Maker of EarGuard attends SupplySide East 2018

On April 10-11, professionals representing the East Coast and beyond in the nutrition, food, and health trades gathered in Secaucus, N.J., to discuss products and ingredients at SupplySide East. What are they selling? Not pharmaceuticals, but nutraceuticals. A nutraceutical is a standardized nutrient derived from food. Think dietary supplements. You can get them over the counter without a prescription and they tend to have natural ingredients, which makes some consumers feel more comfortable.

 

With 250 industry providers, more than 3,000 industry participants, and more than 5,000 ingredients and solutions represented, this event is a big deal. CGMP is a major focus of the event: Current Good Manufacturing Practices, regulations developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that ensure the authenticity and quality of nutraceuticals on the market. Representatives of Gateway Biotechnology, Inc., maker of EarGuard, attended SupplySide East this year to meet with suppliers and to learn about possible new compounds for future research. EarGuard is a nutraceutical designed to protect against hearing loss caused by noise exposure and aging.

 

“One thing we noticed at the conference is that there were no nutraceuticals for hearing health represented, which tells us that there is an overwhelming need for such a product,” said Jianxin Bao, Ph.D., an auditory researcher and president of Gateway Biotechnology. “For this reason, we feel strongly that EarGuard will soon lead the industry in hearing loss protection.”

 

A sister event, SupplySide West, will take place in November of this year. The Gateway team is interested in learning about products the other half of the country has to offer and will report back then.

 

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Gateway Biotechnology, Inc. is developing options for people with hearing loss from noise, aging, and other causes.  Gateway will soon offer EarGuard, an affordable series of nutraceuticals that need no prescription. For more information about this product, visit Gateway’s website and follow this blog for updates.

 

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Hearing loss and depression: New evidence

Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) and depression are two leading causes of disability in older adults, and studies have suggested they may be related. The past February, an interesting study published in the journal Elsevier by a research team in Australia makes an even stronger connection. The study involved 151 male and female participants from 40 to 88 years of age.

 

Participants’ hearing ability was tested at various sound frequencies, including the speech frequencies (0.5-4 kilohertz, or kHz) as well as higher frequencies (6-8 kHz), and individuals were grouped according to their degree of hearing loss. Next, participants took a test called the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS) to determine their current mental health status and symptoms. These data were analyzed and indeed showed that there is a close relationship between hearing ability and DASS score. The findings suggest that ARHL may be a cause for depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms. Before now, ARHL has only been associated with these symptoms, however this study showed that as hearing impairment increases, so does the severity of mental health symptoms.

 

Although this may sound like bad news, it’s actually exciting. What this means is that if we can reduce the severity of a person’s hearing loss, or at least slow its progress, maybe we can also have a positive impact on that person’s mental well-being. If hearing researchers can solve the root of the problem, perhaps we can help in more ways than one.

 

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Gateway Biotechnology, Inc. is developing options for people with hearing loss from noise, aging, and other causes.  Gateway will soon offer EarGuard, an affordable series of nutraceuticals that need no prescription. For more information about this product, visit Gateway’s website and follow this blog for updates.

 

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Featured image credit: Danielle Dolson on Unsplash.

Does caffeine help or hurt tinnitus?

BY Jianxin Bao, Ph.D.

Recently, a person with tinnitus asked me “Does caffeine affect tinnitus?” Over the years, he’d received both yes and no answers from ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors.

 

Through my research, I’ve come to understand that there isn’t a simple yes-or-no answer to this question.

 

Tinnitus is a condition in which a person perceives a sound such as ringing, roaring, whooshing, or clicking in one or both ears. The perceived sound can range from acute to chronic, and from annoying to debilitating.

 

In 2014, some good news came from research at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston that drinking coffee may prevent tinnitus. The study, published in the August edition of the American Journal of Medicine, tracked 65,000 women over a period of 18 years and found that those who drank more coffee reduced their odds of developing the condition. These data were not surprising, since our laboratory had found in preclinical animal models that caffeine can prevent noise-induced hearing loss, and hearing loss often leads to tinnitus.

 

However, researchers have also learned that there are many sub-types of tinnitus. Therefore, people who have different types of tinnitus may respond differently to caffeine. That may help explain the varied answers this tinnitus patient had received from different ENTs.

 

I am not a medical doctor. Since there are currently no clear answers to this question, if I had tinnitus, I personally would drink a modest amount of caffeine if it made my tinnitus better, and would cut back or stop drinking it entirely if it always made my tinnitus worse (See ATA’s recommendation).

 

For tinnitus-related information, the two scientific websites that I check out often are:

  1. Tinnitus Talk

  2. PubMed

 

Another excellent resource is the American Tinnitus Association, which offers background information on tinnitus as well as updates in the field. In addition, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, offers information about government-supported research on tinnitus and other hearing disorders.

 

The research field of tinnitus is moving rapidly. Hopefully, better answers to this question and other questions, including what causes tinnitus in the first place, will be coming soon.

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Gateway Biotechnology, Inc. is developing options for people with hearing disorders like tinnitus.  Gateway will soon offer EarGuard, an affordable series of nutraceuticals that need no prescription. For more information about this product, visit Gateway’s website and follow this blog for updates.

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Featured Image by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash