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Thread: Confused about folate

  1. #1
    Fee Guest

    Default Confused about folate

    I've been taking Blackmores Folate for nearly 5 months now. It's 500mcg (one tablet a day).

    Anyway since finding out I'm pregnant I bought Blackmores Pregnancy & Breast-Feeding Formula. I read the label and saw that it only has 200mcg of folate per table and you are meant to take 2 tablets per day. So that's 400mcg.

    Is 400mcg enough? I don't really understand that Blackmores can make these 2 different vitamins - one that provides 500mcg per day and one that provides only 400mcg per day.

    So for now I'm just taking the plain folate. I think I read that folate is very important for pre-conception care and in the first trimester. Should I just take the folate until my first trimester is over and then move on to the P&B Formula?

    I just want to make sure I'm getting enough folate but I'm worried I'm not getting enough of the other vitamins. I thought about taking 1 folate tablet and just 1 P&B per day but the label specifically says not to exceed the stated dose of folic acid. But my naturopath said you cannot overdose on folate.



    I'm so confused!

  2. #2

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    Why don't you call Blackmores and get them to explain it to you?
    Do they have a phone number on the bottle?

    It seems pretty inconsistent to me and surely they have a good reason for it.

    I'd love to hear the answer to this question too.

  3. #3

    Default

    The RDI of folate for a pregnant woman is 400mcg.

    So the plain folate tablets have slightly more than required and the pregnancy and breastfeeding formula has right on the amount recommended. If you eat veggies you would get more folate than this anyway

  4. #4

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    Fee - I don't understand either - I wonder how much folate is in the Elevit supplement - doesn anyone have a packet to read????
    I only take FGF and it has 300mg of folate!!! The doctor told me to take these as the others make me sick - so 300mg must beok to take!

  5. #5
    Fee Guest

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    I found this info:

    The RDI of folate for adults is 200 micrograms of folate per day. It is recommended that women consume a minimum of 400 micrograms per day in at least the month before and at least the first 3 months following conception.

    So kyliealysha it seems you are right - 400mcg is the right amount.

    DG - that's a good idea about ringing Blackmores. I still think it's strange about the difference in the amounts between the 2 vitamins which are made by the same company.

  6. #6

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    HI,
    I am not a qualified natural therapist. However, I do believe you would be doing no harm if you took your pregnancy and breastfeeding formula and your folate. Women who have had a child with a neural tube defect are often prescribed more than the usual dosage of folic acid.
    A lot of women take their folic acid and a pregnancy support supplement. I think it is very good advice to call the Blackmores help line.
    The reason taking a supplement is so important is that it has been shown that almost half Australian women do not recieve enough folate in their diets. Folic acid is shown to help prevent neural tube defect. It has also been found that taking folic acid and vit B12 helps to renew dna. This was showcased on the ABC's quantum programme some months ago.
    So, I would not be concerned about taking both supplements. The FDA is the minimum requirement. However, like all things you should speak to a professional and I do think the Blackmores advise line would be good.
    I will be interested to hear what they say.
    Love and baby blessings,
    Deb

  7. #7
    angel_eyes Guest

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    Fee can you call your doctor and check?

    I was taking 500mg of folate prior to conception and for the first 3 months at the recommendation of my OB, after that I started taking Elevit instead.

  8. #8

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    My multis had 500mg of folate. I did look at Blackmores Pregnancy & Breastfeeding, and I thought it said 400mg in each tablet, but you took 2 a day. So that would be 800mg?

  9. #9

    Default

    No, it's definitely 200 mcg per tablet so a total of 400mcg

    Tulip, if you're already taking the Recommended Daily intake of 400mcg I'm not sure why you would need to take more. Ask your doctor if you're worried. Folic acid comes from others sources anyway, so you will most likely be already getting more than 400mcg.

  10. #10
    Fee Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by forsetistaffords
    Just checked my Elevit box, and it has 800mcg of Folic Acid per tablet (and you only take one per day).

    So a P&B + a straight Folate is 900mcg - only 100mcg more.
    Well that's interesting! I guess there is no harm in me taking both the Folate and just one of the P&B to give me a total of 700mcg a day. Then once I've finished my Folate only tablets I'll take 2 P&B per day which is 400mcg. I think 400mcg per day will be fine in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

    My naturopath told me that she prescribes up to 1,200mcg per day for some of her patients.

    I just got worried when I saw on the label of the Blackmores bottle not to exceed the daily intake of folate. I didn't know whether to believe that or my naturopath!

  11. #11

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    HI Fee,
    Maybe you should talk to your naturopath. Maybe if you are uncomfortable taking a larger dose (of folate) you could take just the Blackmores pregnancy formula. The reason is this has other vitamins that are important for pregnant mums. If you only take 1 a day you won't be getting the full quota of them. iykwim. I looked up some of my books and I also did a google search. The general consensus is that "once pregnant you will need at least 600mcg daily" Many practitioners recommend 800mcgs. Women who have had a previous child with a defect are often prescribed up to 4 000mcgs of folate. Folic acid is water soluable so your body flushes out the excess. High doses of folic acid may mask a vitamin B12 deficiency. You will also glean folic acid from green leafy vegetables, grains and many breads are now fortified with folate.
    I hope I have helped you. It is scary when you read those warnings and you don't quite know where you stand. We do all we can to protect our precious little ones.
    Let's know what your naturopath says

    Love Deb

  12. #12
    Fee Guest

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    I'm even more confused now!

    I wasn't planning on going back to see my naturopth ... I don't really want to pay her a visit just to ask.

    I might take 1 Folate tablet (500mcg) and 1 P&B tablet (200mcg) every day (total of 700mcg). Then when the Folate tablets run out I'll take the recommended 2 P&B tablets per day (400mcg).

    I was actually at the doctors today about a cold I've got (not my usual doctors) and when I said I was pg he just asked if I was taking folate. I think folate is the really important thing and the other vitamins are just extra. I eat very well as it is.

    Hmmmmmmmmm....!

  13. #13

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    I am sorry you are more confused after my post!
    Why don't you research it on google there are many articles. Sometimes it feels better if you read things through a bit. Remember you of course get folate in your diet from eggs and leafy greens , grains, etc etc.
    It is a little bit like vit C. The rdi is 50mg's I think. This is just enough to stave off scurvy!
    If you don't want to visit your naturopath she should answer a question like that over the phone or alternatively the blackmores help line are great with questions like this.
    Best wishes,
    Deb

  14. #14

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    Hi Girls
    Folate tablets range from 800mcg for Elevit down to 300mcg for Fefol. Each one recomends 1 tablet per day. I think that the variation in dose could be due to the possable side effects which are dark stools, nausia and vomiting, (like you need more of that), and diarrhoea. Thankfully these side effects are uncommon. For anyine taking Fefol, which is folate and iron you should not take more than 1 tablet a day without medical advice as you could go into iron overload.

    I hope this helps a little.


    Alan (Midwife)

  15. #15

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    I was taking 80mg of folic acid a day (1 tablet) (I think this is the same LOL).... from TTC up till about 12 weeks pg....

    Hope this helps

  16. #16

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    Tulip - I think iron can do that.

  17. #17
    Fee Guest

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    I just rang the Blackmores hotline and it was really just a waste of time! I guess they can't tell you want to do. I can't even remember what she said now. Something about doing all this in conjunction with the government and that's the dose they were told to recommend and she said something about how it hasn't been looked at since 1988.

    Weird.

    So she said I could take more if I wanted. She said some vitamins have up to 800mcg per day and even more. And I said yes I realised that (ie Elevit).

    And she just mentioned asking my GP etc.

    So basically it's up to me! I think I'll take 1 Folate tablet and 1 P&B (700mcg) every day until my Folate runs out. Then I'll take 2 P&B every day for the rest of my pregnancy.

  18. #18

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    Hi Fee,
    Sorry that you didn't get much help from the help line!
    I phoned my naturopath for you. She said that unless you have a history of defects 400mcgs daily is what the government health body suggests.
    However, she said up to 800mcgs daily is recommended in some countries. (I know 'Elevit' is a European company and they have 800mcgs of folate in their supplement)
    Her advice was ideally your needs should be individually asessed by your own therapist. Or, if you didn't want to do that to follow the prenatal and breastfeeding vitamins that you are on and leave out the extra folate if taking the extra feels uncomfortable for you.
    Unlike iron, folate doesn't build up in your body (folate is water soluable) and the excess is excreted. Iron supplements can make your stools very dark and cause constipation. Just what we need hey!
    She recommended just taking your blackmores supplement as it has the rdi for folate in this country in the formula.
    Like most things to do with mothering it is good to gather all the info you need and then make the decision that sits best with you.
    Love and baby blessings,
    Deb

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