The best hearing aids may be the ones you swallow.
A new study suggests that daily vitamins may help prevent hearing loss. The study, the first to correlate hearing loss prevention in humans with vitamin intake, was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. Approximately 17 percent of American adults report some degree of hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Health.
There is a strong relationship between age and reported hearing loss: 18 percent of American adults 45-64 years old, 30 percent of adults 65-74 years old, and 47 percent of adults 75 years old or older, have a hearing impairment.
For the latest study, researchers analyzed data from 1,910 participants, between 50 and 80 years of age, in the 2011 Korea national Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The scientists adjusted data based on age, sex, smoke and exposure to occupational and explosive noise (no mention of adjustments for heavy metal concerts attended in subjects’ youth). Vitamin C intake correlated with better hearing at midfrequency. In general, dietary supplement use was positively associated with better hearing at all frequencies. The univariate analysis indicated that dietary intakes of retinol, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C were positively correlated with better hearing at most frequencies. On the other hand, or ear, serum concentrations of vitamin D were associated with worse hearing at mid and high.
Another recent study suggests that resveratrol may also have the potential to protect against hearing decline. According to a lab study from Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital, healthy rats are less likely to suffer the long-term effects of noise-induced hearing loss when given resveratrol before being exposed to loud noise for a long period of time.