Canterbury DHB


Folate Deficiency

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

In This Section






A macrocytic megaloblastic anaemia is present, often with leucopenia and thrombocythopenia. 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 1-5 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:

Mark Smith (see Who's Who)

Issue Date:

August 2017

Next Review:

August 2019


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

Topic Code: 6364