Study Finds, Men who Drink at least One Daily Cup of Coffee are 15% Less Likely to Experience Deafness

Researchers found that men who drink at least one coffee a day were 15 per cent less likely to lose their hearing (stock image)

For many people, the day doesn’t really start properly until that first sip of coffee has passed their lips.

Now, a study has revealed that men who drink coffee may also unknowingly be reducing their risk of hearing loss.

Researchers found that men who drink at least one coffee a day were 15 per cent less likely to lose their hearing.

The team suggests that coffee may have beneficial effects on hearing because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

No link between coffee and hearing function was found among women, which the team said could be due to differences in physiology.

High circulating levels of the hormone oestrogen, which women have more of, protects against age-related hearing loss, so the impact of diet on hearing would be ‘less relevant’, they said.

The benefit appears to be the same regardless of whether the coffee consumed is caffeinated or decaffeinated, filtered or non-filtered, according to the study of nearly 37,000 people in the UK.

‘Coffee consumption might have a beneficial effect on hearing function because of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of some of its compounds,’ said the researchers.

Damage to mitochondria – the energy generators in our cells – can contribute to degenerative diseases, such as hearing loss, the researchers said. Antioxidants have a protective effect on mitochondria.

Using data from the UK Biobank – a large population study – the team from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, were able to monitor the coffee intake of 36,923 middle-aged and older men and women.

Their hearing was checked at the start of the study, and again in two follow-ups over 11 years.

The results were analysed in a way that took into account the potential effects on hearing of other health and lifestyle factors such as whether they had smoked, or had been exposed to loud music or a noisy workplace.

They found that men who drank between one and four and a half cups of coffee a day were less likely to experience disabling hearing loss.

‘We estimated that one cup per day increment in coffee consumption was associated with a 15% lower risk of hearing impairment,’ they wrote in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

But Dr Marcos Machado-Fragua, who was part of the research team, warned that coffee ‘should not be consumed to excess in a bid to prevent hearing loss, especially in people who have health problems related to caffeine consumption’.

No link between coffee and hearing function was found among women, which the team said could be due to differences in physiology.

High circulating levels of the hormone oestrogen, which women have more of, protects against age-related hearing loss, so the impact of diet on hearing would be ‘less relevant’, they said.

For men, though – who have lower oestrogen levels than women – the impact of beneficial dietary items like coffee might be more evident.

Older people with hearing loss have higher rates of falls, depression and dementia, previous studies have found.

The Global Burden of Disease Study estimates that hearing loss is the fifth leading cause of disability globally.

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Shivali Best

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