A plant compound found in red grapes and red wine, resveratrol, may guard against hearing loss and cognitive decline, according to a study published in the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Research carried out on rats revealed that healthy rats were less likely to suffer from the long term effects of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), when they were given resveratrol before being exposed to loud noise.
Could prevent several health problems
"Our latest study focused 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," said the study's lead author Dr. Michael D. Seidman of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
It is believed by Seidman that this study could be an indicator of the important protective role the compound plays in the inflammatory process.
"Resveratrol is a very powerful chemical that seems to protect against the body's inflammatory process as it relates to aging, cognition and hearing loss," Seidman stated.
Further investigation on humans needed
However, the implications of this study are only conclusive for rats and further investigation needs to be done in order to see how resveratrol works in humans.
It is therefore possible that the substance affects the human body in a different manner in isolation than it does in red wine.
Too much alcohol can damage your hearing
Earlier studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption over a long period of time can result in damage to the central auditory cortex of the brain and may lead to a hearing loss.