Could drinking coffee reduce men’s chance of hearing loss? Study says so

Coffee is already known to have some health benefits to drinkers but could men also protect their hearing?

For years coffee has been shown to combat liver disease, type two diabetes and even increase life expectancy. Now a new study has revealed that men who drink a cup of Joe per day may also be reducing their risk of age-related hearing loss.

Researchers from the Autonomous University of Madrid found that men who drink at least one cup of coffee per day, and as many as four and a half cups, were 15 per cent less likely to lose their hearing over time than those who don’t drink coffee.

The study - which saw the team use data from 37,000 people at the UK Biobank - suggested that the reason for the link between coffee drinking and better hearing is because of the natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in the beverage.

The study monitored the coffee intake of 36,923 middle-aged and older men and women over the course of 11 years.

And the research suggests the coffee in question does not need to be served in a particular way, with caffeinated, decaffeinated, filtered and unfiltered, all reaping the same auditory rewards.

But the study did only find the benefits applied to male participants, with women in the study not seeing the same results. The researchers suggested that this could be down to differences in physiology between the sexes.

Women have a natural hearing advantage, as the hormone oestrogen is known to protect against age-related hearing loss. With high volumes of the hormone already circulating in the female blood stream, the researchers say that the impact of diet is perhaps "less relevant".

For men – who have lower oestrogen levels – the impact of supplementary dietary items like coffee might be useful as a way of mitigating higher risk of hearing loss in the future.

“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.

Their hearing of participants was checked at the start of the study, and again in two follow-up examinations.

The results took into account the potential effects of other health and lifestyle factors, such a whether participants smoked or if they worked in a particularly loud environment.

Despite the benefits, Dr Marcos Machado-Fragua - part of the research team - warned that this is not a reason to consume coffee "to excess in a bid to prevent hearing loss, especially in people who have health problems related to caffeine consumption”.

The European Food Safety Authority recommends that adults should not drink more than 400g of caffeine a day - around four cups of coffee.

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