Canterbury DHB


Folate Deficiency

Folic acid is found mainly in vegetables and fruits. The recommended daily intake is 400 micrograms per day.

In This Section






A macrocytic megaloblastic anaemia is present, often with leucopenia and thrombocytopenia. Neuropsychiatric symptoms do occur, but less commonly than with vitamin B12 deficiency. Folic acid deficiency plays a role in some birth abnormalities, e.g., neural tube defects. A low serum and red cell folate is seen is primary vitamin B12 deficiency and as already indicated, in vitamin B12 deficiency the red cell folate can be low.


The cause needs to be established and where possible corrected. Folic acid 1 to 5 mg daily orally is the usual dose given. A vitamin B12 level should be measured and found to be normal before oral folic acid is given. If the vitamin B12 level is also reduced, seek advice.

About this Canterbury DHB document (6364):

Document Owner:

Not assigned (see Who's Who)

Last Reviewed:

November 2019

Next Review:

November 2022


Note: Only the electronic version is controlled. Once printed, this is no longer a controlled document. Disclaimer

Topic Code: 6364