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Folic Acid Test

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Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is a water-soluble B-vitamin that plays a fundamental role in many essential bodily functions. Folic acid is crucial for DNA synthesis, cell division, and the production of red blood cells. Folic acid is especially vital during periods of rapid growth and development, such as pregnancy. Adequate intake of folic acid is essential for maintaining overall health and preventing certain birth defects. This home blood test checks the level of folic acid in your blood.

Test for: Folic Acid

Test Mode: Finger Prick test

What do we test for?

Folic Acid
Instructional video
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About the test
Summary of Biomarkers
About the test

How does Homed-IQ’s Folic Acid Test work?

This test measures the concentration of folic acid in the blood. After collecting a small blood sample via a finger prick, send your sample to one of Homed-IQ’s partner laboratories for analysis. Your test results will be sent to your online account within a few days, complete with a laboratory report that can be brought to your GP for followup.

How do I collect my sample for the Folic Acid Test? 

This is a finger prick blood test. Your test kit contains all the necessary materials to collect your sample. If you would like to see a step-by-step demonstration of how to take a blood sample using a Homed-IQ test, watch our instructional video.

What’s in the test kit?

This test kit contains instructions for use, lancets for collecting a few drops of blood, a blood collection tube, alcohol wipes, band-aids, a protective transport bag and a return box to send your sample to our certified laboratory.

What is the Homed-IQ testing process like?

Homed-IQ’s vitamin tests come with everything you need to successfully take a blood sample at home. Simply activate your test and follow the provided instructions to successfully collect the sample and then send it to our certified laboratory using the prepaid shipping label. The results will be available within a few days.



Folic acid deficiency can lead to a condition known as folate deficiency anemia, which is characterized by a reduction in red blood cell production and enlarged red blood cells that do not function properly. Folic acid deficiency can cause a range of symptoms that may get worse over time, and are often similar to iron-deficiency anemia. Symptoms may include:


  • Fatigue and shortness of breath: Insufficient red blood cells may lead to reduced oxygen delivery to body tissues, resulting in fatigue, shortness of breath, and weakness. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of folate deficiency anemia.
  • Pale skin: Folate deficiency anemia can result in a lack of hemoglobin and oxygen delivered to the body’s tissues, causing pale skin.
  • Tongue and mouth changes: Folic acid deficiency can cause the tongue to become swollen, sore, red, or develop small ulcers. The inside of the mouth may also be affected. 
  • Digestive problems: Some people may experience nausea, diarrhea, or appetite loss as a result of folic acid deficiency. 
  • Irritability and mood changes: Folate plays a role in neurotransmitter synthesis, and a deficiency may contribute to irritability, forgetfulness, and mood changes. 
  • Cognitive issues: In severe cases, folic acid deficiency may lead to cognitive impairment, difficulty concentrating, and impaired memory. 
  • Neural tube defects in children: Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy increases the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects, which affect the brain, spine, and spinal cord. Most neural tube defects can be prevented with sufficient folic acid intake during early pregnancy.
Summary of Biomarkers

Folic Acid

Folic acid is a vitamin that your body cannot make on its own. While most people obtain enough folic acid by eating a varied diet, folic acid deficiency is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in developed countries. Folic acid is mainly found in green vegetables, fruits and whole grains, but also in milk products. Common symptoms of folic acid deficiency are a loss of appetite, weight loss and/or fatigue. Pregnant women who are deficient in folic acid during early pregnancy are also at a higher risk of having a baby with neural tube defects. Adults need 300 micrograms of folic acid per day. Regardless of diet, pregnant women are advised to take at least 400 micrograms every day in the form of supplements.


How soon will I receive the results of this at-home vitamin test? 

Once you have taken your blood sample and sent it to our medical partner laboratory, it should take a few working days to receive your test result. As soon as your test kit arrives at the laboratory you will receive a notification by email. Once your test result is ready, you will receive a text message and an email with a link to your result. Homed-IQ aims to keep you well informed throughout the testing process and provide a seamless testing experience.

What do the results of this test mean?

Folic acid deficiency

A folic acid level below 10.4 nmol/L indicates a folic deficiency. This can be caused by different factors. If your folic is low, see your GP. They may recommend supplements or test other vitamin levels, such as vitamin B12

To boost your folic acid levels through diet, eat more foods that contain it. These foods include:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Peanuts
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Sunflower seeds

Sufficient folic acid

A folic acid level above 10.4 nmol/L and below 42.4 nmol/L is sufficient.

Elevated folic acid 

A folic acid level above 42.4 nmol/L is elevated. Elevated folic acid is uncommon as excess B12 is usually removed from the body in urine. Elevated vitamin B12 could be due to:

  • Pernicious anemia
  • Blind loop syndrome
  • Excessive supplement use


If your folic acid level is elevated, see your doctor for further advice.  

Frequently asked questions

What foods are high in folic acid?

  • Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens are excellent sources of folic acid. 
  • Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans are rich in folic acid. 
  • Fortified cereals: Many breakfast cereals are fortified with folic acid, making them a convenient source. 
  • Citrus fruits: Oranges, grapefruits, and their juices contain significant amounts of folic acid. 
  • Avocado: This creamy fruit is another good source of folic acid. 
  • Broccoli: This vegetable is not only rich in folic acid but also contains various other essential nutrients. 
  • Sunflower seeds: A handful of sunflower seeds can contribute to your daily folic acid intake. 
  • Liver: If you consume meat, liver (beef or chicken) is one of the best sources of folic acid.

How do I increase my folic acid levels?

  • Eat folate-rich foods: Include foods high in folic acid in your daily meals, such as leafy greens, legumes, fortified cereals, citrus fruits, avocado, asparagus, broccoli, sunflower seeds, and liver.
  • Consider a folic acid supplement: If you're having difficulty meeting your folic acid requirements through diet alone, you may consider taking a folic acid supplement. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation to determine the appropriate dosage for your specific needs. 
  • Limit alcohol consumption: excessive alcohol intake can interfere with the absorption and utilization of folic acid in the body. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. 
  • Take prenatal vitamins: Pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant should take vitamins that contain folic acid to support healthy fetal development. 
  • Regular health checkups: If you suspect you have a folic acid deficiency or any other nutritional concerns, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional. They can conduct blood tests to determine your folic acid levels and provide appropriate guidance.

Is folic acid the same as folate?

Folate and folic acid are terms often used interchangeably, but they have slight differences. Folate is a general term encompassing various forms of vitamin B9 found naturally in foods. On the other hand, folic acid is the synthetic form of folate (meaning it does not occur naturally) and is commonly used in supplements and fortified foods like rice, pasta, bread, and breakfast cereals.  Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of folic acid in preventing neural tube defects. While natural folate can be obtained from foods such as leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, and beans, it can be difficult for pregnant women to get the daily recommended amount of folate through diet alone. This is why folic acid is a recommended vitamin supplement for women planning to conceive or who are newly pregnant.

Can folic acid help prevent birth defects?

Yes, folic acid can help prevent certain birth defects, particularly neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are serious malformations that occur during early development of the fetus when the neural tube, which eventually develops into the brain and spinal cord, fails to close properly. Studies have shown that taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects. The neural tube closes within the first 28 days of pregnancy, often before a woman may even realize she is pregnant. Hence, it's essential for women of childbearing age to have sufficient folic acid levels in their bodies even before conception. For this reason, it is recommended that all women planning to become pregnant consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily (Voedingscentrum).

How much folic acid should I take daily?

The recommended daily amount of folate for adults in the Netherlands and Germany is 300 micrograms (mcg). This can be obtained through diet or supplements. Adult women who are planning to get pregnant or who could become pregnant are advised to take 400 mcg of folic acid a day in the form of supplements through the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

What happens if you have too much folic acid?

Excess folic acid that is not needed by the body is usually excreted in urine. While folic acid intake from diet alone is usually not high enough to cause problems, taking supplements of more than 1 mg daily may cause stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, and other health problems. High-dose folic acid can also mask a vitamin B12 deficiency.  While folic acid deficiency is associated with increased risks of certain cancers, higher than normal levels of folic acid have been associated with increased risk of prostate cancer (Pieroth et al, 2018). Therefore, it is important to follow guidelines for daily folic acid intake and not exceed them.

Is folic acid important for overall health, even if I'm not pregnant?

Yes, folic acid is important for overall health even if you are not pregnant. Some of its key functions include: 
  • DNA synthesis and cell division
  • Red blood cell formation
  • Nervous system function
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Immune system support
  While folic acid is especially crucial during pregnancy to support fetal development and prevent certain birth defects, it remains important throughout life for general health and well-being. Men and non-pregnant women also need adequate folic acid for optimal health.

How does it work?

Order your test
After you have placed the order, your test kit will be delivered within a few days in discreet packaging.
Activate and take your sample

After creating an account and activating your test online, collect the test sample and return it to the lab using the prepaid shipping label. Homed-IQ tests can be placed in a regular mailbox.

Receive your test result

A certified laboratory will analyze your test. When ready, your results will be published to your account, including a PDF laboratory report that can be brought to your GP for follow-up care.

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