Folic Acid Side Effects

Folic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin. It is used by the body to make new cells and can help prevent birth defects when taken by pregnant mothers. Folic Acid can be found in a wide variety of food products and dietary supplements. Though it’s considered safe, some are convinced it has potentially dangerous health effects.

What Is Folic Acid?

Folic Acid is a valuable member of the B vitamin family widely used in feed, food and nutraceutical applications. It is found naturally in many foods including dark leafy vegetables and a variety of fruits. Many foods including fortified breakfast cereals use Folic Acid for its health benefits. It is a yellow or orange yellow crystalline powder, odorless and tasteless, insoluble in water, ethanol, acetone, chloroform and ether.

Possible Side Effects of Folic Acid

Although Folic Acid generally regarded as a very safe and effective supplement, there can be some minor side effects. The side effects may:

    • Fever
    • general weakness or discomfort
    • reddened skin
    • shortness of breath
    • skin rash or itching
    • tightness in chest
    • troubled breathing
    • wheezing
    • Mild gastrointestinal upset, nausea, abdominal distension, flatulence
    • Bitter or bad taste, altered sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, overactivity, and impaired judgement taking 15 mg folic acid daily for 1 month.
    • Allergic responses (including erythema, skin rash, itching, general malaise, respiratory difficulty due to bronchospasm), anaphylaxis (including shock)
    • Irritability, excitement, mental depression, and confusion were reported in patients taking 15 mg folic acid daily for 1 month.

GRAS Affirmation: Yes

Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) is an American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation that a chemical or substance added to food is considered safe by experts, and so is exempted from the usual Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) food additive tolerance requirements. Folic Acid is considered safe.

Suggested Dosage


Special Populations Precaution

There is a lot of concern about diet and nutrition for these population, like Newborns, children, pregnant, sensitive to Folic Acid populations. Better consult to your doctor if you would like to intake Folic Acid.



Related Research

1. Is it safe to dispense loose iron folic acid tablets? [Indian J Pediatr. 2009 Apr] Author: Jindal G, Parmar VR.

2. Establishing safe and potentially efficacious fortification contents for folic acid and vitamin B12. [Food Nutr Bull. 2008 Jun] Author: Dary O.

3. Importance of pre-pregnancy and pregnancy iron status: can long-term weekly preventive iron and folic acid supplementation achieve desirable and safe status? [Nutr Rev. 2005 Dec] Author: Viteri FE, Berger J.

4. How safe are folic acid supplements? [Arch Intern Med. 1996 Aug 12-26] Author: Campbell NR.

5. How much folic acid is safe in pernicious anemia? [Am J Clin Nutr. 1961 Nov-Dec] Author: SHEEHY TW.

Leave a Comment