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How do you get elevated folate levels?

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Quick Answer

Elevated folate levels occur due to the use of supplements, a diet high in folate or a vitamin B12 deficiency, according to the National Institutes of Health. The elevated levels are sometimes related to anemia, but consuming a diet rich in folate does not actually cause the anemia.

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Full Answer

About 20 percent of the folate in the human body comes from dietary sources. Intestinal microorganisms manufacture the rest of the folate, according to Mayo Clinic. However, the levels of folate in the blood drop rapidly with changes in the diet.

The body requires vitamin B12 to utilize folate, explains WebMD. In the absence of this vitamin, the levels of folate increase, leading to a higher than normal reading. However, the folate test does not provide specific enough results to diagnose a vitamin B12 deficiency without further testing.

Pregnancy and healing tissue require large amounts of folic acid, according to WebMD. People with kidney failure often require more folic acid than healthy individuals. A low-folate test can also indicate a vitamin C deficiency, liver disease or Crohn's disease.

Folic acid supplementation helps prevent neural tube defects in unborn babies, according to the NIH. After 1998, when manufacturers began fortifying bread, cereal and other flour containing products, the number of babies with these birth defects became lower. However, the enrichment process increases the chance of a higher than normal reading on the folate test.

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