As reported by the National Institutes of Health, their purpose was to determine if there was a link between diet and hearing impairment. As it turns out, one does indeed exist — according to the survey data, women following a healthier diet exhibited approximately 30% lower risk. 

While that number is certainly nothing to sneeze at, the study should not be taken as gospel. Yet with its release, we saw a veritable stampede of snake oil salespeople and pseudoscientists trumpeting claims of a 'miracle supplement' guaranteed to safeguard your hearing. After all, the link between diet and hearing health is scientifically proven, right? 

Not exactly.

First, there are a few issues with this study that hold it back from being in any way definitive. 

  • The responses were collected primarily from non-Hispanic white women aged 27-44. People of Color were under-represented, and men were not represented at all. 
  • Socioeconomic position was not accounted for in the results. 
  • The results were entirely self-reported, with researchers mailing out questionnaires to participants every four years.

That aside, it's also important to note that correlation does not equal causation. While it's certainly true that there's a link between a healthier diet and a reduced risk of hearing impairment, the same could be said of any condition. It could well be that the improved circulatory health enjoyed by those who ate better is the reason for their healthier hearing. 

There's also the fact that a healthier diet likely correlates to a healthier lifestyle. So, for example, the women who ate better were likely also exercising more frequently and sleeping more consistently. Without that context, however, there's no way of knowing for sure.

Finally, while diet may boost hearing, dietary supplements will not prevent congenital or disease-related hearing loss. Anyone who claims otherwise might as well be selling Jilly Juice. Remember the fermented cabbage juice, which, per Buzzfeed, was identified as fraudulent by the FTC

There is no such thing as a miracle cure, a miracle drug, or a miracle nutrient. A healthy diet does likely improve one's hearing health, but only because one is healthier overall. To that end, we'd advise you not to waste money on specialized hearing supplements, especially those that claim to contain a "proprietary blend." 

Instead, just focus on eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and getting regular exercise. And if you must consume supplements of any sort, just go for multivitamins instead. They'll do more for your hearing health than even the most miraculous-sounding supplement.