Red cell folate is a direct measure of tissue folate stores. RBC folate has historically been regarded as the better indicator of long-term folate storage. Serum folate concentrations reflect recent dietary intake of folate but RBC folate is less susceptible to rapid changes in dietary intake.

Folate is Vitamin B9 and is not the same as folic acid. Folate is the naturally occurring form of folate and folic acid refers to forms used in food and drink supplementation.

Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that is essential for adequate health. Folate, along with vitamin B12, is essential for DNA synthesis, repair, and methylation. Folate deficiency leads to an accumulation of homocysteine and the main causes of high homocysteine levels is folate deficiency.

Naturally occurring folate is needed for Synthesis of DNA, RNA and SAMe. Proper cellular function is critical for our good health.

NB: For all the above functions to happen the body needs to convert folate to the active 5-MTHF (5-methyltetrahydrofolate) with the help of co-factors. If there is a genetic mutation in your MTHFR SNP then you are unable to perform this conversion and folate can build up.  MTHFR (Methylene TetraHydroFolate Reductase) is an enzyme that converts the folate you eat into the active form that your body needs to use. The 2 main genes involved in this process are MTHFR C677T and A1298C. The low activity of the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase in the human liver, combined with a high intake of folic acid, may result in unnatural levels of unmetabolized folic acid entering the systemic circulation and this has been linked with decreased natural killer cytotoxicity leading to the potential development of cancer. Possible methylation issues could show High red cell folate, high homocysteine, high inflammatory markers, low Active B12 levels.

Folic acid supplementation can also mask a B12 deficiency.

Serum (Blood Draw)

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