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Which Supplements Help Ease Tinnitus?

Question:
Do any supplements help for tinnitus? Is it true that some supplements can cause tinnitus?

Answer:
A number of supplements are promoted for tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, but only a couple are supported by clinical evidence. Tinnitus has been associated with use of certain supplements, although a causal effect has not been proven. For details, which includes a discussion of pine bark extract (Pycnogenol), melatonin, vitamin B-12, zinc, Ginkgo biloba, CoQ10, weight loss supplements, as well as vitamin D and calcium, see the Full Answer >>

For more information, use the links above. Also see the Encyclopedia article about Tinnitus.

More About Tinnitus and Supplements



What is Lipo-flavonoid and does it work for tinnitus or other ear problems? >>

What is Pycnogenol and does it work? >>



See other recent and popular questions >>
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Robert11756   February 27, 2017
My late father who worked as a studio musician for decades, had pretty severe tinnitus and in his early 80s was having trouble hearing a normal conversation in a quiet living room. Also, the severe ringing could be triggered by even normal percussive sounds.
I gave him small plastic bags with a combination of ginkgo, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin E and within a couple of weeks or a month of daily use his symptoms seem to disappear, as far as I could tell he was then able to hear the conversations at a normal volume and did not have the same complaints of triggering from the usual sounds.
None of the doses were "megadoses" although the vitamin E might have been somewhere at the 200 to 400 IU level. I always used and still use 'natural' form vitamin E and in it's mixed tocopherol forms.
(Some years later I was told by the head cognitive doctors at Kaiser Permanente that the natural type of vitamin E was approximately four times less blood thinning. That was on a day when they prescribed my father 2000 IU for vascular dementia. Within two weeks of him starting that His Aphasia started clearing up. That was pretty amazing and surprising as prescribed by the major HMO!)

ConsumerLab.com   March 7, 2017
Hi Robert - Thank you for those experiences. To clarify one of your points, both the natural and synthetic forms of vitamin E can have a blood thinning effect. However, the synthetic form can have this effect at a slightly lower dose than the natural form, as explained in the "How Much Is Too Much?" section of the Vitamin E Supplements Review (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/vitamine/#toomuch). So, although the natural form is slightly less blood thinning than the synthetic form, it is not "four times less blood thinning,” as you wrote.

Robert12789   March 7, 2017
Thank you for that clarification on the blood thinning affective natural versus synthetic form vitamin E.
This to take place quite sometime ago so memory might be a factor here., Maybe I need to take more vitamin E!

ConsumerLab.com   March 8, 2017
Your'e welcome Robert. It's certainly hard to keep track of all the details regarding vitamins – and the science is continually changing. But that's why we're here!

Michael6929   September 9, 2015
As an "anecdote" - over the course of several years, 3 or 4 people have independently related similar experiences to me (as an employee and as an owner of health food businesses). They had tried Ginkgo Biloba for tinnitus, taken it for a couple of months with no results, and were about to give up on it, and said that at some point between 2 and 3 months, they woke up one morning and the ringing was gone. I know that is only a few people, but I was impressed by the similarity of their stories.

Dennis5854   July 10, 2015
After getting T in my later yrs ( 60 )and I think from other medications, Being a Insulin Diabetic and taking 5 Meds a day thru the VA for yrs.

I found Taking a Multi B Vitamin and "Clear Tinnitus" from Puritans Pride has helped and calms things down..

But it does get rough at times, in the evenings and I think is related to Being Tired by the evening.. Fortunatley, it hasn't interfered with my sleeping ( yet)

When it does, Flare UP ? and Taking Xanax and other Sedatives & Laying down for a nap have helped

Wm Shatner ( Star Trek Actor Fame) has it and is President of the Association to Find a Cure for T..

I also Lobby my Congressman and Senator to Increase funding for a Cure ..


Paul5850   July 9, 2015
I've had tinnitus for about 20 years. Tried Lipo-flavonoid, melatonin, and many other so-called remedies. None of them worked. Also tried chiropractors, acupuncture and going to an ENT (who told me nothing would work). Had a head MRI, which was fine. Went to Mass Eye and Ear for a hearing test and some tinnitus trials which included more acupuncture and tens therapy. If I had to pick one that may have had a slight temporary positive effect, it was probably acupuncture. I've given up and am just trying to accept it. I found the more I worry or get stressed out about it, the worse it gets. I have been using a sound generator that helps me sleep and the high pitched sound of crickets seems to cancel it out.

Judith S.5849   July 9, 2015
I've had tinnitus ever since I was 9 years old. It started after a case of the mumps. Luckily, it's very high pitched and doesn't interfere with my hearing, but it's gotten worse recently. I've noticed that salt, sugar, and caffeine make it worse. I already take B12 and melatonin. I cut back on vitamin D supplementation for the summer, but I don't notice a difference. All the doctors in my life have said there's nothing to be done about it, which is really discouraging. I'm thinking of going to an ENT or audiologist to see if they can help.

Chloe5847   July 8, 2015
I've found that 5 Hour Energy gives me tinnitus. I believe it's because of the caffeine in it. Another nootropic, truBrain also gives me tinnitus (the one with caffeine). I still take them because benefits outweigh the minor ringing. I read tinnitus is caused by over-excited neurons for a particular frequency, and isn't a physical defect. I believe (hope) it's temporary, which it seems to be when I lay off the caffeine.

Helen5846   July 8, 2015
My ENT has recommended Lysine and it does help. In the event of a severe flare, he has prescribed 2 mg of Valium which directly calms the cochlear of the ear and 4 mg of cortisone for a couple days. It has been 13 years since onset. The point of intervention for tinnitus is far from understood but research is ongoing. If one has neck pain due to any insult, tinnitus is likely to worsen. The vagus nerve would be antagonized. It is also the case that tinnitus depresses dopamine, seratonin and norepinephrine. Unfortunately, replacement with an anti-depressant usually exacerbates the problem. In fact, tinnitus is a side effect of SSRIs, SNRIs, and even St. John's Wort.

Alan5843   July 8, 2015
There has been some evidence that the use of Vinpocetine, which increases blood flow to the brain may be helpful in relieving Tinnitus. Please comment.

ConsumerLab.com   July 9, 2015
Hi Alan - Vinpocetine is a synthetic derivative of a substance found in the periwinkle plant. There is one study showing that it improved symptoms in people with chronic tinnitus when they took a combination of intravenous (20 mg in 250 mL of saline) and oral doses (10 mg) twice daily, in addition to physiotherapy and laser treatment (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18616089?dopt=Abstract). However, there do not appear to be any studies of vinpocetine on tinnitus when taken orally, without an intravenous dose. You can find more information about vinpocetine in the Encyclopedia article here: https://www.consumerlab.com/tnp.asp?chunkiid=21841.

This CL Answer initially posted on 7/8/2015. Last updated 8/3/2017.

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