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Important Nutrients May Have the Ability to Improve Hearing

By CP Staff

Scientists investigated a group of four nutrients to determine whether they could play a role in preventing temporary and permanent hearing loss.

In one study, researchers gave guinea pigs beta-carotene, vitamins C and E and magnesium one day before the animals were exposed to four-hours of 110 decibel (dB) noise, which is similar to the level reached at a loud concert. Another group of control animals received saline injections once per day. The researchers found that the animals given the antioxidants and magnesium did not experience the temporary hearing loss that occurred in the control animals immediately after exposure to the noise as well as 24 hours later. Animals treated with the nutrients had better hearing outcomes at the final test time.

In a second study, scientists investigated whether the same supplements could prevent the permanent hearing loss caused by exposure to a single loud sound in mice. Twenty-eight days prior to noise exposure, they added two different doses of the dietary supplements to the animals' diets. Control animals were fed an otherwise identical, nutritionally complete diet with none of the supplemental nutrients.

The results indicated that mice receiving the higher doses of the supplements had significantly less permanent hearing loss than control animals. Decreasing the amount of vitamin content in the enhanced diet also produced a reduction in protection against permanent hearing loss. Oral treatment with this combination of antioxidants and magnesium before exposure of the animals to the loud noise also protected a variety of cells in the inner ear, specifically in the lateral wall, an inner ear structure linked to age-related hearing loss.

The study authors wrote, "These data support the potential for translation of these agents to human populations given the well-established safety profile for high-level supplementation of these micronutrients, as shown in multiple long-term human studies."

References:

LePrell C, Schmitt J, Dolan DF, Boxer P, Prieskorn D, Deremer S, Goodson M.  Prevention of Temporary Noise-Induced Threshold Deficits Using Dietary Agents. Abstract #827. Presented at the 32nd Annual Midwinter Research Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, Baltimore, Maryland, February 18, 2009.

LePrell C, Ohlemiller KK, Gagnon PM, Bennett DC. Reduction in Permanent Noise-Induced Threshold Deficits in Mice Fed a Combination of Dietary Agents. Abstract #826. Presented at the 32nd Annual Midwinter Research Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, Baltimore, Maryland, February 18, 2009.

A multivitamin such as Extend Plus provides an easy way to obtain vitamins C and E, magnesium and beta-carotene along with other important nutrients.

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