Omega 3 Supplements May Support Healthy Ear Function
Protecting your customers from hearing loss could be as simple as adding an omega 3 supplement to your product line ! In addition to the long list of established health benefits associated with omega 3 supplements, the latest research indicates that two servings of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish) could help support healthy ear health.
In the study conducted by the University of Sydney, scientists collected dietary data of 2,956 participants over the age of 50. Not only was there an inverse association between increased intake of omega-3′s and hearing health, but findings showed that dietary intervention through omega-3 supplements may also help improve auditory health as we age. 1
According to the National Health Survey, Americans over the age of 65 are more likely to experience a reduction in auditory health. Healthy ear function is also related to your age. The older you are, the greater your risk of a reduction in healthy hearing function. Hearing impairment occurs in:
- 18 percent of American adults aged 45-64
- 30 percent of American adults aged 65-74
As more baby boomers get older, an estimated 28 million Americans are likely to need hearing support by the year 2030. 2
How do the Benefits of Omega-3 Supplements affect Hearing?
Hearing health can be affected by the loss of nerves, sensory hair, and membrane cells inside the inner ear. Scientists at the University of Florida along with four other institutes have identified a particular protein dubbed Bak that appears to trigger the process of oxidative damage of cells in the auditory portion of the inner ear. Bak is produced in response to oxidative stress and triggers a reaction that is believed to result in the death of hearing-related cells. Scientists suggest that hearing function can be affected because of this oxidative damage. Today, we are exposed to pollutants, chemicals, drugs, processed foods, the more oxidative stress the body has undergone. Bak is therefore more prevalent in older people. Boosting the body’s defenses with antioxidants may help to mitigate oxidative damage and support hearing. 3
How do omega-3 fatty acids play a role in ear health? Scientists believe these fatty acids help to protect cell life by slowing down cell aging. The lifespan of a typical cell is linked to its telemores. With each cell replication, the telemores become shorter, and when they are totally consumed, the cell is destroyed (apostosis). Studies show that telemores are vulnerable to oxidative stress. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that people, who had the highest average blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, experienced the slowest rate of telemore shortening; whereas people who had low levels of omega 3 fatty acids, experienced the fastest rate of telemore shortening. While the potential mechanisms cannot yet be fully explained, scientists purport that omega-3 fatty acids help protect cells from oxidative damage. 4
Manufacture High-Quality Omega 3 Supplements With NutraScience Labs
Are baby boomers taking more omega-3 supplements to support hearing? There is no data available that would indicate this, but for several years the benefits of omega-3 supplements have made it a stellar nutrient of the nutraceutical industry. The health benefits of omega-3 supplements are numerous and have been widely publicized and according to surveys conducted by ConsumerLab.com, more consumers are taking omega-3 supplements making it the most popular consumer choice, beating multivitamin use by 2 percent. It won’t be long before consumers come to know another new associated benefit of omega-3 supplements which could help support hearing health as they age. Just one more great reason to add a high-quality omega-3 supplement to your product line!
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1. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29370.
4. Journal of the American Medical Association 2010, Volume 303, Issue 3, Pages 250-257