Say what? I couldn't hear you over the sound of this freshly opened Merlot being poured.
A remarkable study conducted by otolaryngologist Dr. Michael Seidman found that resveratrol – an antioxidant present in red wine and grape skins – can have a slightly beneficial effect on your hearing as you get older.
Dr. Seidman and his team tested resveratrol’s effects on the hearing abilities of rats
. They fed one group with the compound and the other a placebo and later exposed them to loud noises for extended periods of time.
The key benefit from resveratrol comes from its inflammatory properties and has shown promise on various effects of aging including cognitive decline and age-related hearing loss
What they found
The rats that consumed the red wine extract had 50 percent less hearing loss than the placebo group. That's a pretty substantial difference - so, naturally, we were intrigued by this study. When given resveratrol prior to exposure to loud noises, the rodents were significantly less likely to experience hearing loss. Dr. Seidman states:
"Our latest study focuses on resveratrol and its effect on bio-inflammation, the body's response to injury, and believed to be a factor in many health problems including Alzheimer's disease
, cancer, and hearing loss. Resveratrol is a very powerful chemical that seems to protect against the body's inflammatory process.
Other foods that can help
Although the substance helped prevent hearing loss in test subjects prior to noise exposure, the research did not study the effects on those that had already experienced reduced hearing.
However, resveratrol does have additional health benefits on top of that. According to acclaimed cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra
, taking 30 mg of resveratrol a day can protect against inflammation, improve blood flow and mental function, as well as inhibit cancer cell replication and increase cancer cell death.
You can find the compound in various foods such as:
- Dark chocolate
- Red wine + more
So next time you pour yourself a glass of vino, just throw on UB40's "Red Red Wine" and know that you’re doing your body a little favor. As always, remember to drink responsibly.