A new study helps explain how a compound found in red wine protects against hearing loss. The research was published this week in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
“Our latest study focuses on resveratrol and its effect on bioinflammation, the body’s response to injury and something that is believed to be the cause of many health problems including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, aging and hearing loss,” the study’s lead author, Michael D. Seidman of the Henry Ford Hospital, explained.
In their study, Seidman and his colleagues found that resveratrol protected rats from noise-induced damage to the auditory system by suppressing levels of a particular protein.
Loud noise increased the expression of the protein cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which has been linked to inflammation and hearing loss. But resveratrol, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, significantly reduced levels of COX-2 in rats exposed to loud noise.
“We’ve shown that by giving animals resveratrol, we can reduce the amount of hearing and cognitive decline,” said Seidman, who is also the founder of Body Language Vitamins.
Resveratrol has been touted by many as a powerful dietary supplement.
Studies have found the compound can help treat disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. But most research is in the preliminary stage and the Federal Drug Administration has not approved resveratrol for the treatment of any condition.
A recent study found that resveratrol supplements did not provide any benefits to healthy post-menopausal women. Another recent study has found that high levels of the compound could impair the formation of new brain cells.