Millions of people suffer from hearing loss, typically in the form of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). NIHL occurs when the synapses of the cochlea become damaged; stemming from exposure to sounds 85 decimals or higher. It’s a widely-accepted fact that there is no cure. Because of this, these individuals have learned to live with the aid of hearing devices. Fortunately, scientists have made some major progress in finding a permanent remedy for NIHL.
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Gladstone Institutes gave lab mice doses of nicotinamide riboside (NR). What the researchers uncovered was that NR acts as a shield for the nerves of the cochlea. It does this by boosting protein sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) activity. This protein is a cell’s powerhouse and plays an important role in the efficiency of the body’s mitochondria. It is known that SIRT3 levels decline with age, creating a number of age-related health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and hearing loss. This new study implies that using NR to target SIRT3 could be a feasible cure for these age-related disorders.
This exciting discovery shines a bright light on those wanting to work in noisy professions, such as a construction worker or a musician. Taking a safe supplement of NR or SIRT3 would greatly reduce their chances of permanent hearing loss. Scientist are still in the preliminary stages of testing, so this supplement is years from maturation.
Though the results are groundbreaking, it’s still crucial that people practice good habits to reduce the effects of NIHL (see What is NIHL). Avoid exposure to loud noises and opting for noise-reducing ear plugs if that’s impossible. Get yearly hearing checkups to make sure your hearing is still in good condition.
Source: Lauren Clason