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Can a Diet Prevent Hearing Loss?

food Hearing loss is a condition that affects around 10 million people in the UK alone. Although its common cause is aging, throughout life people engage in a number of activities that compromise hearing ability and may lead to development of hearing loss earlier. There are some ways however, that help in preserving your hearing ability. Besides avoiding prolonged exposure to noisy environments, keeping a healthy diet may prevent hearing deterioration and increase overall vitality.

Many studies have investigated the effects of the right nutrition on body functions and treatment of various conditions. Hearing loss, a serious problem for many, especially for those over 50 has gained a substantial amount of attention and research. Fortunately, following some simple diet rules may have an impressive impact on preventing hearing loss or at least slowing down its deterioration.

The biggest enemy of the human body and its proper functioning is free radicals. With the progression of the age, they increase in number and inflict damage on healthy cells including the ones responsible for hearing. The most efficient way to fight free radicals is the increased intake of foods rich in antioxidants, amino acids, minerals and vitamins. Below you can find groups of beneficial nutrients, that have a favourable influence on hearing loss and may be able to postpone or improve the condition.

Vitamins A, B, C, D and E
Lack of any of these vitamins will have a negative effect on the functions of the hearing organs and may cause them irreparable damage. Deficiency of Vitamin A leads to compromised sensory functions. The Vitamin B complex alleviates pressure in the ear. B-2 vitamins provide a better flow of oxygen in the hearing cells and B-6 is responsible for the right level of fluid in the ears. The intactness of the sensitive hair cells in the cochlea is positively influenced by Vitamin C and insufficient levels of Vitamin D can lead to growths in the middle ear. Vitamin E is especially helpful in recovering sudden hearing loss. All these vitamins can be found in a variety of vegetables, fruit and fish or as dietary supplements

Omega 3 fats
The omega 3 fats are known to have a very good influence on the preservation of blood vessels in the sensory system of the ears. Fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines and trout are especially rich in omega 3 fats and it has been proven that fish consumption twice a week can decrease the possibility for hearing loss in adults by up to 42%.

Folic acid
Folic acid is a strong antioxidant that is very efficient against free radicals. A 2009 study showed that males over 60, who have a diet rich in folic acid, have a 20% less chance of developing hearing impairment. Foods that have substantial amount of folic acid are spinach, avocado, beans, broccoli, eggs, nuts, orange juice and many others.

Other important minerals are zinc, magnesium, copper and iodine as well as the antioxidant resveratrol, which can be found in green tea and red wine. It is also important to lower salt intake as it can lead to retention of fluid in the ears.

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