Tinnitus is caused by numerous medical conditions, and some them may be related to (or accompanied by) a deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals in your body. Luckily, this can be easily fixed with natural supplements or even just delicious foods if you know what to search for! For some people, this is the only step needed to achieve a significant relief for their ringing in the ears. So what are the best supplements and vitamins for tinnitus?
Vitamins of the so-called B complex are traditionally used in conventional medicine to treat a lot of neurological conditions, as they improve nerve function and modulate cell proliferation. In terms of alleviating tinnitus, the most beneficial nutrient of this group is vitamin B12. A 2016 study revealed that patients with B12 deficiency experienced a 22% improvement in their tinnitus severity (according to subjective tinnitus severity scores) after receiving injections of B12, while subjects who did not lack any B12 experienced a 2% relief.
Natural sources of B12 for tinnitus relief: shellfish, meat, dairy, poultry, eggs.
Modern studies affirm that 2 to 69% of people suffering from tinnitus have a certain level of zinc deficiency which correlates with the severity and loudness of their ringing in the ears. This mineral is not stored for long in the human body, so a regular dietary supply is crucial for your health.
Natural sources of zinc for tinnitus relief: seafood (oysters, lobsters, crab), beef and lamb, spinach, seeds (pumpkin, squash, sesame, sunflower, chia, flax), nuts (especially cashews and pecans), chocolate (the more cocoa the better).
Just as with zinc, studies have confirmed that people suffering from tinnitus often have a significant deficiency of magnesium. Moreover, magnesium has shown marvelous results in preventing hearing loss due to noise exposure, a major risk factor for developing tinnitus. Daily supplementation with 532 mg of magnesium significantly improves tinnitus severity, according to a recent study conducted by the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Natural sources of magnesium for tinnitus relief: spinach, chard, figs, pumpkin seeds, banana, dark chocolate, avocados, black beans, some fermented milk products (yogurt and kefir).
This fancy word is the name of a polyphenols class, a group of biochemical widely found in a lot of plants around the world—from apples to cinnamon, from cocoa beans to cranberries. Available from both natural sources and in form of concentrated supplements (like pycnogenol, an extract of maritime pine bark), proanthocyanidins have shown significant improvement of tinnitus severity in patients with Meniere’s disease and cochlear hypoperfusion (lack of blood flow in the inner ear), but they may be beneficial for other causes of ringing in the ears as well.
Natural sources of proanthocyanidins for tinnitus relief: red wine, cranberries, grape seeds, blackcurrant, cocoa beans, green and black tea.
Vinpocetine is a synthetic derivative of an alkaloid found in the lesser periwinkle plant, a flower native to countries of central and southern Europe. Several vinpocetine supplements have shown encouraging results in recent studies, suggesting that this substance could be highly effective in treating tinnitus even in those cases which were immune to traditional oral drugs.
There are no natural sources of vinpocetine, but it is available in form of many remedies such as Cavinton and Intelectol. However, consulting a physician is necessary before purchasing and taking these.
A lot of people with tinnitus state that their ringing ears bother them the most when they try to fall asleep. Melatonin could be exceptionally beneficial for such folks, as confirmed by multiple studies. This hormone is naturally produced in your body by the pineal gland and serves to regulate sleep-wake cycles. When taken as a supplement, melatonin speeds up the process of falling asleep and increases sleep quality in patients with chronic tinnitus. Certain studies affirm that tinnitus is most effective in:
People without previous or current episodes of depression
People who did not try any other tinnitus treatment before
People with severe and bilateral (from both ears) tinnitus
People who had experienced significant noise exposure
Natural sources of melatonin for tinnitus relief: cherries, bananas, grapes, plums, olive oil, wine, pineapple, oranges.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
CoQ10 is a coenzyme present in all cells of any animal and most bacteria as well. It takes part in the process of cellular respiration, a process that generates most (around 95%) of the energy needed to keep a living creature alive. Several studies have confirmed that coenzyme Q10 could significantly improve tinnitus severity in patients with a low plasma concentration of the stuff.
Natural sources of CoQ10 for tinnitus relief:
Meat: beef and pork liver, heart, and muscles;
Poultry: chicken heart
Fish: any red-fleshed fish, sardines
Nuts: sesame seed, peanuts
Oils: soybean oil, olive oil
Vegetables: parsley, spinach, broccoli
Fruit: avocados, grapes, blackcurrant
The bottom line
Some vitamins and supplements have been scientifically confirmed to alleviate tinnitus, especially in those cases which are accompanied by a deficiency of said nutrients. The brightest examples of this thesis are vitamin B12 and zinc. Several other supplements, like magnesium and proanthocyanidins, are great even in those cases when there is no confirmed lack of the said substances.
The best part of this story is that most of the points mentioned in this article (all except vinpocetine) are present in many delicious foods and beverages, so make sure to include them into your diet.
Nevertheless, I’d like to emphasize one more time that tinnitus is never an independent disease, but always a manifestation of some other disorder, so it is crucial to determine what’s causing the ringing in your case if you want to achieve substantial and long-term results.
Stay healthy, and don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the section below if you have a question, story, or thought you would like to share with the community!