New research, published in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, indicates that age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is linked to low levels of folic acid a form of vitamin B.
According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately half of all people who are aged 75 and older have some degree of ARHL.
Akeem Olawale Lasisi, the study’s author, said that “based on our research, age-related hearing loss may be associated with poor micronutrient status.” He added that “the role of folate in cellular metabolism, the nervous system and vascular function are important for the auditory system.”
For the study, the scientists from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria recruited 126 men and women who were at least 60 years old. None of the participants suffered from any medical conditions.
Overall, the investigators found that low serum levels of folic acid contributed to high-frequency hearing loss among the subjects. However, the researchers noted that insufficient vitamin intake is usually expected in underprivileged populations like that of the study.
The scientists suggested that further studies should be conducted to determine how vitamins are associated with auditory function, especially in populations where malnutrition is common.
Folates can be found in spinach, broccoli, beans and or orange juice.