You are probably familiar with the nutrients that promote the optimal vision, but were you aware that certain foods benefit your hearing too? If you notice that your hearing is not as it used to be or start feeling you might lose it, your diet might hold the answer.
As a matter of fact, nutritional imbalances are believed to be a significant contributing factor in hearing loss. Age-related is actually not caused by any mechanical dysfunction in the ear, but it is rather how the brain processes the information that leads to reduced hearing.
Nutrients That Protect and Improve Hearing
Here are some of the nutrients that are beneficial for both protecting and improving hearing:
Carotenoids, especially vitamin A and astaxanthin
They work on multiple levels, including:
Improving blood flow, which helps reduce cochlear damage associated with compromised vascular system
Improving homocysteine metabolism
Protecting against oxidative stress in the cochlea
Preventing free radical damage
The support of vitamin A is actually mixed. One study including data from over 65,000 women found no link between vitamin A intake and hearing loss risk, while other studies found a positive correlation. According to Weston A. Price,
“A 1984 European study reported a 5 to 15 decibel improvement in patients with age-related hearing loss when given vitamins A and E. Other researchers reported that vitamin A deficiency results in a decline in the number of sensory cells in the nose, tongue and inner ear.
A 1993 study reported in Science found that vitamin A can stimulate the regeneration of mammalian auditory hair cells. In 2009, Japanese researchers found that adults with the highest blood serum levels of vitamin A and carotenoids have the lowest risk for hearing loss.
And, in 2014, researchers determined that vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy, especially during the early stages of fetal development ‘may predispose offspring to inner ear malformations and sensorial hearing loss.’”
Folate May Improve Tinnitus
Noise-induced tinnitus, which is manifested by chronic ringing in the ears, can be significantly improved with the consumption of folate ( vitamin B9). This nutrient also lowers homocysteine levels, which have been associated with age-related hearing loss.
Generally, the best way to increase folate levels is by eating lots of fresh, organic leafy green veggies. Folic acid is the synthetic version and is typically found in supplement form.
Zinc for Sudden Hearing Loss
It has been scientifically shown that zinc may be beneficial for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) which is typically treated with steroids.
Luckily, 47-63% of those suffering from SSNHL end up recovering their hearing problems caused by viral infection, which explains why zinc appears to be beneficial.