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Hearing loss in women could be mitigated by a healthy diet

Tuesday 30th April 2019
New research suggests a diet rich in certain nutrients might lower the risk of the development of hearing loss in women.
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Following a healthy diet is always a good idea for a number of medical reasons, but it’s usually associated with losing weight and preventing conditions like heart disease and diabetes. However, a new study suggests eating foods containing certain nutrients could also be beneficial for the prevention of hearing loss among women.

The research, published in the Journal of Nutrition, involved looking at data from almost 71,000 women, who were tracked in the Nurses’ Health Study II. These women were observed over a period of 22 years, and followed one of three diets: the Alternate Mediterranean diet (AMED), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010).

It was found that women whose eating patterns followed or closely resembled either the AMED or DASH diets were approximately 30 per cent less likely to develop hearing loss in later life, compared with women who ate foods that were much different to those proposed in these nutrition plans.

In addition, another group of around 33,000 women were observed and it was found that this number might be even greater than 30 per cent. Researchers found the AHEI-2010 diet might also have a similar effect based on this data.

Dr Sharon Curhan, epidemiologist at the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and one of the authors of the study, said: "Eating well contributes to overall good health and it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss."

The AMED diet focuses on eating grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil, while the DASH diet involves reducing the amount of sodium adherents eat and increasing fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy. The AHEI-2010 involves components of both of these.

While the research is promising, more data is needed, particularly pertaining to men. However, given the general medical benefits of eating healthily, it is recommended that aiming to eat more fruits and vegetables is a worthwhile goal for anyone.

Written by James Puckle

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