Folate, Serum – Folic acid deficiency is common in pregnant women, in those with liver disease, sometimes in those who have consumed excess alcohol, in patients whose diets do not include raw fruits and vegetables, and in people with structural damage to the small intestine.
The most reliable and direct method of diagnosing folate deficiency is the determination of folate levels in both erythrocytes and serum.
Low folic acid levels, however, can also be the result of a primary vitamin B12 deficiency that decreases the ability of cells to take up folic acid.
The consequences of folic acid deficiency are wide ranging and include issues with weight management, mental health, and fertility.
Folic acid products are readily available, but some forms are more bioavailable than others.
Testing for whether you have normal levels of folic acid is possible, and then useful to help manage nutrition and weight loss.