Folic acid concern

Hi mama’s and mama’s to be. This is my first pregnancy and now I am quite worried with the research I have done.

I am taking a Prenatal vitamin (Jameson/Canada) which has 1mg of folic acid in it per vitamin. I have taken this for probably a year or so before we concieved. People are telling me there are now studies that show that high doses of folic acid can cause autism in children.

How much did you take daily and does your child have autism? I don’t know if I should lower my dose?

Thank you

Autism is a genetic disorder and cannot be caused by anything you do and definitely cannot be caused by a vitamin. This is fear-mongering to scare parents.

There’s also nothing wrong with being autistic or having an autistic child.


Thanks for the reply.

I’ve seen studies online though (ctv news, etc.) Claiming this. Is 1mg per day okay?

The only studies I could find that suggest this explicitly state that there is a minor increased chance of ASD. However, all of them acknowledge some sort of limitation, such as a small sample size, or results so weak that they aren’t conclusive. In fact, at least one study suggests that too little folic acid also increases the risk of ASD. You’re best off talking to your GP/midwife. If it helps, my mum took the recommended dose and I still came out autistic, so there are no guarantees either way it seems!


Folic acid is extremely important for developing the baby’s brain and spine. It is definitely not worth the risk to not take it based on some very limited inconclusive research. Which would you rather have: a child with autism or a child with severe deformities in their brain or spine which could either cause major disabilities for them or even miscarriage/stillbirth/early death? I’d much rather have an autistic child than not have my child with me at all.

Many sources (including the CDC) recommend taking it even before pregnancy if you’re trying, and then all throughout pregnancy and even at least 3 months after giving birth, so it’s interesting to me that the NHS doesn’t say the same thing. While the spine does develop very early on in pregnancy, the brain continues developing all throughout pregnancy so I don’t see why you should stop taking it. And I do see now that they were just asking if they should lower their dose, when I first read the question I thought they were suggesting not taking it at all. However, my OB told me that the more folic acid the better and never mentioned anything about too much being bad, so it’s still not worth the risk to lower your dose too much in my opinion. If you’ve been taking the high dose for a long time (the post says it’s been over a year), your body is probably used to getting that amount and suddenly dropping your dosage by a lot might throw things off-kilter.

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If you have concerns you should speak to a doctor


Folic acid cannot cause autism. I can understand you’re worried, but the only reliable source is your doctor or another health care professional. Don’t go looking things up on the internet or take advice from friends who have looked things up on the internet. Talk to your doctor.


[name_f]My[/name_f] doctor has not been helpful. She suggested just a regular Prenatal found over the counter. She said any Prenatal is fine. Nothing about folic acid doses. I would stop taking the folic acid at 12 weeks if I could but it’s part of the Prenatal vitamin it’s not a separate pill I’ve I’ve taking.
And no, I never said I would stop taking a Prenatal entirely just didn’t know about the folic acid dose. Thanks.

It sounds like she has answered your question pretty clearly! You are taking a proper prenatal vitamin, which will have gone through strict checks and balances to be on sale, and has been assured to be safe.

I fully understand how anxiety-inducing pregnancy can be, but there is so much dodgy information out there on the internet which is not backed up by (or is even contradicted by) science.

The best research available shows that it is extremely important to take folic acid during pregnancy, particularly during the first trimester, and that 400mcg-800mcg is the amount generally recommended as a minimum, with mothers expecting multiples needing 1000mcg (1mg). Others with specific conditions or a history of babies with spinal problems are recommended to take much more: 4000mcg (4mg). This is from the US Department of Health and Human Services:

So please don’t panic! You are doing the very best for your baby, following the best available evidence.




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I took the same [name_m]Jamieson[/name_m] Prenatal for 3 months with this pregnancy but have been using PregVit which is 1.1mg Folic Acid and in one of my past pregnancies was on the high level PregVit which is 5mg Folic Acid.

I have never seen any studies relating to Folic Acid and Autism. Keep in mind correlation does not equal causation. The consequences of not taking Folic Acid are well documented and serious.

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I am also being cautious. So many prenatal vitamins have very high doses, and companies won’t lower them because they don’t want to lose a competitive advantage. Prenatals are great if you’re not eating a varied diet with the right nutrients. Where I live, so many foods are fortified with folic acid (noodles, milk, etc), and I realized it added up way too much. I found Vitafusion prenatal gummies, which have close to 400 mcg folic acid in a daily dose, and I top it up with an additional 200 mcg for a total of 600 mcg.

The truth is, we still don’t know a ton about autism triggers. We know a bit, but I think there’s nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution. I’m not one of those people who thinks more vitamins = better. I make sure I’m getting an optimal amount, taking into consideration my daily diet.

I’m also not trying to shame anyone here. I’m sure there are tons of pregnant women who took a larger amount of folic acid and everything turned out fine.