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More dietary fiber, less tinnitus

About 15 percent of all people have tinnitus. These people continuously hear a high-pitched beep, whistle, or noise that does not come from their environment, but is produced by their brains. There is no adequate treatment for tinnitus. But according to Australian research, the risk of tinnitus is less the more fiber is in your diet.

More dietary fiber, less tinnitus

Australian researchers at Macquarie University followed 170 people over the age of 50 for ten years. The researchers knew the diet of the study participants and kept track of which of them developed tinnitus.

By the way, 536 participants developed tinnitus during the study period. This amounts to just over thirty percent of all study participants.

The carbohydrate intake and type of carbohydrates in the study participants' diets had no clear effect on tinnitus. However, the presence of dietary fiber did have a positive effect.

Fiber from vegetables had no effect on tinnitus, but fiber from whole grains and especially fruit did. The researchers suspect that the cooking process makes the bulk of the fibers in vegetables soluble.

Fruit is usually eaten fresh, so fruit mainly contains insoluble fiber. Cereal products contain mostly insoluble fiber anyway. This probably means that insoluble fiber in particular reduces the risk of tinnitus.

More dietary fiber, less tinnitus

The table above gives an impression of the amount of dietary fiber needed to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus. If you look at the fiber in fruit, you arrive at at least 3.6 grams of fiber per day.

That amount is in half a cup of raspberries or blackberries, in a cup of pears or a few tablespoons of avocado.

More dietary fiber, less tinnitus

"Tinnitus is a highly prevalent condition that is expected to increase due to the ageing demographics of most countries", write the researchers. "Preventive evidence-based strategies to reduce the burden of this condition are critical."

"This study is the first to report that low intakes of fruit and cereal fibre increases the risk of developing tinnitus over 10 years in older adults."

"These associations may reflect the benefits of dietary fibre on vascular health, whereby vascular alterations are a risk factor for tinnitus."

Nutrients 2021, 13, 4126.

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