Interaction between excess folate and low vitamin B12 status

Mol Aspects Med. 2017 Feb;53:43-47. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2016.11.004. Epub 2016 Nov 20.


Current epidemiological evidence suggests that an imbalance of high folate status and low vitamin B12 status is associated with negative health outcomes in older adults and children. Such an imbalance during pregnancy also predisposes women to diabetes and their offspring to insulin resistance and adiposity and low birthweight. In older adults, vitamin B12 status can remain low despite adequate intake due to age-related decline in vitamin B12 absorption. Pregnant women are exposed to folic acid at varying doses depending on the prenatal care prescribed in different countries. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the interaction between folate and vitamin B12 and the associated health outcomes.

Keywords: Cobalamin; Folate; Folic acid; Vitamin B12.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Vitamin B 12 / metabolism*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B 12