Thyroid UK

What is Folate?

I have googled what it is but I must be having a brain fog moment as I dont quite understand it! And wondered if some members could enlighten me?

I have had a recent blood test and here are some of the results:

Serum Vitamin B12 Range (189-883) mine is 380

Serum Folate Range (4.8-19.0) mine is 4.5

The additional information states:

Just out of normal range - ok

If there is a high clinical suspicion of penicuous anaemia or subacute degeneration of the cord, please discuss further testing with the haematology lab.


5 Replies


Folate is vitamin B9. Good levels of folate are necessary for B12 to work properly.

Your folate is mildly deficient. I would supplement 400-800mcg folic acid or methylfolate.

B12 < 500 can be deficient. I would supplement 1,000mcg methylcobalamin with a B Complex vitamin a couple of weeks after you start supplementing folic acid or methylfolate.

Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune disease which causes B12 deficiency.


This link explains the difference between folate and folic acid and why preferable to supplement folate rather than cheaper folic acid.

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lot more about B12 and folate deficiencies on the PAS forum

the two work together which is why the tests go together

Serum B12 isn't a particularly good test - people vary a lot so your level could be deficient for you - needs to be evaluated on the basis of symptoms


MMA will be raised if B12 is deficient at cell level - homocysteine will also be raised but being folate deficient also raises homocysteine levels and you are definitely deficient in folate.

Important not to supplement B12 before going as far as you can with diagnosis as this will skew results.

Recommendation is to stagger addressing B12 and B9/folate deficiencies - starting B12 deficiency 24-48 hours before starting folate

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Wow thanks to you all your help! You certainly are the oracle's of the bloods!


This is just hilarious - phoned my Dr's to arrange for another set of bloods as I am getting my symptoms back..pain, brain fog, nausea, tiredness...etc etc.

Anyway, got a call last night from one of the secretaries stating that she had spoken to "a Dr" (not mine) and advised that I had already had a blood test done back in November and I was ok. Furthermore if I am getting symptoms then I should go and make an appointment with my Dr.


You and I both know that if I go to my Dr he will send me for the damn blood test!

Go figure?


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