What to Eat: Does Eating Seafood Protect Your Hearing?

A recent study looked at whether or not seafood could lower the risk of hearing, possibly by helping preserve blood flow to the inner ear.

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Researchers followed more than 65,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II for 18 years. Those who reported consuming fish at least twice a week had a 20 percent lower risk of self-reported hearing loss than those who ate fish less than once a month.

All types of seafood—including tuna, light-meat or dark-meat fish, and shellfish—were linked to less hearing loss. So were EPA and DHA, the long-chain omega-3 fats found in fish, but not ALA, the shorter- chain omega-3 found in flax, canola, and soybean oil.

What to do: This kind of study can’t prove that seafood protects hearing. Something else about fish eaters may lower their risk of hearing loss (though the authors took many factors—like smoking, alcohol, weight, blood pressure, diabetes, and exercise—into account). In any case, it’s worth shooting for two servings of fish a week to lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Source: Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2014. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.091819.

 

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