Vitamin Mineral Mix May Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Researchers have found a way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss in lab models; findings that may lead to a pill to prevent noise induced, and even age-related hearing loss in humans.
In a first study, scientists from university of Michigan administered beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, along with the mineral magnesium to guinea pigs just before exposing them to loud noise, similar to that delivered during a concert (110 decibels). The vitamin and mineral mix prevented noise induced hearing loss, both temporary and permanent, when given four hours before the guinea pigs were exposed to noise.
In a second study, University of Florida, Washington University in St. Louis, and OtoMedicine researchers teamed up to test guinea pigs. They found that the beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and magnesium mix prevented hearing loss that results in humans from a single loud noise.
Further studies on humans, in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, include testing the antioxidant and magnesium mix on college students who listen to MP3 music players, factory workers in noise environments, and military troops.
The study authors say it is free radicals that cause noise induced hearing loss. Josef Miller, Townsend professor of communicative disorders at the University of Michigan has studied hearing loss for over twenty years. According to Miller, "The free radicals literally punch holes in the membrane of the cells," protecting from noise induced hearing loss.
University of Florida researcher, Colleen Le Prell, says, "What is appealing about this vitamin 'cocktail' is that previous studies in humans, including those demonstrating successful use of these supplements in protecting eye health, have shown that supplements of these particular vitamins are safe for long-term use."
Statistics from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders show that 26 million Americans have noise induced hearing loss. Lawnmowers, factory machinery, firearms, fireworks, boats, overhead aircraft, and loud music are a few of the contributing factors responsible for the high statistics of noise induced hearing loss.
The researchers hope that the powerful antioxidant effect of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and E can be developed into a nutritional bar for soldiers or pill for factory workers and concertgoers to help prevent noise induced hearing loss when used in conjunction with recommended earplugs. Magnesium, though not an antioxidant promotes healing and preserves blood flow.
Much like vitamins that promote eye health, the vitamin mineral "cocktail" used in the study, called AuraQuell, prevented noise induced hearing loss when given to mice and guinea pigs that were exposed to loud noises, in two separate studies.