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Zinc & Tinnitus Relief

Zinc & Tinnitus Relief

Overview

Tinnitus is a common medical condition that affects about 20 percent of all adults, MayoClinic.com reports. Tinnitus symptoms include ringing in the ears, painful ears and dizziness. If you have tinnitus, talk to your health care team about appropriate treatment options. Additionally, you may want to consider increasing your zinc intake to combat painful tinnitus symptoms.

Background

While common, tinnitus affects certain people more than others. Older adults, men and Caucasians are at heightened risk of developing tinnitus. Acner reports that reducing stress, avoiding loud noises and limiting alcohol intake can help you manage your tinnitus symptoms without medications. Additionally, consuming adequate zinc may aid in tinnitus relief.

Evidence

Zinc can aid in tinnitus relief for those that are zinc deficient, the Institute of Optimal Nutrition reports. Additionally, research conducted by Japanese scientists at the St. Marianna University School of Medicine found that low levels of zinc in the blood were tied to tinnitus risk. In this study a group of 74 tinnitus sufferers were tested for zinc levels and tinnitus symptoms. They found that the individuals with the lowest levels of zinc had more severe tinnitus symptoms when compared to those with adequate zinc. When the researchers supplemented the zinc-deficient volunteers with zinc, symptoms improved.

Dosage and Sources

The Institute of Optimal Nutrition reports that a high daily dosage of 90 to 150 mg of supplemental zinc is ideal for reducing tinnitus symptoms in zinc-deficient people. However, zinc is abundant in food as well. Shellfish, fortified cereals, pork, cashews, yogurt, milk, beans and peas are all excellent sources of dietary zinc.

Safety

The Institute of Optimal Nutrition recommends that people only take high doses of zinc supplements under doctor supervision. Also, zinc supplementation is only beneficial if you are already deficient in zinc. A blood test is required to determine zinc deficiency. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, a daily intake of 11 mg is adequate to prevent zinc deficiency. Side effects from zinc toxicity include gastrointestinal upset, reduced "good" HDL cholesterol and suppressed immunity.

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