A pint of Guinness a day could help people with hearing loss

Old lady drinking Guinness

Guinness could help people who are suffering from hearing loss, according to research at Pennsylvania State University (PSU).

It is thought to be due to the high levels of iron contained in the iconic Irish drink.

Iron helps to resist the effects of anaemia, which can cause hearing loss. Nearly a third (30%) of the of the world’s population are believed to be anaemic.

Old lady drinking Guinness

The 2019 study at PSU found a link between after iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) and hearing loss after studying data from electronic medical records of over 300,000 people.

The team say that a lack of iron can cause sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss is a result of damage to the cochlea or nerve pathways, while conductive hearing loss comes from problems with the bones in the middle of the ear.

Around 1.6 per cent of participants had either conductive, sensorineural hearing loss and deafness, while 0.7 per cent were believed to have suffered from IDA.

The team found a significant association between the IDA and sensorineural hearing loss – which was present in 1.1 per cent of sufferers.

Study author Kathleen Schieffer said: “An association exists between IDA in adults and hearing loss.

“The next steps are to better understand this correlation and whether promptly diagnosing and treating IDA may positively affect the overall health status of adults with hearing loss.”

IDA is particularly common in women and the lack of iron leads to a reduction in red blood cells.

A pint of Guinness per day could help give people an extra helping of iron, although nutritionists warn that people will only receive 3% of the iron they need from one pint.

Other food that people could consume to increase their iron levels include leafy green vegetables, brown rice and some meat.

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling

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