Hearing loss, which affects nearly 48 million Americans, can be mitigated with healthy diet, said a new study by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who examined the relation between three different diets and risk of developing hearing loss.
The researchers studied the Alternate Mediterranean diet (AMED), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010) in 70,966 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II. These participants have been followed for 22 years to come up with the contention that eating a healthy diet is associated with a lower risk of acquired hearing loss in women.
“Interestingly, we observed that those following an overall healthy diet had a lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss,” said Sharon Curhan, epidemiologist in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH, and lead author of the study. “Eating well contributes to overall good health, and it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss.”
In this longitudinal study, researchers collected detailed information on dietary intake every four years and found that women whose diet resembled the AMED or DASH dietary patterns had an approximately 30 percent lower risk of hearing loss.
The findings in a sub-cohort of over 33,000 women reveal that the magnitude of the reduced risk may be greater than 30 percent, and it may also pertain to the AHEI-2010.
The AMED diet includes extra virgin olive oil, grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and moderate intake of alcohol. The DASH diet includes fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy, and low in sodium. The AHEI-2010 diet has common components with AMED and DASH.
The study has been published in the Journal of Nutrition on May 11. Researchers said further study is required as the present study was based on self-report. It requires to be studied in additional populations, it said.
What’s healthy diet for Ear?
Essentially, minerals are key to hearing health, followed by potassium, folic acid and magnesium. Minerals are available in plants that absorb them from the earth and animals which graze on plants and eating the meat, we consume these minerals. However, there are few minerals which are crucial for hearing health.
Potassium comes next as it regulates fluid in the inner ear, which translates the noises we hear into electrical impulses the brain interprets as sound. It erodes with age causing old age hearing loss.
Eating vegetables such as potatoes, spinach, lima beans, tomatoes, raisins, apricots, bananas, melons, oranges, yogurt and milk contibute to potassium supply to the body.
Folic Acid helps to metabolize homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that reduces circulation and controlling it helps the hair cells of the inner ear healthy and working properly. It is available in folate-rich foods such as organ meat, spinach, broccoli and asparagus.
Magnesium protects the delicate hair cells in the inner ear from loud noise and lack of adequate magnesium deprives blood vessels from oxygen, as found in a study by the University of Michigan Kresge Hearing Research Institute. It is found in yogurt.
In addition, zinc is considered essential to keep the ear free from cold-related infections, which in turn protects it from tinnitus or pesky ear.