Soldiers Eat Loads of Cheese to Test Super-Hearing Hypothesis

By Gary Cutlack on at

Did your grandmother ever tell you to eat up all your cheese as it helps you hear better? Mine neither. But that's a hypothesis that is being tested by the US Army, which is forcing cheese proteins into soldiers in the hope they develop super hearing, or that their ears might better repair damage caused by being exposed to things blowing up.

The key element in the cheese is amino acid D-methionine, which is linked with somehow protecting the sensitive ear parts and speeding their repair. Animal research appears to show that nerve damage was limited in animals that were given stacks of D-methionine before having something bang at them, with hearing function returning to normal quicker after exposure to a big noise too.

Hence a test on human volunteers to see if the results are replicated. The recruits will take as much D-methionine as would be found in 2.3kg of cheese, but in drink form, so they don't have to actually eat a log of cheese in the name of science. [The Sun]


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