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links between nutrition and hearing loss

Eating well for better hearing

There are many ways to protect your hearing. Studies have shown links between nutrition and hearing deficiencies. Your lifestyle and eating habits may protect you against the loss of hearing acuity due to age and the deterioration of the inner ear.

Vitamin D

It helps absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones. Vitamin D deficiencies in adults can lead to osteopenia, an illness that causes hardening and porousness in the bones in the ear. It is recommended to eat fish (especially salmon, trout and sardine) twice a week.

Sources of vitamin D: cod liver oil, fish oil, salmon, trout, sardine, mackerel, tuna, liver and egg yolks.

Vitamins A, C, E and magnesium

The antioxidant properties in vitamins A, C, E and magnesium provide added protection against hearing loss caused by noise. They prevent the formation of free radicals (highly reactive substances) that form when exposed to noise.

Sources of vitamin A: broccoli, squash, spinach, turnip, carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, apricots, liver, milk, butter, cheese and eggs.

Sources of vitamin C: broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, green cabbage, brussel sprouts, pineapple, strawberries and citrus.

Sources of vitamin E: wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, margarine and vegetable oil.

Sources of magnesium: dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, green vegetables and legumes.

Vitamin C

Is it possible to reduce infections in the ear? Yes, it is! You can increase your immune defence by eating green vegetables or fruits that are rich in vitamin C.

Sources of vitamin C: broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, green cabbage, brussel sprouts, pineapple, strawberries and citrus.

Vitamin B12

It improves hearing by regulating the formation of red blood cells, which help metabolize the amino acid homocysteine and prevent ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

Sources of vitamin B12: dairy products, eggs, lean beef and seafood.

Folic acid

It reduces homocysteine production, which is likely to cause specific types of deafness. Folic acid helps blood circulate to the ear’s internal structures. Your mother was right: eat your veggies!

Sources of folic acid: liver, spinach, asparagus, peas, broccoli, avocadoes, lettuce, peanuts, tomatoes, eggs, strawberries, papaya, cantaloupe and bananas.

Manganese

It improves hearing by encouraging the formation of conjunctive tissue and bones. It is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function. A manganese deficiency can increase the risk of ringing in the ears.

Sources of manganese: apples, apricots, avocadoes, beans, pineapples, berries, raisins, eggs, celery, legumes and pine nuts.

 

The moral of the story is that by improving your nutrition, you are not only going to have better overall health, but you will help your hearing.

Source: Listen – The world of Widex , number 3, 2011

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