Researchers at a recent ear, nose and throat medical convention reported new findings from an 18-year hearing study that evaluated the diets of male health professionals. More than 26,000 men, aged 40 to 75, started the study with normal hearing. Over the course of 18 years of follow-up, about one in seven developed hearing loss. In men over the age of 60, those who consumed about 800 mcg of total folates per day, including folic acid, were 21 percent less likely to have lost hearing compared to those who got the least folate.
In a related hearing study, over 700 men and women, aged 50 to 70, took 800 mcg of folic acid per day or a placebo. After three years, both groups had lost some low-frequency hearing, but the folic acid group had about half the hearing loss as the placebo group.