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Hear! hear!

Hear! hear!
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First Published: Tue, Apr 03 2007. 02 03 AM IST

Updated: Tue, Apr 03 2007. 02 03 AM IST
Suffering from noise-induced hearing loss? There could soon be a cure in the shape of a nutrient-enriched tablet or snack bar. Researchers from the University of Michigan have reported in the journal, Free Radical Biology and Medicine, that a combination of high doses of vitamins A, C, and E, and magnesium, taken one hour before noise exposure and continued as a once-daily treatment for five days, was very effective in preventing permanent noise-induced hearing loss. The researchers studied the effects on animals, especially guinea pigs, which had prolonged exposure to sounds as loud as a jet engine taking off at close range.
Clinical trials of a hearing-protection tablet or snack bar for people could begin soon, according to senior author Josef M. Miller, Ph.D. Convinced by evidence that nutrients can effectively block one major factor in hearing loss after noise trauma — inner ear damage caused by excessive free radical activity—Miller has launched a start-up company, OtoMedicine, that is developing the vitamin-and-magnesium formulation.
Power-packed pomegranates
A common Indian fruit is making waves in medical circles in the US. A recent report in the Harvard Men’s Health Watch, based on new research, suggests that pomegranates may have potential benefits for prostate cancer and heart disease. In one study, scientists grew cells from highly aggressive cases of human prostate cancer in tissue cultures. Pomegranate fruit extracts slowed the growth of the cultured cancer cells and promoted cell death. The researchers then implanted the cancer cells in mice. Mice that received water laced with pomegranate juice developed significantly smaller tumours than those that did not.
Studies have also shown that pomegranates may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease. The juice not only protects LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidative damage, but also decreases the carotid artery thickness and improves cardiac blood flow.
And now, this
Placentophagy is a term used to describe the act of mammals eating the placenta of their young after childbirth. Some believe they do it to hide all traces of childbirth from predators. Others feel the placenta contains small amounts of oxytocin, which eases birth stress and causes the smooth muscles around the mammary cells to contract and eject milk. And yucky though it may sound, an increasing number of people—especially in the US—are now consuming the placenta, emulating certain cultures in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, where it is believed that eating the placenta prevents post-partum depression and other pregnancy-related complications. Last year, Tom Cruise said he would love to practise placentophagy during the birth of his first child with Katie Holmes, sparking off debates on the issue.
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First Published: Tue, Apr 03 2007. 02 03 AM IST
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