April 6, 2011
Stop hearing loss
Hearing loss is a silent villain striking millions of Americans as we age. Most doctors don't think nutrition has anything to do with hearing loss. But a new study shows just how important nutrition is to your ears - and how some people are reversing their hearing loss.
Back in 1986, researchers started a questionnaire-based study to look at the causes of hearing loss. Specifically, they wanted to know if vitamins can prevent hearing loss. The authors followed 26,273 men aged 40-74. They re-evaluated the men in 2004.
After 18 years, the researchers identified 3,559 cases of hearing loss. The researchers found no evidence that vitamins protected the group from hearing loss. However, there was a significant (21%) reduction in hearing loss in one group. It was the group of men consuming the highest amount of folate in their diet compared to men in the lowest quintile.
As you may know, I've always emphasized diet over supplements. Folate is one nutrient where a diet high in veggies can erase a deficiency. And, in so doing, it can protect you against hearing loss. I do hope that I'm hitting home in encouraging you to drop the SAD (standard American diet) in favor of a diet based on organic living foods (to the extent that you can). If for some reason you can't get enough folate in your diet, it certainly couldn't hurt to take a folic acid supplement (5 mg, two to three times a day).
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Ref: Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Feb;142(2):231-6.