Eat less for better hearing

© A. Tkachuk/Dreamstime

Calorie restriction seems to have the effect of slowing down the effects of aging on the body. But could it also be beneficial to presbyacusis? This seems to be the case, at least in rats, according to a recent study performed by researchers at Karolinske Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

Female rats that were subject to this type of restriction were compared to male rats that were fed ad libitum. And as expected, the survival rate in the first group was 20 % higher than that in the second group. The benefit of calorie restriction was also visible at an auditory level. In this group, Preyer’s acoustic reflexes were preserved in 73 % of the rats, and the degeneration of the stria vascularis was very limited.

In the second group however, Preyer reflex was not detectable in more than 15 % of the animals, which also presented cellular degeneration and thinning of stria vascularis.

In both groups, the loss of ciliated cells was equivalent, at 24 %, and no reduction of neuronal density in the dorsal root ganglion.

Source: Mannstrom P et al. Dietary restriction reduces age-related degeneration of stria vascularis in the inner ear of the rat. Exp Gerontol. 2013 Jul 17