You know that vitamins can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Taking vitamin supplements can help support your health and can even fill gaps in your diet. You may even know which vitamins to take if you want specific benefits. For example, you might take vitamin C to fight off a cold, vitamin D to support bone health, or vitamin A to support your vision. However, do you know of any vitamins that are particularly beneficial for your hearing health?
According to the latest research, no specific vitamin has been identified as helping to prevent hearing loss. (It is important to note, however, that research has found a link between eating a healthy diet and a lower risk of hearing loss.) In addition, some studies on animals have shown promise for certain vitamins in reducing the risk of hearing loss, but those same vitamins have found mixed results in human studies.
So, what has research found about the connection between vitamins and hearing health?
Vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid, has been proven to be beneficial for bone, skin, and blood vessel health. When it comes to hearing health, however, the results are mixed.
At least one animal study has indicated that vitamin C may protect against noise-induced hearing loss. In a 2015 human study, researchers found that taking high levels of vitamin C was linked to a higher risk of hearing loss. Due to the conflicting findings, it is uncertain at this time exactly how vitamin C affects your hearing health.
Folate, or vitamin B9, is an essential nutrient and is naturally found in many foods. Its synthetic form, folic acid, is also added to many different foods and supplements. In at least two studies now, it has been found that higher folate intake is linked to a decreased risk of hearing loss.
Carotenoids hold several benefits for your health, including roles in antioxidant defense, cell-to-cell communication, and as a precursor to vitamin A. When it comes to hearing health, one study has found that a higher intake of two specific carotenoids was linked to a lower risk of hearing loss. The same 2015 study mentioned above found that women who consumed higher amounts of beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin had a lower risk of hearing loss.
When it comes to tinnitus, no research has yet found a link between specific vitamins and a lowered risk of tinnitus. More research must be done in this area, as in the realm of vitamins and hearing loss.
Although existing studies show preliminary links between certain vitamins and a lowered risk of hearing loss, as discussed above, it is still best to focus on eating a healthy diet to support your hearing health. Focus on eating a diet full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
If you would like to learn more about the connection between vitamins and hearing health, or how you can lower your risk of hearing loss, we welcome you to contact our hearing professional today. We look forward to providing you with the information you need.