While there are many ways you can help protect your ears and prevent hearing loss such – as wearing ear plugs and avoiding high noise decibel locations – nutrition can play a big part into helping preserve your hearing. Supplying your body with healthy nutrients and antioxidants can offset a number of hearing loss symptoms that can arise naturally through aging, so you can keep your body and your ears in pristine condition.
Researchers from the University of Florida have extensively analyzed whether or not vitamin supplements could help deter side effects of noise-induced hearing loss. After supplying guinea pigs with various vitamins and minerals and exposing them to decibel levels around 110, the same level you would experience at a live concert, the professors discovered that the animals that had received the vitamins were able to successfully prevent temporary hearing loss.
Dr. Colleen Le Prell, a researcher at the University of Florida and senior author of the study, was confident that her team’s initial research would help push the development of a supplemental pill packed with essential vitamins that can help deter hearing loss in humans.
“We found that the antioxidant combination of vitamin E and salicylate — the active agent in aspirin —effectively prevented cell death and permanent noise-induced hearing loss even when treatments were delayed up to three days after noise insult,” Le Prell said. “What is appealing about this vitamin ‘cocktail’ is that previous studies in humans, including those demonstrating successful use of these supplements in protecting eye health, have shown that supplements of these particular vitamins are safe for long-term use.”
Which vitamins can help hearing loss?
There are several different kinds of antioxidants and nutrients found in widely produced foods that could aid prevention in hearing loss. Here are some of the most helpful vitamins when it comes to helping out with hearing.
One of the main nutrients used by the researchers in this study was magnesium, which while not being a traditional antioxidant, was found to have the ability to boost blood flow to the inner ear, resulting in quickened healing after loud noise exposure. Another study conducted by doctors at the NYU Langone Medical Center tested whether a daily supplementation of magnesium administered to 300 military recruits, finding that a daily regimen of 167 milligrams of magnesium was able to significantly protect the soldier’s hearing from loud gunshots and grenade blasts. Some foods that are rich in magnesium include:
- Soy beans
Studies regarding zinc’s capabilities to reduce symptoms of tinnitus, hearing and cochlear damage have been conducted since the late 80s, with zinc deficiency being a key component toward gradual hearing loss. Besides helping your ears out, zinc does wonders for your immune system as well as everything from fighting acne to avoiding hair loss for men, so there are a variety of reasons to add some zinc to your diet. Zinc can be found in the following:
- Cooked oysters
Some cochlear deafness has been attributed to vitamin D deficiencies, suggesting that adding a steady dosage to your diet can help fight against auditory impairment. A lack of vitamin D is known to produce osteopenia, a weakening of bone density, that can arise even in the miniscule bones in your ears, enhancing your risk of hearing loss. According to Harvard School of Public Health, there are an estimated 1 billion people worldwide who are not receiving enough daily intake of vitamin D, leaving more and more people susceptible to hearing loss. Although our primary way of getting vitamin D is through sunlight absorption, some other foods proven to have high levels include:
Simply increasing your daily intake of these vitamins and minerals can help increase hearing loss prevention.