Meniere’s Disease and Calcium

Years ago, British sailors were called “Limeys.”  This is a term that came about because they sucked on limes while out at sea for long periods.  The vitamin C ingested from the limes kept the sailors from getting scurvy.  They didn’t understand the mechanism but knew that sucking on limes kept the scurvy away.

Many diseases come about from vitamin or mineral deficiencies.  This can also be true with Meniere’s disease.  So adding a vitamin or mineral supplement to your diet may help you combat the symptoms of Meniere’s.  The challenge is to know what vitamin or mineral you need to supplement.  Compounding your research is the fact that while one person with Meniere’s finds relief from taking a specific vitamin and you may not.  The most scientific way to find out your body’s vitamin and mineral levels is to get a blood test.  While this is good at determining the vitamin or mineral content in your blood, it may not be an indicator of the level of that vitmin or mineral in other parts of the body.  I will explain shortly.

Previously, I talked about the importance of zinc in your body for proper ear health.  Another important mineral worth considering is calcium.  Go to Google scholar and type in some search terms like calcium and vertigo or something similar.   You will find all kinds of research about calcium and its contribution to healthy ears.

One tip I can pass along when doing online research is that apostrophes are not search engine friendly characters.  When searching for information on Meniere’s disease, do two searches.   Perform one search using “meniere’s” and another with “menieres.”   You will often find different results.

What is the connection between calcium and your inner ear?  Inside your ear, are three little bones that are needed for hearing and other ear functions.  If there is a problem with those bones, there will be problems with your ears operating correctly. In the guide, “Natural Relief from Tinnitus,” author Paul Yanick talks about the ear disease Otosclerosis and how it comes about from deficiencies and imbalances of amino acids, essential fatty acids, phosphorous, and calcium.  He also goes on to explain how a blood calcium test may not indicate the calcium levels in your bones because if you have a calcium deficiency, you blood will draw calcium out of your bones.  You may have a healthy blood calcium level and still have unhealthy bones.

What can you eat to get your calcium?  We always think of dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt to boost our calcium levels.  For those dairy product intolerant, there are other great sources.  See the chart below for list of foods and the amount of calcium in each serving.  Milk is listed first to give you an idea of how much calcium you get relative to a cup of milk.

Food Serving size Amount of calcium (mg)
2% fat milk 1 cup 285
carrot juice 1 cup 59
molasses 1 tablespoon 172
soy milk 1 cup 93
kale, boiled 1 cup 94
turnip greens, boiled 1 cup 197
sesame seeds 1 tablespoon 64
spinach, boiled 1 cup 245
beet greens, boiled 1 cup 164
almonds 1 ounce 70

 

You can find the calcium content of foods from the USDA calcium content database.

Dr. Yanick also talks about how the body may have trouble assimilating calcium.  These troubles come from drugs, toxic metal accumulation, and processed foods.

And more bad news for the aging.  Minerals like calcium need a supply of hydrochloric acid to assimilate.   Studies show that adults over the age of 50 have much less hydrochloric acid secretions than younger children.

So what are we to do?  Dr. Yanick suggests balancing your pH with a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole complex carbohydrates.  He also discourages ingesting animal fats because they tend to block calcium absorption into the bones.

Again it looks like what is healthy for the body is also helpful for your ears.

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