Hearing Loss Linked to Vitamin B Deficiency

By Charlotte Bumstead
A new study associates age-related hearing loss to insufficient levels of folic acid (folate). After examining 126 healthy Nigerian men and women over age 60, the results discovered notably low levels of folic acid—a B vitamin—to be related to hearing loss in frequent occurrences.

Researchers are working to better understand the biological basis of age-related hearing loss. Such hearing limitations affect 37.8 per cent of Canadians over the age of 65, according to Statistics Canada. Study author Akeem Olawale Lasisi explains, “Based on our research, age-related hearing loss may be associated with poor micronutrient status. The role of folate in cellular metabolism, the nervous system, and vascular function are important for the auditory system.”

Healthy sources of folic acid are fruits; leafy green vegetables, like romaine lettuce; dried beans; peas; nuts, and enriched cereals and breads. It can also be found as a dietary supplement. Researchers are called to further examine the relationship between vitamins and hearing, specifically looking at countries commonly suffering from malnutrition.