Folate (Folic Acid)

Folic acid is required for the synthesis of DNA and the normal functioning of RBCs and WBCs. 

Although some folic acid is produced by bacteria in the intestine and absorbed, most of the body's folic acid needs are met through dietary sources (eggs, milk, fruit, green vegetables).

After several weeks of folic acid deficiency, anemia develops.

Decreased levels of Folic Acid are often seen in:

  • Malnutrition
  • Liver disease associated with alcoholism
  • Pregnancy
  • Megaloblastic anemia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Intestinal malabsorbtion syndromes
  • Hypherthyroidism
  • Some cancers
  • Drugs:
    • Alcohol
    • Anticonvulsants
    • Antimalarials
    • Methotrexate

Normal Values*

Folic Acid 3-17 ng/ml

*These are general values taken from a variety of sources. The actual normal values may vary from lab to lab and from one type of testing protocol to another.


Source: Operational Medicine 2001,  Health Care in Military Settings, NAVMED P-5139, May 1, 2001, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, 2300 E Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20372-5300

Gynecology and Obstetrics CD-ROM
Volumes 1-6
2004 Edition
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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