Send to

Choose Destination
Hear Res. 2005 Apr;202(1-2):200-8.

Dietary vitamin C supplementation reduces noise-induced hearing loss in guinea pigs.

Author information

Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, Center for Hearing and Deafness, University at Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.


Vitamin C (ascorbate) is a water-soluble, low molecular weight antioxidant that works in conjunction with glutathione and other cellular antioxidants, and is effective against a variety of reactive oxygen species, including superoxide and hydroxyl radicals that have been implicated in the etiology of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Whereas most animals can manufacture their own vitamin C, humans and a few other mammals such as guinea pigs lack the terminal enzyme for vitamin C synthesis and must obtain it from dietary sources. To determine if susceptibility to NIHL could be influenced by manipulating dietary levels of vitamin C, albino guinea pigs were raised for 35 days on a diet with normal, supplemented or deficient levels of ascorbate, then exposed to 4 kHz octave band noise at 114 dB SPL for 6 h to induce permanent threshold shifts (PTS) of the scalp-recorded auditory brainstem response. Animals that received the highest levels of dietary ascorbate developed significantly less PTS for click stimuli and 4, 8, 12, and 16 kHz tones than animals on normal and deficient diets. Outer hair cell loss was minimal in all groups after noise exposure, but permanent damage to stereocilia were observed in noise-exposed ears. The results support the hypothesis that dietary factors influence individual susceptibility to hearing loss, and suggest that high levels of vitamin C may be beneficial in reducing susceptibility to NIHL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center