Women can lower their risk of hearing loss 30% by following a healthy diet

It is reported that at least 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. However, according to a study, diet may have an influence on the risk of hearing loss.

While earlier research has examined how specific nutrients affect this risk, the connection between overall diet and the risk of developing hearing loss remains unexplored.

The link between diet and hearing loss

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) looked into the connection among three different diets and the risk of developing hearing loss. For the study, the researchers analyzed three diets: the Alternate Mediterranean diet (AMED), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010).

About 70,966 women were involved in the Nurses’ Health Study II, which observed participants for 22 years. The results of the study showed that following a healthy diet is connected to a reduced risk of acquired hearing loss in women.

Dr. Sharon Curhan, the first author of the study, said that based on data from the women they observed, individuals who followed an “overall healthy diet had a lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss.”

Dr. Curhan, who is an epidemiologist in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH, added that since a diet full of nutritious food can help keep an individual healthy, it’s possible that it can also lower the risk of hearing loss. (Related: Poor nutrition in early childhood linked to hearing loss.)

For the longitudinal study, researchers gathered comprehensive data on the dietary intake of participants every four years. The data showed that women following diets similar to the AMED or DASH diet had at least a 30 percent lower chance of developing moderate or worse hearing loss, unlike the women with diets that resembled the two dietary patterns the least.

Meanwhile, the results of a sub-cohort that involved more than 33,000 women suggest that the reduced risk for hearing loss could be greater than 30 percent. The sub-cohort results, which could also be linked to the AHEI-2010 diet, were based on hearing-related data from the participants.

The AMED diet recommends the consumption of food items like extra virgin olive oil, fish, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, and vegetables, and moderate alcohol consumption. For the DASH diet, individuals consume a lot of fruits and vegetables along with low-fat dairy and foods low in sodium. Meanwhile, the AHEI-2010 diet has similar components to the AMED and DASH diet.

For the study, assessment of hearing loss was based on self-reports. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Natural remedies that can help reduce hearing loss risk

The antioxidants, minerals, nutrient, and vitamins listed below can help prevent hearing loss:

  • Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) – An antioxidant and enzyme facilitator, alpha lipoic acid protects hearing from free-radical damage. Additionally, ALA boosts nerve system function and helps produce mitochondria in the hair cells of the inner ear. Sources include broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
  • Folate – Folate can help lower the risk or slow the development of age-related hearing loss. This B-vitamin is water-soluble and isn’t stored well in the body. Get your daily dose of folate from food like asparagus, avocado, beans, broccoli, leafy greens like spinach, and lentils.
  • Potassium – Potassium can help prevent age-related and noise-related hearing loss. Sources include apricots, bananas, melons, oranges, and spinach.
  • Vitamin B12 – A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause hearing loss. Vitamin B12 can be found in organic produce and is created in the intestines by “good” bacteria. Sources include nori (an edible seaweed) and spirulina (blue-green algae).
  • Vitamins C and E – These two vitamins are antioxidants that prevent free radical damage to cells in the body. Vitamin E replenishes blood vessels and nerves around the ear. Meanwhile, vitamin C strengthens immune function to prevent ear infections. Food rich in both vitamins C and E include broccoli, kiwi, papaya, and red bell peppers.
  • Vitamin D – Even though not many foods contain vitamin D, it is crucial for various aspects of health such as bone formation and weight control. Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties and can strengthen the tiny bones in the ear. Sources of vitamin D include sunlight, lichens, microalgae, and mushrooms.

Read more articles about how a nutritious diet can help prevent hearing loss at Prevention.news.

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