Folic Acid During Pregnancy – How Much is Enough

Pregnant women know the importance of folic acid supplements in pregnancy; many having been advised to start on the supplement even before they try and conceive.

Folic acid or Vitamin B9 is of vital importance at times of rapid cell division as in the case of the early part of pregnancy, and lack of it could be responsible for birth defects and so on.

folic acid during pregnancyNew research however is saying that there is a flip side to folic acid supplements as well – that excess folic acid could be responsible for pregnancy complications as well; here more is not necessarily better, lead researcher Rima Rozen from the McGill University was quoted as having said.

The study was conducted by offering high doses of folic acid to mice and this was seen to trigger problems in the pregnancy.

There are also other problems that are associated with excess levels of this nutrient.

A Spanish study showed that an excess of this vitamin could cause babies to be born shorter and with lower birth weight and another mouse study showed that higher doses tended to increase risk of breast cancer in the offspring of the mice.

It is thought that Canadians routinely take more folate than is required and this study therefore warns against the possible dangers of excess intake.


  1. Wow! I know a lot of women take 2+ mg (not mcg but mg!), at the recommendation of their doctor due to issues they may have. That is understandable, but it’s been popular belief that many B vitamins you cannot OD on, as many are water soluble!

    Definitely food for thought. I was thinking of buying an additional folate supplement in addition to the 800 mcg I receive in my prenatal. I think I’ll stick to my prenatal and leave it at that for the folate anyway!


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