We’ve all heard “you are what you eat,” but did you know what you eat can impact your hearing? In a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison they discovered a direct correlation between the amount of food we eat and the longevity and quality of our lives. The research team found an enzyme called Sirt3 that lessens the damaging impact free radicals (corrosive molecules that damage the body at the cell level, usually when we are stressed) have on the human body. By eating less than our “normal” intake of calories the body produces increased levels of Sirt3 that combat free radical damage and, if we curb the harmful effects of free radicals, we may, indeed, slow down the process of aging.
It is this process that has a direct correlation on your hearing. As we age, the free radicles damage the delicate and complex hearing mechanism (made up of the tympanic membrane, ossicles and cochlea) causing hearing loss. For most people this is a natural stage of life, however the results of the new study show that the changes that occur to your hearing mechanism can be offset by eating healthier. “The equation is simple.” states the Healthy Hearing website, “want to live 10 years longer? Consume 10% fewer calories daily.” Researchers are also looking into generating drugs or nutritional supplements that could activate Sirt3, slowing down the aging process of mammals.
So as you enter into the holidays, remember to think twice before picking up fatty foods, and possibly substituting them for lower calorie alternatives. Your health…and hearing will thank you!