Folic Acid Test

This test measures the level of folate, one of the B vitamins, in the blood.

This test measures the level of folate, one of the B vitamins, in the blood.

This test checks the level of folate (one of the B vitamins) in your blood. It is often done with vitamin B12 testing to help determine the cause of certain anemias. Folate and vitamin B12 are two vitamins that cannot be produced in the body and must be supplied by the diet. The body needs these two vitamins to:

  • Make normal red blood cells (RBC)
  • Repair tissues and cells in the body
  • Make DNA (genetic material in cells)
  • Maintain proper nerve function.

Folate, also sometimes called folic acid, is found in:

  • Vegetables (especially dark green leafy ones)
  • Fruits and fruit juices
  • Nuts and beans
  • Peas
  • Dairy products
  • Poultry and eggs
  • Meat and seafood.

Spinach, liver and brussel sprouts are especially high in folate.

Folate and vitamin B12 testing may be recommended if you have anemia and/or symptoms of a deficiency, such as:

  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Heart palpitations or shortness of breath
  • Shallow sores of the mouth or tongue

Most people who have symptoms due to B12 and/or folate deficiency will also have anemia. However, sometimes signs of a deficiency can occur without anemia.

  • It is important for pregnant women to take a folate supplement, regardless of their dietary intake.
  • Folate deficiency is associated with serious birth defects, such as abnormalities of the spinal cord and spine (neural tube defects).
  • It is important for pregnant women to discuss vitamins, including folate, with their healthcare provider.

The blood sample is usually taken by placing a needle in a vein in the arm or by pricking a finger.

  • Ask your healthcare provider if there are any specific instructions you need to follow before the test.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if you need to stop taking any medicines before the test.
  • Do not stop taking any medicine unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so.

This care path's costs do not include the charge to draw blood from a vein (venipuncture). There will only be one charge to draw blood, even if multiple tests are being performed on the samples that are taken.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having this test?

  • Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • What is the reason for the test? Will the test results change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?


Also known as:

Folic Acid Test
Laboratory Work
Folic Acid
Pernicious Anemia
Vitamin B12 Blood Test
Blood Test for Vitamin B12
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