Folic acid, a vital B vitamin is a must in the medicine chest of a pregnant woman. It is well known that deficiency of folic acid could lead to serious birth defects in the baby. Folic acid is also beneficial in allaying the risk of stroke and heart disease. Now, there appears to be one more feather in the folic cap, a Dutch study has shown. Folic acid may actually reduce low frequency hearing loss, researchers said.
The idea to combine folic acid in flour in the United States may actually help in slowing hearing loss. The study analyzed 728 Dutch men and women in the 50 to seventy age group, whose blood levels contained elevated levels of homocysteine. Folic acid is known to bring down levels of homocysteine which ostensibly the Dutch consumed meagerly.
During the study, half the study participants received powerful folic acid add-ons, about 800 micrograms per day. The remaining participants received a placebo. The experiment showed that participants who consumed folic acid pills portrayed less low-frequency hearing loss as compared to the participants who had consumed the placebo. The difference was equated at 0.7 decibels. High frequency hearing loss did not witness any change with folic acid supplements, also because such hearing loss starts earlier than 50 years.
Additional research is required to gauge the effects of folic acid on hearing-loss, especially on a well-nourished population.