Diet & Nutrition Archive

Eh? What did you say I should eat?   

Hearing loss is a common age-related disorder. Often people find it more difficult to make out conversations in crowded rooms, for example, or to hear all the tones in a standard hearing test.

Now an Australian study has reported that there are several prime nutrients in foods that can help lower the risk of developing age-related hearing loss. People who ate a lot of carotenoid-rich vegetables, like sweet potatoes and carrots, as well as foods full of vitamin E (such as almonds and avocados) saw a 47 percent less chance of suffering from moderate (or more) hearing loss when compared with people who ate the least amount of these nutrients.

In addition, in another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition the researchers discovered that people who consume at least two servings a week of omega-3-rich fish (think salmon and herring) have a 42 percent lower risk of experiencing hearing loss than those who don’t.

A separate U.S. study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging suggests that increasing folate and B12 in one’s diet can also help prevent age-related hearing loss.
So why is this? As people age, free radicals may attack the cochlea, the part of the inner ear that controls hearing. The researchers believe that the antioxidants in carotenoids and vitamin E help to fight the free radicals. The omega-3s also have an anti-inflammatory property that may also help protect hearing.

The studies did not find that ingestion of these nutrients prevented the incidence of hearing loss but rather the severity of it.

What else can we do to protect our hearing, no matter our age? Minimize exposure to loud noise in general (including listening to music, be it live, on MP3 players, or through your home stereo), for one. Another simple tactic is to keep a good pair of earplugs on hand to wear when you work with loud equipment such as leaf blowers and other noisy gardening tools.

Sources: Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging. August 2011; American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. August 2010; American Academy of Otolaryngol Head and Neck Surgery. February 2010

Past Articles:

Frequent Heartburn May Be Signs of GERD
Break Me Off A Piece Of That Kit Kat Bar!
Eh? What did you say I should eat?
Posting Calories-Not The Cure To Bad Food Decisions

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