What is Serum Folate?

    Serum folate is simply the measurement of folate in blood serum.Folate is also known as folic acid or vitamin B9.

    Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It aids in the production of DNA and RNA, the body's genetic material, and is especially important when cells and tissues are growing rapidly, such as in infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy. Folic acid also works closely with vitamin B12 to help make red blood cells and help iron work properly in the body.

    Vitamin B9 works with vitamins B6 and B12 and other nutrients to control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are associated with heart disease, however researchers are not sure whether homocysteine is a cause of heart disease or just a marker that indicates someone may have heart disease.

    Low folate levels can cause fatigue and increase the risk of neural tube defects for women in their reproductive years. Folate is included in prenatal vitamins, but by the time women find out they are pregnant, neural tube formation can already be marred by too little folate. Low folate levels are result from impaired absorption or alcoholism. High folate levels are rare, but can be associated with excessive intake of vitamins, liver disease and obesity.

    Normal Value Range

    • Negative Pregnancy Adult: 5.4 to 18 ng/mL or 12 to 41 nmol/L
    • Pregnancy Trimester One: 2.6 to 15 ng/mL or 6 to 34 nmol/L
    • Pregnancy Trimester Two: 0.8 to 24 ng/mL or 1.8 to 54 nmol/L
    • Pregnancy Trimester Three: 1.4 to 20.7 ng/mL or 3 to 47 nmol/L

    < Laboratory Values During Pregnancy