Talk:Folic acid

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Folic acid and heart disease[edit]

However, there is currently no evidence available to suggest that lowering homocysteine with vitamins will reduce risk of heart disease. The NORVIT trial suggests that folic acid supplementation may do more harm than good.[27]

Actually, the NORVIT trial found that "treating patients who have had a heart attack with high doses of B vitamins does not lower the risk of getting another heart attack or stroke". In other words, it doesn't help those in advanced stages of the disease.

RE "there is currently no evidence available to suggest", this is not accurate. From "However, in a large population study involving women, those who had the highest consumption of folic acid (usually in the form of multivitamins) had fewer heart attacks than those who consumed the least amount of folic acid. In this study, the association between dietary intake of folate and vitamin B6 and risk of heart disease was more noticeable than between dietary intake of vitamin B12 and heart disease, which was minimal."


I hope it's OK that I moved the folic acid "in food" to the top. I think it's a great article averall but I was having trouble finding about natural occurance and I think this is probably one of the main things readers are looking for, more basic than the other information. rusl

I hope the author of most of this does not mind my minor restructuring and additions. I felt that people looking it up in the sense of "pills I have been told to take" or "what's been added to my breakfast/bread etc" might benefit from some of this stuff near the top. Which is not in any way to demean the value of the biochemical detail, which is both interesting and important. Nevilley

I have done a brute-force import of most of the NIH factsheet. Wikification and merging is needed: I will do more later when I have time. -- Anon.

As the author of a lot of the biochemistry, all I can say is that the additions are terrific! This article was a couple sentences long when I first started touching on it, and this vitamin deserves a lot more consideration than that - David M

" a UL of 800 µg for pregnant and lactating (breast-feeding) women less than 18 years of age. "

    • the precision seems odd, why less than 18 years ? What about all the other who get prgnant after ??

um, the opening paragraph under the subheading "heart disease" needs some serious work!! the first sentence starts with the number of deaths attributable to folate deficiency and ends with the improvements in stroke statistics attributed to folate supplementation in the food supply. if the supplemenation is sufficient to help with strokes why not with heart disease?? that needs fleshed out please. then the paragraph moves on to explain the role of the b vitamins with homocysteine levels. then ends with informing us that lowering homocystien through increased bvitamins may cause us more harm than good. if the role of folate with heart disease is yet being learned about, that needs to be made more clear. if the role is understood but caution needs to be applied, that needs to be made more clear. but whatever the situation, my opening statment remains unchanged: the first paragraph of the "heart disease" subheading needs major editing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:42, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Normal function in humans/organisms[edit]


I'm not sure it's true that there is no proven link between homocysteine and IHD. I've got the MTHFR mutation and I am eating folic acid like sweeties. As are quite a lot of the medics I know. Maybe this is just 'cos I've got particularly concerned doctors, or maybe it's because I work in a place which produces some of the research, but from where I am sitting it looks clear. I am aware of the AHA's comments - I think we think (iyswim) they are wrong. However, (a) I am not up for an argument about this and (b) I'm not a doctor or a statistician and I couldn't progress this further without the help of one or both, and I am not sure the people I work with are quite ready for the Wikipedia concept yet!* :) So I think I will leave it for a bit and see how it develops. Nevilley

  • As in: how would you like to write something which anyone with internet access can change? Heheheh. Might almost be worth it just to watch them struggle with the disbelief!

I rewrote that section for one simple reason: people can be very simple minded when it comes to cause and effect in complex systems, and mistake a statistical association for a cause, or a special case for a general assertion. A classic example of this is an old 60 Minutes broadcast with Ed Bradley, where he tries to find something sinister in the presence of phenylalanine in steaks. Yea, duh. Steak has phenylalanine. Phenylketonurics had best be careful eating steaks. But that steak represents a nutritional and health problem for phenylketonurics doesn't make steak (in moderate portions, of course) a cause of serious health problems to the public at large.

Duh, me. Talk about trick memory. It wasn't steak Bradley was trying to persecute. It was a sweetener, the dipeptide with phenylalanine. But the same logic applies. Dwmyers

When you're dealing with the 1 carbon chemistry of methionine-homocysteine-folic acid, which is also affected by pyridoxamines and cobalamins, when the shutdown of these pathways affect a variety of physiological functions, including the synthesis of DNA, then I think it takes a higher bit of evidence than saying homocysteine did it. It *may* have done it. But something else in the maze of metabolic pathways may have done it as well. So, I want to see the study that proves homocysteine did it. But the chemistry of single carbon addition and sulfer containing amino acid chemistry cuts through almost everything in the field. Pruning the tree of possibilities to locate causes will be hard work.

So, if in contradistinction to the AHA stand, you have a study that demonstrates that homocysteine actually causes damage, as opposed to signaling damage, please post the reference. Finally, don't be afraid of the authority of your doctoral colleagues. If a respectfully worded question to one of them can't yield a respectful and thoughtful answer, then the problem is not you, its them. I'd use a more colorful phrase, but this place admits children too. - Dwmyers

I'm out of my depth here and will quite happily leave it to you. :) Nevilley

Regarding the section concerning folic acid and methotrexate in cancer chemotherapy - folic acid and folinic acid are different things. Folic acid has no role in methotrexate chemotherapy. Folinic acid (Leucovorin is calcium folinate) is used for methotrexate rescue in cancer chemo. I have amended the article to reflect this, as well as created an article on folinic acid. Techelf 14:05, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Comment to the above (Techelf): I need to dig into my literature references, but I -think- that folic acid can also do rescue from methotrexate. I will check. 03:08, 13 January 2006 (UTC)CSari 1/12/2006

I have just had confirmation of MTHFR C667t mutation thrombophilia and the entire treatment the hematologist recommended when I am not pregnant is a folate supplement. Shouldn't there be at least a mention of folate processing anomalies on this page somehow? Katherine —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:26, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Selected food sources Section[edit]

I removed the final section on Selected food sources, as everything had already been mentioned above. It also refered to a table that existed in the NIH factsheet but was not reproduced here. Asbestos | Talk 15:59, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Edits to B12 deficiency and masking by folic acid[edit]

I have changed section 9, Caution about folic acid supplements, to indicate that there is little actual proof for masking of B12 deficiency by folic acid. I have also added the recommended allowance for B12, which is 2.4 microgram not 1000 microgram per day, and explained about malabsorption of B12 as it occurs in elderly subjects -- MKatan,14 June 2005

The idea that too much folic acid can mask the symptoms of B12 deficiency yet at the same time causes them to worsen is completely illogical. Folic acid is required to activate B12 so folic acid deficiency could cause secondary B12 deficiency. The so called masking effect is probably because the secondary B12 deficiency has been redressed and that folic acid deficiency was at the heart of the problem. Folic acid deficiency can be dealt with by eating lots of green vegetables while B12 deficiency would require and increase in the consumption of animal products. I smell a rat.

I think the meat industry has a hand in this. You don't find B12 in plants. It makes me think of all the emphasis put on calcium throughout the 20 century when in actual fact magnesium is just as important for bones but is not found in high quantities in milk. The dairy industry was responsible for all the hype about calcium and only now are people realising that magnesium is key in osteoporosis, not calcium. DrSparticle (talk) 21:35, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Folic acid and depression[edit]

It has been some time since I looked into this subject, but I still had a few articles bookmarked (see below). I think I am a bit out of my league as far as adding to this article is concerned, but I wanted to at least point this out in case someone else might be interested. To all who have contributed: this article is wonderful; thank you for such a well done addition to Wikipedia. - LeaMaimone 21:48, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Folic acid and autism[edit]

This subsection should be added to controversies.

Cleanup: why "two" articles?[edit]

I'm wondering why there is a hard rule (i.e., ----) in the article. It appears as though the article was covering two different meanings of folic acid, though on closer inspection it really looks like two different versions about the same subject. Both parts really should be merged together. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 06:15, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

I just noticed the cleanup tag. I have raised the issue with WP:Chem, so hopefully this will be addressed soon. Walkerma 07:37, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

I haven't looked at this article very closely..yet on the surface, it served my needs and stands out to me to be a damn good article relative to many others that I have seen others laud and herald. As a wikipedia user, I am quite satisfied with this work.

I agree, this is an above-average article, so I've taken off the cleanup tag. --Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 12:40, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Oops, I can't edit it without zapping the chinese/japanese interwiki links, cos my OS is so lame. Someone else rm the cleanup tag? --Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 12:41, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Done. Csari 00:46, 6 February 2006 (UTC)


Something seems to be amiss in the biochemistry section. I'm not seeing "methylidine tetrahydrofolate" in any references or online, except in duplicates of this wiki page. CHO-FH4 should be 5-formyl-tetrahydrofolate (or it could be 10-formyltetrahydrofolate, can't tell from the abbreviation used) If it is the 5-formyl, that's folinic acid.

Likewise, CH2=FH4 is unclear. Methylene-FH4 has a bridging -CH2- group between N5 and N10. Methenyl-FH4, the product of methenyltetrahydrofolate synthetase and substrate of SHMT (serine hydroxymethyl transferase) is generally abbreviated as CH+=FH4 (or =THF), reflecting (somewhat badly) a double bond between the one-carbon unit carried and N5, with a single bond to N10.

MOST of these folates (methyl, methenyl, methylene, but not 5-formyl) can act as one-carbon donors, so the simple scheme shown needs revision. I'm thinking a bunch of this should go off to the currently non-existent one carbon chemistry page with a link from this article.


CSari 03:33, 13 January 2006 (UTC)


I've cleaned up the references - the number did not match the number of citations. Several duplications now addressed by the cite:ref system. However there is a citation of "Oldref_5a" that refered in the references to "Oldref_5", but this does not seem to exist.

The reordering of the references allows new citations to be added with ease, rather than previous confusing out-of-sequence numerics (see addition of info from clinical trials re folic acid and cardiovascular disease - the "proof-of-the-pudding" seems to be that it does not help).David Ruben Talk 05:20, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Pteroylglutamic acid - a synonym?[edit]

American heritage dictionary says that pteroylglutamic acid is "folic acid". Should it be added as a #REDIRECT page?--CopperKettle 06:49, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Dietary Fortification of Folic Acid[edit]

"Conversely, in the early 2000s, the US FDA prevented the import of Vegemite from Australia, citing, as the reason, that the folic acid levels are too high."

This claim has received recent media exposure, but lacks a citation. This seems odd given that the FDA is said to *cite* a specific reason for the import restriction. While lists import refusals of Vegemite this year, citing causes including:

"It appears the manufacturer is not registered as a low acid canned food or acidified food manufacturer pursuant to 21 CFR 108.25(c)(1) or 108.35(c)(1)." 19 Jan 2006

"It appears that the manufacturer has not filed information on its scheduled process as required by 21 CFR 108.25(c)(2) or 108.35(c)(2)." 19 Jan 2006

"The article appears to be, or to bear or contain a color additive which is unsafe within the meaning of Section 721(a)." 27 Feb 2006

"It appears the food is fabricated from two or more ingredients and the label does not list the common or usual name of each ingredient." 27 Feb 2006

"The food is in package form and appears to not have a label containing an accurate statement of the quantity of the contents in terms of weight, measure or numerical count..." 27 Feb 2006

None of these causes appear consistent with the claim that import is restricted due to the levels of folic acid in the food. A citation to the contrary would strengthen the article.

I have removed it - as it has been removed from vegemite article until there's confirmation. The one news source I've seen gives no confirmation, just vague comments from unnamed "Australian expatriates in the US" - DavidWBrooks 15:21, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
"Kraft spokeswoman Joanna Scott said: 'The (US) Food and Drug Administration doesn't allow the import of Vegemite simply because the recipe does have the addition of folic acid.'" [1] --Robotech_Master 19:30, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Confused and need help[edit],23599,20623973-2,00.html
Can someone explain to me about this please? What caused America to ban this product? The artical mentions Folic acid. Thanks -- 10:10, 22 October 2006 (UTC)


The FDA has apparently banned the importation of Vegemite into the US because it has folic acid added--and apparently folic acid can only be added to bread and cereal products, by US law. I came to this entry hoping I could find out more about why US law prohibits it from being added to other substances, but didn't find anything of that nature. Could someone perhaps write a section going into that? --Robotech_Master 19:18, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Looking at the FDA regulations regarding the addition of folic acid to foods (21CFR172.345), there does not appear to be any language that could be construed to prohibit the addition of folic acid to foods other than breads and cereals. To the contrary, the cited regulation specifically sets rules for folate supplementation of infant formula, medical foods, supplements, and "meal-replacement products." I would be interested to see a citation to the contrary, but I think that the one news report that has generated this interest is incorrect regarding the cause for any (unconfirmed?) prohibitions on Vegemite importation. --Nllewellyn 18:06, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Folic acid fortification is not without controversy; I recently added some sources citing this fact. The rationale for adding them to grain and cereal products is that whole grains have naturally occurring folates, and that refined (white) grains have had the folates stripped--and a society relying heavily on refined flours is thus at risk of being deficient in folate, hence the increased risk of various birth defects (and also some concern about other chronic health problems like depression). But because there are objections, I think people have been reluctant to allow fortification across the board. Folic acid is absorbed faster than natural folates and can accumulate to high levels...I think there's special concern about people who may already be taking folates being exposed to more in their food. See [2] for a full explanation. Cazort (talk) 05:30, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Accuracy in measurements 1um is not 1mg[edit]

Dr. Myers and others;

Through out the regarding the dosages of Folic Acid are many references to 1000 ug. 1000 ug is equivalent to 1000 * 10 ^ -6 where 1000 mg is equivalent to 1000 * 10 ^ -3. Would you please review your data and make the appropriate corrections.

My Thanks,

LD Cooke 13:39, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I am impressed[edit]

Today is 19 Jan 2007. I came here today looking for info on Folic Acid because of a news article on its effects. I found that Pol098 had already edited the article to refer to--not the news articles in the popular press--but the original article in Lancet, dated today. Wow! Well done!

Mcswell 13:43, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Folic acid and methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritus[edit]

I have to take low doses of methotrexate for my RA (actually I have ankylosing spondyltus). My docotor recently found alarming levels of something in my blood... she said it looked like potential heart disease. Come to find out, I need to take folic acid. This is the second doctor that told me this (I moved and had to do all kinds of fun stuff, like getting a new doctor...). I have no idea how to make a wiki-standard appropriate addition to this for RA / AS. She said up to 800mg, btw -- if that means anything.

-- Nazadus 21:00, 5 Febuary 2007 (UTC)

Non-nutrition uses.[edit]

What does everyone think would be the best way to add in information not related to human nutrition? Add it as its own section? Specifically I was going to add information concerning the use of Folic acid in murine models of acute renal failure (ie. overdosing animals with FA to induce kidney failure) I want to separate it enough so that it is clear that this property does not create a hazard of taking too much FA but rather just an alternate, common use. Jvbishop 17:35, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

New section sounds sensible. --Michael C. Price talk 09:00, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I put it in. I am a little worried about people deriving the conclusion from the addition that the levels of folic acid in food or vitamin supplements would be harmful in this way. Do you think my version is clear enough in this or should I add a comparison of dosage to the equivalent human dosage would be 20grams or the amount found in x number of multivitamins. Jvbishop 14:33, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
You can try a comparison, but how to scale up is unclear: do you scale up according to metabolic rate, calorific throughput or by weight? --Michael C. Price talk 14:41, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure. I've seen studies done in rats that used the 250mg/kg dosage but I've not seen studies done with any other organism. Rat metabolism is a little different than mouse so I'm going with weight. I'm not thinking of suggesting a safe dose rather pointing out that to cause renal failure by folic acid overdose one would have to take far more than you can find in normal food or multivitamins. I may not even add anything. Jvbishop 15:00, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


is this passage right? Because RNA and protein synthesis are not hindered, large red blood cells called megaloblasts are produced,--Ryan Wise 04:22, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Probably correct. The production of thymine is hindered (required for DNA) but not uraacil (required for RNA). I presume the megablastic red blood cells do not have DNA.--Michael C. Price talk 05:58, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Format Error[edit]

A table on this page is formatted incorrectly and I'm not sure how to correct it. Some editor should come by and fix it, this will prolly only take a sec. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:54, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

"Experts claim" regarding spina bifida - is there any dispute?[edit]

A sentence currently reads: "Experts claim that this will decrease the number of babies with disabilities such as spina bifida." The "experts claim" implies there's dispute, while I took the connection to be a firmly established scientific fact. Is there any credible dispute? If not, I suggest changing wording to something like "Supplemental folic acid intake during pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of infants being born with certain birth defects, particularly spina bifida." Statistics on reductions in countries that have required folic acid in varous foods could be added, but I think "significantly" conveys the point without getting too deep into side topics.

Literally thousands of journal articles could be cited; here's a fairly accessible one that happens to offer full text online, with a bibliography that contains several other free full-text citations:

Green, Nancy S. (2002.) "Folic Acid Supplementation and Prevention of Birth Defects." Journal of Nutrition, The American Society for Nutritional Sciences, 132:2356S-2360S, 2002. Retrieved on 2007-09-27.

-Agyle 19:08, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

You're right, there's absolutely no dispute about this. --Michael C. Price talk 19:52, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm removed that sentence as part of a wider restructuring — there was some health stuff in the Folate in foods section, which I've moved elsewhere. Nunquam Dormio 07:00, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


{{reqdiagram}} Folate would be nice

Do you mean sth. like this? --NEUROtiker (talk) 07:48, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Added now --pfctdayelise (talk) 15:55, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Folate Levels too high[edit]

I'd like to see more about folate blood tests. One laboratory lists a normal folate blood level as greater than or equal to 3.5 ug/L. What is an elevated folate blood level and what could cause a too elevated level besides an overdose? ReasonableLogicalMan(Talk 19:24, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Epigenetic relation between folic acid supplements and asthma in children[edit]

I just came accross this article in, which might be important for pregnant women. The article suggests an epigenetic relation between folic acid supplements and an increased asthma risk in children. I though it might be worthy to add it to the article. As I don't concider myself knowledgeable enough, I'll let it up to those who are when they think it's useful. --Hedgehawk 17:32, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

"Folate trap"[edit]

The section "Biochemistry of DNA base and amino acid production" discusses the "methyl-trap of THF". I suggest also at least mentioning the term "folate trap". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thomas.Hedden (talkcontribs) 16:36, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

antifolates section needs editing[edit]

Much of the content of the antifolates section (from "Folinic acid, under the drug name leucovorin,") should probably be moved to the methotrexate article ? Rod57 (talk) 02:12, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Folic acid metablism could be a problem[edit]

Depending on where it is metabolized -- Intestines or liver? [3] Brian Pearson (talk) 20:04, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

New Research[edit]

Did you know that?

It has been found that folic acid reduces the incidence of hydrocephalus, a medical condition which inhibits the healthy development of the brain of a foetus during pregnancy.

Scientists at The University of Manchester and Lancaster University say laboratory tests have shown that administering a combination of vitamins (tetrahydrofolate and folinic acid), dramatically reduces the risk of hydrocephalus.

Check out this url for more info:

In order to make this article more informative I would recommend that a new section about this recent scientific find be created. This is information that is allready in the public domain, by placing it on wikipedia this knowledge will become more accessible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:55, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Recommended daily amount[edit]

This is written as 400 micrograms on the page, but most sources seem to give the RDA as 200 micrograms (sources being vitamin bottles)

Pathway diagram[edit]

One-carbon metabolism and the transsulfuration pathway.jpg

Folate/Folic Acid[edit]

Folic Acid and folate are surely exactly the same thing. Who put in the questionable statement about folate being the naturally occuring form of folic acid? -ate denotes acid. I feel the statement about its origin should be removed. Hex ten (talk) 17:24, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Folic acid is of course an acid. Folate should only refer to the neutralized form, such as a salt of folic acid. -ic denotes an acid; -ate does not.
GentleMiant (talk) 01:44, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
They are not the same thing; folic acid is a specific chemical, and folate is a more general term referring to a whole class of chemicals which contain the folate group. For example, the active form of the vitamin is Levomefolic acid. It's not a simple question of salts of the acid, the term "folate" encompasses a variety of different organic chemicals. I currently brought up the issue below, of splitting off the article folic acid to refer to only this chemical, and have a separate (main) article on Vitamin B9 / Folates, which covers the class of molecules. Currently the articles use the terms almost interchangeably, which I think is confusing and problematic because folic acid usually refers to the synthetic form of folate; it does occur naturally but is only a small component of total folates in natural foods. Cazort (talk) 05:25, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Yep they aren't exactly the same. Folic acid is a synthetic compound and isn't what is naturally found in food. Tetrahydrofolates (THF) are the naturally occurring group of compounds. "Folate" appears to have become an umbrella term that includes both natural and synthetic forms, however there are some who prefer to use the word folate only for the natural forms (eg: If your liver is doing its job then it should be able to convert most of the synthetic folic acid to a biologically active THF form. (talk) 22:20, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Agreed the article raises confusion on the point of folate vs folic acid, which are clearly not "exactly" the same thing and have slightly different metabolic implications... but while the introduction clearly states they are different (with definitions) it also explicitly says the terms are interchangeable, and for the rest of the article they are assumed to be the same thing. It appears the intro sentence about "There is no "natural" and chemical form of folate and folic acid" remains as a knee-jerk reaction against the "natural supplements vs chemical supplements" false dichotomy. This folate vs folic acid question really needs clarification, probably its own section on the (minor) metabolic differences and on research (if any) showing health differences (or lack thereof) between the two as part of a diet. Especially since various online health website articles (of varying quality) do exist making differences claims supposedly reported by research. (Joe - I'm a casual user here) (talk) 19:21, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

The article should be corrected. Clearly folic acid is not the same as folate. Here is one doctor's explanation... Arydberg (talk) 20:42, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

"Folate, folic acid and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate are not the same thing" (talk) 23:49, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

RDI table[edit]

I've reworked the RDI section and in particular the table (all sourced to [4]). It's complete, but it may be confusing and perhaps a bit ugly. It could be broken into three separate tables - infants, 1-19+ years and pregnant/lactating women - fairly easily. I kinda like it as one big table, but I'm open to being convinced otherwise. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 17:50, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Folate DFE of indefinite quantity compared to folic of definite quantity[edit]

In the Canada section at the end of the second paragraph is: "Natural occurring folate is equal to 1 DFE, however 0.6 µg of folic acid is equal to 1 DFE."

1 DFE of folic = 0.6 μg
1 DFE of folate = ??

You may also wish to delete the word "occurring" in the above quote or change "Natural" to Naturally". GentleMiant (talk) 02:57, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Pre 1931 research[edit]

A study done in the late 20's at the University of Missouri and published in 1930 by Dr's Albert G Hogan and Ernest M Parrott is the genesis of the 1931 study cited in this article. The University of Missouri research studied anemia in chickens to isolate and identify a vitamin deficiency, specifically a previously unidentified nutrient, later named folic acid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:07, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Folic Acid, methotrexate and folinic acid section obsolete and contrary to common medical practice.[edit]

Footnotes 47 and 48 refer to studies from the late 1990s.

Since then, folic acid has gained currency as being just as good for methotrexate rescue as folnic acid. I'm a dermatomyositis patient, and in our facebook groups, out of maybe 100 patients from around the world being treated with methotrexate by rheumatologists and neurologists, there is one who takes folinic acid. The rest of us take folic acid.

So in the practice of rheumatology, at least, using folic acid is well established and what the current wikipedia article about the use of folic acid being a medical error is incorrect.

This study is probably the one you want to use in the foot note of the corrected article: Or this: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:26, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Other references:

Dozens of other studies state in the National Liberary of Medicine say they use folic acid instead of folinic acid in methotrexate rescue. Using folic acid seems to be so well accepted and documented it is no longer seen as remarkable.

Using folinic acid would now be the unusual rescue treatment, in rheumatology at least. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:24, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Also called B11?[edit]

My Centrum multivitamin says on the label: "B11 (folic acid) - 200µg - 100%".

Is there some subtlety I'm missing (and which could then be explained in this article)? Gronky (talk) 12:30, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

"Vitamin B11" Seems to be variously used for folate or a derivative of it (pteryl heptaglutamic acid), but I can't find a reliable source. --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 14:04, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Name / Separating Folate from Folic Acid[edit]

Folic acid is only one of many natural forms of folates/Vitamin B9. Currently, both folate and Vitamin B9 redirect to this page, but this page does not go into a great deal of depth discussing the different forms of folate and their distinctions. I've begun adding a bit of this material in the section on fortification, but I want to raise the issue of separating these articles / topics here.

I think there is a problem with WP:NPOV when the article is written primarily about "folic acid" but then refers extensively to health effects of folates, often using the two terms interchangeably. This is a point of concern because there are potential health risks associated with pure folic acid whereas there are no known health risks associated with naturally-occurring folates. What do others think of keeping these separate? The issue I see is that folic acid is only one of many forms of folate, and the forms have different biological properties, and many have been extensively studied and are notable in and of themselves. It seems that it would make more sense to have the main article be about "folates" or "Vitamin B9" and then have a page about folic acid that is specifically about the chemical. This would not only be more intuitive to me but I think it would avoid problems with POV. Cazort (talk) 15:37, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

The "naturally occurring" folates have no known health risks because the studies have been conducted with folic acid; and there is no reason why other forms of vitamin B9 should have different effects. For the same split proposal see Talk:Levomefolic acid#Requested move. --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 14:13, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
That's simply not true. A little reading with regards to the research you mention, and you will discover that the potential health effects are due are from the steps required to metabolize folic acid. Ergo, not possible with biogenic folates. (talk) 12:43, 25 November 2012 (UTC)


I'm not an expert on such things, but we're a general encyclopedia, and I think readers such as I should expect clarity that is currently lacking.

Some current leads:

  • Folic acid (also known as folate, vitamin M, vitamin B9,[3] vitamin Bc[4] (or folacin), pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, pteroyl-L-glutamate, and pteroylmonoglutamic acid[5]) are forms of the water-soluble vitamin B9. [5]
  • Levomefolic acid (INN) (also known as 5-MTHF, l-methylfolate and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate) is the natural, active form of folic acid used at the cellular level for DNA reproduction, the cysteine cycle and the regulation of homocysteine among other functions. The un-methylated form, folic acid (vitamin B9), is a synthetic form of folate found in nutritional supplements. Synthetic folic acid is metabolized in the body into levomefolic acid. Approximately 10% of the general population (homozygous TT) lack the enzymes needed to receive any benefit from folic acid.[citation needed] Another 40% of the population (heterozygous CT) appear to convert only a limited amount of folic acid into levomefolic acid. They cannot fully process supplemental folic acid at RDA or higher dose levels.[citation needed] The remaining population do not have a known MTHFR polymorphism and can therefore metabolize folic acid more efficiently. It is synthesized in the absorptive cells of the small intestine from polyglutamylated dietary folate. [6]

As well, an incredible number of simple redirects [7] point to Folic acid. They include Vitamin M, Folate, Vitamin B9 and several variations of it, Folic acid antagonists, Folate biosynthesis and variations of that, Folic acid (drug) and Pteroylmonoglutamic acid. There are other more complex redirects from, for example, trade names such as Folacin. All of these point to the lead of the article not a section. Many violate the principle of least astonishment in my opinion.

There are some basic points that I think need to be more clearly made. I may have some of them wrong, in which case correct me please.

  • Vitamin B9 refers to any one of a number of chemicals (each individual one of them an individual vitamer, and all closely related to folic acid) that can provide an equivalent nutrient. It's a bit more complicated than with some other vitamins in that some research suggests that some people are unable to use or fully use some of these.
  • Folic acid and related compounds exist in two chiralities, and only one of these is biologically active. So in a physical chemistry sense, not all folic acid is vitamin B9. However in the context of nutrition, folic acid and follate both mean the biologically active chirality. Levomefolic acid and L-methylfolate both refer explicitly to the biologically active chirality, that is, they are both forms of Vitamin B9.
  • Follate can mean the group or a compound containing the group. In this it's not unlike inorganic groups such as chlorate.

How's that so far? Andrewa (talk) 11:12, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

That's good, and (just about) all you say is correct. They're all vitamers for folate, the vitamin. I would say they are all vitamers for vitamin B9, but "B9" is actually deprecated by nutritionists as a generic descriptor name for this vitamin. Yes, I know that some fanatic has gone around Wikipedia insisting that B7 is okay to use as the generic descriptor for biotin and B9 for folate. However, no classical nutrition books use B7 and B9 that way (there are no B7 through B11 vitamins). In fact, even B5 is suspect as a name, and has never been formally accepted by world nutritional naming convention as a synonym for pantothenic acid (nor will you find B7, B9, or B5 on any FDA food label). Again I know WP says otherwise, and if you do a [citation needed] you'll get an endless amount of drivel to nutritional quack literature, of which there is an endless amount. What's new? WP can either be academic nutrition or not, academic nutrition or GOOGLE pop health books nutrition. Here's the choice. SBHarris 22:50, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
OK, so here's a suggestion: If folate is the preferred name for what I've been calling Vitamin B9, then we need a two-way DAB at Folate, pointing to two articles (or perhaps article sections) at Folate (physical chemistry) and Folate (vitamin), or similar. Folate undisambiguated is seriously ambiguous, and unsuitable as an article title, but if it's the common name for the vitamin then it should be the article title, suitably disambiguated. Andrewa (talk) 23:39, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Yep. Folate is the common generic vitamin descriptor name: See here. So yes indeed, we need a dab on folate with folate (vitamin) and folate (chemistry). Folic acid needs no dab, as it's a particular vitamer (one used commonly in food fortification) and also an unambiguous (artificial) molecule.SBHarris 01:00, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
And following that through, most of the material now in this article more properly belongs in an article on folate (vitamin). It's in no way specific to the compound described in the article. Moreover, folic acid in physical chemistry refers to both stereoisomers of folic acid, but this material is specific to one of them. So there is both underlap and overlap.
The material currently in the infobox is a horrible mismash reflecting this. Andrewa (talk) 06:41, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
We need to fix the infoboxes in the same way we did for ascorbic acid and vitamin C, which are almost exact analogies. Vitamin C is the generic descriptor for several vitamers, including "ascorbate." But when "ascorbate" and "ascorbic acid" are used in the literature, the natural L-ascorbate and L-ascorbic acid are assumed (if you mean D-ascorbate you have to write that). That is also the case for D-glucose, which directs to glucose (we don't have an article for D-glucose), We do have an article for unnatural L-glucose. This is a common trend for biomolecules-- the bioepimer is assumed if you don't include the epimeric designation, and a dab isn't needed. We could (in theory) have a stub for unnatural D-ascorbate to treat it like unnatural L-glucose, but right now, D-ascorbate (perhaps improperly) redirects to ascorbic acid, which is the article (separate from vitamin C) that we've used to discuss the specific physical chemical, not the vitamin. This works because in the article "ascorbic acid," the epimer issue is discussed, so that article, the chem article, serves for both epimers.

For folate we have yet another confounder, which is that "folate" is not only the name of the anion for folic acid (a very specific molecule where we assume the biological stereochem, if it's not specified), but "folate" also serves as the category common name (generic descriptor name) for all those molecules with the "B9" vitamin activity. Here it would be nice if there WERE a vitamin B9 to give this category a needed name, instead of a word already used for the anion of a specific artificial chemical entity which is one of (very many) vitamers. So, a "folate" dab page is inescapable because the same word is used for a specific chemical, and a general category of chemicals that have vitamin activity. Thus probably two article names, as discussed above: folate (chemical) and folate (vitamin), are also needed. But the stereochem issues can be handled as we've done it for ascorbic acid and (at most) for glucose. SBHarris 23:31, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Very interesting, and logical.
This is a common trend for biomolecules-- the bioepimer is assumed if you don't include the epimeric designation, and a dab isn't needed. If Wikipedia is to follow this trend we should document this, if it hasn't been done already, and the case for it.
And specifically, is this to be a naming convention, or a usage in context in article text, or both? Andrewa (talk) 14:24, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Dietary sources[edit]

According to the cited reference for dietary sources, one common unit of frozen orange concentrate juice (6 fl oz.) is higher than one common unit (1 cup) of spinach and other leafy greens. This seems in contradiction to the text of our article (unless we disagree with their common units being equivalent). (talk) 12:12, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Lede grammar[edit]

"Folic acid (also known as folate, vitamin M, vitamin B9,[3] vitamin Bc[4] (or folacin), pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, pteroyl-L-glutamate, and pteroylmonoglutamic acid[5]) are forms" -- It might be a bit awkward to say 'acid is forms,' but it is plain wrong to say 'acid are forms.' How about some-thing like "constitutes"? (talk) 12:14, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Folate is both a class (the name or generic descriptor of this vitamin) as well as being a specific molecular species. Troubles here are due to not splitting off a folate (vitamin) and a folate (chemistry) article, as recommended above (read it). Info in this vitamin article needs to go in folate (vitamin). Which DOES consist of various vitamer FORMS (including folate (chemistry) and folic acid). Read discussion above. I presume you add your name to the vote for the renames. SBHarris 16:43, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Too Human Focused[edit]

There is hardly any mention of the role folate plays in non-human organisms. It plays important roles in most other organisms (hence, sulfa drugs work). I can work on this in a few weeks, but if anyone has any suggestions, please shout out. (talk) 04:08, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Proposed Split[edit]

This has been discussed before on this page, see Talk:Folic_acid#Folate.2FFolic_Acid and Talk:Folic_acid#Name_.2F_Separating_Folate_from_Folic_Acid. There seemed to be a consensus, especially after the second discussion, to split. The issue is that "Folic acid" can refer to a single, specific chemical, but it is also used to refer to a complex of vitamers. Similarly, "folates" can refer to salts of the acid, but more commonly refer to the class of vitamers that make up the Vitamin B9 complex. Further nuances brought up in the discussion include the point that folic acid is chiral and has two stereoisomers, only one of which is in the B9 complex.

I'm proposing a split into two articles:

I would like generic terms like Folic acid and Folate to go to disambiguation pages.

This may require a lot of work but I'm willing to to the bulk of the splitting if other people want to do cleanup of small details. I wanted to post here though before I do anything major! I also want to know what people's thoughts are on naming. Cazort (talk) 17:14, 6 July 2013 (UTC)


"A lack of dietary folates leads to folate deficiency, which is uncommon in normal Western diets"

This sentence places undue significance on western diets versus other sorts of diets. Wikipedia users aren't all from the west. I suggest we remove the dependent clause.

Your first sentence is wrong...[edit]

Folic acid is not the same as folate. from another article.... "Folates are members of the B vitamin family (referring to various tetrahydrofolate derivatives) naturally occurring in foods, mainly leafy green vegetables.  Folic acid, on the other hand, is a fully oxidized, synthetic compound (pteroylmonoglutamic acid), used in dietary supplements and in food fortification. The important difference to note is that folic acid does not occur naturally.”

also, After ingestion, FA is reduced by dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and then converted to the biologically active forms ( folate) .

Folic acid is a synthetic chemical that is converted to folate by the liver. For a long time it was assumed the liver could convert relativity large amounts of folic acid acid to folate. This was based on experiments done with rat livers. Later research has shown human livers can convert only 2% of the amount previously believed possible. This has given rise to a certain amount of unmetabolized folic acid in the bloodstream. The effects of this are unknown. See — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arydberg (talkcontribs) 11:56, 7 November 2013 (UTC) Arydberg (talk) 15:19, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

I know this is considered to be a resolved issue but it is not. see for example Arydberg (talk) 23:21, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

  • I don't think anyone really proclaimed it resolved, so much as nobody happened to do anything about it. I just moved folate to a 2nd sentence, explaining its difference in layperson terms. It was a clear error to say that the two terms were synonyms, and it likely that the rest of the sentence is similarly non-factual. The opening sentence in the article two years ago was:
"Folic acid (also known as vitamin B9,[1] vitamin Bc[2] or folacin) and folate (the naturally occurring form), as well as pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, pteroyl-L-glutamate, and pteroylmonoglutamic acid[3] are forms of the water-soluble vitamin B9."
My guess is that someone with well-meaning intentions combined all the terms into a neater looking single set of parentheses, without realizing that they changed the meaning and accuracy of the sentence. Hopefully a knowledgeable editor will straighten it out. I'll add some sort of template to make it clear to readers that it's questionable, until it's resolved. ––Agyle (talk) 00:45, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

State/Nations list[edit]

It would be interesting to have a list of all nations that add the acid to grain products... (talk) 00:42, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Good suggestion, I found a list at FFI, and updated the article with a paragraph listing 76 countries that currently require folic acid fortification. ––Agyle (talk) 04:30, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Infobox Deformation[edit]

Hi. The infobox deforms and obliterates the article page when JavaScript is disabled. The culprits are the Show/Hide tags. There's no wrap text inherent to the box, causing the deformation. Related articles like VitaminB12 don't suffer this problem. Can anyone do something about this? (talk) 08:11, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

first paragraph of article[edit]

This is one of the more confusing paragraphs I have found in Wikipedia. If I knew more about the subject matter, I would edit it.

CBHA (talk) 01:03, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

separator for references that are not part of my comment[edit]

Problem in intro[edit]

" There is no "natural" and chemical form of folate and folic acid, and the two terms can be used interchangeably."

They are NOT interchangeable terms, food companies play word games with the 2 terms.

Per the literature pteroyl-L-glutamic acid is the stuff fortified in wheat and or rice and or corn in 80+ countries, is the stuff in folic acid supplements (methyl folate is not sold at stores as far as i know, methyl folate is only available online and at doctors offices) and is ~2% converted by the human liver into 'active' folate which is this

pteroyl-L-glutamic is NOT found naturally in food and is not metabolized by the body.

Sellingstuff (talk) 02:08, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

Is There a Down Side to Folic Acid[edit]

There are people that question whether Folic Acid is good for everyone.

see: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arydberg (talkcontribs) 12:05, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes, this is the main criticism of mandated fortification of foods with folic acid in a population. Officially, fortification of foods with folic acid has been mandated in many countries solely to improve the folate status of pregnant women to prevent Neural Tube Defects (NTDs)—a relatively rare birth defect which affected 0.5% of US births before fortification began. However, when fortification is introduced, several hundred thousand people are exposed to an increased intake of folic acid for each neural tube defect pregnancy that is prevented. In humans, increased folic acid intake leads to elevated blood concentrations of naturally occurring folates and of unmetabolized folic acid. The sources below explain the controversy. According to the sources, a high blood concentrations of folic acid may decrease natural killer cell cytotoxicity, and high folate status may reduce the response to drugs used to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and cancer. A combination of high folate levels and low vitamin B-12 status may be associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment and anemia in the elderly and, in pregnant women, with an increased risk of insulin resistance and obesity in their children. Folate is believed to have a dual effect on cancer, protecting against cancer initiation but facilitating progression and growth of preneoplastic cells and subclinical cancers. Furthermore, intake of folic acid from fortification have turned out to be significantly greater than originally modeled in pre mandate predictions (as mentioned in the WP article). Therefore, there is concern that a high folic acid intake due to fortification may be harmful for more people than the policy is designed to help.[8][9][10][11] (JamesPem (talk) 21:25, 28 April 2015 (UTC))