Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Folic Acid May Slow Hearing Loss

Older Adults Taking Folic Acid Supplements Show Less Loss of Low-Frequency Hearing WebMD 1/2/07 "After three years, those who got folic acid pills had less low-frequency hearing loss than did placebo recipients. The difference was slight: 0.7 decibels. The smallest change in sound intensity most people can notice is 1.0 decibels. There was no slowing of high-frequency hearing loss. That may be because high-frequency hearing loss begins earlier in life than age 50..."If this [hearing] benefit applies to the entire population (a big 'if') and continues to accrue each year (another big 'if'), one might expect a 5-decibel reduction in age-related [hearing loss] over a 20-year period,""

Lead researcher Jane Durga, PhD

This study doesn't appear to go further than this study in answering whether the problem of hearing loss might be greatly attributable to free radical damage from high homocysteine levels. Attacking the free radical damage from the antioxidant angle, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), seems to show increasing promise.

The Dutch do not supplement their flower with folate the way we do in the U.S., so one would suspect that our higher folate diets would be slowing our hearing loss, but the study doesn't address this. As always, we need more research.

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