Hearing loss has been recently ranked as the fifth leading cause of years lived with disability, ahead of many other chronic diseases such as diabetes, dementia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Moreover, according to the World Health Organization, moderate-to-profound hearing loss affects about 466 million people worldwide. Its incidence varies in each population segment, affecting approximately 10% of children and increasing to 30% of the population over 65 years. However, hearing loss receives still very limited research funding and public awareness. This sensory impairment is caused by genetic and environmental factors, and among the latter, the nutritional status has acquired relevance due its association to hearing loss detected in recent epidemiological studies. Several experimental models have proved that the onset and progression of hearing loss are closely linked to the availability of nutrients and their metabolism. Here, we have reviewed studies focused on nutrient effects on auditory function. These studies support the potential of nutritional therapy for the protection against hearing loss progression, which is especially relevant to the aging process and related quality of life.
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