Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as vitamin B9, introduced with the diet and absorbed in the duodenum and jejunum.
It plays a fundamental role in the formation of the body’s cells (in the synthesis of purine and pyrimidine bases), intervening in the synthesis of DNA. Consequently, its deficiency leads to a reduced synthesis of DNA.
It is essential for the formation of red blood cells and other blood cells by the bone marrow.
It is an essential coenzyme in the metabolism of methionine. It intervenes in the synthesis of the amino acid methionine starting from homocysteine in the presence of Vitamin B12.
Folic acid is present in many foods: liver, milk, fermented cheeses, vegetables (asparagus, spinach, green cabbage, carrots).
The daily requirement is high: from 100 to 400 days according to the age and psychological state of the individual. However, a varied and balanced diet provides a sufficient quantity.
A deficiency in early pregnancy increases the fetus’ risk of developing spina bifida (malformation of the spine).
Folate deficiency causes megaloblastic anemia, increased homocysteine with a tendency to thrombophilia, neurological, gastrointestinal and dermatological disorders.
Some medicines prevent its action (antifolic agents).
An additional dose of folic acid is used in pregnancy to prevent fetal neural tube malformations. Pregnant women are prescribed oral folic acid (or its derivative, folinic acid, in the form of an injectable solution) as a pharmacological treatment.
Its dosage is used in the diagnosis of megaloblastic anemias.
Females: > 5.38 ng/mL
Males: > 5.38 ng/mL
(Attention, the reference ranges may differ from one laboratory to another, therefore refer to those present on the report).