Q about Folic Acid
3 Replies
waitingmommy - March 8

How does folic acid help you conceive? I've recently started taking 400mg a day and I noticed I have horrible gas (tmi!). Is this a normal side affect???


Chas - March 8

folic acid does not help you conceive. It is VERY important to take while ttc and while pregnant to prevent spina bifida and other birth defects. Anyone who is ttc should take at least 400 mg a day. I don't think that is causing your gas.


Blakey - March 8

I agree totally with Chas. It is important to take folic acid well before trying to conceive, to get into your system, and then continue during pregnancy. You may want to contact your RE, and ask for maybe another type of pre-natal vitamin, that is, if you think that's the reason for your gas, but I have never heard of that side effect. Good luck!


sososleepy - March 8

Hi waiting. Nah, this whole ttc topic is tmi... don't worry about it. Even if it caused the gas, take it. Some one else recently asked about folic acid, and I researched before I answered... found it: gonna paste it in here because it's too much to type again: Folic Acid, FDA pg category A. Yes, some folic acid (B9) is stored in body tissues, about half in our liver as folate, and the rest is we pee out as folate. It is involved in cell growth and division, formation of blood cells, protein metabolism, building of antibodies, (and reportedly prevents premature graying of hair!, also good for skin), helps prevent spina bifida, cleft palate and lip, other spinal cord and nervous system defects, and more, so it's important to have before and while pg. It's in green foods, liver, lentils, (fortified) cereals, tomato, oranges, and wheat germ, but when we cook the stuff it loses the folate rapidly, so taking extra before and during pg is important. Sunlight, cooking, sulphur drugs, and food processing destroy the folic acid in our foods (and/or our prenatal vitamins – so don’t cook them or try to give them a suntan lol, but also store them in a cool dark place.) Diethealthclub dot com states, “For a pregnant women and her developing foetus, folic acid is the single-most important nutrient…” 600 micrograms is the RDA for pg women, but the ‘do not exceed’ is 1000 micrograms (per day) and even with that there aren't really many side effects posted for women of child bearing age (some questions about too much for elderly if their B12 is low, and not suggested for ppl with permicious anaemia, which is B12 deficiency, or people with not well controlled epilepsy or for people with tumors that depend on folate to grow). Wikipedia mentions a study on memory and says that people taking 800 micrograms of folic acid daily had better "short-term memory, mental agility, and verbal fluency". Most sites state no side effects, a few mention that with high doses the following are possible: loose stools, flatulence, nausea, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, irritability, decreased appetite, abdominal distention, bitter or bad taste. They are extremely rare, and associated with very high doses, so I’m guessing 800 puts us above the RDA, but not too much in the higher 1000 range and I’ll keep taking it happily (gas or not, because heck, pg gives us the above side effects anyway…) as it’s so very necessary for a healthy baby (and my hair and nails are growing like crazy [big smile] with my prenatal vitamins which also have 800 micrograms of folic acid). Hope that helps.



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