Don’t take folic acid and methylfolate at the same time

Someone on a B12 deficiency discussion group mentioned that he’d found that if he took folic acid (the synthetic version of the naturally-occurring folate) at the same time as methylfolate (a much more bioavailable supplement of folate; AKA Metafolin), he would start to get folate deficiency symptoms, even though he was supplementing it like a crazy person. I experimented myself and found the same thing — the folic acid cancels out the methylfolate. Folinic acid will do the same.

Because nothing can be easy.

I swear to you I found a PubMed article confirming that folic acid deactivates methylfolate if taken AT THE SAME TIME, but of course I lost it. But if you Google “folic acid blocks” you’ll find all sorts of discussions about it.

This is a separate issue from the problem some people have wherein folic acid will inactivate any folate in their bodies, as well as in all domestic pets within a five-block area, and wreak all kinds of deficiency havoc. We’re just talking supplement interactions here.

What’s annoying is that almost all vitamin B-complex preparations use folic acid, so if you’re taking those you have to schedule accordingly — 1.5 hours in between doses worked for me.

You might note that some experts feel that past a certain amount of supplementation (maybe 800 mcg), folic acid interferes with folate status in everyone to some extent. Here’s a description of why folic acid was marketed even thought it doesn’t work as well — it was patentable, whereas naturally-occurring folate isn’t.

2 thoughts on “Don’t take folic acid and methylfolate at the same time

  1. ing

    Curious as to what symptoms you were able to clear with folic acid and what symptoms came back when you blocked methylfolate. I just discovered methylfolate to be very helpful and am in the process of figuring out my reactions. thanks!

    Reply
    1. Marjorie Post author

      That is a good question. Why didn’t I record that here? I’m guessing it was restless legs. For years I had to take folate during the day to avoid restless legs at night.

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