Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Folate levels in both serum and RBCs are used to assess folate status. The serum folate level is an indicator of recent folate intake. RBC folate is the best indicator of long-term folate stores. A low RBC folate value may indicate a prolonged folate deficiency. Folate levels are decreased in megaloblastic anaemia alcoholism malnutrition liver disease Vitamin B12 deficiency pregnancy celiac disease chronic hemodialysis. Low serum folate levels may also be seen in the absence of deficiency and normal levels may be seen in patients with macrocytic anemia dementia neuropsychiatric disorders and pregnancy disorders. To distinguish between vitamin B12 and folate deficiency determination of homocysteine (HCS) and methylmalonic acid (MMA) are useful. In vitamin B12 deficiency both HCS and MMA are elevated whereas in folate deficiency only HCS levels are elevated.