Can vitamins and minerals prevent hearing loss?

November 11th, 2008 - 4:55 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 11 (IANS) Millions of people worldwide, including soldiers and students, are suffering from noise-induced hearing loss. The rising trend is something that Michigan University (M-U) Kresge Hearing Research Institute is hoping to reverse, with a cocktail of vitamins and magnesium.

The nutrients were successful in lab tests, and now researchers are testing whether humans will benefit as well.

“The prevention of noise induced hearing loss is key,” said Glenn E. Green, assistant professor of otolaryngology at the M-U Health System and director of its Children’s Hearing Laboratory.

“When we can’t prevent noise-induced hearing loss through screening programmes and use of hearing protection, then we really need to come up with some way of protecting people who are still going to have noise exposure,” Green said.

The combination of vitamins A, C and E, plus magnesium, is given in pill form to patients who are participating in the research.

The medication, called AuraQuell, is designed to be taken before a person is exposed to loud noises. In earlier testing at U-M on guinea pigs, the combination of the four micronutrients blocked about 80 percent of the noise-induced hearing impairment.

Now, AuraQuell is being tested in military trials in Sweden and Spain, an industrial trial in Spain, and a trial involving students at the University of Florida who listen to music at high volumes on their iPods and other PDAs, said an M-U release.

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