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A folic acid test measures the amount of folic acid in the blood. Folic acid is one of many B vitamins. The body needs folic acid to make red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), platelets, and for normal growth. Folic acid also is important for the normal development of a baby (fetus).
Folic acid can be measured in the liquid portion of blood (plasma). This reflects a person's recent intake of folic acid in the diet. Folic acid is found in foods such asliver; citrus fruits; dark green, leafy vegetables (spinach); whole grains; cereals with added B vitamins; beans; milk; kidney; and yeast.
Folic acid can also be measured as the amount in the red blood cells. This test may be a better way than the plasma test to measure the amount of folic acid stored in the body. The amount of folic acid in red blood cells measures the level when the cell was made, as much as 2 months earlier. This level is not usually affected by the amount of folic acid in your diet each day. It is a more accurate way to measure the body's level of folic acid
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