Who enjoys glass of red wine every evening? This habit might be healthier than you think! The health benefits of red wine have been well documented for quite some time, and now scientists have reason to believe that the occasional glass might even help prevent hearing loss.
A study conducted in 2013 at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and published in the journal Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery found that resveratrol, a substance found in red grapes and red wine, may have the potential to protect against hearing loss and cognitive decline.
Scientists exposed rats to loud noises, giving one group of the rodents a supplement of resveratrol beforehand. The rats that did not receive the resveratrol supplement experienced noise-induced hearing loss. Excitingly, the rodents that received the supplement had up to 90% less hearing loss.
“Our latest study focuses on resveratrol and it’s effect on bioinflammation, the body’s response to injury and something that is believe to be the cause of many health problems including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, aging and hearing loss,” says study lead author Michael D. Seidman. “Resveratrol is a very powerful chemical that seems to protect against the body’s inflammatory process as it relates to aging, cognition and hearing loss.”
Although much of the research on resveratrol has been conducted on mice and rats, Dr. Seidman says that the results could very well be applicable to humans, too. Resveratrol potentially inhibits the inflammation that leads to hearing loss and cognitive decline, which both rats and humans experience.
Dr. Seidman points out that there are other ways to load up on nutrients that can help protect your ears. For example:
- Eating fish twice a week can reduce your risk of developing age-related hearing loss by 42% according to a 2010 article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The fatty acids in fish improve blood flow to the ear, preserving hearing.
- Apples contain an antioxidant that fights the free radical damage that’s so dangerous to hearing.
- Fortified cereals (brans and multi-grains) contain zinc, a mineral naturally found in your inner ear that can lessen inflammation.