Did you know that low folic acid levels and hearing loss are related? Your diet can affect the quality of your hearing, and your body needs folic acid for several reasons.
What’s Folic Acid?
Folic acid is actually a type of B vitamin. You get it from the food you eat, especially fruits and vegetables. Spinach is particularly rich in folic acid. Other good sources include meat, beans and yeast.
Why Is It Important?
Folic acid deficiency causes a number of health issues, such as:
• Gastric problems.
• Fatigue and a bad mood.
• Potential complications during pregnancy.
New research shows that low folic acid levels and hearing loss are related as well.
A study showed that older people who regularly took folic acid supplements were significantly less likely to develop low-frequency hearing loss.
One possible reason is that folic acid keeps your homocysteine levels low. High homocysteine levels can damage your hearing, and it’s also a risk factor for heart disease.
But, interestingly, folic acid didn’t help prevent high-frequency hearing loss. This might be because high-frequency hearing loss is more widespread, and it also tends to start earlier in life.
What’s the Best Dosage of Folic Acid?
People who participated in the hearing loss study took 800 micrograms of folic acid a day. This amount will help protect your hearing.
Researchers don’t know for now whether a lower dosage would have the same effect. According to the Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board recommend, you need to take a daily dosage of 400 micrograms just to maintain your general health. However, pregnant women should take more than that, since they’re at a higher risk of folic acid deficiency.
Experts say you should stay under a maximum dosage of 1000 micrograms. You should also check with your doctors whether folic acid is safe for you if you are taking other medication. Sometimes, high folic acid levels can cause seizures.
Since low folic acid levels and hearing loss are related, make sure your diet contains enough of this vitamin. You might want to look into taking supplements too.