Folic Acid Side Effects 5/5 (7)

folic acid side effects

Hardly anyone talks about folic acid side effects.

Folic acid is not some major block buster drug having a list of dangerous side effects longer than its benefits.

Like all the ones on TV….

According to WebMD, folic acid effects are these:

While these are great to know, these are not the folic acid side effects I want to share with you.

I want to inform you about the ‘hidden’ or ‘undiscussed’ side effects of folic acid.

Note: All published references supporting my presentation are below – at the bottom of this article.

Why is no one talking about what I am about to show you?

Likely because you have to really, really – REALLY – dig for them.

Published literature contains very little on the side effects of folic acid.

In fact, using that term won’t get you much.

Instead of searching for ‘folic acid side effects’ to get you the information you want, you need to be creative.

Let’s walk through this step by step.

It will be worth your while…

MTHFR testing has exploded globally.

The positive finding is triggering a flurry of L-5-MTHF supplementation or prescriptive medication. This is the inappropriate response. MTHFR variants have been present for countless generations.

The increase in cardiovascular diseases, congenital birth defects, infertility, recurrent miscarriages are NOT a result of the MTHFR variant.

It is a result of the environmental impact on MTHFR expression.

MTHFR is unable to handle the current present-day load.

A big factor weighing down MTHFR:

Folic acid.

Whole Food to Processed Food

Plants grew and provided natural forms of folate. We harvested the fresh plants and utilized them immediately in various ways. Salads, steamed, dried, baked. In this manner, we received the nutrients as offered by the plant itself. One such nutrient provided by plants – especially leafy greens – is folate.

Folate comes from the Latin root ‘folium, which means leaf.

This powerful nutrient provides one of the most fundamentally important compounds in human biochemistry – the methyl group.

Access to these foods changed during the industrialized era. Instead of fresh breads baked daily, big business looked for ways to mass produce. The issue with mass production of finished food products, such as bread, was shelf life. It was found that if the outer parts of the grains were stripped off and milled, shelf life was extended dramatically.

The result of extended shelf life led to a surge in production and profits. It also led to a surge in birth defects and medical issues.

The Rise of Folic Acid

Instead of fixing the solution by reverting back to whole grains and fresh food, an artificial nutrient was created and added to these processed foods.

Folic acid.

In the rush to get folic acid to market, it was tested only on rats. It turns out that rats have a high ability to convert folic acid into a more bioavailable form of folate – dihydrofolate.

We are not using folic acid in rats. We are using it in humans.

This synthetic nutrient has indeed proven to reduce some incidences of birth defects and signs of folate deficiency.

It hasn’t done it successfully enough.

What we are finding now is that folic acid is actually harming us.

Folic acid is doing it quietly and insidiously.

Folic Acid: It’s Not the Same

Folic acid has no known physiological effect on human biochemistry.


While folic acid looks similar to natural folate, it is not close enough. Synthetic folic acid is lacking the body’s most fundamental biochemical compound – a methyl group.

To convert folic acid into methylated folate requires a) multiple functional genes producing b) functional enzymes which requires c) adequate cofactors. This is difficult enough. It is not all. The enzymes produced must also be in an environment free of compounds which interfere with their function – such as medications, heavy metals, cytokines, chemicals.

While rats can convert folic acid into dihydrofolate quickly and successfully, human biochemistry does not.

Only 200 mcg of folic acid can move through a human enzyme called DHFR. This is in humans who have a functional DHFR gene. There are known DHFR variants which lead to a further significant reduction in function. What does this mean? It means that folic acid is even less effective.

We made a dangerous assumption. We assumed since rats can convert folic acid easily into dihydrofolate, humans can too.

Since humans cannot convert folic acid effectively, the excess leads to high amounts of what is known as unmetabolized folic acid in the blood. Unmetabolized folic acid is folic acid.

Unmetabolized Folic Acid: It’s Harmful

Here are the reasons why unmetabolized folic acid is harmful:

  • Has no physiological benefit to the host until it is converted into dihydrofolate
  • Folate transport proteins bind it preferentially over more reduced active folate
  • Folate receptors bind it preferentially over more reduced active folate
  • Contributes to a pseudo MTHFR deficiency due to enzymatic inhibition of MTHFR
  • Reduces DHFR enzymatic function which reduces biopterin recycling, thereby contributing to a biopterin deficiency
  • Masks a vitamin B12 deficiency

This combination of negative physiological effects of folic acid is extremely significant.

In sum, they lead to what is called a ‘functional folate deficiency.’

Determining a Folate Deficiency

Common labs which measure serum folate are measuring the entire folate pool in the blood.

One cannot assume that serum folate contains the most active form of folate – which it should. Over 80% of circulating folate should be L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate. This is far from what many individuals have circulating.

Serum folate consists of unmetabolized folic acid, dihydrofolate, tetrahydrofolate, folinic acid, L-5-MTHF. This is not clinically useful information except only in the case of frank folate deficiency when serum folate is low.

The only ways to determine a functional folate deficiency:

  • History: “How much folic acid are you taking?” and “How much processed food are you eating? (as folic acid is found in these)
  • Lab: Measuring ‘UMFA’ which is unmetabolized folic acid. Issue is labs do not measure this. They used to but stopped due to lack of demand. We need it back.
  • Lab: Measuring Cerebral folate which is quite invasive.

If cerebral folate deficiency is identified, prescribing folic acid to treat it is . . . contraindicated.


Folic acid is a known contraindication of cerebral folate deficiency.

This alone begs the question:

Why are we using folic acid at all?

Couldn’t we all be struggling with some level of cerebral folate deficiency?

Folate: It’s what we need

Folic acid served its purpose.

Industrialization stripped grains of natural vitamins, oils and fiber. This led to a dramatic increase in miscarriages and birth defects. Governments had to do something. The solution chosen was not to revert back to using whole grains; it was to use synthetic man-made folic acid which has no physiological effect until it is metabolized into more reduced folates.

The use of folic acid absolutely did reduce the incidence of miscarriages and birth defects – in some. Not nearly enough especially in Hispanic populations.

The FDA is working on fortifying corn flour now with folic acid.

This is not the solution.

The solution is to use natural forms of folate which are readily available and nearly as inexpensive as folic acid.

Without the presence of folic acid, natural folates may:

  • Bind to folate transport proteins freely
  • Bind to folate receptors freely
  • Help synthesize biopterin
  • Not mask a vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Enhance cellular folate levels

Fixing the Folate Problem

Folic acid is mandated to be included in many processed foods by many countries around the world. Stopping this bad practice is not going to cease any time soon.

Thankfully, steps may be taken right now to optimize human folate levels:

  • Avoid processed foods containing synthetic folic acid
  • Consume whole foods containing natural folates
  • Avoid supplements containing folic acid.
  • Utilize supplements containing folinic acid (calcium folinate) and/or L-Methylfolate (aka L-5-MTHF, 6S-5-MTHF)
  • Consume organ meats such as liver (grass fed, younger animals)

While the above steps will indeed support one’s folate levels, it is not sufficient enough to make a difference across the globe.


This is what needs to happen now in order to reduce the risks of functional folate deficiency.

How You Can Help

Now that you are aware of the potential risks of folic acid, you can now reduce your risk of functional folate deficiency.

Ways you can help protect others from functional folate deficiency:

  • Pass this article on. Share it.
  • At health food stores, talk with the manager of the vitamin section and let them know the risks of folic acid. They will listen to you.
  • At your doctor, talk with them about the difference between folic acid and folate. Some will listen and some won’t. Even if one listens, you are making a difference.
  • At supplement stores, talk with the manager about the differences between folate and folic acid. Many want to be on the cutting edge and will appreciate your information.


Additional resources:

  • – Access Dr Lynch’s ’26 Ways to Clean Your Genes’ which is a Free Bonus Chapter. You may also learn more from Dr. Ben Lynch via his YouTube, Facebook Live, Articles and Podcasts.
  • Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health. This book summarizes how folic acid, and many other things, contribute to reducing the function of our genes and thus our health.

Share your story about Folic Acid Side Effects below. 

Leave a comment.

Over the many years I’ve talked about this, I know many who have benefitted greatly from eliminating folic acid from their diet.

Are you one of them?



[1]       Pfeiffer CM, Sternberg MR, Fazili Z, Yetley EA. Lacher DA, Bailey RL, Johnson CL. Unmetabolized folic acid is detected in nearly all serum samples from US children, adolescents, and adults. The Journal of Nutrition. 2015 Mar;145(3):520–31. PubMed PMID: 2573468.

[2]       Kalmbach RD, Choumenkovitch SF, Troen AP, Jacques PF, D’Agostino R, Selhub J. A 19-Base Pair Deletion Polymorphism in Dihydrofolate Reductase Is Associated with Increased Unmetabolized Folic Acid in Plasma and Decreased Red Blood Cell Folate. The Journal of Nutrition. 2008 Dec;138(12). PubMed PMID: 19022952.

[3]       Bailey SW, Ailing, JE. The extremely slow and variable activity of dihydrofolate reductase in human liver and its implications for high folic acid intake. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences of the United States of America. 2009 Sep 8;106(36). PubMed PMID: 19706381.

[4]       What are single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)? Genetics Home Reference. 2017 Oct.

[5]       Kes VB, Jurasic MJ, Zavoreo I, Coric L, Rotim K. Migraine, carotid stiffness and genetic polymorphism. Acta Clinica Croatica. 2015 Dec;54(4):409–16. PubMed PMID: 27017713.

[6]       Li C, Yichao J, Jiaxin L, Yueting Z, Qin L, Tonghua Y. Methlylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene polymorphism and risk of chronic myelogenous leukemia: a meta-analysis. Journal of B.U.ON: official journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology. 2015 Nov-Dec;20(6):1534–45. PubMed PMID: 26854451.

[7]       Remuzgo-Martinez S, Genre F, Lopez-Rejias R, Ubilla B, Mijares V, Pina T, Corrales A, Blanco R, Martin J, Llorca J, Gonzalez-Gay MA. Decreased expression of methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene in patients with rheumatoid arthrtis. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. 2016 Jan-Feb;34(1):106–10. PubMed PMID: 26843177.

[8]       Strohle A, Bohn T. Folate and prevention of neural tube defects: new insights from a bayesian model. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. 2015;85(3-4):109–11. PubMed PMID: 26780389.

[9]       Yun L, Xu R, Li G, Yao Y, Li J, Cong D, Xu X, Zhang L. Homocysteine and the C677T gene polymorphism of its key metabolic enzyme MTHFR are risk factors of early renal damage in hypertension in a chinese han population. Medicine. 2015 Dec;94(52). PubMed PMID: 26717388.

[10]     van der put MJ, Gabreels F, Stephens E, Smeitink J, Trijbels F, Eskes T, van den Heuvel L, Blom H. 1998;62:1044–1051.

[11]     Strohle A, Bohn T. Folate and prevention of neural tube defects: new insights from a bayesian model. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. 2015;85(3-4):109–11. PubMed PMID: 26780389.

[12]     Smith AD, Kim YI, Refsum H. Is folic acid good for everyone? The American Journal of clinical nutrition. 2008 Mar;87(3):517–33. PubMed PMID: 18326588.

[13]     Strickland KC, Krupenko NI, Krupenko SA. Molecular mechanisms underlying the potentially adverse effects of folate. Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine. 2013 Mar 1;51(3):607–16. PubMed PMID: 23241610.

[14]     Blom HJ, Shaw GM, den Heijer M, Finnell RH. Neural tube defects and folate: case far from closed. Nature Reviews. 2006 Sep 7(9):724-31. PubMed PMID: 16924261.

[15]     Hyland K, Shoffner J, Heales SJ. Cerebral folate deficiency. Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease. 2010 Oct;33(5):563–70. PubMed PMID: 20668945.

[16]     Prinz-Langenohl R, Bramswig S, Tobolski O, Smulders YM, Smith DE, Finglas PM, Pietrzik K. [6S]-5-methyltetrahydrofolate increases plasma folate more effectively than folic acid in women with the homozygous or wild-type 677C–>T polymorphism of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2009 Dec;158(8):2014–21. PubMed PMID: 19907061.

[17]     Greenberg JA, Bell SJ. Multivitamin Supplementation During Pregnancy: Emphasis on Folic Acid and l-Methylfolate. Reviews in Obstretics and Gynocology. 2011;4(3-4):126–7. PubMed PMID: 22229066.

[18]     Obeid R, Holzgreve W, Pietrzik K. Is 5-methyltetrahydrofolate an alternative to folic acid for the prevention of neural tube defects? Journal of Perinatal Medicine. 2013 Sep 1;41(5):469–83. PubMed PMID: 23482308.

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Comments 82

  1. I’ve avoided folic acid for years, but am now researching genetic problems in my family that seem to be mast cell/histamine related. Although the DAO enzyme activity doesn’t rely solely on methylation (didn’t realize that until recently). The HNMT enzyme does. I am certain that just simply avoiding folic acid has played a huge role in not developing some of the more serious disease in my family.

    1. Post

      While DAO does not rely on methylation, if it is not working right, you are absorbing histamine from the gut and it gets to your blood. There – in the blood – your histamine is processed by HNMT and methylation. So while DAO doesn’t use methylation itself – it certainly does indirectly – a lot – if histamine gets by DAO and into the blood.

    1. Post

      It will process out on its own – in about 10 days or so it should be gone and into a different form of folate. Some will still have some folic acid – but most won’t. Just need to keep avoiding it.

  2. So how long does it take for unmetabolized folic acid to leave the system? I had a high serum folate level on 2 occasions (reported as >20) but have been eating Paleo 90% of the time for the past 10 months. I have a heterozygous c677t mutation so should still be able to convert much of my folate. Could folic acid still be in my system after this long?

    1. Post

      Folic acid should be long gone if you are not consuming it. Your high folate could be from low B12, low glutathione, microbiome or high consumption of organ meats (liver especially)

      1. Dr. Lynch-my serum folate levels are > 24 and Vitamin B12 is 311; so the lower end of normal. I am compound heterozygous MTHFR and have avoided folic acid and all fortified food for about 3 months now. Are my serum folate levels high due to low B12?

        What do you recommend I do next? Should I stop all folate intake till my B12 levels are more optimal to help with this?

        1. Post
          1. Thank you! Just a follow-up question. My homo-cysteine levels are normal at 7.4. Should I stop taking my prenatal vitamin with 650 mcg methylfolate while I take the B12 supplements? My MMA is being tested right now to see if it is indicative of a deficiency.

            How long in your experience do it take for the serum folate levels to return to normal with B12 intake and resolve the methyl trap?

            Once the values return to normal; what values of B12 and folate should I continue to take to maintain the balance?

          2. Post

            Hi PK – too variable. Your homocysteine needs and nutrient needs vary day to day. I explain this in detail in my upcoming book, Dirty Genes. It’s not possible to state – one has to be aware and adapt on the fly. This is a skill that needs to be learned.

  3. I’ve been taking folic acid before getting pregnant and through the whole first trimester (0,4 mg) and I have a daughter with spina bifida 🙁 I didn’t know anything about MTHFR and folates then, but after two miscarriages next, I got tested and I hope my next pregnancy will give me a healthy baby.

    1. Post

      Hi Kinga – I hear you. Folic acid is not the ideal form of folate to use during pregnancy. We all thought it was but it is turning out not to be. Please read this article on MTHFR and Pregnancy and watch the video there in full as well. Your next pregnancy will be amazing 🙂 – Intention along with information will help immensely!

  4. In 2004 my doctor put me on folic acid because of hyperhomocysteinemia. Have been taking it off and on all this time. After reading your article I will no longer be taking this poison. How much folate should I look to take instead? I have one C282y gene and now have iron overload since contracting lyme disease.
    Thank you for any help you can provide

    1. Post

      Hi Barbara – There are many reasons why homocysteine is high. It’s hard for me to know what to suggest. Using natural folates from food is great – leafy green vegetables. Adding supplements in right away is typically not what I like to do – I rather use lifestyle, diet changes and environmental changes. I explain this a lot in my book coming out Best to you!

  5. Hi Dr. Ben,
    Thank you for all the great information. I’ve learned so much from you over the last few years. I have the homozygous c677t mutation amongst many others, therefore passing on to my 12 children. Wish I knew then what I know now about folic acid. We finally got Kraft to take out artifical colors… now how do we get the major brands to take out folic acid? Especially cereal and pastas that I refuse to buy anymore.
    My goal is to pass on the info to my children and their children now. Thank you, Diane

    1. Post
  6. I take Juice Plus ~ all 3 blends. Garden, fruits and the other one. (My mind just went blank). Do these have the good or bad in them. Thank you.

    1. Post

      Hi Barbara –

      I cannot speak on other manufacturer’s products – I am not sure.

      I looked at their supplement facts panel and it shows ‘Folate’ but they fail to specify which form of folate. I do not trust labels which do not specify which forms of folate are used.

      The FDA is moving to require companies to specify if they mean ‘folate’ or ‘folic acid’ which is a great thing -but I do not know when this will happen.

      ‘Folate’ if natural is not folic acid.

      ‘Folic acid’ if truly folic acid is not ‘folate’ – it is synthetic.

      For example, my company, Seeking Health, uses this on labels:

      Folate (as calcium folinate) … 400 mcg

      I recommend only using supplements that tell you what form of nutrients you are using – not just the name.

      It can be very deceiving.

  7. Hi, I’m vegan and my doctor said it’d be a good idea for me to take prenatal vitamins to make sure I’m getting all my vitamins and minerals. I’m not trying to get pregnant. The prenatal vitamin has 800 mag of folic acid. Should I stop?

    1. Post

      Hi Willow – I agree that one should take a multivitamin to support needed nutrients. Vegans are typically lower in vitamin B12, amino acids, carnitine and choline. I highly recommend you consider Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder as it contains all of these. All ingredients in Optimal Prenatal are vegan with the exception of vitamin D which is derived from sheep’s wool. I would recommend you do stop taking folic acid and use something which has folate in it – like folinic acid or/and L-methylfolate. Choline, amino acids and carnitine are also highly recommended.

    1. Post
  8. Dr. Lynch,

    My doctor has me on 800mcg folic acid twice per day because I am an overmethylator and he says the folic acid will remove methyl from the cells, and I’m not to take methylated folate, obviously. I am confused that there are two opposite ways of looking at folic acid. If I decide to discontinue the folic acid, is folinic acid what I should be taking, since I overmethylate? And how do I know how much to take?

    Thank you!

    1. Post

      Hi Dee –

      If you want to ‘remove methyl groups’, then you use niacin – not folic acid.

      You can also just not use folate at all if you don’t need it.

      Why take any folate if you don’t need it?

      I’d consider showing them the video on the harms of folic acid – or at least the research articles that I have here below.

      And I also want to know how you know you are an ‘overmethylator’?

      What did they do to determine this?

      ‘Overmethylation’ and ‘undermethylation’ can vary from day to day – moment to moment. It’s not static.

      One day you use up more methylation and other days you don’t.

      You could also reduce protein intake if you want to reduce methylation – and go work out / exercise mildly.

      1. Dr. Lynch,
        My doctor follows a protocol developed by William Walsh, and it’s very different from your research and the work you do. Overmethylation status was determined by a whole blood histamine test. Histamine was low which they equate with overmethylation, as well as particular psychiatric symptoms that go along with that. They believe one is born with a particular methylation status or normal methylation, and that it doesn’t change but can be managed. I hear so much about the dangers of folic acid, that I am concerned I may not be on the right path. Perhaps I need a consult with you. I haven’t had any sort of genetic testing done. Do you have a recommendation as to where I should go/which test I should do?
        Thank you!

        1. Post

          Hi Dee –

          Thank you for sharing.

          I wholly disagree with their approach. I respect their research and their teaching – but I do not agree with it.

          Few things majorly wrong with their approach:
          1) blood histamine level: very fast 1/2 life – even people with anaphylaxis can have normal blood histamine levels at the time of blood testing. Blood histamine can be metabolized very fast – within minutes – after it is released from cells.

          2) protein levels can affect histamine – if a lower protein diet – that may affect histamine levels.

          3) foods may affect blood histamine levels – if eating high or low histamine foods – this can affect their levels accordingly.

          4) methylation VARIES tremendously – infections can deplete it, low glutathione lowers it, heavy metals block it, oxidative stress slows it and stress depletes it and eventually slows it. Saying it is not ‘changing’ is crazy. It’s always changing. That is why homocysteine levels go up and down. It’s why neurotransmitters form and eliminate. It’s why histamine forms and eliminates. It’s why your serotonin moves to melatonin. It’s why in pregnancy the woman needs more folate and methylation support. It’s why people who are stressed use up more nutrients than those who don’t.

          Folic acid is not dangerous – it’s harmful. It’s dangerous for only a few people yet harmful for many in varying degrees.

          I highly recommend you first get access to the Dirty Genes Course Bundle – it will teach you a ton – and it’s way less $$$ than a health professional. One has to have a solid foundation if they expect to see any lasting results. If it is emergent and you have to see a professional now, then yes – please do that. I have a database of professionals at

          You don’t really need genetic testing at this point – you need a solid understanding so you know where to start and what to work on. I provide these fundamentals for you. Give them a shot first.

  9. I am on folic acid due to medications to treat r.a. and lupus. Specifically methotrexate, prednisone 2mg, humira. What are your comments on this?

    1. Post

      Hi Lori –

      These medications slow folate metabolism so they recommend folate to counter the side effects.

      What you need is folinic acid – not folic acid.

      These medications block the DHFR gene which is what folic acid has to go through in order to be used. It’s not wise to recommend taking something if it is blocked.

      If I told you to drive down a street that is closed for construction, that wouldn’t be very helpful would it?

      That’s what is happening.

      You need to use a more active form of folate in order to bypass DHFR blockage by these medications.

      This form is folinic acid.

  10. Dr. I am curious if your findings affect neuropathy. I have it from shingles. They found out I have difficulty with B12. I now use sublingual methyl B12. It is all so fascinating. Great topic.

  11. Doctor,

    I took a prenatal containing DHA and Folic Acid during my entire pregnancy and while nursing with no known issues and have a healthy baby. We’re hoping to get pregnant within the next two years. So you suggest taking a prenatal with folate instead?

    1. Post

      Hi Laura –

      Yes – you had a good pregnancy. Make it a great one by using folate, choline, carnosine, carnitine, etc in your prenatal. Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder contains all these in an easy to use and great tasting smoothie based formula.

      I researched looking for what was commonly deficient during pregnancy and breastfeeding – yet not commonly known or addressed. These are the added nutrients found in Optimal Prenatal.

  12. I am heterozygous for C677T and homozygous for A1298C. My homocysteine levels are normal according to my RE (5.8 )

    Recurrent miscarriages. All other testing came back normal.

    I have been taking a prenatal with folic acid for over a year. When I recently got my MTHFR mutation diagnosis, I asked my doctor if I should switch to folate. My doctor says that because my homocysteine levels are normal that it is not necessary and that MTHFR is not likely playing a role in recurrent miscarriages. I also had low b12 before taking the prenatal vitamins but b12 has been fine since.

    Should I still be taking folate with a homocysteine level of 5.8??

    Thank you!!


    1. Post

      Hi Brittany –

      Great question.

      As mentioned above, folic acid does a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ messing with folate. One does not see it on labs but it is there.

      Folic acid interferes with:
      – folate transport
      – folate binding to receptors
      – getting natural folates into the cell
      – blood levels of folate (lab results get skewed)
      – masking vitamin B12 deficiency

      It needs to be avoided.

      This article on pregnancy and MTHFR is also a must read for you.

      Pregnancy is not just about taking a prenatal with folic acid.

      This is one of the biggest misconceptions today.

      You are correct to wonder if you should keep taking folate with a lower homocysteine.

      I would like to see your homocysteine around a 7.

      To increase your homocysteine now, I would consider the following:
      Liposomal glutathione: this increases homocysteine indirectly as homocysteine is needed to make glutathione. By taking it directly, you are preserving your homocysteine to support methylation.

      Those with recurrent miscarriages are typically found to have higher oxidative stress, lower antioxidants and lower glutathione levels. source:

      – Protein: make sure you are eating sufficient protein AND absorbing it. Protein is needed to produce homocysteine.

      These two things will help a lot in raising your homocysteine to 7.

      Once you get your homocysteine to 7, maintain your protein intake at a healthy level and then add in the Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder – and some other essential nutrients.

      The minimum supplements for truly supporting pregnancy are:
      – Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder (vanilla or chocolate)
      – Optimal Iron Plus Cofactors (as needed if iron deficient)
      – Optimal Liposomal Vitamin C (to provide additional phosphatidylcholine for cell membrane synthesis – high demand for placenta formation and growing baby)
      – ProBiota HistaminX to support a lower histamine microbiome as higher histamine is associated with recurrent miscarriage
      – Optimal Vitamin D Drops as vitamin D deficiency is associated with babies more susceptible to autism – plus many other associations.
      – Optimal Fish Oil as low fish oil / EPA DHA is found to be associated with unhealthy cell membranes and increased oxidative stress.

      These are the nutrients needed for a truly optimal pregnancy.

      Do talk with your doctor about these and also about the recommendations above about how to raise homocysteine.

      Looking at hormones is also important – consider

      I wish your next pregnancy to be a fantastic success! 🙂 – Keep me posted! Many women have had great success having recurrent miscarriages before and once using Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder, they went on to carry a healthy baby full term.

      Here is further information for you – on optimizing your pregnancy

  13. What is your homocystenes are low like mine? 5th pregnancy, adrenal fatigue, severe anemia, zinc deficiency, gut dysbiosis, Candida and recent mono and Mycoplasma pneumonia? most of which occurred prior to pregnancy

  14. Just discovering I have a problem with MTHFR. One of my supplements says it has folic acid (L-5-Methyltetrahyrofolate). Is that one ok? Or is this the synthetic version that should be avoided? Thanks, I love all the info you have. It is great to know where to look for accurate information on genetic issues.

    1. Post
  15. My daughter will be starting a chemo drug called methotrexate and it causes mouth sores. Her oncologist from Stanford said that taking folic acid will help reduce the sores. What is your take on this?

    1. Post
  16. My B vitamin panels are so high, they’re off the chart. My Vit D and testosterone levels are rock bottom low. I know my Vit D levels are chronically low, over the past several years, and possibly my whole history. Any idea what would cause my body to not either produce , or absorb, Vit D? And why I don’t produce testosterone? Other organs are shown to be of optimal health, and other labs are normal, same with my thyroid (normal and healthy). I always have low energy, even though I have been on the bio identical testosterone pellets for 2 months now, as well as weekly 50,000 iu of Vit D for 2 months.

  17. Pingback: Folic Acid Side Effects | Virtual Wellness Consultant

  18. What do you do when you feel ‘toxic’ from methyl’s and your stomach gets hard and you get constipated and can’t take Niacin, as I react to that with hives and severe flushing??? Thanks so much!!

    1. Post
  19. I have been taking Methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritis for almost 20 years. I also take 800 mcg of folic acid every day except the day I take my Methotrexate. I was told Methotrexate reduces the folic acid in my body, and therefore, needed to supplement my folic acid. Am I harming myself with too much folic acid? How do I approach my rheumatologist to discuss this? Is there a test to see if I have too much folic acid in my system?

    Thank you.

    1. Post
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      Trish –

      BTW – my wife has struggled with rheumatoid arthritis as well for 30 years.

      She controls it medication free via lifestyle and diet.

      Gluten and dairy free are huge steps in the right direction.

      No Grain No Pain is a great book written by a colleague of mine. My wife felt even better following this

  20. My 19 year old son is heterozygous C677T and heterozygous A1298C. His homozygous mutations are BHMT-08 and CBS C699T. He is currently taking 5mg of
    5-MTHF and 1,000 mcg of B-12 -Methyl. Is there anything else he should be doing? What should we be looking for in the blood tests? I understand that CBS mutations are important to address as well. Thank you.

    1. Post

      Hi Michele –

      The genetic report you are using is not useful. I highly recommend you use a genetic report that uses research and has a great Facebook group and videos for support. This is

      You are going about your sons genetics incorrectly – as many do. You’re not alone on this at all – I’m just working hard to make it right.

      Thank you

  21. Dr. Ben Lynch, Thank you so much for this work. our family is so grateful that you are putting all of this information out for us to absorb. For 11 years now I have been on and off trying to supplement with Folates. After 3 miscarriages and genetic testing showing MTHFR. In the new year I will run strategene and join the FB group. I know I have more studying to do.

    I have used your products including folinic acid capsules. So far is very difficult for me to tolerate any methyl folate. I get an over abundance of histamine, I get a histamine response like I’ve just been in a wild flower Field. Several times this has created a sinus flareup that turns into an infection. Needless to say if I am supplementing with folates and I get this histamine response it makes me feel silly for basically poisoning myself. Excess histamine seems to also trigger anxiety and to some extent mania and depression. Can you comment on any of this? I have just had blood work done and the doctor says I am low in folate and I am low in vitamin D. She’s asking me to supplement with over-the-counter folates. I don’t know what to do. Because OTC folate or folic acid doesn’t work for me so far. Is there a specialist, such as a geneticist? Who would be able to point me in the right direction for what specific combination of diet or supplements might work for me? Yes I have the SNp for low vitamin D and DAO issues and also histamine SOD issues. Brain fog too so can’t recall all of it.

    Thanks and please comment. I know this thread is from October.

    I have (all Seeking Health products) liposomal glutathione and can tolerate, histimex so far seem to tolerate. Once a week or so I take a 1/4 folate lozenge. B12 lozenges as the Hex and Adno varieties. All Seems ok. Folinic acid capsules =mania, anxiety, histamine overload. Thanks again.

    1. Post

      Hi Grace –

      I’m glad the information is helping you 😉

      If something is not supporting you, then stop it and don’t use it.

      It’s a sign you are not ready for it.

      Please read this article – and I’d focus on this a bit more in depth – SIBO and Histamine.

      I also talk about probiotics and histamine intolerance here.

      Have you tried the Optimal Electrolyte yet?

      Are you sleeping well?

      Is your stress balanced?

      Have you watched the Facebook Live videos?

      I would actually think about stopping the folate and use those resources to invest in more education. The Dirty Genes Course is quite thorough and gives you a solid foundation. People are saying it is my best course to date.

      The Dirty Genes Course Bundle also provides you a copy of my upcoming book.

      Before supplements can truly work, you have to understand the groundwork. You also have to understand how the genes are working. Dirty Genes helps guide you.

  22. What about folinic acid/leucovorin? My son has done well on it- would the folate be the same(sonce leucovorin has to be prescribed would be nice to find an alternative) thanks!

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  23. What sort of long term effects might a mother notice in her child if they took high dose folic acid for most (if not, ALL) of her first trimester? I want to say it was around 3600mcg a day…

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  24. I was recently told that ALL folate is folic acid, including any supplement that says it contains folate from real, whole food. The reasoning was that as soon as folate is exposed and begins to oxidize it turns into folic acid, for example cutting a piece of real food that contains folate. Therefore no supplement could contain real folate because it’s been exposed and begins oxidizing, turning into folic acid. Is this true?

    1. Post

      Hi Shannon –

      That is incorrect.

      Folic acid is not found in nature – it is man made.

      There are a lot of people and companies spouting misinformation all over the internet.

      This is yet one more of them.

      Folic acid has to be converted by enzymes into more active forms.

      It is not converted without enzymes.

      Enzymes are made by genes.

      In the video, I spell it all out.

  25. I recently found out i have the MTHFR gene. I’m 53. After my first pregnancy, while still taking my prenatal vitamins, i had a horrible rash and waves of terrible heartburn. I realize now that was an accumulation of folic acid. My question, could this have hurt my child while in utero? Is there any known harm to infants breastfeeding? Thank you.

  26. My 85 year old mother has been taking 1000mg of folic acid per day because her rheumotologist advised this because she is taking a low dose of metatrexate. I am her daughter and have the genetic mutation where I have to take folate instead. She has never been tested for mutations. She has had insomnia for over 10 yrs now, and I am wondering if it could be related to her long term use of the folic acid. I have advised her to stop taking it and take 400-800 mg of folate instead, but she trusts her dr’s and whenever she mentions these things to them, they have no idea what she is talking about. Most dr’s are clueless about this and have a hard time being educated by the patient. Any advice??

    1. Post

      Hi Elvera –

      Couple things – you can show them this article – along with the research citations.

      You may also provide your mother a copy of Dirty Genes when it comes out end of January. It is well-researched and easy to read.

  27. I have a 100% MTHFR gene mutation from both parents. What methylating vitamins/ supplements can I take which convert B vitamins and folate?

    Thank you ,


    1. Post
  28. I am just beginning to read and try to digest all of this interesting information.

    I am vegan, is there a form of folate that does not come from animal products?

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  29. Pingback: Best Natural Baby Formula - Gurl Gone Green

  30. I am heterozygous C677t so i know my 4 year old daughter has at least one copy of the mutation. Whether her dad has it or not is unknown. He was never tested. I have been giving my daughter Flinstones multivitamins per pediatrician’s recommendation… (bad!!! I know….) she doesn’t seem to understand the whole folic acid vs methylfolate concept. She did some research and next time I spoke with her she said that i could also supplement my child with methylfolate on top of the regular multivitamins to “offset” the folic acid…… that just made me raise an eyebrow. Is that true?? If so, how, seeing there’s really no supplement in this category for children? Or should I try to find something already with 5MTHF and try to put it into a drink or something?

    In addition, her dentist wants to put her under general anesthesia next month to do ton of dental work including multiple root canals. I did my best as far as noting and repeatedly telling them to never administer nitrous oxide. But if she absolutely must and have to have some, I’ve read that I can supplement my child with methylcobalamin and methylfolate a few weeks in advance of the procedure date to ensure her B12 levels are completely depleted after it’s admisitered. I actually bought Seeking Health’s B12 w/ 5MTHF for me that has like 1000 mcg of B12. Can I give her quarter of that a day leading up to her surgery day or is that too much for a four year old? She’s obviously not a fan of any green leafy veggies….

  31. Is it safe to discontinue my prescription folic acid(2 mg/day) after 19 years? I was originally prescribed it along with methotrexate for RA. I’m no longer taking the methotrexate(for 4 years) as I’m now taking xeljanz which is working amazing well without the methotrexate. I’ve bought B12 Folate(Pure Brand) to replace it.

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  32. Hi Dr Lynch. Thank you for all that you do to educate! I’ve just preordered your book and bought the Dirty Genes Summit. I look forward to the info to see if there’s something that can help me heal from fibromyalgia &CFS. My Bcomplex supplements say “folic acid (calcium L-5-MTHF) 1000mcg” and another I just bought says “DL (a) lipoic acid (sodium salt) 300 mg”. Are these okay?

  33. I’ve looked every where online to find out how they make folic acid (both from and not from culture media) like if it is made how they make citric acid (from black mold).

  34. Hi Dr. Lynch
    I’m interested in understanding the outward effects in children with the MTHFR gene mutation and the consumption of Folic Acid.
    Could the consumption of folic acid in kids with The gene mutation contribute to behavioral issues? Bowel issues? Etc.?

  35. Hi Dr Lynch,
    I’m looking forward to receiving your book which I ordered the other day.
    A few years ago I took 800mcg folic acid when trying for a 2nd baby (doctor’s recommendation). After a few months and one miscarriage I started getting pins and needles in my arms and legs, and even my head. It was horrible and continued for about 2 weeks. I went to my doctor to have my B12 checked (374pg/ml) and he also checked my folic acid level which was 80 ng/ml!! I stopped taking the supplement and after a while started taking a methyl B complex instead after reading and learning more about mthfr. I had another 3 early (5-7weeks) miscarriages in the year following the first one and I’m of course wondering if the high level of unmetabolised folic acid could have been part of the cause….? I’m heterozygous C677T and I also had a deficiency in iodine. And would the pins and needles have been caused by high folic acid or low B12…or both? Today I’m 30 weeks pregnant with twins and my nutrient levels are looking good. Thanks for all the great information!
    All the best

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  36. My husband has tested for the MTHFR mutation. We have removed from our home all foods that contain folic acid so he is pretty much 90% compliant for a non folic acid diet. Our question is the other 10% of the time if he grabs pizza or they bring it into work or he has a doughnut, how does that come into play with the supplements he is taking. Is that little bit of every now and then folic acid going to deter the supplements from doing their job (B 12 etc.)? Since your previous response states it takes about 10 days for it to cycle out of your system, and honestly my husband’s eating some folic acid probably once every seven days… I feel like it’s never out of his system and then on top of that taking the correct supplements. I do notice he is extremely agitated for about 72 hours after he’s had folic acid. Thoughts? Thanks.

    P.S. Just received your book in the mail thank you for all your research and hard work to help us all.

    1. Post

      Hi Lisa – a bit of folic acid is ok. No worries. It’s when one takes it as a supplement or eats a lot of processed foods with folic acid it will cause issues. Enjoy the occasional pizza and donut 😉

  37. Hi, my doctor prescribed me folic acid to me and my boyfriend and we have been taken it for three months because we want to be parents, so should we stopped taken it?

  38. Good Day Ben,

    Thanks for all your work, I have found your videos very informative. I have a question regarding dosage of folate. My wife is taking Lamotrigine for epilepsy. She also has MTHFR. Her doctor recommended 5mg of folic acid daily which would obviously not be beneficial. What dosage of L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate would you suggest she takes consider that research suggests that lamotrigine interferes with folate?



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