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Our Mission

Bringing Soundbites to you

Soundbites is the result of three decades of biomedical research by a small team of University of Michigan Medical School neuroscientists led by Josef M. Miller PhD. Their focus was to preserve normal auditory function. The work was continuously supported by grants from the US National Institutes of Health and the European Commission, including a decade of translational medicine R&D to get the research out of the lab and into the market, available to everyone. 

Their initial motivation was to improve our understanding of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). When research started in the mid-1980s, medical schools taught that hearing loss was caused by damage to the physical structures of the ear. It is true that explosions and other types of extreme trauma can literally break these delicate structures, but most of us don’t lose our hearing this way. 

More than a decade of lab research revealed that hearing loss is a metabolic stress disorder. The root cause is excess inner ear free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that are a byproduct of metabolism in the mitochondria. Mitochondria transform oxygen and sugar into energy that cells need in a process called mitochondrial respiration. 

Normally, the free radical byproducts of metabolism are neutralized and eliminated by antioxidant systems built into cells. Metabolic stress disorder happens when excess free radicals overwhelm cellular antioxidant systems, creating oxidative stress that disrupts normal biochemical processes and leads to DNA damage and the premature death of inner ear cells. The death of these cells is experienced as hearing loss.

Inner ear oxidative stress can originate in the environment as noise, or internally, as a consequence of aging, ototoxic drugs, or certain genetic mutations and viruses. High levels of noise, for example, can trigger formation of up to 40 times the normal amount of inner ear free radicals. This massive over-production chokes inner ear blood supply, damages and destroys hearing cells and causes ischemia reperfusion injury, similar to having a heart attack or stroke in the inner ear.

The major research goal was to eliminate the root cause of inner ear metabolic stress by stopping it before starts. That goal was reached in 2005 with the discovery of a precise, high potency antioxidant formula of vitamins A, C, and E and the mineral Magnesium, called ACEMg in medical journals. 

ACEMg demonstrated the unexpected synergistic beneficial effect of maintaining normal auditory function when noise intensity increases by 30dB. This key finding has since been replicated in numerous preclinical studies. 

The ACEMg discovery was disclosed in a 2007 peer-reviewed scholarly journal, and the first patent application was filed. The first patent was awarded in 2011. A total of nine patents were filed throughout the following decade as the research progressed. The ninth patent was awarded in 2018. Today, ACEMg is patented to treat all forms of hearing loss triggered by excess inner ear free radicals, as well as treating and preventing temporary and permanent tinnitus, a neurological disorder commonly resulting from noise-induced hearing loss. 


What Soundbites does

ACEMg, produced exclusively under the Soundbites® brand, helps the auditory cells we were born with to continue functioning normally when they would otherwise be compromised by oxidative stress.  It helps to protect the health of our ears by supplementing inner ear antioxidant defense systems, maintaining normal cochlear blood flow and replenishing essential nutrients.


What Soundbites does not do

Soundbites doesn’t restore hearing or grow new hearing cells. Medical science doesn’t offer those possibilities at this time. 


Who we are

Soundbites is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) – an independent, purpose-above-profit ‘B Corp’ – established in 2019. We’re an auditory neuroscience biomedical research spinout of the University of Michigan Medical School. Our purpose is to help people keep hearing by preserving auditory function.


Why Soundbites matters

Hearing loss is an immense, rapidly escalating global problem. World noise is a big contributor. Half a billion people, almost 7% of the global population, had disabling hearing loss in 2015. 

The World Health Organization estimates nearly a billion people will have disabling hearing loss by 2050, which means if things continue without interventions like Soundbites, slightly more than 10% of the projected world population of 9.7 billion will be functionally deaf about 30 years from now.

“Hearing loss is now the fourth leading cause of years lived with disability, ahead of headline-grabbing conditions like diabetes and dementia. While 80% of the burden of disabling hearing loss is in low-income and middle-income countries, these problems cannot be ignored by high-income countries, where those experiencing hearing loss are twice as likely to be unemployed and earn half the median income.”

— Blake S. Wilson, The Lancet, December 2018


We are on a mission to improve global hearing health. Your purchases help.

Soundbites sales are the catalyst to achieving the goal of measurably reducing the worldwide social and economic burdens of hearing loss and the related neurological disabilities tinnitus and dementia by helping prevent the biological damage that causes hearing loss. 

Soundbites sales fund education, continuing research and equal access programs operated in cooperation with the 501c3 nonprofit Hearing Preservation Initiative: 

  • Awareness and education at keephearing.org
  • Real World studies – Phase IV post-marketing epidemiological research
  • Equal access – modeled on the TOMS One for One program, Soundbites will match every sale with an equal donation of Soundbites to children and young adults in low- and middle-income countries, many of whom are child workers.