Introduction: Following animal experiments where correlations were observed between blood magnesium level and noise-induced permanent hearing threshold shifts, we tested the prophylactic (disease preventing) effect of magnesium in human subjects exposed to hazardous noise.
Methods: Subjects were 300 young, healthy, and normal-hearing recruits who underwent 2 months of basic military training. This training necessarily included repeated exposures to high levels of impulse noises while using ear plugs. During this placebo-controlled study, each subject received daily an additional drink containing either 167 mg magnesium aspartate or a similar quantity of placebo.
Results: Noise induced hearing damage was significantly more frequent and more severe in the placebo group than in the magnesium group, and was correlated to the magnesium content of red blood cells. Long-term intake of a small dose of oral magnesium was not accompanied by any notable side effect.
Concluslon: This study may introduce a significant natural agent for the reduction of hearing damages in a noise-exposed population.
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