Folate & B12

Notes from DrKF:

While it’s true that we should avoid overdoing folate and B12 supplements (especially if you’re older, or you don’t have a clear need for them, or you’ve been diagnosed with cancer), you absolutely need sufficient amounts of these essential nutrients. While I recommend the always safe food-forward approach, sometimes it is absolutely appropriate to take extra folate and B12 in supplement form. Reasons for taking folate and B12 supplements include:

  • your blood levels of either or both nutrients are low
  • you have macrocytosis (your red blood cell size is large) or macrocytic anemia (your blood cells are large, and your hemoglobin and hematocrit are low)
  • you have a medical condition that causes nutrient malabsorption
  • you are taking medications that increase demand for B vitamins including birth control pills, metformin, or acid blockers.
  • your functional medicine provider is recommending based on:
    • your lab tests and/or
    • signs of significant deficiency that require more than you’re ingesting in the Younger You Intensive—examples include peripheral neuropathy (pins and needles in your hands and/or feet or difficult-to-treat depression.
  • you are vegan
  • you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant and are advised by your healthcare provider to take them.

Dosage: For folate, 400 ug – 1,000 ug per day and for B12, 100 ug – 2,000 ug per day; both are according to your need (your health care provider may prescribe differently, but this is a common range.

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