Hearing loss (HL) is a major public health problem. Nutritional factors can affect a variety of diseases, such as HL, in humans. Thus far, several studies have evaluated the association between nutrition and hearing. These studies found that the incidence of HL was increased with the lack of single micro-nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, D and E, and zinc, magnesium, selenium, iron and iodine. Higher carbohydrate, fat, and cholesterol intake, or lower protein intake, by individuals corresponded to poorer hearing status. However, higher consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids corresponded to better hearing status of studied subjects. In addition to malnutrition, obesity was reported as a risk factor for HL. In studies of the relationship between middle ear infection and nutrition in children, it was reported that lack of vitamins A, C and E, and zinc and iron, resulted in poorer healing status due to vulnerability to infection. These studies indicate that various nutritional factors can affect hearing. Therefore, considering that multifactorial nutritional causes are responsible, in part, for HL, provision of proper guidelines for maintaining a proper nutritional status is expected to prevent some of the causes and burden of HL.
Keywords: diet; hearing; hearing loss; nutrition.