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Bottoms Up! Red Wine May Prevent Hearing Loss

Update Date: Feb 22, 2013 03:28 PM EST

Listen up! It seems that the list of benefits of red wine keeps on growing. A recent study has found that a chemical found in the drink, resveratrol, may protect against hearing loss.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Emory University School of Medicine in Georgia, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Led by Dr. Michael D. Seidman from the Henry Ford Health System, researchers administered resveratrol to a group of mice. The other group did not receive the compound. Then all of the mice were subjected to loud noises. They found that the mice who were given the compound suffered from less hearing loss than the mice that were not given resveratrol.

According to United Press International, hearing loss was measured with the protein cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Both are expressed more often in response to auditory trauma. The researchers found that COX-2 and ROS were expressed less often in the mice treated with resveratrol.

"Our latest study focuses on resveratrol and its effect on the body's response to injury - something that is believed to be the cause of many health problems including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, ageing and hearing loss," Dr. Seidman said, according to the Daily Mail. "Resveratrol is a very powerful chemical that seems to protect against the body's inflammatory process, as it relates to ageing, cognition [brain function] and hearing loss."

Hearing loss affects about half of people over the age of 60. However, it generally starts to set in earlier than that, at about the age of 40 and 50. It generally is caused by the death of hair cells in the inner ear, which often occurs naturally with age.

This is not the first time that red wine has been linked to health benefits. It has been found to have a protective effect against heart disease and dementia.

Last month, researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that drinking a glass of wine while eating red meat could protect against the build-up of cholesterol.

Another recent study found that drinking a glass of red wine every day could keep away bowel cancer.

The study was published in the journal Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery.

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