Test Detail
Overview
Interpreting Results
FAQ's

Content created by

Written by
Dr. Betina Chandolia
BDS, MDS - Oral Pathology and Microbiology
Reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
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Vitamin B 9

(Vit B9)
Vitamin B 9
You need to provide
Blood
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.

Overview


What is Vit B9?

Vitamin B9 test is also known as folate test as the other name of Vitamin B9 is folate. This test helps to diagnose the cause of anemia or neuropathy. Additionally, it evaluates the nutritional status of the patient and monitors the effectiveness of folate deficiency treatment. 


Why is Vit B9 done?

Vitamin B9 test is done:

  • When you have an abnormal complete blood count along with blood smear showing large blood cells or abnormal neutrophils

  • In case of symptoms of anemia such as weakness, tiredness, and pale skin

  • In case of symptoms of neuropathy such as tingling or itching sensations, eye twitching, memory loss, and altered mental status

  • To monitor the treatment  of vitamin b9 deficiency


What does Vit B9 Measure?

The Vitamin B9 test measures the levels of Vitamin B9 in the blood. Vitamin B9 also known as folate is a part of the B complex of vitamins. It is important for the formation of normal red blood cells, tissue and cell repair, and synthesis of DNA. This vitamin cannot be produced in the body, and hence it has to be taken in the diet. 


Folate is the naturally occurring form of the vitamin, while folic acid is referred to as a supplement which is added to food and drinks. This vitamin is found in food sources such as green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, peas, dry beans, yeast, and liver. Apart from these food sources, Vitamin B9 can be found in fortified cereals (in which minerals are added), bread, and other grain products.


The deficiency of Vitamin B9 can lead to macrocytic anemia in which the size of red blood cells becomes larger than normal. Such type of macrocytic anemia includes Megaloblastic anemia which is characterized by the production of fewer but larger red blood cells. These red blood cells are known as macrocytes. Along with this, white blood cells may also get reduced and low platelet count can be seen.


Vitamin B9 is important for cell division such as in the case of developing a fetus. The deficiency of this vitamin during early pregnancy can expose the growing fetus to the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. 


The cause of Vitamin B9 deficiency can be due to not taking supplements or diet rich in Vitamin B9, inadequate absorption of this vitamin or at the time of pregnancy when the requirement of this vitamin increases.


Interpreting Vit B9 results


Interpretations


Range (ng/mL)

Remarks

0.35 - 3.37 

Deficient

3.38 - 5.38

Indeterminate

> 5.38

Normal


Reference range may vary from lab to lab*


Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Vit B9


Frequently Asked Questions about Vitamin B 9

Q. How is the blood sample taken?
The healthcare provider takes a blood sample from the arm. The site from where the blood is to be withdrawn is cleaned with a swab of rubbing alcohol. This is then followed by inserting a small needle which has a tube attached to it for collecting blood. Once the sufficient blood for analysis is withdrawn, the needle is removed. The site is then covered with a gauze pad.
Q. Is there any risk associated with the withdrawal of blood sample procedure?
As such there is no risk but in few cases, bruising, bleeding, and infection at the puncture site can be seen. In very few cases, there can be swelling of the vein after the blood is withdrawn.
Q. What are the common signs of Vitamin B9 deficiency?
The common signs of Vitamin B9 deficiency include tiredness, weakness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headaches, irritability, and difficulty in concentrating.
Q. Which conditions can cause inadequate absorption of Vitamin B9?
The conditions which may cause inadequate absorption of Vitamin B9 include Pernicious anemia, Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and overgrowth of bacteria or presence of parasites in the intestines. It can also be due to a reduction in the production of acid in the stomach from long-term use of anta-acids or H2 proton pump inhibitors, gastric bypass, and pancreatic insufficiency.
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