Red Grapes Protect Against Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline

Scientists have found that resveratrol, a substance found in red grapes and red wine, appears to protect against hearing loss and cognitive decline. (Nearly 20 percent of North Americans live with some degree of hearing loss, and for the majority, hearing progressively gets worse as they get older. Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, is a red-grape constituent also present in blueberries and peanuts. It is present in white wine and white grapes but at lower concentrations.) The scientists found that laboratory rats would suffer less from the long-term effects of noise-induced hearing loss if they consumed resveratrol before listening to extended periods of loud noise. The researchers focused on the effects of resveratrol on inflammation, the response to injury that is believed to be the cause of many health problems including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, aging and hearing loss. Resveratrol was found to protect against the specific inflammatory processes associated with hearing loss and aging. This study was released early but will not appear in print until a future issue of the journal Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

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