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Reverse Hearing Loss with Evidence-Based Foods & Supplements

BY PUREHEALTH RESEARCH | Oct 29, 2021

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The ability to hear lets you into the conversation and the world. Missing out on what people are saying can have a dramatic effect on your life. When a person’s mouth isn’t directly facing you (or is behind a mask), it’s easy to miss words, sentences, and the context of their meaning.

Being unable to hear your boss’s instructions clearly can cause embarrassment, work delays and could put your livelihood at risk. At social gatherings, you may miss the punchline of a joke or not understand the meaning of a story. And garbled safety steps during an emergency can put your life at risk.

Hearing loss can alienate you, making you feel alone. The emotional effects can include loneliness, isolation, depression, and anxiety.1 Living with hearing loss is stressful, making communication exhausting. It can increase tension in the neck, head, and ear area, causing frequent headaches. Hearing aids can cause ear wax issues. Tinnitus (perceived ringing in ears) can cause balance issues. And the psychological effects of adjusting your self-identity to living with a disability can upend your world.

Recently, hearing loss has become the fifth leading cause of years lived with disability, ahead of diabetes, dementia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).2 3 About 25-30% of Americans over 65 and 50% over 75 live with hearing loss, and that number is rising rapidly. So, let’s explore the causes and ways you can improve hearing loss.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

Ear partsHearing loss can occur through multiple pathways, affecting ear structures, the central nervous system, hormone levels, immunity, oxidative stress, and blood supply. There are 3 categories of hearing loss, conductive, sensorineural, and mixed loss,4 where some damage is permanent and others may be reversible.

The delicate structures of the ear can be harmed by several factors that can interrupt signals from reaching the brain, including:

Ear parts

Hearing loss can occur through multiple pathways, affecting ear structures, the central nervous system, hormone levels, immunity, oxidative stress, and blood supply. There are 3 categories of hearing loss, conductive, sensorineural, and mixed loss,4 where some damage is permanent and others may be reversible.

The delicate structures of the ear can be harmed by several factors that can interrupt signals from reaching the brain, including:

  • Genetics
  • Injury or trauma
  • Loud noises (over 85 decibels)
  • Free Radical Oxidation
  • Medications (antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, and pain killers)
  • Nutritional deficiencies (especially as you age)
  • Carbs/Sugar-rich diets (especially as you age)
  • Illness & Disease
  • Infection (inflammation)

Age-related hearing loss may be due to nutritional deficiencies. As you age, it becomes more challenging to absorb nutrients. It’s also when you need fewer calories but more nutrition, making supplements an excellent solution to fill the gap.

Eating healthy is essential for your overall well-being and hearing. Ear structures need nourishment to thrive, but some foods can damage these delicate mechanisms. For example, a carbohydrate-rich diet with added sugars raises triglyceride levels that can harm hearing functions, contributing to age-related hearing loss. Studies show a link between a high carb/sugar diet and hearing loss. The high blood sugar levels also spike free radicals that can damage the delicate lining of the tiny hair-like blood vessels to the ear structures.

Foods & Supplements that Nourish Ear Structures

Dramatically reducing carbs and sugar intake and adding more of the following to your daily regime can help your body repair and regenerate healthy cells in some cases.

Foods supplements

Hearing Nourishing Foods

Beans & Leafy Greens for Folate – Studies show that Folate is associated with a reduced risk of age-related hearing loss. So, toss in spinach, kale, Romaine lettuce, kidney beans, and chickpeas in your daily salads! More sources of Folate include liver, eggs, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, peas, lemons, bananas, and sunflower seeds.

Avocados, Dark Chocolate, & Whole Grains for Magnesium – Magnesium relaxes and opens blood vessels, improving oxygen and nutrient delivery critical to support the inner ear and hair cells of the cochlea. Studies show that Magnesium limits hearing loss, particularly after noise exposure or sudden sensorineural hearing loss. It crosses the blood labyrinth barrier (BLB), helping limit cochlear damage5 and even preventing and treating hearing loss, particularly the noise-induced type. Other sources of Magnesium include salmon, kale, spinach, nuts (Brazil nuts, cashews, and almonds), pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, and bananas.

Nuts & Seeds for Zinc – Zinc is helpful for prevention and a possible treatment for sensorineural hearing loss (sudden, unexplained hearing loss). Zinc boosts the immune system, warding off ear infections that can damage ear structures that can cause hearing loss. Prepare and keep handy a trail mix of peanuts, cashews, almonds, and pumpkin, sesame, and hemp seeds for a healthy snack. More sources include plain Greek yogurt, oysters, crab, lobster, pork, beef, dark meat chicken, mushrooms, kale, spinach, garlic, pumpkin seeds, and cashews.

Flaxseed, Walnuts, and Fish for Omega 3s – Studies show an inverse relationship between Omega 3 intake and hearing loss. People who had two or more servings of fish per week had a 42% reduced risk of hearing loss than those who had less than one serving per week6. Omega 3s are also found in chia seeds, hemp seeds, Brussels sprouts, spinach, sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring, and salmon.

Hearing Supporting Supplements

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – CoQ10 is an enzyme vital for healthy cochlear hair cells. Its antioxidant properties help neutralize free radicals, reducing the risk of oxidative damage. Plus, it supports mitochondria that supply cellular energy.

>Hawthorn BerryHawthorn Berry – Hawthorn is loaded with antioxidants, strong immunity benefits, and improves blood vessel health7 8 that support healthy hearing.

>Hawthorn Berry

Hawthorn Berry – Hawthorn is loaded with antioxidants, strong immunity benefits, and improves blood vessel health7 8 that support healthy hearing.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) – Studies show ALCAR enhances mitochondrial energy and membrane efficiency, delivering impressive results to prevent and even restore age-related hearing loss.9

FMPBEFrench Maritime Pine Bark Extract (FMPBE) – Researchers gave 150 mg/day of FMPBE to people with tinnitus, cochlear hypoperfusion (microcirculation dysfunction), and Meniere’s disease (vertigo, feeling off-balance) had reversed symptoms by 45.4% after 3 months and 87.3% after 6 months.10

FMPBE

French Maritime Pine Bark Extract (FMPBE) – Researchers gave 150 mg/day of FMPBE to people with tinnitus, cochlear hypoperfusion (microcirculation dysfunction), and Meniere’s disease (vertigo, feeling off-balance) had reversed symptoms by 45.4% after 3 months and 87.3% after 6 months.10

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) – ALA helps increase your body’s natural antioxidant glutathione production and fighting free radical oxidation. Studies show Lipoic Acid helps protect age-related and noise-induced hearing loss.11 ALA is also an essential cofactor in mitochondrial enzymes, supporting energy production. Studies show long-term use is associated with significant noise protection.12 13

Ginkgo BilobaGinkgo Biloba Extract – Oxidative stress may be a cause for Tinnitus.14 Research suggests Ginkgo’s rich antioxidants may help reduce damaging oxidation and improve Tinnitus.15 One clinical trial involving 761 patients with sudden hearing loss resulted in hearing recovery, exhibiting signs of improvement after one week.16

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba Extract – Oxidative stress may be a cause for Tinnitus.14 Research suggests Ginkgo’s rich antioxidants may help reduce damaging oxidation and improve Tinnitus.15 One clinical trial involving 761 patients with sudden hearing loss resulted in hearing recovery, exhibiting signs of improvement after one week.16

Vitamins A, C, & E – Studies show that participants who supplemented immediately after idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) gained 29.4 dB, improving hearing by 63.3% compared to 18.5 dB and 44% in the control group.17 One 5-year study in 2,956 participants over age 50 was published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health, & Aging. It showed that vitamin E reduced the risk of hearing loss by 14%, and vitamin A reduced the risk of hearing loss by 47%.18

A note of caution: Some studies have found that high intakes – 1000 mg/day or more – of vitamin C over time may increase your risk for hearing loss.19 20 Your doctor should supervise high therapeutic dosages over 1000 mg.

Takeaway Thoughts

Feel free to explore the rainbow of colorful vegetables, low glycemic fruit, wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, gluten-free whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fermented foods. They help neutralize free radicals, improve blood flow and nutrient delivery, and promote healthy immunity, reducing inflammation that can harm your hearing. They provide cellular fuel as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, and other plant nutrients. Each supports various mechanisms that repair, regenerate, and recharge your body and improve hearing.

Seniors

So, regain your confidence and enjoy get-togethers and contributing at meetings again. Shuck the worries and feel comfortable talking to people at parties or in a noisy restaurant. And take pleasure in watching your favorite shows without concern of disturbing neighbors with the volume. Reclaim your life and enjoy the sounds of life!

REFERENCES:
  1. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00516-X/fulltext
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6356655/
  3. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00516-X/fulltext
  4. https://www.merckmanuals.com/en-ca/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/hearing-loss/hearing-loss
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507266/
  6. https://www.tinnitusformula.com/library/omega-3s-hearing-loss-and-tinnitus/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27531227/
  8. https://www.rxlist.com/hawthorn/supplements.htm
  9. https://jnrbm.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1477-5751-7-4
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24988090/
  11. https://hearillinois.com/hearing-health-blog/supplements-to-combat-hearing-loss
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6069589/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3552536/
  14. http://www.tinnitusjournal.com/articles/ginkgo-biloba-in-the-treatment-of-tinnitus-an-updated-literature-review.html
  15. http://www.tinnitusjournal.com/articles/ginkgo-biloba-in-the-treatment-of-tinnitus-an-updated-literature-review.html
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11548897/
  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17851951/
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22159779/
  19. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/102/5/1167/4564382
  20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26354537/
  21. https://www.truhearing.com/more-resources/presbycusis-or-why-older-adults-cant-hear-as-well/
  22. https://www.istockphoto.com/search/2/image?phrase=inner+ear
  23. https://www.earth.com/news/cost-healthy-foods-malnutrition/
  24. https://www.healthydirections.com/articles/heart-health/hawthorn-berry-benefits-blood-pressure
  25. https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/pinie-cap-du-dramont-saintraphael-var-1364071196
  26. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210427/Research-suggests-that-Ginkgo-biloba-extract-contains-naturally-occurring-inhibitors-against-SARS-CoV-2.aspx
  27. https://lifemed.ca/happy-seniors/
  28. https://www.healthline.com/health/reverse-hearing-loss#types
  29. https://www.hearinglife.ca/hearing-loss/types-of-hearing-loss?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=CA_AW_HearingLoss-Catchall_EX%7CWEB-HL-SEM&utm_content=HearingLoss-Pure&utm_term=hearing%20loss&gclid=CjwKCAjwzOqKBhAWEiwArQGwaB0KDTdVb09UY5rhItz-jDU15JYK_ki0x3p5schF5443hMXfzLdnuRoCCD8QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
  30. https://www.hear-the-world.com/en/knowledge/hearing-loss/hearing-loss-causes-risks-prevention?gclid=CjwKCAjwzOqKBhAWEiwArQGwaKUBJpsfuvwK2GcoXWBg0bKuhqOPeuw2jF_K_VAk4qKT3Ej0iPMuxxoCIVIQAvD_BwE
  31. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20373072
  32. https://www.hearingloss.org/wp-content/uploads/HLAA_HearingLoss_Facts_Statistics.pdf
  33. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing
  34. https://www.merckmanuals.com/en-ca/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/hearing-loss/hearing-loss
  35. https://hearillinois.com/hearing-health-blog/supplements-to-combat-hearing-loss
  36. https://www.healthline.com/health/reverse-hearing-loss#outlook
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