It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Are HIGH folate levels something to be concerned about in pregnancy?

I am hoping to be pregnant this year and with that in mind I had my blood checked. All my levels are great, iron, calcium etc. One thing that stood out was that I had folate levels double that of the average population. Could this be a problem? I know folate is great for baby healthy and growth, but what about high folate?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

You're right that getting enough folate is important for proper development of the fetus. Having a high folate level should not be a problem. There have been some suggestions in the literature that folate supplementation might lead to higher risk of some cancers but this has not been proven and the most recent research has not shown any link.

For those who may need to get more folate in their diet, here are two guides from the USDA:

Folate Content of Selected Foods, Alphabetical List

Folate Content of Selected Foods, By Amount of Folate

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet