Pernicious Anaemia Society
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B12 and folate results

B12 and folate results

Hi, I might be overly concerning myself but my folate is dropping and I haven't retained my b12 level.

I take Jarrows b12 5000mcg and Solgar high potency b complex.

B12 dropped to 234 which I massively boosted to 1044! Dr told me to reduce taking to 3 times a week and it's dropped by half. Do you think that's ok?

I have hypothyroidism and Hashimotos.

5 Replies

are you supplementing B9 (folate - either as folic acid or a methylated form) at all? your folate may be dropping because it is being used to process B12.

There isn't a problem with having high levels of B12 in your blood - it isn't the level in your blood that matters - it's what is available and can be processed at the cell level that counts - symptoms are much more important.

It looks like you have an absorption problem - which means that you can't store and recycle B12 either so reducing supplementation is just going to result in your levels falling. Think you may have missed the boat on getting an absorption problem formally recognised as supplementation does make it more difficult, so providing you can continue to afford to keep up with the supplements - if you are feeling better taking the higher doses then stick with it ... and consider supplementing some folate as well.

Unfortunately there is a lot of overlap in symptoms of B12 deficiency and thyroid problems and as you've been diagnosed with thyroid the chances are that the possiblity that B12 may be a contributory factor is likely to be totally overlooked.


Yes I'm getting 400 folic acid in the b complex.

So are you saying if have been better off letting my levels totally drop? When you say missed the boat do you mean I might have been offered b12 injections?? Is malabsorption when you don't retain it because obviously I got the levels up but as soon as I reduced the supp it's halved.

Tbh I don't think I felt any better at the 1000 level to 232 level.


the amounts you are taking in the supplement are several years worth of B12 for a normal person. Normally people would manage to store B12 in the liver and then recycle it through the ileum but if you have an absorption problem that doesn't happen so the B12 just leaks away. 1% of B12 is absorbed outside the ileum which is why really high doses orally can work for some people.

There are other things you can try - using a different form of B12 - not every one responds to methyl - if your tablets aren't sublinguals (dissolve under the tongue) then look for sublinguals - look at nasal sprays and/or skin patches- ways of trying to absorb the B12 in that aren't relying on the gut. You could also try upping the amount of folic acid ... or you could try a methylated form just in case you have issues with methylating folic acid - it's the methylated forms that are used by cells but some people have problems converting folic acid to this form.

At the end of the day it is also possible that it isn't B12 that is the problem (at the moment - though if levels continue to reduce it will become a problem at some point.


Please avoid folic acid!


Hi misslissa as Gambit62 says "your folate may be dropping because it is being used to process B12."

I'm not a medically qualified person but logic tells me that you need to keep your folate level high whilst supplementing B12.

Folate can be found naturally in dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach and dried legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils. Also some breakfast products have folic acid added.

I wish you well.


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