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Can you take too much folic acid

(14 Posts)
lel74 Tue 09-Jul-13 22:07:19

Hi Everyone

We're TTC at the moment (3rd month) and a question has just occurred to me. My partner has spina bifida so I'm taking a higher dose of folic acid prescribed by the GP. I've also been taking a one a day vitamin tablet to try and combat the fatigue I've been experiencing while trying to lose weight (am low carbing at the moment) and when I've checked it tonight, that also has folic acid in it. My question is do you think you can overdose on folic acid? I'm a bit worried that if I do conceive I might do more harm than good?

Sorry if anyone has posted asking about this before, I'm really new to the boards. Thanks for any advice offered x

HerrenaHarridan Tue 09-Jul-13 22:32:12

Gp should prescribe 5g dose of FA if there is SB in family, normal pregnancy dose is 200mg.

I was told (by ssba) that any extra is just weed out.

Vitamin a is the only one I know of that your supposed to watch in pregnancy.

Good luck smile

lel74 Tue 09-Jul-13 23:05:44

Thanks Herrena thanks, I'm already on the 5g dose which I've been taking since March in preparation for TTC, I hadn't considered the extra folic acid until I happened to read the list of vitamins on the bottle.

It's a relief to know it shouldn't cause problems smile

Writerwannabe83 Wed 10-Jul-13 09:58:25

I take 5mg a day too - I have also wondered about over dosing if I eat anything with Folic Acid in! grin

Also, what other vitamins can we take when TTC?
Can we buy them for ourselves or do they have to be prescribed?

I would have thought it would make sense to take Vitamin D but are we allowed to just go ahead and do it?

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Wed 10-Jul-13 10:49:04

Vitamin D is recommended for all pregnant women now, so you are safe taking it when TTC. If you buy a specific pre-conception supplement it will have everything you need.

Make sure the diet you are on is not too severe OP, if you try to lose too much weight too quickly your body will go into starvation mode and conception will be a low priority.

FoxMulder Wed 10-Jul-13 10:49:23

No, they don't have to be prescribed. Off the shelf pre-natals have vit D (and a heap of other things) in. Unfortunately I can't swallow them! I have to dissolve them in water, which doesn't really work (and tastes gross). But I have a chewable Folic & vitD because I think they're the most important ones...

Writerwannabe83 Wed 10-Jul-13 10:56:38

Well up until a few weeks ago I was taking 9 tablets a day, so swallowing them is like 2nd nature to me smile

I only take 7 a day now though - my hubby thinks I'm a druggie. He would find it hilarious if I started popping Vitamin tablets too smile

lel74 Wed 10-Jul-13 11:02:22

Frankelly, thanks for the advice re weight loss. I've lost 22 lbs in 2 months and am in ketosis because of the low carbing. I have a fair bit to lose so was working on the basis that the quicker it goes the better my chances of conception are. Hmmm perhaps I should have a re-think?

Armadale Wed 10-Jul-13 11:04:36

Apparently you can't overdose on folic acid as your body doesn't store it,uses what it needs and then flushes the rest, although my GP did say it can loosen your bowels if you have too much!

The only thing I would say is start to take a PG multivit rather than a general multi vit if you are TTC.

The general one might well have vitamin A in it, whereas the pregnancy one would exclude it as too much vitamin A is a problem in PG (hence the ban on pate etc)

The other thing you have to be careful about is fish oil because if it is from the liver eg cod liver oil it would also have too high doses of vit A. (Fish oil fine if not from the liver0.

My preg multi vits have Vit D, fish oil and no vitamin A- they are sainsbos own and pretty cheap and always on 3 for 2 if you are near a sainsbury's- they are basically a cheap version of the pregnancare plus omega 3 product which is does the same job but is pricier!

Armadale Wed 10-Jul-13 11:10:44

I'm TTC and am actually just thinking of STARTING low carbing,

This is based on the fact that it improves conception rates in women who are overweight and keeps their weight gain at a safer level during PG

EG this video on you tube

I would be interested to know what you think about this as I'm trying to weigh up in my mind if I should do it or not.

(I don't have PCOS but do have some of the other risk factors they talk about like excess weight and carbohydrate craving- I put on weight very easily in PG and as I have had 4 PGs in the last 2 years that have ended in MC and been PG 13 months out of the last 24 I am now 5 stone heavier than when I started and am keen to try and get a grip on this)

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Wed 10-Jul-13 12:21:13

Obviously it is better to not be overweight when trying to conceive but you are better off losing the weight first, then trying rather than doing them both at the same time. You should definitely never diet once pregnant.

Armadale raises a good point about general multivitamins. They are likely to contain Vit A so should definitely be avoided. Stick to pregnancy/conception specific stuff.

lel74 Wed 10-Jul-13 13:13:52

I realise that it's better to lose the weight first but I also have to factor in my age as I'm 39 so need to get a move on with the TTC! I also read that low carbing can improve your chances of conception so am pinning my hopes on that at the moment. Once I'm PG (fingers crossed) then I plan to switch to healthy eating as there doesn't seem to be very much known about the effects of ketosis while PG.

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Wed 10-Jul-13 13:58:00

The recommended diet for PCOS (which I have) as Low GI rather than low carb. There are suggestions that insulin levels may have an effect on the hormone levels so keeping one in check can help with the other.

Best of luck to everyone!

lel74 Wed 10-Jul-13 14:37:56

I might have a look into low GI also then smile thanks for the advice

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