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Not Consuming Enough Folate May Lead to Age-Related Hearing Loss

If you are not getting enough folate in your diet you may be significantly increasing the risk of developing age related hearing loss according to the results of the Blue Mountains Hearing Study.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Sydney, Australia and the results were published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Nearly 3,000 people aged 50 or over participated in the study.

The researchers measured blood levels of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine. They found that participants with low levels of folate (below 11 nanomoles per liter) had a 34% increased risk of developing age-related hearing loss.

Levels of homocysteine over 20 micromoles per liter were associated with a 64% increase in the risk of hearing loss.

Vitamin B12 levels were not associated with hearing loss.

B vitamins play a very important role in many essential functions in the human body including nervous system function, red blood cell formation, and hormone function. Folate and other B vitamins have been shown in previous studies to reduce the risk of depression, hearing loss and dementia.

Our bodies do not naturally synthesize B vitamins. However, it is easy to increase your intake of these essential vitamins by eating more vitamin B rich foods or taking a quality supplement. Some foods rich in B vitamins include broccoli, asparagus, potatoes, tuna and salmon. Many milk and flour products are also fortified with B vitamins.

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