Can too much folic acid offset the benefits of other vitamins?

Adults who consume over 1,000 micrograms of folic acid, which is more than twice the recommended amount, run the risk of masking a vitamin B12 deficiency. This can be a serious problem because a B12 deficiency can lead to permanent nerve damage if it's not detected.

It's especially important to know about this danger if you're over 50, because older people are at high risk of a B12 deficiency.

Excessive folate intake can mask B12 deficiency symptoms. For that reason the upper level (UL) of folic acid (the supplemental or fortification form in food) is set at 1000ug. It is water-soluble and there is no known toxicity, however.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.