Effect of Ascorbic Acid on Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Rats

Document Type : Original


1 Industrial Diseases Research Center, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

2 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.


After presbycusis, noise-induced hearing loss is the second most common cause of acquired hearing loss. Numerous studies have shown that high-intensity noise exposure increases free radical species; therefore, use of antioxidants to detoxify the free radicals can prevent cellular damage in the cochlea. We studied the potential hearing protective effect of different doses of ascorbic acid administered prior to noise exposure in rats.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty-four male albino Wistar rats were randomly allocated into four groups: groups A, B, and C received 1250, 250, and 50 mg/kg/day of ascorbic acid, respectively, and group D acted as the control group. After 14 days of ascorbic acid administration, the rats were exposed to noise (105 dB sound pressure level for 2 h). Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) were recorded prior to starting the ascorbic acid as baseline and 1 h after the noise exposure.
The amplitude decrease was 14.99 dB for group A, 16.11 dB for group B, 28.82 dB for group C, and 29.91 dB for the control group. Moderate and high doses of ascorbic acid significantly reduced the transient threshold shift in the rats.
The results of present study support the concept of cochlea protection by antioxidant agents. This dose-dependent protective effect was shown through the use of ascorbic acid treatment prior to noise exposure. 


Main Subjects

1.  Rabinowitz PM. Noise-induced hearing loss. Am Fam Physician 2000; 61(9):2749-56;2759–60.
2. Attias J, Weisz G, Almog S, Shahar A, Wiener M, Joachims Z, et al. Oral magnesium intake reduces permanent hearing loss induced by noise exposure. Am J Otolaryngology 1994;15(1):26–32. 
3. Nelson DI, Nelson RY, Concha-Barrientos M, Fingerhut M. The global burden of occupational noise-induced hearing loss. Am J Industr Med 2005;48(6):446–58.
4.  Rabinowitz PRT. Occupational hearing loss. In: Rosenstock L CM, Brodkin C, Redlich C, ed. Textbook of clinical occupational and environmental medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders; 2005:426–36.
5. Derekoy FS, Koken T, Yilmaz D, Kahraman A, Altuntaş A. Effects of ascorbic acid on oxidative system and transient evoked otoacoustic emissions in rabbits exposed to noise. Laryngoscope 2004; 114(10):1775–9.
6. Lorito G, Giordano P, Prosser S, Martini A, Hatzopoulos S. Noise-induced hearing loss: a study on the pharmacological protection in the Sprague Dawley rat with N-acetyl-cysteine. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital 2006; 26(3):133–9.
7. Heinrich UR, Fischer I, Brieger J, Rümelin A, Schmidtmann I, Li H,  et al. Ascorbic acid reduces noise-induced nitric oxide production in the guinea pig ear. Laryngoscope 2008; 118(5):837–42.
8. Adelman C, Freeman S, Paz Z, Sohmer H. Salicylic acid injection before noise exposure reduces permanent threshold shift. Audiol Neuro Otol 2008; 13(4):266–72.
9. Adelman C, Perez R, Nazarian Y, Freeman S, Weinberger J, Sohmer H. Furosemide administered before noise exposure can protect the ear. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2010; 119(5):342–9.
10. Duan M, Qiu J, Laurell G, Olofsson A, Counter SA, Borg E. Dose and time-dependent protection of the antioxidant N-L-acetylcysteine against impulse noise trauma. Hearing Res 2004; 192(1–2):1–9.
11. Fischer I, Heinrich UR, Brieger J, Schmidtmann I, Li H,Rümelin A, et al. (Protection of the cochlea by ascorbic acid in noise trauma). Hno 2009; 57(4):339–44.
12. Le Prell CG, Gagnon PM, Bennett DC, Ohlemiller KK. Nutrient-enhanced diet reduces noise-induced damage to the inner ear and hearing loss. Transl Res 2011;158(1):38–53.
13. McFadden SL, Woo JM, Michalak N, Ding D. Dietary vitamin C supplementation reduces noise-induced hearing loss in guinea pigs. Hearing Res 2005; 202(1–2): 200–8.
14. Shim HJ, Kang HH, Ahn JH, Chung JW. Retinoic acid applied after noise exposure can recover the noise-induced hearing loss in mice. Acta oto-laryngologica 2009; 129(3):233–8.
15.  Kopke R, Bielefeld E, Liu J, Zheng J, Jackson R, Henderson D. Prevention of impulse noise-induced hearing loss with antioxidants. Acta Oto-Laryngologica 2005; 125(3):235–43.
16. May JM. How does ascorbic acid prevent endothelial dysfunction? Free Radic Biol Med 2000; 28(9):1421–9.
17.  Branis M, Burda H. Effect of ascorbic acid on the numerical hair cell loss in noise exposed guinea pigs. Hearing Res 1988;33(2):137–40.
18.  Rabinowitz PM, Pierce Wise J, Sr., Hur Mobo B, Antonucci PG, Powell C, Slade M. Antioxidant status and hearing function in noise-exposed workers. Hearing Res 2002;173(1–2):164–71.
19. Kopke RD, Weisskopf PA, Boone JL, Jackson RL, Wester DC, Hoffer ME, et al. Reduction of noise-induced hearing loss using L-NAC and salicylate in the chinchilla. Hearing Res 2000;149(1–2):138–46.
20. Haase GM, Prasad KN, Cole WC, Baggett-Strehlau JM, Wyatt SE. Antioxidant micronutrient impact on hearing disorders: concept, rationale, and evidence. Am J Otolaryngology 2011; 32(1):55–61.