You may already be familiar with resveratrol.
Often referred to as the “red-wine nutrient” this powerful multi-tasking compound has been getting a lot of press these last few years. And honestly it’s for good reason.
Researchers first focused in on resveratrol when they were trying to solve what was then known as “The French Paradox.” People were puzzled how the French could eat such a rich diet full of fats, breads and pastas without suffering the consequences that much of the rest of us in the Western world do.
In other words, why weren’t the French fat and clutching their chests from the heart attacks they should have been having?
Of course there’s not a single answer to that question. (Oh, if life were only that simple.) Healthy fats and an active lifestyle, for example, surely play a role too.
Resveratrol may help keep you slim and healthy
But resveratrol—a grape-seed extract found in the red wines the French favor so much—shot to the top of the list as a key player in the French’s ability to stay slim, trim and healthy.
A flurry of research followed and it wasn’t long before resveratrol wasn’t only linked to heart health, but also was a prime player in cancer and anti-aging remedies as well.
Packed full of antioxidants, resveratrol is an inflammation-fighting superstar. And since inflammation is at the center of just about any chronic health issue you can mention it’s not surprising that the nutrient has been found to support heart health as well as healthy circulation, cholesterol, blood pressure, and brain function
But most people ARE surprised when I tell them resveratrol might also be able to help protect them against—and perhaps even help reverse—certain types of hearing loss.
Resveratrol could help fight YOUR hearing loss
Here’s what we know…
People who spend time in noisy environments—for example, let’s say, in factories, shipping yards, race tracks, construction areas or even bars that play loud music—can experience hearing loss. And unfortunately that exposure to loud noise often comes with additional health-harming side effects including elevated cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
Researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit apparently had a light-bulb moment when they got the idea to see what sort of effect resveratrol would have on noise-induced hearing loss.
Now to understand why anyone would ever even think to try resveratrol as a deterrent to hearing loss in the firs place you need to remember what I said about the nutrient earlier, and that is that it’s a powerful natural anti-inflammatory.
Hearing loss linked to inflammation
For obvious reasons the researchers choose to try their experiment on rats and not people. When they dosed up the rodents on resveratrol and exposed them to loud noise an interesting thing happened.
Their bodies reacted to the noise in a very similar way to how they would have had they been suffering from an injury or arthritis.
Yes, it turns out your body treats noise-induced hearing loss pretty much like any other run of the mill injury, by becoming swollen and inflamed
And regardless of whether you’re a rat or a human being when you’re injured COX-2 enzymes start kicking out prostaglandins which are what cause the pain and inflammation you experience.
Resveratrol may help keep your hearing safe
But in the case of the resveratrol-dosed rats something else interesting happened.
While the loud noise did cause an increase in COX-2 , the resveratrol supplements significantly inhibited that jump. And as a result there was significantly less inflammation and, most importantly of all, significantly less hearing loss.
I turns out resveratrol is a natural COX-2 inhibitor with an ability to calm inflammation without any of the notorious and troubling side effects we see with COX-2 inhibiting drugs.
If you often find yourself in noisy environments resveratrol could help you keep your hearing safe. And while more research needs to be done it’s possible the grape-extract may even have the ability to help reverse an already-existing hearing problem.
Dr. Allan Spreen
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