Well, there's one more thing it can do... According to the BBC News service, a new study finds that vitamin E can help restore hearing in people who become deaf suddenly for no known reason. "Sensory-neural" hearing loss - the kind that strikes with no warning - affects 4,000 Americans every year. The culprit can be a viral or bacterial infection, or some sudden trauma to the ear. But in about 85% of cases, the cause is unknown. Although about two-thirds of people recover within a few days without treatment, some don't.
The study was conducted at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Dozens of patients who suffered from this sudden hearing loss were given standard treatment which included bed rest and steroid drugs. But half of the patients were also given 400 milligrams of vitamin E twice a day. The results? The vitamin E group did the best. Their hearing improved by an average of 75% by the time they left the hospital 8 days later, and had even greater improvement at a later follow-up.
Although more studies need to be done, the researchers believe that antioxidants such as vitamin E may have a healing or protective role in the inner ear. It can reduce the damage the ear has suffered, and speed up the recovery process.