Some Of The Best News We’ve Heard In A While!
In a world where there’s seemingly no end to the list of things that damage your health in one way or another, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear of health benefits coming from something which most of us already consume (some of us in larger quantities than others!)
Almost all foodstuffs have certain ingredients in them which are beneficial to our health, though the benefits are usually obvious – everybody knows milk is good for your bones and carrots are good for your eyes. But who would have thought that wine and chocolate are good for your hearing?
Recent studies have uncovered some quite amazing results regarding wine and chocolate – the two necessary evils of choice for many people.
Moderate consumption of wine boosts your immune system, lowers cholesterol, provides a host of antioxidants to your body and also reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and strokes. What a lot of people don’t know, is that wine actually protects your hearing.
This is due to one of the magical antioxidants found in the skin of red grapes – Resveratrol. Resveratrol can reduce cholesterol and inflammation.
Researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit gave perfectly healthy lab rats a dose of Resveratrol and subjected them to loud noise for a prolonged time. Not loud enough to cause pain, but loud enough to damage hearing. The researchers found that the rats’ hearing returned to normal levels more quickly, and they were less likely to develop noise-induced hearing loss.
It was later found that Resveratrol decreases the body’s expression of the COX-2 protein, a nutrient which plays a key role in inflammation. If you’re wondering what inflammation has to do with your hearing – this all comes down to your inner-ear where sound processing takes place. Good circulation is required for your stereocilia (hearing hair cells) to do their job. Blocking or reducing circulation can cause irreparable damage.
Unfortunately, this by no means makes wine something to overindulge in. Excessive drinking deposits levels of alcohol in your bloodstream which can permanently damage your hearing:
The University of Ulm in Germany published a study in which they discovered that alcoholics suffer damage to the central auditory brainstem, which inhibits and causes a delay in its ability to receive signals from the auditory nerves.
So, as with many things in life, moderation appears to be the the key.
Though thought to be a relatively modern invention – chocolate actually dates back to around 470BC, where it was first extracted from Cocao seeds. This somewhat ancient commodity was first believed to be an aphrodisiac and later mistaken for giving the consumer bodily strength and powers of seduction.
It’s been given a bad rap in modern times mainly due to the introduction of large amounts of sugar into chocolate, but there may be more to this toothsome treat than meets the eye.
A research team led by Sang-Yeon Lee from the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at The Seoul National University Hospital conducted a recent study which was published in the Nutrients Journal on 30th March 2019.
3575 People between 40 and 64 in age were surveyed.
The study found that “The rate of any hearing loss (unilateral or bilateral) was significantly lower in the subjects who consumed chocolate (26.78%) than in those who did not (35.97%). In addition to this, chocolate consumption decreased the risk of bilateral hearing loss (13.31% vs 20.32%) and high-tone hearing loss (51.58% 63.60%), respectively.
The study also showed an inverse correlation between the severity of hearing loss and the frequency of chocolate consumption, meaning the more people consumed chocolate on a regular basis, the lower the severity of the hearing loss.
Again, moderation appears to be of critical importance. High quantities of chocolate (and any sugary item) have consequential health complications, such as obesity, diabetes etc.