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NIH funded study in search of hearing loss supplement

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. The University of Michigan Kresge Hearing Research Institute on Monday announced they will be testing the use of vitamins and magnesium in the prevention of hearing loss caused by loud noises.

“When we can’t prevent noise-induced hearing loss through screening programs and use of hearing protection, then we really need to come up with some way of protecting people who are still going to have noise exposure,” said Glenn Green, assistant professor of otolaryngology at the U-M Health System and director of the U-M Children’s Hearing Laboratory.

The combination of vitamins A, C and E, plus magnesium, will be given in pill form to patients who are participating in the research. Developed at the U-M Kresge Hearing Research Institute, the combination, called AuraQuell, is designed to be taken before a person is exposed to loud noises. In earlier testing at U-M on guinea pigs, the combination of the four micronutrients blocked about 80 percent of the noise-induced hearing impairment.

Now, AuraQuell is being tested in a set of four multinational human clinical trials: military trials in Sweden and Spain, an industrial trial in Spain, and a trial involving students at the University of Florida who listen to music at high volumes on their iPods and other PDAs, funded by the National Institutes of Health. This is the first NIH-funded clinical trial involving the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss.

“If we can even see 50 percent of the effectiveness in humans that we saw in our animal trials, we will have an effective treatment that will very significantly reduce noise-induced hearing impairment in humans,” remarked Josef Miller, co-lead researcher.

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