People suffering from chronic ringing in the ears – called tinnitus – may find some relief by spraying the hormone oxytocin in their nose, a small initial study by Brazilian researchers suggests.
“Oxytocin has actions in the brain and the ear that may help in tinnitus treatment and provide immediate relief,” said lead researcher Dr. Andreia Azevedo. She is with the department of otolaryngology at the Universidale Federal de Sao Paulo. She speculated that it may regulate fluid in the inner ear, and a brain effect that may be related to the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Although oxytocin appeared safe, its long-term effects aren’t known, Azevedo said. “We did not have any side effects, but further larger studies are necessary to establish the role of oxytocin in tinnitus treatment, she added.
As many as one in 10 Americans suffers from tinnitus. The disorder is characterized by hearing sounds when there are none. The sounds can be perceived as ringing, buzzing, crickets or hissing. For those who struggle with it daily, the noise is so bothersome that it interferes with thinking, emotions, hearing, sleep and concentration, according to a previously published study.
For the new study, the researchers randomly assigned 17 people with tinnitus, average age 63, to puffs of oxytocin or placebo (distilled water) in each nostril.
The study volunteers were asked to assess their symptoms 30 minutes after treatment, and then again, 24 hours later. Azevedo’s team found that patients who received oxytocin reported a significant reduction in tinnitus compared with those who received the placebo.
Dr. Darius Kohan, chief of otology/neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital in New York City remains skeptical about using oxytocin to treat tinnitus. He said the hormone can have serious side effects, including abnormal heartbeat, abnormally low blood pressure, high blood pressure, allergic reactions breathing difficulty, nausea and vomiting.
Tinnitus is listed as a common cause for suicide. The distraction from the constant “white noise” can be disabling. Clinically, I have found imbalances in fat metabolism, especially the essential fatty acids is often the key to improving or resolving tinnitus.
However, in light of this study I will now put more emphasis on neurotransmitter and hormone imbalance in the evaluation and treatment of tinnitus.
This is a good example of how PubMed studies can be used to enhance the QA (Quintessential Applications) protocol. All that is needed is some association with a biochemical pathway. If you know some of the chemistry, you can find oral challenges to test those pathways.
The use of vegetable protein as a challenge for the nitric oxide pathway is just one of the enhancements I have developed based on such studies.
The Bottom Line:
If you suffer from tinnitus, please seek qualified nutritional support. Have your fat metabolism analyzed, don’t just take a statin drug. Look specifically at essential fatty acids in your diet, metabolic syndrome and now hormonal and neurotransmitter balance.
Source: September 22, 2016 National Institutes of Health