We usually schedule routine checkups to ensure that our body works fine overall every year; why don't we do the same for our hearing? Our ears are not just there for piercing. These organs play an important role in communication and processing information. They are responsible for hearing and our sense of balance. It's important to get them to check regularly. If your ears aren't working properly, you may experience a range of symptoms, including hearing loss, decreased cognitive function, balance problems, and delayed speech processing.
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, as we know it, is another very common disease that affects nearly 1 in 10 Americans each year. Tinnitus causes include Abnormal Sound Processing, Aging, Loud Noises, and many other. Although many sufferers would appreciate a dietary solution to relieve tinnitus, data on vitamins ringing in the ears is scarce at best.
The Science Behind Tinnitus, Vitamins, and Ear Health
Although there is evidence that a healthy diet can reduce hearing loss, no nutrients have emerged from the silver so far. And while some studies have revealed traces of vitamin intake and hearing health, the results are often contradictory and include important caveats. On the other hand, there is also research on foods that trigger Tinnitus that must be avoided if you are suffering from ringing in the ears.
According to research conducted at the University of Michigan, a certain blend of nutrients helps prevent noise-induced hearing loss by blocking the formation of free radicals. We usually associate free radicals with medical problems, such as cancer, but did you know that free radicals can also damage hearing?
That's how. Whenever our ear is exposed to high volume, the cells of the inner ear generate free radicals. When these free radicals come into contact with small hair cells in the ear, they destroy them and reduce their hearing. Once the hair cells are dead, they cannot grow back. At the same time, free radicals restrict blood flow to the ear, making hearing even more difficult. Some researches have also shown positive results from use of essential oils for Tinnitus and hearing loss. If you are suffering from this condition, it is recommended you check them out as well.
Vitamins for Hearing
Researchers recently discovered some vitamins that can help in combating hearing loss due to age and noise. If your hearing has been affected after being exposed to loud noise, consider taking magnesium with vitamins A, C, and E. If your hearing loss is just the result of aging, folic acid can help keep your ears sharp. Vitamins A, C, and E contain antioxidants that have shown to work against the overproduction of these free radicals, which, as mentioned above, can damage the fine cells in our ears necessary for proper hearing.
Recent studies have also shown that consuming vitamins A, C, and E can help prevent noise-induced hearing damage if used with magnesium. The only prerequisite is to use it before the exposure of sounds. Vitamins A, C, and E, along with magnesium, maybe the answer to reducing noise-induced hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss can occur in a single accident or as a result of prolonged exposure to loud noise. Either way, it's a widespread problem - some 30 million Americans are routinely exposed to dangerous noise levels.
The beautiful orange and yellow color of orange or carrots are due to the presence of carotenoids. Carotenoids contribute to several important functions for human health, including roles in antioxidant defense, cell-to-cell communication, and a precursor of vitamin A.
According to a study conducted in 2015, women who consumed beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, two specific carotenoids, had a lower risk of hearing loss. This is proof that vitamin A and carotenoids play an important role in the proper working of our ears.
Cobalamin is another name for vitamin B12. It is a vitamin your body needs to stay healthy. Your body cannot produce it on its own. The roles that vitamin B12 plays include maintaining healthy blood and nerve cells and contributing to the formation of DNA, the genetic material found in all cells.
In the study, men with tinnitus who were vitamin B12 deficient showed significant improvement after intramuscular vitamin injections. According to other research, B12 is needed to create myelin, an insulating and protective sheath that surrounds the nerves. If you lack vitamin B12, the communication between your nerves may start to deteriorate, which is a damaged mechanism that leads to tinnitus.
The results of a study published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology supported this claim. Their results revealed that tinnitus was associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. Researchers also say patients with this condition improved after the introduction of vitamin B12 supplementation.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient for healthy bones, skin, and blood vessels.
At least one animal study has shown that vitamin C can protect against noise caused by hearing loss. However, this benefit has not yet been studied in humans. An observational study conducted in 2015 highlighted that consuming a large amount of vitamin C was actually associated with an increased risk of hearing loss. Therefore, it is not clear how useful vitamin C is in preventing or treating hearing loss.
This nutrient plays a major role in keeping middle ear bones healthy. Vitamin D is important for bone health. Lack of this vitamin can cause bone disasters throughout our body, including the three bones in our middle ear. These bones are small, but their function is really essential.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause three ear bones to soften and weaken, which can make sound conduction difficult and affect our hearing. Vitamin D is important for people of all ages, but it is especially important for older adults who, for environmental, health, and metabolism reasons, often have less vitamin D in their system.
Hearing Loss Aid and Health Interview have heard experts claim that vitamins E work together with magnesium to prevent the free radical formation in response to loud noises. The combination stopped an impressive 80% of noise-induced hearing loss.
While the vitamins and magnesium taken alone helped slightly for hearing loss, they were together - they were significantly more effective! Since free radicals from even after exposure to loud noises, taking a combination of nutrients for up to three days after an accident can help reduce hearing loss.
However, the longer and the damage cannot be reduced. From frontline soldiers to noisy factory workers to teenagers who love their music, this discovery has the potential to help a huge number of people who are exposed to loud noises while working or playing.
Minerals for Hearing
So, what are minerals? Minerals are nutritious substances that are usually present in water and soil. They are absorbed by plants during water transport. When plants are consumed (or animals that have consumed these plant products), our bodies extract these nutrients from them. This is how our body fulfills the mineral requirement of the body.
Magnesium, if consumed along with vitamins A, C, and E, plays a vital role in hearing health. This mineral helps us cope with stress and has been shown to help reduce hearing sensitivity, reduce tinnitus and prevent hearing loss. Scientists believe this is because magnesium fights the effects of free radicals emitted during loud sounds.
Folic acid can help you to improve hearing by aiding the metabolism of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that reduces circulation, thus regulating the production of red blood cells.
Good circulation is an important component of maintaining the proper and healthy functioning of the hair cells of the inner ear. Folic acid is water-soluble and doesn't store well in the body, so you need to get your daily dose from food.
Researchers claim that Omega 3 fatty acids strengthen blood vessels in our ear's sensory system. These fats are, in fact, healthy and beneficial for our cardiovascular system. It reduces inflammation inside the arteries, which can affect blood flow and damage sensitive tissues. This is why Omega 3 fatty acid can help you with Tinnitus.
Zinc can fight bacteria and viruses; to treat sudden hearing loss. This micronutrient is known for its ability to boost immunity and its ability to fight colds. Zinc helps activate and produce T cells (T lymphocytes), the defense cells in our blood are specially designed to target and destroy bacteria, viruses, and other invaders.
Although studies have shown conflicting results as to whether this mineral prevents ear infections, it's not a bad idea to supplement foods rich in this anti-inflammatory mineral for hearing health. One of the hearing problems that zinc has been shown to help is sudden hearing loss. Research shows that zinc supplementation can help restore and improve hearing in those with sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL).
The role of potassium is to regulate the amount of fluid in the blood and body tissues. The fluid in the inner ear depends on a rich supply of potassium, especially in the part of the ear that converts the sounds we hear into electrical impulses. These impulses are interpreted by the brain as sound. Foods rich in potassium can protect your ear against age-related hearing loss as well as prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
What Should I Eat for Ear Health?
Here we have compiled a list of what you need to eat to stay healthy and hear clearly.
- Sources of vitamin A include spinach, beets, carrots, broccoli, squash, watermelon, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apricots, liver, milk, butter, cheese, and whole eggs.
- Sources of vitamin B-12 are chicken and seafood
- Sources of vitamin C include: citrus fruits, strawberries, guava, and herbs
- Sources of vitamin E include leafy greens, almonds, mangoes, sunflower seeds, and olive oil. The strengths of both C and Es include chili, broccoli, kiwi, and papaya.
- Sources of omega-3s include chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, beans, tuna, halibut, salmon, mussels, squash, and olive oil.
- Sources of folic acid include spinach, leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, asparagus, broccoli, avocados, eggs, breakfast cereals, liver, and nuts.
- Sources of magnesium include brown rice, leafy vegetables, artichokes, barley, Brazil nuts, beans, bananas, potatoes, broccoli, spinach, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
- Sources of zinc include beef crab oysters, lobsters, and fortified cereals.
Supplements to Improve Hearing
Although the multivitamin industry generates more than $ 6 billion in annual revenue, many doctors are urging people, particularly the elderly, to actually take fewer vitamin supplements and work to get vitamins from whole foods instead.
After all, vitamins are sold as supplements for a reason - they should supplement one's diet, especially if there is no increased risk of nutritional deficiencies.
What Are These Supplements Made From?
Many people with tinnitus think, "But what about the ingredients themselves? There's no research on the individual components? It's just vitamins. It couldn't hurt if we try, right?" This is where things get a little complicated. These tinnitus relief supplements use more than 250 different ingredients in various concentrations and combinations.
There are currently more than 80 products on the market from all different parts of the world. Some have from 3 or 4 ingredients to more than 35 ingredients, and my researcher has looked into each of the individual ingredients found in these, and only about 10% of them have published research.
Many of the ingredients in these products are relatively harmless in small amounts, but that's not always the case. For example, quinine, a powerful antimalarial drug with many dangerous side effects, has been found in some of these over-the-counter tinnitus products. Some contain ingredients that can be found in rat poison and ceramic glazes. When I did this research a few years ago, I was amazed … I don't think it's there.
How Many Supplements Should I Take in a Day?
Hazardous ingredients aren't the only possible risk to consider here. Dosage can be a potential problem too.
Just because an ingredient included in a certain dose is safe (or relatively safe) doesn't mean it's just as safe in large quantities. Companies often hide specific amounts of each ingredient by labeling their composition as a proprietary blend.
The ingredients themselves are not protected in any way, but dietary supplement companies can claim that the specific proportion of the ingredients they contain - their formula - is protected. They can legally hide a specific dose of each ingredient in their proprietary blend, and it is required by law to list only the combined dose of all listed ingredients.
Are There Any Side Effects?
If a patient with tinnitus is taking other prescription medications or supplements, there is always a risk of adverse drug interactions. Many tinnitus patients start using these supplements without discussing them with their doctor. This can affect their treatment and lead to problems depending on the other medical conditions they may have and the medications they are taking in these conditions.
At the very least, it can be said for now that far more risks need to be considered than most people realize. A few articles in the medical literature summarize the evidence for ginkgo Biloba, zinc, vitamin B12, melatonin, flavonoids, and magnesium. While nothing has proven to be effective so far, deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals can actually be the reason behind tinnitus in some cases, so it's important to see a doctor first.
If you decide to try them, you should take a blood test to see if you are deficient in vitamins and minerals and discuss with your doctor which supplements would be appropriate based on these results.
The good news is that the exciting research for new treatments along with existing treatments for tinnitus continues to show promising results. But we don't have to wait for another big breakthrough either, because a good treatment already exists, but not in a bottle of supplements or ear drops.
Are These Supplements Actually Beneficial for Tinnitus?
One of the biggest challenges for these over-the-counter tinnitus products is the current state of FDA regulations and labeling laws.
The Food and Drug Administration has given no approval to use any of these products for now as a treatment for tinnitus. Some loopholes in the law allow these manufacturers to claim these tinnitus relief claims without actually [having] [proof]. You don't have to prove it. The FDA classifies these nutraceuticals as regulated dietary supplements as food products. And supplements may not go through the same rigorous process as prescription drugs, in which placebo efficacy must be proven in double-blind studies. FDA has not approved any such product for tinnitus treatment, and this is an important and often overlooked point while considering a supplement.
Since many things besides diet affect hearing and no vitamins are directly related to hearing health, a balanced diet is still the most trusted way and the best approach to get the nutrients for your body to function effectively. Talk to your GP before adding vitamins or supplements to your hearing loss or tinnitus diet. If you have to experience any symptoms related to hearing loss or improper functioning of the ear, then consult an ENT specialist in your area.