A combination of the vitamins A, C, and E plus magnesium may protect hearing as we age, suggests a new study using lab rats.
Data published in Frontiers in Neuroscience indicated that the combination of the vitamins and the mineral was associated with significantly reduced shifts in hearing older rats, compared to older animals on a control diet.
A growing issue
The findings are potentially important due to the aging population and the prevalence of ARHL - age-related hearing loss - (or presbycusis) is predicted to increase.
Currently, ARHL affects about 24% of people in their 40s, 33% of people in their 60s, and 66% of people on their 70s globally. This also has negatively implications for quality of life and associated healthcare costs.
It is the first time that this combination of nutrients has been studied for presbycusis.
The scientist divided young adult Wistar rats into two groups: one received the normal chow diet, while the second group´s diet was supplement with vitamins A, C, and E and magnesium. The vitamins were selected because of their antioxidant/free-radical scavenging activity.
Three-month old rats were followed until 14 months og age, with the data indicating that supplementation reduced thresold shifts at the lower and medium frequencies, compared to the control animals. This indicated "an improvement in the auditory thresholds".
The findings "indicate that oral ACEMg may provide an effective adjuvant therapeutic intervention for the treatment of AHRL, delaying the progession of hearing impairment associated with age" concluded the reseachers.