Here we look at the claims for magnesium.
Regarded as safe
No or limited evidence that it is effective
The makers claim
Reduces or eliminates the perception of tinnitus.
What is the treatment?
Magnesium supplements are generally in the form of small tablets, but can be combined with other vitamins and minerals in tablets or capsules.
What are the downsides of this treatment?
High intakes of magnesium can cause minor but unpleasant side effects. Magnesium supplements can interact or interfere with some medicines.
Has there been research into this treatment?
There have been few studies conducted into the effect of magnesium on tinnitus, and none conducted in the last ten years.
What does the research say?
Serum magnesium levels are lower in people with tinnitus than the general population. Increased susceptibility to noise damage, ototoxicity and auditory hyperexcitability have also been linked to magnesium deficiency. It has been shown that magnesium supplements can help to prevent or treat some forms of hearing damage and small-scale studies have suggested that they might have a beneficial effect on tinnitus,.
Although evidence is limited, some people at risk of magnesium deficiency may wish to take a supplement. We would suggest you talk to your GP before taking any new medication or supplement.
“Dietary supplements should not be recommended to treat tinnitus but could have a positive outcome on tinnitus reactions in some people.”
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All online references accessed 14 October 2022 unless noted.
1. Tagoe T, Deeping D, Hamann M.Saturation of long-term potentiation in the dorsal cochlear nucleus and its pharmacological reversal in an experimental model of tinnitus.Experimental Neurology. (2017). 292:1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2017.02.011
2. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Magnesium. www.ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium-Consumer/
3. Uluyol S, Kılıçaslan S, Yağız Ö. Relationship between serum magnesium levels and subjective tinnitus. Kulak Burun Bogaz Ihtis Derg, (2016): 26(4), 225-7.
4. Cevette MJ, Vormann J, Franz K. Magnesium and hearing. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. (2003) May-Jun;14(4):202-12
5. Sendowski I, Holy X, Raffin F, Cazals Y. Magnesium and hearing loss. In: Vink R, Nechifor M, editors. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press; (2011).
6. Cevette MJ, Barrs DM, Patel A, et al. Phase 2 study examining magnesium-dependent tinnitus. International Tinnitus Journal. (2011);16(2):168-73
7. Coelho C, Tyler R et al. Survey on the Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements to Treat Tinnitus. American Journal of Audiology. (2016) 25(3): 184-205