last test in March showed:

    Serum Folate (SZ1706)Normal no action18.2ng/ml3.10 – 20.50ng/ml

    I am not a medically trained person so I hope all the above comments from others on here will have put your mind at rest and wish you well for the future.

  • For me it was the other way round. I was treated with b12 but my folate levels were so low for such a long time that my b12 injections weren't effective. Eventually I had to have 4 months of 5 mg folic acid and I keep that topped up with 800mcg of methyl folate and a b complex which includes 200 mcg folic acid. Your gp is completely wrong. If you are on b12 therapy you must keep your folate levels high.

  • "High levels of folate are normally okay as long as your vitamin B12 level is also normal. Cells need vitamin B12 to use folic acid and when vitamin B12 levels are too low, folic acid cannot be used and builds up in the blood." :

    Re. masking of B12 deficiency and other information:

    Sally Pacholok and various specialists also talk about the dangers of folic acid as well as masking B12 deficiency in this film :

    Haemotologist's quote:

    "If you treat someone with B 12 def. with folic acid, you can either precipitate neurological abnormalities or, if the patient already has neurological abnormalities, you can make them worse. So folic acid should never be given empirically unless the B12 status is normal."

    - page 17 - the best treatment for B12 def. is vitamin B12 without additional folic acid.

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