Old 01-14-2011, 05:13 AM
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Default Hearing Loss and Folate Deficiency

Low levels of folic acid (folate) may be associated with age-related hearing loss, according to a new study published in the journal Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery.

The study of 126 healthy Nigerian men and women over the age of 60 found that low serum levels of folic acid, a B vitamin, were significantly associated with hearing loss in high frequencies.

"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," study author Akeem Olawale Lasisi said.

The researchers concluded that "serum folate was significantly lower among elderly with age-related hearing loss." They called for further study into the role of vitamins in hearing, particularly in developing countries where malnutrition is common.

Folic acid is found in fruits, leafy green vegetables such as romaine lettuce, dried beans, peas, nuts and enriched cereals and breads. It is also available as a dietary supplement.
Hearing loss affects more than 28 million Americans aged 60 to 74.

Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 143(6):826-830,

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