by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
Supplements of folic acid may prevent age-related hearing loss in older men and women, says a new double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial from the Netherlands. (as reported in Health Truth Revealed, January 3, 2007.)
Sounds wonderful and pretty authoritative, doesn’t it? Now we will be able to prevent hearing loss as we age. Wow!
However, let’s look at the study results before we get too carried away. Before the study, the average participant’s hearing loss in the low frequencies (0.5 to 2 kHz) was 11.7 dB. The average hearing loss in the high frequencies (4 to 8 kHz) was 34.2 dB.
What do you think the change was after the study—something significant, right? Hang on to your hats. The change in the low frequencies was a miniscule 0.7 dB (too little difference for the human ear even to detect) and absolutely no difference in the high frequencies. And this is supposed to be so wonderful?
You always have to discount the hype in news items and see what the results really mean before you get too excited by the latest research findings. Folic acid is definitely needed for a healthy body—just don’t expect it to preserve your hearing by itself, or you’ll be sadly disappointed.