Poor Diet Related To Hearing Lost in Elderly
The media has several different ways of marketing this headline. Usually you will read that low levels of folate or folic acid are related to hearing lost. Or, that low blood levels of vitamin B-12 are related. However, after having read through most of full text of the research published back in 1999 my summation is that the primary problem is that the segment of elderly suffering from hearing lost is most likely also consuming an overall lousy diet.
Similarly high homocysteine concentrations associated with poor vitamin B-12 or folate status, that can be easily treated with vitamin supplementation in younger populations, is also related to hearing lost.
The solution, however, for the elderly is rather complex. It involves more than popping a few vitamin pills. But, it would always involve eating a healthy diet.
Folate in your diet comes from plant or vegetable food sources. Strict vegetarians, however, are often deficient in folate due to the fact that the human body, also, requires adequate B-12 levels to process food sources of folate into what the body needs. Ergo, the wise elderly should also be consuming animal products, as meat is the only reliable food source for vitamin B-12. Outside of money issues, most elderly would hardly find the regular consumption of a little meat in their diet a tragedy.
Folic Acid Supplements
Folic acid supplements are very inexpensive and are extremely well absorbed. The problem is that excessive levels of folic acid has been found to promote cancer because it suppresses what the human body uses to fight off cancer. Trading hearing lost for a higher risk of cancer hardly seems like a solution to me.
Vitamin B-12 supplements on the other had are poorly absorbed by the human body. Effective forms of vitamin B-12 treatment are very expensive. They vary from injections, sublingual tablets, sublingual and / or nasal sprays; none of which are necessary for most elderly.
My suggestion is to simply eat a healthy diet as recommended on this Web site. Then get your blood tested for high homocysteine concentration levels. If you are suffering from high homocysteine levels then you should discuss the matter with your doctor who would then recommend some form of appropriate treatment. These few elderly probably are unable for various reasons to absorb adequate amounts of vitamin B-12 from their diet.
hearing loss, vitamin B12, and folate in the elderly.
Lasisi AO, Fehintola FA, Yusuf OB.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Dec;143(6):826-30. Epub 2010 Oct 25.
hearing loss, vitamin B-12, and folate in elderly women.
Houston DK, Johnson MA, Nozza RJ, Gunter EW, ...
Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Mar;69(3):564-71. [Full Text]