Eating well and getting enough vitamins and minerals can help improve your overall health. Researchers from Era Lucknow Medical College were interested in the benefits from one specific vitamin—B12. With a small pilot study, they looked to see if this vitamin held the key to tinnitus treatment.
Benefits of B12
B12, also known as Cobalamin, is a vitamin your body needs to stay healthy. Since it is not naturally produced by your body, you must get it from your food, including dairy products, eggs, fish, meat and poultry.
Your body needs B12 for red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis. In addition to keeping your nerve cells functioning normal, B12 can help boost your energy, improve your memory and prevent heart disease.
Treating Chronic Tinnitus with B12
Through a randomized double-blind pilot study, researchers hoped to determine the role B12 plays in the treatment of chronic tinnitus.
A total of 40 participants between the ages of 16-60 with chronic subjective tinnitus were enrolled. In order to be considered chronic, the sensation of hearing a ringing in the ear must be frequent and severe, with symptoms lasting for more than six months.
Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Group A received parenteral intramuscular therapy of 1 ml Vitamin B12 every week for a six-week period. Group B received a placebo injection of saline on the same weekly schedule.
Prior to treatment, all participants completed:
- Pure tone hearing test
- Pitch and loudness tinnitus matching
- Vitamin B12 level test
- Self-report tinnitus severity questionnaire
- Physical exam
- Medical history review
One month following the study these tests were repeated.
Pilot Study Results
The researchers found that 42.5% of participants had a B12 deficiency, which was a significantly high prevalence. The patients in Group A with a B12 deficiency showed improvement in their tinnitus severity index scores following treatment. Unfortunately, there was no improvement in the treatment group participants who did not have a vitamin deficiency.
The results of this pilot study, which were published in Noise & Health, a bimonthly international journal, show a favorable outcome of vitamin B12 therapy in vitamin deficient subjects.
Even though this is only a pilot study, it is encouraging to see research to discover new treatments for tinnitus. To learn more about treating your tinnitus or to schedule an appointment with an expert, contact Victory Hearing & Balance Center today.