A folate test measures the amount of folate (vitamin B9) in the blood. Folate is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in many important bodily functions, including the formation of DNA, red blood cell production, and nerve function.
The benefits of getting a folate test include:
Diagnosing folate deficiency: A folate test can identify if someone is deficient in folate. Folate deficiency can cause anemia, fatigue, weakness, and difficulty concentrating.
Monitoring folate levels: People who have been diagnosed with folate deficiency may require ongoing monitoring of their folate levels to ensure that their levels return to normal.
Assessing nutritional status: A folate test can also help assess a person’s nutritional status, especially for those who have a poor diet or malabsorption problems.
Identifying the cause of certain health conditions: Abnormal folate levels can be indicative of certain health conditions, such as malabsorption, liver disease, or some types of cancer.
Monitoring pregnant women: Folate is particularly important for pregnant women as it helps prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spine. A folate test is often performed during pregnancy to ensure that the mother has adequate folate levels.