Does nutrition affect hearing?
In recent years, the importance of a healthy diet for our health has come into focus. People try to eat healthier to avoid various illnesses and health problems. Researchers have now found that a healthy diet can even improve hearing. Unfortunately, apparently only women benefit from this improvement in hearing.
In their current study, scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the internationally recognized Harvard Medical School found that healthy eating not only has a positive impact on general health, but can also improve women's hearing. The experts published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Journal of Nutrition".
These nutritional approaches have been examined
In their current study, the medical team examined the connection between three different types of diet and the risk that those affected develop hearing loss. These were the so-called alternative Mediterranean diet (AMED), nutritional approaches against high blood pressure (DASH) and the alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI -2010), in which 70,966 women were medically monitored over a period of 22 years.
What did a healthy diet contain?
The alternative Mediterranean diet contains a lot of extra virgin olive oil, cereals, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and a moderate alcohol intake. The so-called dash diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and contains little sodium. The AHEI 2010 diet has components in common from both previous forms of nutrition, the experts explain.
Risk of hearing loss was reduced by 30 percent
The Brigham and Women's Hospital research showed that eating a healthy diet is less likely to cause hearing loss in women. The research team found in their study that eating a healthy diet reduced the risk of hearing loss by as much as 30 percent.
Study examined development of hearing loss
The aim of their study was to investigate the relationship between total nutrition and the risk of developing hearing loss. Previous studies have looked at how specific nutrients affect the risk of hearing loss. However, there were only a few studies on the overall relationship between diet and hearing loss, the scientists explain.
Healthy eating protects against hearing loss
Interestingly, the study found that people who eat a healthy diet have a lower risk of moderate or severe hearing loss, explains study author Sharon Curhan from Harvard Medical School. As is well known, healthy eating contributes to general health. It can also help reduce the risk of hearing loss, the expert added.
Which form of nutrition led to the best results?
For the so-called longitudinal study, the team collected detailed information on the participants' food intake every four years. The results showed that women whose diets were most similar to AMED or DASH eating habits had about a 30 percent lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss compared to women whose actual diets were least similar to these eating habits. In addition, the results of a sub-cohort of over 33,000 women showed that the extent of the reduced risk could even be over 30 percent and could possibly also refer to an AHEI 2010 diet, the doctors say. (as)