Are hearing loss and Alzheimer’s connected?
March 04, 2013
Volume 3 | Issue 18
It's fairly normal for our hearing to decline as we age. But people are losing their hearing at much earlier ages than before, perhaps because of our noisy culture. Researchers think there's more to it, though, as they're finding that hearing loss could be a signal for other health problems. These include insomnia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and perhaps even Alzheimer's.
In a recent study, researchers from Henry Ford Hospital wanted to know if the cause for many cases of hearing loss is our old nemesis inflammation. They also wanted to see if there was a connection between the hearing loss and other aging conditions, such as cognitive problems.
But's that not all. They also wanted to see if the nutrient resveratrol would help temper the degeneration in these illnesses. So here's what they did.
The researchers conducted experiments with healthy rats. They fed some of the rats resveratrol and then exposed them to loud noises. Then they measured their COX-2 response. COX-2, as you may know, is an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain. When there's too much COX-2, it can cause significant damage to cell structure just about anywhere in the body. This is how hearing loss can be an indicator of other health problems. Inflammation in the ear could be a signal of inflammation throughout the body.
The study showed that rats taking resveratrol before experiencing long-term noise exposure were less-likely to suffer from noise-induced hearing loss. The researchers found that resveratrol reduced the formation of reactive oxygen species (oxidation), it inhibited COX-2 expression, and it reduced overall hearing loss and mental decline. They didn't measure its impact on the other illnesses I mentioned earlier. But it's reasonable to assume that it would have a similar impact on these as well.
The study's lead author agrees. He said, "Our latest study focuses on resveratrol and its effect on bioinflammation, the body's response to injury and something that is believed to be the cause of many health problems, including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, aging, and hearing loss.... Resveratrol is a very powerful chemical that seems to protect against the body's inflammatory process as it relates to aging, cognition, and hearing."
Resveratrol is one of my favorite nutrients. I've taken it for years and have noticed a big difference in my energy levels when I'm not taking it. This study helps explain why. So if you're not taking resveratrol, now would be a good time to consider adding it to your supplement regimen. You can order a high-quality resveratrol by following this link.
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Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.