Age related hearing loss has been associated with low serum levels of folic acid, according to research published in the December 2010 issue of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.
The study included face-to-face interviews with 126 elderly Nigerian men and women above 60 years old who had no known medical conditions and had been examined by physicians. The study excluded those who were found to have a history of diabetes, stroke, hypertension, ear diseases, ear infections, ear trauma, ear surgery, or exposure to noise and ototoxic drugs.
The main finding of the study was that low serum levels of folic acid were significantly associated with high-frequency hearing loss in the elderly. In medically underserved populations like that in the study, relatively low levels of vitamin intake can be expected. That suggests a need, say the authors, for continuing study into the role of vitamins in auditory function, particularly in developing countries where malnutrition is rife.
(Medical News Today, Source – Mary Stewart, American Academy of Otolaryngology)