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Carrot Juice and Hearing Loss

By Owen Bond

Carrots are a rich source of many nutrients, especially beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant and the precursor to vitamin A. Due to their nutritional profile, carrots are touted as promoting eye health, although they may also be helpful for protecting your ears from hearing loss and reducing the symptoms of tinnitus. Juicing carrots is an excellent way of concentrating and absorbing their nutrients, although the high-pitched sounds generated from juice extractors may actually contribute to hearing loss.

Hearing Loss

According to “Professional Guide to Diseases,” it is estimated that over 30 percent of Americans between the ages of 60 and 85 years experience some form of hearing loss. Causes of hearing loss include infections, head injuries, stroke and exposure to loud noises. Your ears have tiny hair follicles and nerve endings inside them that are used to record and transmit sound waves to your brain. These receptors are very sensitive to loud noises, and constant exposure causes damage, which reduces what you are able to hear. Sound levels up to 85 decibels are generally considered safe, whereas levels around 100 decibels will cause some damage, and over 115 decibels is considered dangerous to your hearing, as cited in “Textbook of Medical Physiology.” Tinnitus, or “ringing” in your ears, is an early sign of damage to your hearing organs and receptors.

Vitamins in Carrot Juice

Carrot juice is especially high in beta-carotene, which your body uses to make vitamin A or retinol. High concentrations of vitamin A are found in your cochlea, the organ of hearing that contains sensitive hair follicles. According to “Human Biochemistry and Disease,” low levels of vitamin A within your cochlea may contribute to hearing loss and tinnitus. Although not scientifically proven, anecdotal evidence suggests that vitamin A supplements reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. Poor blood flow to the ears contributes to hearing loss, and vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that removes harmful free-radicals from blood vessels, and is needed for collagen production and tissue repair. Carrot juice is a sound source of vitamin C, as well as B-6. Vitamin B-6 is needed for efficient nerve transmission, which is helpful when loud noises harm some of the nerve fibers in your ear.

Minerals in Carrot Juice

Carrot juice also contains some potassium, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, iron and sulfur, according to the “American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide." Minerals are needed for the health of the small bones within your ear and are key to electrolyte balance, which is important for the fluid within your cochlea.

Juicing Carrots

Many commercial blenders and juicers exceed 85 decibels, which can contribute to ear damage and hearing loss. Ironically then, the nutrients in carrot juice may be needed to offset the damage caused by your juice extractor. Wearing ear plugs can reduce the impact that high-pitched sounds have on your hearing, and some modern juicing machines contain sound insulation.

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