Here we look at the claims for Vitamin B12.
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?
Vitamin B12 supplements are generally in the form of small tablets, but can be combined with other vitamins and minerals in tablets or capsules. For some people with a Vitamin B12 deficiency, it may be given as an injection, or nasal spray.
What are the downsides of this treatment?
Vitamin B12 has not been shown to cause any harm, even at high doses.
Has there been research into this treatment?
There have been few studies conducted into the effect of Vitamin B12 on tinnitus, and none conducted in the last ten years.
What does the research say?
A higher intake of Vitamin B12 was associated with reduced odds of tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in vegetarians and vegans and there is some evidence that deficiency is more common among people with tinnitus[3-5].
The results of Vitamin B12 supplements for tinnitus are inconclusive, although there is a weak suggestion of improvement, particularly in people with a pre-existing deficiency[3-5].
Although evidence is limited, some people at risk of Vitamin B12 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 17 October 2022 unless noted.
1. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin B12. www.ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/
2. Dawes P, Cruickshanks KJ, Marsden A, Moore DR, Munro KJ. Relationship Between Diet, Tinnitus, and Hearing Difficulties. Ear and Hearing (2020).
Mar/Apr;41(2):289-299. doi: 10.1097/
3. Shemesh Z, Attias J, Ornan M, Shapira N, Shahar A. Vitamin B12 deficiency in patients with chronic-tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss. American Journal of Otolaryngology. (1993) Mar-
Apr;14(2):94-9. doi: 10.1016/0196-
4. Berkiten G, Yildirim G, Topaloglu I, Ugras H. Vitamin B12 levels in patients with tinnitus and effectiveness of vitamin B12 treatment on hearing threshold and tinnitus. B-ENT (2013).9(2), 111-116.
5. Singh C, Kawatra R, Gupta J, Awasthi V, Dungana H. Therapeutic role of Vitamin B12 in patients of chronic tinnitus: A pilot study. Noise and Health. (2016) Mar-
Apr;18(81):93-7. doi: 10.4103/1463-
6. 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