Antioxidant-rich diet fails to protect hearing: Mouse study
Fortifying a diet with antioxidants does not prevent age-related hearing loss, according to data from a mouse study. Since oxidative stress has been reported to promote hearing loss, researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of Michigan tested the effects of an antioxidant-enriched diet on age-related hearing loss in lab mice.
Animals were fed a diet enriched with vitamins A, C, and E, L-carnitine, and alpha-lipoic acid for 14 months. According to results published in Neurobiology of Aging , the enriched diet increased antioxidant levels in the ear, but failed to influence hearing in the lab animals.
“The results do not support the benefit of antioxidant intervention in age-related hearing loss,” wrote the researchers. “This does not imply that the nutritional status of the animal or the antioxidant balance of the inner ear is not important to the preservation of hearing. Deficiencies might indeed affect auditory performance, but for normally maintained animals, supplementation is not effective.”
Source: Neurobiology of Aging
May 2012, Volume 33, Issue 5, Pages 1010.e15–1010.e16
“Antioxidant-enriched diet does not delay the progression of age-related hearing loss”
Authors: S.H. Sha, A. Kanicki, K. Halsey, K.A. Wearne, J. Schacht