Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
Folate (folic acid, vitamin B9) is necessary for the normal function of red blood cells (RBCs) and white blood cells (WBCs) and for DNA synthesis. Since folate is found in green leafy vegetables, low serum folate can indicate not eating enough whole foods. Folic acid is absorbed through the intestines. Therefore, malabsorption diseases, such as Celiac Disease, can lead to folic acid deficiency.
When folic acid is low it can cause developmental problems in fetuses, called neural tube defects. It can also create problems with red blood cells, causing the red blood cells to be abnormally large and interfere with their ability to carry oxygen.
- Folate, serum
Fasting: Not required.
Water: Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.
Medications: Take all medications as prescribed.
Dietary supplements: Biotin (a B-complex vitamin) may interfere with this test and create inaccurate test results.
- If you are taking biotin as part of a multiple vitamin product, discontinue taking biotin 8 hours prior to this blood draw.
- If you are taking a separate, standalone biotin dietary supplement (separate from a multiple vitamin) or a high-dose B-complex dietary supplement that contains higher amounts of biotin than what are typically in a multiple vitamin, stop taking the dietary supplement 72 hours prior to this blood test.
2-3 business days
Result turnaround times are estimates and not guaranteed. Due to factors outside of our control, such as weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing or equipment maintenance, our lab may require additional time to complete tests.
- Methyl Tetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR)
- Vitamin B12, serum
Folate (folic acid) (Mayo Clinic)
Cario H., Smith D.E., Blom H., et al. Dihydrofolate reductase deficiency due to a homozygous DHFR mutation causes megaloblastic anemia and cerebral folate deficiency leading to severe neurologic disease. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 2011;88:226–231.
Kang S., Wong P., Norusis M. Homocysteinemia due to folate deficiency. Metabolism. 1987; 36(5): 458-462.
Owczarek D., Rodacki T., Domagala-Rodacka R., et al., Mach T. Diet and nutritional factors in inflammatory bowel diseases. World J. Gastroenterol. 2016;22:895–905.