By Lara Evans Bracciante
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, December/January 2005.
Vitamin E may help restore hearing for those suffering from idiopathic sudden hearing loss (ISHL), a condition with no known cause that affects approximately 4,000 Americans annually. About two-thirds of ISHL patients spontaneously recover within days, but for those who don’t, there’s no known treatment. Until now, that is.
Based on previous studies, researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, speculated that antioxidants may have a restorative effect on the inner ear. They randomly divided 66 ISHL patients, with an average age of 41, into two groups, both of which received bed rest and steroid treatment, but one group was also given 800 mg of vitamin E daily. At the time of discharge, 75 percent of the vitamin E group reported improvement, compared to only 45 percent in the control group. Researchers call for more studies.