Diet and Hearing Loss: Is there a Connection?

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Can your diet protect you from hearing loss?  Good question. 

It turns out that diet is one of the few modifiable risk factors for age-related hearing loss.

The Blue Mountains Hearing Study , conducted in Australia, looked at whether diet can prevent or slow the development of age-related hearing loss. 

Researchers found that people who had higher intakes of dietary omega-3 and who consumed fish on a weekly basis had a reduced risk (42%) of developing age-related hearing loss.  See this article for ways to load up on foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

In another article, published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, the researchers from the Blue Mountains Hearing Study looked at dietary vitamin E and vitamin A intake. 

They found that people who had diets rich in vitamin E and vitamin A also had a reduced risk of developing age-related hearing loss.  See here for foods high in vitamin E.

Study participants who had the highest dietary vitamin A intake had a 47% reduced risk of having moderate or greater hearing loss (>40 dB HL) compared to those who had the lowest intake.  See here for foods high in vitamin A.

 

Photo credit:  © Catsi | Dreamstime.com

 

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update

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology (2011; 22: 49-58) recommended reducing saturated fats and increasing vegetables and fruits in the diet. They also found that a diet rich in anti-oxidants--lycopene, vitamins C and E, and magnesium--may have the potential to preserve hearing.