The more we learn about the B vitamins, the more we realize just how vital they are to your health. They play a huge role in how certain organs function. And now new research is showing how they can help your ears function better.
In this study, researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College wanted to find out if a precursor to vitamin B3 can help prevent the hearing loss that loud noises can cause. Of course, the researchers wanted to find out if they could use their findings to develop a patented drug. But there's no need to wait on the drug. Here's what they found out about the vitamin.
The precursor they studied is nicotinamide riboside, which increases the activity of a protein that can protect your ears against hearing loss. This is the same protein that can protect you from a variety of age-related issues. But this is the first study that tied it to protection against hearing loss.
To conduct the study, the researchers exposed mice to nicotinamide riboside either before or after they exposed them to noises loud enough to cause damage to the cochlea (the auditory part of your inner ear). They found that it didn't matter whether they administered it before or after the noise, the nicotinamide riboside reduced damage in mice's ears. They also found that the mice treated with the nicotinamide riboside didn't suffer as much hearing loss in both the short and the long term.
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Nicotinamide riboside works much like niacin in the body, but it doesn't cause the flushing that niacin can. It works by increasing the activity of the protein sirtuin 3 (SIRT3), which supercharges your mitochondria, the engine that powers all of your cells. Because it works on the cellular level, it can help your entire body function better, not just your ears.
The SIRT3 protein naturally declines with age. So these researchers suggested that lower levels of this protein could play a role in many of the effects of aging. And if it contributes to aging, it contributes to certain age-related diseases. That means you need to make sure you keep your levels of this protein high. And you can do so by getting plenty of nicotinamide riboside.
You can get nicotinamide riboside in your diet by drinking milk and beer. But I know many people don't drink either of these. So the best place you can get it is in a supplement. You can find nicotinamide riboside on the Internet and in many health food stores.
Your insider for better health,
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.