Zinc for Tinnitus - Does It Really Work?

Discover if using zinc for tinnitus really reduces the symptoms.

Zinc is a trace element in our body that serves a variety of functions. It is found in the inner ear structure (cochlea) that is responsible for hearing as well as in the nervous system.

Some studies seem to show that individuals who are deficient in zinc are more likely to experience tinnitus symptoms.

Read on to see the results from two of the studies...

Research studies on using zinc for tinnitus relief

Study #1

The role of zinc in the treatment of tinnitus.
Arda HN, Tuncel U, Akdogan O, Ozluoglu LN.
Otol Neurotol. 2003 Jan;24(1):86-9.

This is a small well-designed study that involved a total of 41 patients who suffered from tinnitus of no known causes.

Of the forty-one volunteers, 28 of them received the zinc supplement and the remainder received a look alike placebo pill. The dosage of the zinc used was 50 mg daily for 2 months.

Many different measures of the severity of tinnitus were measured along with their blood zinc levels. These tests were done both at the start of the research study and at the end of 2 months. Here's what the researchers discovered.

  • There was a good reduction of tinnitus symptoms in 46% of the volunteers who took the zinc supplement.
  • The severity of the tinnitus decreased in 82% of the volunteers taking zinc.
  • Blood zinc levels were lower than normal in about 30% of the volunteers.

The authors of this research study concluded that low zinc levels can be commonly found in those individuals suffering from tinnitus and that it can be helpful to take zinc supplement.

But not all study show positive benefits of taking zinc for tinnitus relief, as the second study shows...

Study #2

The role of zinc in management of tinnitus.
Yetiser S, Tosun F, Satar B, et al.
Auris Nasus Larynx. 2002 Oct;29(4):329-33.

In this second study involving 40 men and women who suffer from severe tinnitus, they were given 220 mg of zinc daily for 2 months. Here are the results the researchers found:

  • The blood zinc level was low in 13 of these volunteers.
  • Zinc supplements provided tinnitus relief in some elderly volunteers who had low blood zinc levels.
  • Twenty-three volunteers reported some benefits in the severity of the tinnitus symptoms but these improvements were not very large.

The authors basically concluded that taking zinc supplements can be helpful in older individuals who are deficient in zinc. However, they believed that the zinc supplements would not be that helpful in most individuals with tinnitus.

Bottom line

Should I try using zinc for tinnitus relief?

Yes, but the evidence doesn't appear to be very strong. It is very low cost and safe to use so it is worth trying for at least 2 months to see if it helps.

It is more likely to help individuals who are low in zinc blood levels and who are older more than younger individuals or those with normal zinc levels.

Also consider using CoQ10 for tinnitus as well as trying out ginkgo for tinnitus relief as well.

See Supplements for Tinnitus to get access to all these articles and health tips for tinnitus sufferers.

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Revised: August 25, 2020