Baby boomers are getting older and beginning to need more age related medical services; scientists are hoping to prevent or delay age related hearing loss by preventing vitamin B deficiency.
The Journal of Nutrition recently published a report which proves a correlation between hearing loss, levels of folate, and levels of homocysteine, an amino acid which occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency and is linked to increased risk for heart attack and age related hearing loss.
The study, which took place in the University of Sydney, Australia, focused on approximately 3,000 elderly individuals:
- Participants received blood tests which measured levels of folate and vitamin B12; also measured were their homocysteine levels.
- A folate vitamin deficiency in senior citizens aged 50 and over accounted for a 35% increased risk for age related hearing loss.
- Individuals who had high homocysteine levels were 64% more likely to suffer age related hearing loss than others who did not have vitamin B12 deficiency.
In an earlier study, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) announced a study which concluded a correlation between men over the age of 60 who include folate in their diet and a 20% reduction of risk for age related hearing loss.
In 2007, Wageningen University researchers examined over 700 elderly individuals between the ages of 50 and 70 for low frequency hearing loss; they concluded that folic acid supplements reduced the advancement of age related hearing loss, causing a significant delay in its onset.
Many green leafy vegetables such as spinach are rich in folate; other good sources of folate are broccoli, asparagus, legumes, fortified cereals and organ meats.
Also read: B12 and Tinnitus