Harvard Diet Lowers Risk of Hearing Loss by 30%

by Dr. Emily McMahan

Hearing loss affects over 48 million Americans. There is research that has been completed that looks at how individual macro-nutrients, as well as vitamins and mineral intake, can affect the risks of hearing loss. However, the risk of noticing actual hearing loss was unclear. Now there is some newly discovered evidence that suggests that the overall diet can influence the risk of hearing loss. In the most recent study, a detailed examination was completed of the relation between 3 different diets and the overall risks of hearing loss. Nutritional methods for reducing hypertension – Dietary Approaches to  Stop Hypertension or DASH, The Alternate Mediterranian Diet or AMED and the Alternate Healthy Eating Index-2010 or AHEI-2010 where 70,966 women were followed for over 22 years and it was determined that a healthy diet did substantially lower the risk of the loss of hearing 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, MD, an epidemiologist in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH [an affiliate hospital with Harvard University], and first 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 very long research study, data relevant to diet was collected every 4 years. Those women who maintained a diet similar to the AMED or DASH systems showed a 30% decrease in the risk for moderate or worse hearing loss. In addition to that, another group of 33,000 women that had detailed hearing info collected from them showed that the decrease may be substantially greater than the original 30% and possibly a result of the AHEI-2010. The AMED dietary system increase has extra virgin olive oil, grains, legumes, lots of fruits and veggies, fish, nuts and moderate alcohol consumption. The DASH dietary system is very low in sodium, allows for low-fat dairy while very high in fruits and veggies. The AHEI-2010 dietary system shares similar components of both the DASH and AMED dietary systems.It’s important to note that the loss of hearing was based on subjective self-reporting. Research scientists all agree that further investigation and research must be completed in additional populations to gain an overall risk assessment for potential loss of hearing or decreased risk base upon nutrition.

Reference Source: EurekAlert!,




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