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

  • 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!

    • Marjorie

      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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