The Drink That Saves Your Hearing
The buzz about resveratrol—the anti-aging, disease-fighting antioxidant found in red wine, grapes, and peanuts—is about to get louder.Resveratrol may protect against hearing loss, according to a new study inOtolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery.
Researchers exposed rats to loud noise, giving one group of the rodents a resveratrol supplement beforehand. The results: The rats that didn’t receive the resveratrol experienced hearing lossandsaw increases in certain markers of inflammation, free radical formation, and DNA damage—all things that can kill hearing. But the rats that received the supplement suffered less hearing loss, measured by a 90% reduction in certain markers of inflammation and creation of those free radicals, says study coauthor Michael D. Seidman, MD, director at the division of otologic/neurotologic surgery at the Henry Ford Health System.
Granted, much of the research on resveratrol has been done on mice, but Dr. Seidman says the results could be applicable to humans, too. See, resveratrol may inhibit the inflammation that leads to hearing loss and other diseases, which both humans and rats experience. That’s crucial considering the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery estimates that 10 million Americans have some noise-induced hearing loss. Repeated exposure to over 85 decibels—basically anything louder than a hair dryer or lawnmower—can damage your ears.
And while a glass of red wine every eveningcouldhelp protect your ears, loading up on other nutrients may make more of an impact, Dr. Seidman says. Here are three that help do the job:
Fish. Eating fish twice a week can reduce your risk of developing age-related hearing loss by 42%, according to a 2010 study in theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Fish, including salmon, contain essential fatty acids that improve blood flow to the ear.
Apples. They contain a flavonoid called quercetin, an antioxidant key to fighting the free radical damage that’s so dangerous to hearing.
Fortified cereals. They pack zinc, a mineral that’s found in your inner ear and can reduce inflammation.
Video: Can You Trust Your Ears? (Audio Illusions)
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