We know resveratrol best as the disease-fighting substance found naturally in red wine and red grapes. A new health breakthrough says resveratrol may protect against hearing loss and, because of that, heart problems as well.
The study shows that healthy rats are less likely to suffer long-term effects of noise-induced hearing loss if they take resveratrol before being exposed to continuous, loud noise. This focuses on the body’s inflammation process, which is the response to injury. This inflammation is a major cause of serious illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and hearing loss.
Hearing loss affects about 20% of U.S. adults, and it gets worse with age. Many suffer from noise-induced hearing loss as well, which can cause sleeping and communication and it raises the risk for heart disease by increasing blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
Resveratrol is a natural element within grapes that has long been the subject of studies into its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities. This latest one looks at the inflammation as it relates to hearing loss, aging and cognition.
Researchers wanted to identify how exactly resveratrol protected hearing after noise exposure. They measured its effect on the COX-2 protein (key to inflammation) as well as reactive oxygen species, which plays an important role in cell signaling. They found that being exposed to noise for too long causes more COX-2 protein activity. But resveratrol significantly reduces this activity, while also reducing reactive oxygen species formation. In turn, it reduced hearing loss in the rats.
The researchers say resveratrol proved, in this case, to reduce the level of hearing and cognitive decline. This may be important information to those of us who spend a great deal of time in noisy environments. Resveratrol has a full slate of health benefits, and here we’ve added another into the mix. You can get resveratrol by eating red grapes, having a glass of red wine, or you can also find resveratrol supplements in your local health store.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
Red Wine for Preventing Hearing Loss?
Seidman, M., et al., “Resveratrol Decreases Noise-Induced Cyclooxygenase-2 Expression in the Rat Cochlea,” Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery; first published online February 4, 2013.