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Folate (Folic Acid)

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The folate (folic acid) test measures the amount of folate in the blood. Folate and folic acid are forms of B9 vitamin. Folate is found in many foods and folic acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin. Good dietary sources of folate include leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, beans, whole grain products, and organ meat such as liver. 

A deficiency of this essential vitamin may cause physical symptoms such as fatigue, sleepiness, depressed mood, weight loss, breathing difficulties, gastrointestinal problems, and mouth sores in some people.  Folic acid works with vitamin B12 and vitamin C help to create new proteins, red blood cells and DNA. Folic acid also helps tissues to grow, cells to work properly, and even helps prevent certain birth defects, including spina bifida.

Adults and children both require sufficient amounts of folic acid to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia. Because folic acid is water-soluble it cannot be stored in the body and any amounts of the vitamin that are not absorbed by your body leave the body through urine. This means that you should have a steady supply of the folic acid in your diet or through dietary supplements.