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Does Eating More Fish Reduce the Risk of Hearing Loss?

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omega 3 hearing loss

Age-related hearing loss is one of the most common health problems that older people deal with on a daily basis. The good news is there may be a natural way to lower the risk of hearing loss – by eating more fatty fish.

Eat More Fish to Reduce the Risk of Hearing Loss?

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating fish rich in omega-3’s could ward off a trip to the audiologist’s office. Researchers reached this conclusion after looking at the eating habits of almost 3,000 people using food frequency questionnaires as part of the Blue Mountains Hearing Study.

What did they find? Those who got the most omega-3’s from eating fish had a lower risk of age related hearing loss than participants who ate little seafood. In fact, participants who ate at least two servings of fish each week had a forty-two percent lower risk of hearing loss.

What Causes Age Related Hearing Loss?

Age-related hearing loss occurs when tiny hairs in the inner ear that normally move with sound become less responsive. Genetics play a role in who develops age-related hearing loss and who doesn’t, but lifetime noise exposure is a factor too. Living in a quiet environment and avoiding loud rock concerts helps to reduce the risk of hearing loss. Not surprisingly, nutrition is a factor too.

Nutrition and the Risk of Age-Related Hearing Loss

What you eat and don’t eat also plays a role in how well you hear as you grow older. Studies show that deficiencies in folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium affect the risk of hearing loss with aging. So, it’s not surprising that omega-3’s could be important from a nutritional standpoint when it comes to age-related hearing loss.

Why Would Eating More Fish Reduce the Risk of Hearing Loss?

No one knows for sure – and more studies are needed to confirm the benefits of eating fish on hearing loss. On the other hand, the omega-3’s found in fatty fish such as wild salmon and sardines has a variety of other health benefits – making them a healthy dietary choice for most people.

As well, the results in this study have been duplicated in other studies. For instance, a study in the Netherlands reached a similar conclusion.

Eating More Fish to Prevent Age Related Hearing Loss: The Bottom Line?

Is it time to head to the seafood market? More studies are needed, but eating fatty fish twice a week is a smart move – if you choose fish that are low in mercury and other contaminants. As an alternative if you do not like eating fatty fish, you can also take an omega 3 fish oil supplement.

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