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Folic Acid (Folate) Test

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About Our Folic Acid (Folate) Test

Folic acid (Folate) is a B vitamin that plays an important role in DNA synthesis and producing red blood cells. Folic acid is absorbed through the small intestine and stored in the liver and must be ingested through diet since it cannot be made by the body itself.

This blood test is used to detect a folic acid deficiency, monitor therapy with folic acid, and/or evaluate megaloblastic and macrocytic anemia. Deficiencies in folic acid can cause neural tube defects to occur to a fetus during pregnancy.

This blood test is used to determine folic acid (folate) levels.

Deficient folic acid levels can lead to:

  • Macrocytic anemia
  • Pale skin/Graying hair
  • Tender, swollen tongue/mouth sores
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy/Fatigue
  • Diarrhea

Major sources of folic acid include:

  • Leafy, green vegetables
  • Fresh fruits and vegetable
  • Organ meats
  • Yeast
  • Fortified cereals and grains

Folic acid deficiency can be more prevalent in people who:

  • Are pregnant
  • Are gastrointestinal surgery patients
  • Have digestive disorders like celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, or Crohn's disease
  • Have chronic alcoholism
  • Have malnutrition or malabsorption
  • Using anticonvulsant drugs like Phenytoin (Dilantin)

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