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Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Serum

The measurement of folic acid in the serum tests for possible deficiency.

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Folic acid, or vitamin B9, is a water-soluble vitamin formed by bacteria in the gut (intestinal microbiome) and stored in the liver. It is also found in foods such as eggs, fruits, green leafy vegetables, liver, milk, and yeast. Approximately 20% of the folic acid absorbed daily comes from dietary sources, while the microorganisms of the intestinal microbiome synthesize the remaining 80%.

Folic acid is essential for the normal function of red and white blood cells and plays a role in the metabolism of amino acids and nucleotides. Adequate folic acid intake is necessary in pregnant women to reduce the chance of neural tube abnormalities in the developing fetus.

Folic acid screening is usually done with a vitamin B12 test to check for macrocytic anemia. The body stores minimal amounts of folic acid, so its levels fall below normal 21 to 28 days after the onset of the deficiency.

Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
  • Increase: Taking folic acid supplements.
  • Decrease: Alcoholism, Alzheimer's disease, anemia (due to vitamin B12 deficiency, hemolytic, megaloblastic, malignant, sickle cell), dysbacteriosis (dysbiosis), celiac disease, Crohn's disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, diet (insufficient intake), folate coenzyme dysfunction, hemolytic processes or conditions, liver disease, lactation (without increased dietary intake of folic acid), leukopenia, dialysis, hyperthyroidism, insufficient nutritional intake, infancy, diseases of the jejunum, leukemia (acute myelomonocytic), malabsorption syndromes, malignancies, malnutrition, myeloproliferative disease, myelosclerosis, neoplastic diseases, pregnancy (without the increased dietary intake of folic acid), renal failure, short bowel syndrome, stroke, thrombocytopenia, vitamin B12 deficiency. Medications: alcohol, aminopterin, anticoagulants (chronic administration), anti-epileptic, chloroquine hydrochloride, chloroquine phosphate, glutethimide, hydroxychloroquine sulfate, isoniazid, methotrexate, oral contraceptives (chronic), phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, primaquine, phosphates, pyrimethamine, quinacrine hydrochloride, quinine sulfate, sulfonamides, triamterene.



Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most critical parameter for diagnosing and monitoring all pathological conditions. Between 70 and 80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased."

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be analyzed based on each case and family history, clinical findings, and other laboratory tests and information. Your physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon, we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and contact your doctor to ensure you receive the best possible medical care.

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