It has long been established that eating fish is good for the health. Specifically, though, eating two or more servings a week can help stave off hearing loss, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers analyzed data from 65,215 women gathered between 1991 and 2009. As part of the Nurses' Health Study II, the female participants self-reported on their diet as well as a number of conditions, including hearing loss. And as it turned out, no matter kind they ate, the women showed that the more they ate fish, the least likely they were to report hearing loss.
Lead author Dr. Sharon Curhan of Harvard Medical School's Brigham and Women's Hospital said that such a correlation is due to the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that the women ended up consuming in larger doses as they ate more fish. PUFAs ease blood flow to the cochlear region so the inner ear is able to optimize function, receiving what it needs to do its duties.
Other research has been done as well on DHA, one of the PUFAs found in fish, and results suggest that the fatty acid is a major component in auditory neurodevelopment. This may also be another reason why eating more fish can help lessen risks of hearing loss.
Compared to those who rarely ate fish, women who have been consuming at least two servings of fish each week registered a 20 percent lower risk of losing their hearing.
Acquired hearing loss is common and debilitating. While a decline in hearing is usually experienced as part of aging, the study has opened up the possibility that hearing loss can be prevented or at the very least delayed for as long as possible with the help of a diet rich in fish.
Researchers are not sure if the results of the study will be duplicated in men, but there's no risk to the male population if they'll increase their consumption of fish as well. Oily fish is best but any kind of fish will still be beneficial.
Aside from reducing risks of hearing loss, eating a whole lot more fish has also been associated with lower blood pressure, with research suggesting loading up on fish servings can help protect against heart disease. Another research done in 2008 showed that eating oily fish twice a week at least was also effective towards reducing risks for macular degeneration, a common cause for blindness in older folk.