Study finds association between omega3s, hearing

by Jeff Gelski
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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Australian researchers found an inverse association between higher intakes of omega-3 fatty acids and hearing loss in a study appearing on-line June 9 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. They concluded dietary intervention with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may prevent or delay the development of age-related hearing loss (presbycusis).

Researchers from the University of Sydney, the University of Wollongong in Wollongong and Macquarie University in Sydney collected dietary data from the Blue Mountains Hearing Study, a population-based survey of age-related hearing loss (1997-99 to 2002-04). They measured age-related hearing loss in 2,956 people aged 50 or over.

The researchers found an inverse relationship between total omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and prevalent hearing loss and between long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and incident hearing loss. People who ate two or more servings of fish per week had a significantly reduced risk (42%) of developing presbycusis at follow-up when compared to people who ate less than one serving per week.

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