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Q. As a woman of childbearing age, I have been advised to consume higher amounts of folate. Should I worry about masking a vitamin B12 deficiency?

A. In general, scientists agree that taking supplemental folic acid (up to 1,000 micrograms per day) is very unlikely to mask a B12 deficiency in young women who may become pregnant. Strict vegetarians are at greater risk for B12 deficiency (since B12 is found in animal products, like meat and dairy). If you follow a strict vegetarian diet, it’s very important to talk with your doctor about meeting your nutritional needs, particularly during pregnancy.

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