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Folate/Folic acid Deficiency

Your blood results show that you are low in folate (folate deficiency).

Folate is important for making healthy red blood cells which transport oxygen around our bodies. If you are very low in folate, then you may become anaemic. In pregnancy, folate is important in helping your baby’s brain and spine develop normally.


We have issued a prescription for folic acid replacement to your nominated pharmacy.  This should be taken every day for 4 months unless otherwise stated, after which time you should follow our healthy eating advice and consider starting an over-the-counter supplement (see below).


Increasing your folic acid  


We get folic acid from our diet and our bodies do not store it, so it is important to eat some folic acid containing foods every day. You can make sure you are getting enough folic acid by eating healthily and choosing the right foods.


Folic acid rich foods:


  • Breakfast cereals with added folic acid
  • Green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, kale and spinach
  • Brussel sprouts and broccoli
  • Peas, chickpeas and kidney beans


Folic acid supplements


Healthy men and healthy non-pregnant women need about 200 mcgr of folic acid a day and you can make sure that you are getting enough by eating a varied and balanced diet. If your diet is healthy, you should not need folic acid supplements.

If your diet is restricted, then you may wish to consider taking a folic acid containing multivitamin daily.

Pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant should take a multivitamin suitable for use in pregnancy (please ask your pharmacist if you are not sure) containing 400mcgr of folic acid until at least 12 weeks of pregnancy. Some women may need a higher strength folic acid supplement prescribed by a GP further information on this is included in the links below.


Please see the links below for further information


If you have any questions about this advice or need further help in taking these important steps towards better health then please contact the surgery to speak to a GP.