A healthy diet lowers the risk for acquired hearing loss in women, according to a study conducted at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Results were published in the Journal of Nutrition.
The researchers looked at data on the effects of three eating plans among 70,966 women involved in the Nurses’ Health Study II: the Alternate Mediterranean diet (AMED), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010). The women were followed for an average of 22 years, during which time they provided detailed information on diet every four years and self-reported information about their hearing.
The women who most closely followed the Mediterranean or DASH diets had a 30 percent lower risk of moderate or severe hearing loss than those whose diets were unhealthy. In 33,000 of the women who provided more detailed information about their hearing, the researchers determined that the reduced risk may be even higher than 30 percent and may also extend to the AHEI-2010 diet. These healthy eating plans are generally high in fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes, whole grains, and low-fat proteins and dairy products, and low in sodium and fat.