More than 48 million Americans live with varying degrees of hearing loss. Some evidence suggests that diet may influence hearing health, but the majority of the research conducted so far has focused on the effects of specific nutrients on people’s hearing. That’s not the case of the newly published research by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as it examines the broader relationship between overall diet and one’s hearing.
The researchers have followed 81,818 women for the past 22 years and found that those closely following healthy diets, such as DASH and AMED, had about 30% lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss.
“Interestingly, we observed that those following an overall healthy diet had a lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss,” Dr. Sharon Curhan, an epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and first author of the study, said in a press release. “Eating well contributes to overall good health, and it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss.”
The Mediterranean diet (AMED) consist mostly of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, fish and sea food. It saves sweets and red meat for special occasions, and dairy products are allowed only in moderation. The DASH diet focuses on fruits and vegetables, with a moderate intake of dairy, poultry, fish and meat. It discourages consumption of food high in fats, oils, and sugar.