Omega-3 May Reduce Risk of Age-Related Hearing Loss

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Gopinath B et al., “Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and fish and risk of age-related hearing loss,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 92, no. 2 (August 2010): 416-421.

Omega-3 intake may reduce the likelihood of developing age-related hearing loss, according to results from a large-scale Australian population study.

Researchers analyzed data on 2956 subjects (age 50 or older) who submitted food frequency questionnaires in the Blue Mountains Eye Study and Hearing Study from 1997-1999 to 2002-2004. The study aimed to identify any link between omega-3 intake and incidence of presbycusis (age-related hearing loss). Omega-3 intake was classified as the amount of fish eaten per week by subjects.

Data indicated that subjects who ate two or more servings of fish per week experienced a 42% reduced risk of presbycusis compared to those who ate fish less than once per week. “Dietary intervention with [omega-3s] could prevent or delay the development of age-related hearing loss,” wrote the study’s authors.

The Blue Mountains Eye Study and Hearing Study were funded by grants from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.