Protective Effects of Silymarin Against Age-Related Hearing Loss in an Aging Rat Model

  • Elham Tavanai
  • Ghassem MohammadkhaniEmail author
  • Saeid Farahani
  • Shohreh Jalaie
Original Article


Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is one of the most common chronic degenerative disorders. Several studies have indicated that supplementation with some antioxidants can slow down the progression of ARHL. Despite several lines of evidence about the potent antioxidant and anti-aging effects of silymarin, its protective effect against ARHL has not evaluated yet. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of silymarin in prevention of ARHL in a d-Galactose-induced aging rat model for the first time. 45 male wistar rats aged 3-month old were divided into 5 groups: group 1, 2 and 3 received 500 mg/kg/day d-Gal plus 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg/day silymarin respectively for 8 weeks, placebo group received 500 mg/kg/day d-Gal plus propylene glycol as placebo, and control group received normal saline during this period of time. Auditory brainstem responses were measured at several frequencies (4, 6, 8, 12 and 16 kHz) before and after the intervention. Placebo group and group 3 showed significant ABR threshold increase across frequencies of 4, 6, 16 kHz compared with the other groups (P < 0.05). However, rats treated with silymarin 100 and 200 mg/kg/day plus d-Gal did not show any significant ABR threshold shifts. Similarly, ABR amplitude of P2 at 4, 8 kHz and P1, P4 at 4 kHz in the placebo group and group 3 were decreased significantly compared with other groups (P < 0.05). However, no significant differences are found in ABR absolute and inter-peak latencies between groups (P > 0.05). The findings indicates that silymarin with doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg/day has protective effect against ARHL and it can be supplemented into the diet of older people to slow down the progression of age-related hearing loss.


Silymarin Age-related hearing loss d-Galactose 



This research has been supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The authors would also like to thank Goldaru for supplying pure silymarin powder.


The article was supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Association of Otolaryngologists of India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elham Tavanai
    • 1
  • Ghassem Mohammadkhani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Saeid Farahani
    • 1
  • Shohreh Jalaie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Audiology, School of RehabilitationTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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