Why I Test:
Folate is critical for neurotransmitter production, especially serotonin and dopamine. So I test all patients with anxiety, depression, or addiction history. Folate is also important in building a healthy baby, so I test any woman of a reproductive age, trying to conceive, or already pregnant. Folate is also the building block of your white blood cells, so patients who find they are often getting sick should be checked for folate deficiency. In addition folate supports cardiovascular health, so patients with heart disease, high blood pressure, or family history of these issues should maintain healthily folate levels.
What I Test:
Like magnesium, I test RBC folate to assess your body's intracellular levels of folate (folic acid). Speaking of folic acid, what’s the difference between folate and folic acid? Folic acid refers to a synthetically created form of folate designed to be shelf-stable for food fortification and is the form found most commonly in vitamins. Folate, also called vitamin B9, is the natural form that occurs in foods. You can also get a form called methylfolate (the most absorbable form) in specially designed vitamins. Some patients (especially those with the MTHFR gene mutation) cannot use the synthetic form of the vitamin.
Who i test:
All women of reproductive age, anyone with mental health issues, patients with frequent infections, unexplained fatigue or shortness of breath.