BACKGROUND - Evidence from animal models suggests that redox homeostasis (the balance between oxidative stressors and antioxidants) and vascular health are important in the pathogenesis of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and that dietary nutrients that have roles in these processes could influence the susceptibility to SNHL.
PURPOSE - To examine associations between total nutrient intakes and auditory function outcomes in an older human population.
RESEARCH DESIGN - Descriptive characteristics and dietary data from food frequency questionnaires were collected in a cross-sectional study design and analyzed for associations with auditory function outcomes (i.e., otoacoustic emissions and pure tone audiometry measured in a sound-treated room by an audiologist).
STUDY SAMPLE - 2111 adults, 49-99 yr of age
RESULTS - Higher carbohydrate, vitamin C, vitamin E, riboflavin, magnesium, and lycopene intakes were all significantly associated with larger TEOAE amplitude and better pure tone thresholds. Higher cholesterol, fat, and retinol intakes were significantly associated with lower TEOAE amplitude and worse pure tone thresholds.
CONCLUSIONS - These data suggest that nutrients with known roles in redox homeostasis and vascular health are associated with auditory function measures in a human population. Further investigation is warranted to determine direct and indirect influences of dietary intake on measures of auditory function and to explore which nutrients/nutrient combinations are predictive of SNHL.
American Academy of Audiology.