A folic acid test measures the amount of Reference folic acid Opens New Window in the blood.
The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
7-30 Reference nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) Opens New Window (SI units)
317-1422 nmol/L (SI units)
More than 160 ng/mL
More than 362 nmol/L
- High levels of folic acid in the blood may mean that you eat a diet rich in folic acid, take vitamins, or take folic acid pills. Consuming more folic acid than the body needs does not cause problems.
- High folic acid levels can also mean a vitamin B12 deficiency. Body cells need vitamin B12 to use folic acid. So if vitamin B12 levels are very low, folic acid cannot be used by the cells, and high levels of it may build up in the blood. But a folic acid test is not a reliable way to test for a vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Low folic acid levels can mean you have a problem with your diet, Reference alcohol dependence Opens New Window, or an eating disorder such as Reference anorexia nervosa Opens New Window.
- Low folic acid levels can also mean you have a problem absorbing or using folic acid, such as a vitamin C deficiency, liver disease, Reference celiac disease Opens New Window, Reference sprue Opens New Window, or Reference Crohn's disease Opens New Window.
- Low folic acid levels can
cause problems for certain people. For example:
- A pregnant woman needs extra folic acid for her growing baby.
- People who have Reference hemolytic anemia Opens New Window, a condition that causes the fast destruction of red blood cells, need more folic acid to make more Reference red blood cells Opens New Window.
- People with certain conditions, such as kidney failure and some types of cancer, may use up folic acid quickly. They may need their blood to be cleaned using a machine (Reference kidney dialysis Opens New Window).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 20, 2010|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology