Tinnitus and Tinnitus Guard™

Name of treatment

Tinnitus Guard™

Does the BTA recommend this treatment?

No

BTA opinion on this treatment:

Although independent evidence is limited, what there is does not show that the components of this supplement are effective for tinnitus. We would suggest you talk to your GP before taking any new medication or supplement.

“Dietary supplements should not be recommended to treat tinnitus.”[1]

Type of treatment

Dietary supplement

Claims for treatment

Eliminates the perception of tinnitus

How treatment is delivered

Orally. The supplement is a combination of:

Hibiscus flower

Hawthorn leaf flower

Olive leaf

Niacin (vitamin B3)

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Vitamin B6

Folic acid

Vitamin B12

Garlic

Buchu leaf

Uva ursi

Juniper berry

Green tea leaf[2]

Potential negative consequences

Side effects[3] [4]

Cost – this supplement currently is on sale for $70 for one month’s supply.

Evidence offered:

 

Papers available

There have been no papers published on Tinnitus Guard as a supplement, but there have been >50 published on its component parts. However, the only studies considering tinnitus for these were for niacin (nicotinamide).

Conclusions drawn

Studies suggest hibiscus has antibacterial, anti-oxidant, diuretic and anti-hypertensive effects. It is regarded as safe [5].

Hawthorn extracts have been used in the treatment of heart problems, including heart failure as it increases coronary blood flow. It can lower blood pressure.[6] Although it may interact with some medications, it is regarded as safe.[7]

Olive leaf extract has claimed antioxidant and antiviral activity but studies do not support its use for any indication. It is likely to be safe.[8]

Niacin (vitamin B3) can improve cholesterol levels at high doses. As nicotinamide, there is evidence that it is not effective.[9] Side effects are common.[10]

Vitamin C is important for bones, connective tissue, muscles, blood vessels. It helps the body absorb iron, needed for red blood cell production. Side effects are rare.[11]

Vitamin B6 is used to treat a type of anaemia (lack of red blood cells). High levels of supplementation or prolonged use can cause severe nerve damage.[12]

Folic acid is needed to make DNA and other genetic material. Side effects are rare.[13]

Vitamin B12 helps keep the body’s nerves and blood cells healthy.

It is not certain whether garlic is effective in treating any medical condition. It is safe as a foodstuff but unregulated as a supplement.

Buchu leaves have traditionally been used as a diuretic and for kidney or urinary tract infections. It can cause stomach and kidney irritation and can be an abortive.[14]

Uva ursi is also used for problems with the urinary tract or to help with hard stools. Side effects include tinnitus.[15]

It has been suggested that juniper berries have potential antimicrobial, antioxidant and neuroprotective effects but no clinical data exists to support the use of juniper for any indication. It should not be used by someone who is pregnant/breastfeeding.[16]

Green tea has been used as an aid in treating high cholesterol and maintaining mental alertness[17] but it uncertain whether it is effective in treating any medical condition. Green tea supplements can be toxic in large doses.[18]

Quality of evidence[19]

A – D

Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment?

No

Verdict: Safety - is this treatment harmful?

  Evidence of harm

Verdict: Efficacy - does this treatment work?

  No evidence of effect

Comments

 

Completed by

Nic Wray

Peer reviewed by

 

Date completed

September 2021

Date for revision

September 2024

 

We welcome feedback on all our information. Please send any corrections or updates for consideration to Nic Wray, Communications Manager on [email protected]

 

[1] Coelho C, Tyler R, Ji H, Rojas-Roncancio E, Witt S, Tao P, Jun HJ, Wang TC, Hansen MR, Gantz BJ. (2016) Survey on the Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements to Treat Tinnitus. American Journal of Audiology. 25(3): 184-205

[2] GIV Health Stop Unwanted Ear Ringing and Get Results FAST!   https://www.tinnitusguard.com/ [accessed 3 September 2021]

[3] The Drugsite Trust. Niacin. https://www.drugs.com/niacin.html [accessed 3 September 2021]

[4] National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin B6 https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-Consumer/ [accessed 3 September 2021]

[5] Da Costa Rocha I, Bonnlaender B, Sievers H, Pischel I, Heinrich M (2014) Hibiscus Sabdariffa L. – A Phytochemical and Pharmacological Review. Food Chemistry. 165, 424-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.05.002

[6] Orhan IE. (2018) Phytochemical and Pharmacological Activity Profile of Crataegus Oxyacantha L. (Hawthorn) - A Cardiotonic Herb. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 25(37) 4854-4865. DOI: 10.2174/0929867323666160919095519

[7] ibid

[8] The Drugsite Trust. Olive Leaf. https://www.drugs.com/npp/olive-leaf.html [accessed 3 September 2021]

[9] Hulshof JH, Vermeij P. (1987). The Effect of Nicotinamide on Tinnitus: A Double-Blind Controlled Study. Clinical Otolaryngology and Allied Sciences. 12(3), 211-4 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2273.1987.tb00189.x

[10] The Drugsite Trust. Niacin. https://www.drugs.com/niacin.html [accessed 28 February 2020]

[11]The Drugsite Trust. Vitamin C.  https://www.drugs.com/mtm/vitamin-c.html [accessed 3 September 2021]

[12]National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin B6 https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-Consumer/ accessed 3 September 2021]

[13] The Drugsite Trust. Folic Acid https://www.drugs.com/folic_acid.html [accessed 3 September 2021]

[14] The Drugsite Trust. Buchu https://www.drugs.com/npc/buchu.html [accessed 3 September 2021]

[15] The Drugsite Trust. Uva Ursi https://www.drugs.com/npc/uva-ursi.html [accessed 3 September 2021]

[16] The Drugsite Trust. Juniper https://www.drugs.com/npp/juniper.html [accessed 3 September 2021]

[17] The Drugsite Trust. Green Tea https://www.drugs.com/mtm/green-tea.html [accessed 3 September 2021]

[18] Hu J, Webster D, Cao J, Shao A. (2018). The Safety of Green Tea and Green Tea Extract Consumption in Adults - Results of a Systematic Review. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. 95. 412-433. DOI: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2018.03.019

[19] A = Systematic review/meta analysis. B = Randomised control studies. C = Cohort studies. D = Case control studies. E = case studies/reports. +/- to be used to indicate quality within bands

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TINNITUS AND TINNITUS GUARD

Updated 15 September 2021