Folate

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Folate, or Folic acid, is a B vitamin. It helps the body break down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars to be used for energy. Also included as part of many profiles.

Folate (folic acid) is one of the B group of vitamins found in green vegetables in particular. The body's reserves of folate, unlike vitamin B12, are low and only sufficient for about four months.

Causes of deficiency include reduced intake from the diet or from poor absorption through the gut; increased demand for folate (eg pregnancy) and side effects of some medication (eg methotrexate).

Symptoms include fatigue, mild sensation changes and depression. Prolonged lack of folate results in megaloblastic anaemia (in which the red blood cells are characteristically large).

This test is available as a finger prick or vacutainer sample collection option. You can also choose to visit a BMI Hospital or have a Nurse Home Visit. Select option at checkout.