Drink Up for Healthier Ears

Experts have known for years now about the ability of resveratrol, a substance found in grapes and red wine, to help fight heart disease, certain types of cancer, and diabetes. Now they may add hearing loss to the list.  Rats exposed to loud noise that were given a resveratrol supplement beforehand had much less hearing loss than those that weren't. Oxidative stress -- or the body's "rusting"-- affects age-related hearing loss, and resveratrol, a potent antioxidant, appears to help offset that damage, explains study author Michael Seidman, MD, direector of the division of otologic/neurotologic surgery at the Henry Ford Health System.  But since there are many compounds in red wine that could have antioxidant effects--such as tannins or grape seed extract--Dr. Deidman suggests  getting the benefits through a daily six-ounce glass of red vino instead of supplements.  Teetotaler? An eight ounce glass of grape juice will also do the trick.

By Hallie Levine Sklar -