There's a good bit of skepticism in the medical community about the role nutrients play in hearing loss. Many people don't believe nutrients can do anything to help the ears. But a recent study shows this just isn't true.
For this study, researchers at the University of Michigan Health System formulated a special diet that they thought might be able to affect certain gene issues that can lead to hearing loss. This diet focused heavily on antioxidants, particularly beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A), vitamins C and E, and magnesium. To test the diet's efficacy, the researchers bred mice to have a connexin 26 gene deletion. This genetic mutation typically leads to hearing loss in children.
What's interesting about this issue is that it's not all or nothing. Most people who have this mutation pass their hearing tests as newborns. Their hearing loss occurs over time. The researchers wanted to find out if there was a way to prevent this loss.
Sure enough, the mice who received the enhanced diet had less hearing loss. Some even demonstrated improvements in their hearing! The researchers suspect that oxidative stress in the inner ear can speed up the hearing loss. Antioxidants help protect the delicate sensory hair cells.
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While this study focused on an issue that typically affects children, it clearly shows that nutrients can help the ears. This issue is generally considered a children's disease simply because that's when the hearing loss begins to manifest itself. But the antioxidants didn't just slow the progression of loss for the mice. They actually reversed it in some cases. Now here's why this is important even for older folks.
The fact is that we really have no idea why some people lose their hearing as they get older and others don't. It might very likely be that there are genetics involved that don't fully kick in until we get older. It could also be a mixed bag, in which certain people are genetically extra susceptible to the more common problems like reduced auditory nerve function or insufficient circulation to the ears. I believe that many of these issues can be reversed with the right nutrients.
That's why I helped formulate Advanced Bionutritionals Advanced Hearing Formula to attack all of these fronts. It's full of antioxidants – including vitamins A, C, and E and magnesium. But it also contains nutrients that support the nerves and the circulatory system. If you suspect your hearing isn't what it once was, hearing aids may not have to be the next step. See if giving your body the nutrients it needs to protect itself from damage in the inner ear can help first. And start at the very first sign of decreased hearing.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Kari L. Green, Donald L. Swiderski, Diane M. Prieskorn, Susan J. DeRemer, Lisa A. Beyer, Josef M. Miller, Glenn E. Green, Yehoash Raphael. ACEMg Diet Supplement Modifies Progression of Hereditary Deafness. Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 22690 DOI: 10.1038/srep22690