Aldosterone, the hearing hormone
Improved word recognition for those with hearing loss
By Dr. Richard Lippman
Researchers have discovered yet another hearing breakthrough that does not involve purchasing a hearing aid! With this new treatment, those with hearing loss caused by aging can enjoy increased sound volume and more importantly, improved word recognition. As a result of their restored hearing and comprehension, those with hearing loss can become more sociable again without the need for hearing aids. Another benefit of this treatment is that those who suffer from the need to urinate frequently suddenly experience improved bladder control. A third benefit is the eradication of the type of dizzy spells that occur when a patient stands up quickly after sitting for a long period of time.
Patients enjoy all these benefits when they use eardrops that employ a special time-releasing mechanism for the hormone aldosterone. The eardrops are used in the morning so that the advanced time-release technology can release the natural hormone aldosterone slowly and evenly throughout the day in proximity to the cochlea, the hearing center of the ear. I have heard from numerous patients who are thrilled that these eardrops have allowed them to resume their formerly active social lives.
My experiences with aldosterone and hearing loss
During the last thirty years, I have made many medical discoveries (including the nicotine patch) that have saved the lives of millions of people. I have also noticed that hormone deficiencies due to aging caused needless suffering in millions of people. This led me to the conclusion that the loss of hormones through shrinking endocrine glands can cause hearing loss and numerous other illnesses encountered during aging. One key hormone that declines with age is aldosterone. I have found that patients with hearing loss were temporarily helped by consuming aldosterone 125 mcg capsules two to five times daily. However, this effect was only temporary because natural aldosterone is metabolized quickly and excreted from the body. This meant that taking a large quantity of capsules throughout the day was necessary because aldosterone has a short metabolic half-life.
I believed that there had to be a better way to administer aldosterone and in 2011, I devised my Lippman Protocol, in which patients improved their hearing by taking natural aldosterone capsules some days and synthetic aldosterone (Florinef®) other days. For many patients, this protocol simplified the need to take hearing meds, but I was still dissatisfied. Then, in 2014, I devised yet another method of improving hearing by employing the latest in time-release technology. I applied this new, cutting-edge technology to the natural hormone aldosterone and discovered, much to my amazement, that word recognition, tinnitus and decreased bathroom visits were the additional fruits of my research!
History of attempts to improve hearing
More than a decade ago in Rochester, New York, scientists correlated hearing loss with decreased blood levels of aldosterone. They discovered that the more aldosterone present within the bloodstream, the better the hearing. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) verified this important research (1, 2, 3 and 5). Interestingly, people with hearing loss have, on average, less than half as much aldosterone in their blood as those with normal hearing. I’ve seen relatives of mine with hearing loss have one fourth to one sixth as much aldosterone as those with normal hearing.
Activating rows of hair cells that transmit sound to the brain
The inner ear contains approximately 15,000 hair cells that vibrate to sound. They are divided into five rows and aldosterone appears to impact them. Aldosterone and fludrocortisone trigger pure-tone hearing thresholds by activating these five rows of hair cells in both ears. The result is increased sound volume in both the human voice and interfering background noises. However, word recognition is only partially remedied. In my lectures in Sweden, I made the following statement on this subject:
“Apparently, the synthetic aldosterone drug, Florinef® (fludrocortisone) acts only on some inner-ear hair cell receptor sites while bioidentical (natural) aldosterone acts on all sites. Sound volume increases but there is not necessarily better word discrimination. This duel receptor-site action triggers an 85 millivolts threshold of electrical conductivity through the nerves of the inner ear. This trigger also depends upon a balanced electrolyte ratio of potassium and sodium. Thus, this combined hormone and electrolyte action produces significant sound-volume hearing improvement, but rather marginal improvement in word recognition since only two of the five rows control word recognition and they are only marginally activated (4).”
Then in 2008, other researchers at the University of Portland in Oregon discovered that there was a reversal in hearing loss with aldosterone by increasing sodium transport in mice. Apparently, the natural hormone aldosterone increases sodium versus potassium in the nerve endings in the cochlea (inner ear). Indeed, researchers verified that the physiology of inner and middle ear improves somewhat with aldosterone (5). However, the synthetic version of aldosterone, fludrocortisone, seems to attach so completely to the aldosterone receptor sites that it prevents natural aldosterone from fully activating its own receptors.
Eminent Harvard graduate and antiaging specialist, Dr. Jonathan Wright, of the Tahoma Clinic in Renton, Washington found that one patient with Meniere’s disease improved his hearing by 30 decibels at 250 Hz when 125 micrograms of bioidentical (natural) aldosterone were consumed twice daily for seven months (4). I confirmed these results by improving patients’ hearing by more than 30 decibels at 3,000 Hz with my special protocol. This latter result is especially important since 3,000 Hz falls squarely inside the human vocal range.
At this approximate 3,000 Hz vocal level, patients’ hearing could be improved by as much as 40 decibels, but only after several months of applying my 2011 Lippman Protocol. There was a problem, however, that was that word recognition was impaired and sometimes non-existent and difficulties with tinnitus continued.
Possible side effects
Regarding adverse effects, Dr. Wright has stated: “None of the people I’ve worked with have had any adverse effects from aldosterone therapy, likely because the use of bioidentical, physiologic-dose aldosterone restores levels to those that would be found in the body anyway” (4).
In my research, I found that not everyone wants a 40-decibel enhancement. Such an enhancement can typically cause street noises to become too loud and even necessitate wearing earplugs at movie theaters. At times, due to this therapy, patients are forced to cover their ears tightly when an emergency vehicle drove by. In addition, I found that greatly enhanced hearing necessitates remembering to raise one’s voice during a conversation in order to be clearly heard by those with normal hearing.
Dr. Wright and I confirmed that hearing volume improved dramatically when taking aldosterone and that forgetting to take it resulted in an unfortunate and dramatic return to hearing deficiency, tinnitus, and possible social isolation.
We tested urine levels of aldosterone and confirmed that very low scores of below 5 micrograms per 24 hours were found in hearing deficient patients compared to scores of 20 to 30 micrograms per 24 hours in people with normal hearing. In fact, Dr. Wright’s 84-year-old patient consumed natural aldosterone capsules and increased his sound volume from 23 to 91 percent in his right ear and from 3 to 81 percent in his left ear (4).
How do hormones and nutrients impact hearing?
Low aldosterone is often seen as a biomarker for aging. Aging causes imbalances in the circadian rhythm (sleep cycle), which often result in the adrenal glands producing more and more of the stress hormone cortisol and less and less of other critical hormones such as aldosterone and DHEA, (an anabolic hormone that builds new tissues). The excess cortisol causes insomnia and unnecessary destruction of the body’s tissues (catabolic), while simultaneously decreasing aldosterone and causing hearing loss, frequent urination and declining DHEA.
Low aldosterone may also lead to symptoms such as dizziness, low blood pressure, thirst, dehydration, and salt cravings. Many of these symptoms result in imbalances in the potassium /sodium ratio that leads to fatigue and cellular energy loss in the inner ear’s 15,000 hair cells.
Externally, signs of significant dehydration can be seen in people with fine lines, pinched faces, sinuous necks and a profound daily need for cosmetic lotions that superficially moisten their skin (6). Thus, a billion dollar cosmetic industry continues to sell their moisturizing and anti-wrinkle creams while the underlying medical problems, namely low hormone levels, remain untreated.
In addition to low aldosterone and an imbalance in potassium and sodium, other vital nutrients may be lacking. Vitamins B12 (methylcobalamin preferred), folate (methylfolate – NOT folic acid) and oxytocin are nutrients essential to normal hearing. Interestingly, hearing loss may sometimes be reversed if 5,000 units of vitamin D3 are taken as a daily supplement.
Note: Some prescription drugs such as Aldactone® (spironolactone) can impair hearing. (7)
Current hearing enhancement research
Much to the astonishment of my colleagues, I discovered that a patient should consume only one 125 mcg capsule of natural aldosterone daily and that it should be taken in the morning on an empty stomach. For those over the age of 50 who often have impaired stomach absorption, I recommend drinking 4 ounces of grapefruit juice with the capsule. My natural aldosterone therapy improves hearing volume by more than 30 decibels when continued for several months. This decibel quantity is huge: 30 decibels-plus means the difference between deafness and fairly normal hearing. For example, after following the Lippman Protocol for about a month, the hearing-impaired are able to carry on a conversation at a loud party with high volume background music. Sufficient hearing at loud parties becomes possible despite having consumed only a single capsule 15 hours earlier in the day.
The Lippman one-capsule-daily protocol for increased volume only
On the morning of day one of the Lippman Protocol, take 20 micrograms of fludrocortisone with filtered water. Over the next two days, take one capsule of 125 micrograms of aldosterone daily before breakfast. On the fourth day, repeat the cycle, starting with again with fludrocortisone. This regimen will ensure constant high-decibel enhancement, except during sleeping hours, in which reduced hearing and increased tinnitus recur.
For greater absorption into the bloodstream, I recommend drinking grapefruit juice with the aldosterone capsules. But do not use grapefruit juice with fludrocortisone (or for that matter any other prescription drug). Also, notice that only tiny, judicious microgram doses of aldosterone and fludrocortisone are employed. According to Europe’s foremost endocrinologist, Thierry Hertoghe, MD, use only the smallest, most judicious dose possible for efficacy. More is not better when it comes to all hormones and nutriceuticals. Mega dosing is a mistake. This advice helps to prevent the serious side effects often seen when hormones and nutriceuticals are used excessively. Do not mega dose! For example, 100 micrograms of fludrocortisone can cause sleepiness and lethargy.
On the other hand, in patients who have difficulties with word recognition, I recommend the all new aldosterone product, Aldo-Spray™ eardrops, which slowly time-releases aldosterone, thus allowing for improved word recognition.
Aldo-Spray™ use improves sound volume and word recognition
Aldo-Spray™ is easy to use. Upon waking, simply tilt your head to each side and press the plunger on the applicator bottle to enable a single dose of Aldo-Spray™ to enter each ear canal. Wipe off excess fluid with a paper towel.
Most people will notice some hearing improvement after about one hour; a hearing improvement of approximately 30 decibels to 40 decibels occurs two to three hours after application. In some people, both hearing and word recognition continue to improve throughout the day. In addition, tinnitus subsides throughout the day but returns at night, when aldosterone in the body returns to a deficient level. Before bedtime, you should gently clean your ear canals by using a cotton swab or by washing them out with soap and water.
Treatment of the ear canals before use
Before using Aldo-Spray™, be sure to check with your hearing specialist to determine that you don’t have a fungal growth in your ear canals. A typical symptom of fungal growth is itchiness in the ear. Ear canal fungal growth may be treated with a synthetic anti-fungal medication like Nystatin©. However, I’d strongly recommend using a completely natural solution called Pro-Ear™ that is available from several online retailers.
Old habits are hard to break
Recently, two physician friends were skeptical and feared changing their old habit of recommending only hearing aids to their patients. They asked me why I bothered with a bunch of capsules or sprays.
“Why not just buy a hearing aid?” one ear, nose, and throat doctor asked me. I answered him with a question: “What makes better medical sense: taking one capsule or spray daily and correcting a hormone deficiency or amplifying the volume on an already damaged hearing system?” My question flummoxed and silenced both of them.
We should be enjoying our golden years without high-volume hearing aids distorting already damaged hearing systems. You decide. One capsule/ one spray a day works!
- Tadros, SF et al, Nov. 2005. A Possible Protective Hormone against Presbycusic. Hearing Research, 209 (1-2), pp. 10-18.
- Trune, DR and Kempton, JB, May 2001, Aldosterone and Prednisone Control of Cochlear Function in MRL, MpJ-Fas (1pr) Autoimmune Mouse Ear. Hearing Research, 155 (1-2), pp. 9-20
- Trune, DR et al, Feb. 2006. Mineralocorticoid Receptor Mediates Glucocorticoid Treatments Effects In The Autoimmune Mouse Ear. Hearing Research, 212 (1-2), pp.22-32.
- Wright, JV. Oct. 2008, Don’t Go Deaf, Blind, or Lose Your Mind! Nutrition & Hearing, 15, Issue 8, pp. 1-7.
- Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery, Nov. 2008.
- Hertoghe, T. May, 2010, Picture Atlas of Endocrinology & Hormone Therapy, SA International Medical Books, Windhof, Luxembourg.
- Laryngoscope, 2002.