Vitamin B-12 also known as cobolamin is a water soluble vitamin. It plays and important role in the formation of red blood cells and metabolism of sugars, fats and proteins. It is also helps maintain healthy nervous system and some research studies found it beneficial for improving tinnitus, especially when this condition is associated with a shortage of this nutrient. If you consider taking vitamin B-12 for your symptoms, first talk to your doctor.
Tinnitus, a noise in the ears is a common condition, affecting one in five individuals, according to Mayo Clinic. It can be perceived as a ringing, buzzing or clicking sound that may be vary in intensity and frequency throughout the day. It can be caused by damage of the inner ear, deterioration from the aging process or injury from working in a noisy environment. Tinnitus may also manifest as part of some medical conditions like Meniere’s disease, stress or head trauma.
Tinnitus & B-12 Deficiency
People suffering from tinnitus should test whether or not they have B-12 deficiency, as a shortage of this nutrient has been linked with chronic tinnitus and noise induced hearing loss. This is the conclusion of a study published in March 1993 issue of “American Journal of Otolaryngology.” The authors evaluated over 100 subjects exposed to noise and 47 of the participants diagnosed with tinnitus had vitamin B-12 deficiency. Some of them also had symptoms improved when received supplementation with B-12.
B-12 Therapy for Tinnitus
Michael Murray, ND and author of “The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicine”, also supports the fact that B-12 deficiency is common in people who have tinnitus. He indicates that supplementation with B-12 may improve symptoms of tinnitus in individuals who are deficient in this nutrient, however is less likely to benefit those who have adequate blood levels of this vitamin.
Dosage and Drug Interactions
To manage tinnitus a daily dose between 1,000 and 2,000 mc daily of vitamin B-12 along with a B complex formula, vitamins A, C and E are suggested by James Balch, MD, and author of “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” Blood levels of vitamin B-12 may be lowered by some medications including antibiotics, anti diabetes and chemo drugs.
Consult a qualified health care professional to find out the underlying cause of your condition and whether or not you have low blood levels of vitamin B-12. Keep in mind that vitamins and other supplements do not replace and should not be used to replace any conventional drugs prescribed for tinnitus. Vitamin B-12 is not approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the management of tinnitus.
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; James Balch, MD et al; 2002
- "The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicine"; M.Murray, ND; 2004
- Mayo Clinic: Tinnitus
- “American Journal of Otolaryngology.”; Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Patients with Chronic-tinnitus and Noise-induced Hearing Loss; Z. Shemesh et al; March 1993