Chocolate – Can it Help Prevent Hearing Loss and Tinnitus?

Is it possible that something delicious like chocolate can help prevent hearing loss and tinnitus?

What the experts have to say about chocolate and hearing loss:

Researchers in Korea may have discovered this fantastic new fact. After completing a study of 3, 575 people between the ages of 40 and 64, the researchers were astounded to find that people who regularly ate chocolate had significantly lower hearing loss.

The rate of any hearing loss (unilateral or bilateral) in the subjects who consumed chocolate (26.78% (338/1262)) was significantly lower than that in those who did not (35.97% (832/2313)) (p < 0.001). Chocolate consumption was independently associated with low odds of any hearing loss (adjusted odds ratio = 0.83, 95% confidence interval = 0.70 to 0.98, p = 0.03). ~ Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Essentially, the more chocolate you eat helps improve your odds of developing severe hearing loss!

How chocolate helps prevent hearing loss

Cocoa, which is the main ingredient in chocolate, is an antioxidant that helps prevent cardiovascular inflammation. The researchers in this study also believe that it can have the same effects and help reduce vascular hypertension in the ear, which is known to cause hearing loss. Researchers found a high association between eating chocolate and reduced vascular hypertension.

Those who did not consume chocolate had higher risks of hypertension and dyslipidemia than did those who consumed chocolate. Chocolate exerts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for patients with cardiovascular diseases. Specifically, cocoa, a major ingredient of chocolate, attenuates vascular risks by reducing blood pressure and improving endothelium-dependent vasodilation. In line with this, several investigations demonstrated the causal relationship between vascular risk factors and hearing loss. Thus, our results suggest that chocolate decreases the rates of hypertension and dyslipidemia, which enables the preservation of hearing. ~ Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Unfortunately, other sweet treats like ice cream, cake, and cookies aren’t considered preventative.

What about chocolate and tinnitus

The same Korean researchers also looked for a link between chocolate and tinnitus, which is the annoying ringing in the ears that causes millions of people to suffer. They thought that since chocolate was found to help reduce the risk of hearing loss that maybe it would help prevent tinnitus too.

Sadly, the researchers found no connection between eating chocolate and hearing loss.

But don’t be too sad, Halloween is not far off so feel free to indulge a little more in some chocolate and know that it is helping prevent hearing loss!

If it’s been a while since your last hearing exam, contact Sound Hearing Care at 864-881-1663. We have four convenient locations, including Simpsonville, Greer, Travelers Rest, and Greenville.

 
Happy mature man holding a bitten chocolate bar

Mmm…chocolate!

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