No one knows for sure why we're prone to become hard of hearing as we get older. But a new study suggests that low levels of folic acid may play a role. The study was small - only 126 healthy Nigerian men and women over the age of 60 took part - but it found that low blood levels of folic acid were significantly associated with hearing loss in high frequencies. Folic acid, a B vitamin, is found in spinach, other green vegetables and beans as well as fortified products such as orange juice, baked goods, and cereals. Other natural sources include asparagus, bananas, melons, lemons, legumes, yeast, and mushrooms. The study was published in the December, 2010, issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. In addition to its potential role in the auditory system, the researchers noted that folate has important roles in cellular metabolism, the nervous system and vascular function, and they called for further study into the role of vitamins in hearing, particularly in developing countries where malnutrition is common.
Watch and learn how to make a folic acid-rich Turkish Spinach Salad in my healthy kitchen.