Here we look at the claims for zinc.

Version: 2.0 Last updated: April 2023 To be reviewed: November 2025

Treatment details

Illustration of a bottle with a circle on it.


Dietary supplement



Regarded as safe



No or limited evidence that it is effective



Claims for treatment

Zinc has a role in the auditory system so it has been suggested that it could reduce or eliminate the perception of tinnitus[1].

What is the treatment?

Zinc 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 zinc can cause minor but unpleasant side effects. Zinc supplements can interact or interfere with some medicines.[2]

Has there been research into this treatment?

There have been a small number of studies conducted into the effect of zinc on tinnitus, and a systematic review[1].

What does the research say?

There is no evidence that the use of a zinc supplement improves symptoms in adults with tinnitus[1].

The evidence levels for zinc supplements as a treatment for tinnitus are low. We would suggest you talk to your GP before taking any new medication or supplement.

Current guidelines state that clinicians should not recommend zinc for treating patients with persistent, bothersome tinnitus[3] [4].

“Dietary supplements should not be recommended to treat tinnitus.”[5]

Tinnitus UK

All online references accessed 8 November 2022 unless noted.

1. Person OC, Puga MES, da Silva EMK, Torloni MR. Zinc supplements for tinnitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2016), Issue 11. Art. No.: CD009832.
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009832.pub2.

2. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Zinc Fact Sheet for Consumers. www.ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/zinc-Consumer/

3. Tunkel DE, Bauer CA, Sun GH, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline: Tinnitus. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. (2014) 151(2_suppl): S1-S40.

4. Cima RFF, Mazurek B, Haider H. et al. A multidisciplinary European guideline for tinnitus: diagnostics, assessment, and treatment. HNO 67, 10–42 (2019).

5. 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