Red wine isn't just good for your heart – now experts say it may even prevent HEARING LOSS
Thought that resveratrol, the chemical found in red grapes and red wine, has a protective effectAppears to reduce the damage caused by loud noise
18:40 GMT, 21 February 2013
01:42 GMT, 22 February 2013
It has long been touted as the tipple with a host of health benefits, said to protect against conditions such as heart disease and dementia.
Now scientists say red wine may also protect against hearing loss, too.
It's thought that the chemical resveratrol, found in red grapes and red wine, is the reason why.
Resveratrol, a chemical found in red grapes and red wine, may protect against hearing loss
This is the same compound that has been linked with other positive health benefits such as preventing cancer and heart disease.
In a study conducted at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, healthy rats were less likely to suffer noise-induced hearing loss when given resveratrol before being exposed to loud noise for a long period of time.
Study leader Dr Michael Seidman said: 'Our latest study focuses on resveratrol and its effect on the body's response to injury – something that is believed to be the cause of many health problems including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, ageing and hearing loss.
Resveratrol appeared to reduce the damage to hearing from loud noises
'Resveratrol is a very powerful chemical that seems to protect against the body's inflammatory process, as it relates to ageing, cognition [brain function] and hearing loss.'
Hearing loss affects half of people over the age of 60, but many begin to suffer problems in their 40s or 50s.
It usually sets in with the death of tiny 'hair' cells in the inner ear as a result of ageing.
The study found that resveratrol reduced noise-induced hearing loss in rats exposed to potentially deafening sounds.
Dr Seidman said: 'We've shown that by giving animals resveratrol, we can reduce the amount of hearing and cognitive decline.'
The study is published in the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Last month, scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reported that washing down red meat with a glass of red can actually prevent the build-up of cholesterol in the body.
The researchers, from the found that after eating red or dark meat, compounds called malondialdehyde accumulate in the blood stream.
These can help to form the type of cholesterol that can raise the risk of heart disease.
Meanwhile drinking a large glass of red wine every day could help prevent bowel cancer, Leicester University researchers said recently.