Are There Potential Risks of Folic Acid Overdose?

Folic acid is present in many food sources, but is usually taken as part of daily supplementation.

If you part of this population, one of the concerns that might enter your mind is folic acid overdose. Here are some things you need to know about folic acid and folic acid toxicity.

The Need for Folic Acid Supplementation

Folic acid is a substance that is naturally occurring and is very important in the formation of white and red blood cells in your body. It is also involved in the proper metabolism of proteins and in making new cells. It is also central in the synthesis of DNA, which makes up the genetic material in our cells.

Though folic acid is present in foods, undernutrition and not taking enough healthy foods can potentially lead to folic acid deficiency. Aside from that, many substances and drugs can hinder folic acid absorption in the body. More importantly, during pregnancy, much higher doses of folic acid is needed due to rapidly-growing cells of the fetus. Therefore, more often than not, folic acid supplementation is needed.

Folic Acid Dosage

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folic acid is about 400 micrograms for adult men and women. The daily dose of folic acid needed for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers is 600 micrograms. This folic acid dose is sufficient enough to meet the body's needs. However, majority of the population has been found to not get sufficient doses of folic acid, primarily because American eating habits now do not involve folic acid-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits.

Folic Acid Side Effects

Intake of folic acid supplements have been increasingly popular, especially for those who are deficient and those who have increased needs (i.e. pregnant, breastfeeding, undergoing dialysis, among others). Side effects of taking folic acid supplements are quite uncommon, but rare cases of allergic reactions (marked by swelling of the tongue, lips or face, difficulty in breathing, hives, etc), nausea, flatulence, insomnia, abdominal distention, decreased appetite, and bad taste have been reported.

Folic Acid and Pregnancy

Taking folic acid especially in the first few weeks of pregnancy is very important mainly because folic acid has been seen to be significant in preventing neural tube defects in babies. The recommended dose of folic acid for pregnant women ranges from 600 to 600 micrograms. There have been concerns about folic acid overdose pregnancy problems, but toxic effects on both mother and child are not likely and occur very rarely.

Folic Acid Overdose

The question that remains is: Can you overdose on folic acid? Can taking a high dose of folic acid endanger your health? Well, first of all, the folic acid maximum dose has been established to be 1000 micrograms, though there have been no significant reports of folic acid overdose.

While this is true, excess folic acid (in the milligram levels) has been seen to mask symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Also, excessive amounts have been found to prevent action of some medications such as anti-epilepsy. These are some of the reasons why the upper limit of 1000 micrograms (1 milligram) has been set. However, if you accidentally take too many supplements in a day, you will not likely absorb higher than 1000 milligrams.

Expert Recommendation

Folic acid is indispensable to a healthy body and a healthy life. For your amino acid supplementation needs, we highly recommend Xtend Life's Total Balance. We have seen the effectivity of this supplement and how it offers the benefits of folic acid, vitamins, minerals and herbs to promote maximum well-being and health. This is definitely a product worth looking into.

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What We Recommend
If you do an analysis of the ingredients in a bottle of Total Balance and compare with other products you will find that it provides exceptional value for money…even against simple mass produced products with lower bottle costs.