By Barry Keate
Tinnitus is prevalent in the US and around the world. The US Centers for Disease Control estimate that 15% of people have some degree of tinnitus – that’s over 50 million in the US – and that 20 million of those suffer from burdensome, chronic tinnitus. (1) About 15 million people in the US visit an Ear, Nose & Throat physician (ENT) every year, seeking tinnitus relief.
This is the story of how I found relief from tinnitus and developed Arches Tinnitus Formula.
Tinnitus and Relief
I developed tinnitus in the late 1960s after serving in the US Army and later working in a copper smelter. Back then, hearing protection was not widely used. I was not given any means of protecting my ears at the firing range or the smelter. My hearing was damaged, which led to tinnitus, mostly in my right ear.
It was continuously bothersome and seemed to worsen over the years. In the 1970s I had a panic attack due to my constant loud tinnitus and went to the emergency room. There they administered Valium, and the noise quieted down. I was very happy – until the Valium wore off and my tinnitus returned to its previous level.
It eventually became loud enough that I would mask it by opening the passenger-side window on my car a couple of inches while traveling at freeway speeds. That was the level of sound I needed to mask the noise.
A hearing exam showed significant hearing loss at 4,000 Hz and higher. An ENT said this caused my tinnitus, and there was nothing I could do about it. I would have to learn to live with it.
I eventually sought treatment from a psychiatrist who prescribed Valium for daily use. It worked, but it came with a host of side effects. Like other benzodiazepine medications, such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, it is very addictive, requiring higher doses over time. It also made me sluggish, dulled my thinking, and made my judgment unreliable.
Valium withdrawal can be very difficult. It can make the original symptoms worse than they were when medication was begun. This is the well-documented Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome.
Fortunately, I didn’t like how Valium made me feel. I stopped using it several times over the years. I never became truly addicted.
Meanwhile, I started studying, looking for another tinnitus treatment.
Finding Tinnitus Relief
I found several European studies showing that the herbal extract Ginkgo biloba reduced tinnits sound. The German Commission E, the equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration, studied ginkgo and recommended it for tinnitus relief and other conditions, such as memory problems and dementia. (2)
Furthermore, a systematic review of clinical studies on Ginkgo biloba for tinnitus was published in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment in 2011. It reported that Ginkgo consistently outperformed placebo in reducing tinnitus sound levels. (3)
I started with a high, twice-daily dosage of the best ginkgo I could find. After about ten weeks it started reducing my tinnitus, and I was able to completely stop using Valium.
I began working on what would eventually become Arches Tinnitus Formula®, which I’ve been using for the past 25 years with no reduction in effectiveness.
I can still hear my tinnitus, but it’s reduced by about two-thirds, and it no longer drives me to distraction. In fact, I seldom pay attention to it.
Creating Arches Tinnitus Formula®
Arches Tinnitus Formula® contains three primary ingredients; Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE), zinc picolinate and odor-controlled garlic. Here’s how these ingredients reduce tinnitus symptoms.
Ginkgo biloba extract is the most extensively studied herb in the world; over 400 published studies show its benefits. Its flavonoids, lactones and bilobalide are so complex and intertwined that it cannot be synthesized in the laboratory.
Ginkgo helps people with tinnitus in three major ways.
1 – Improved circulation, primarily in the microcapillaries that feed the brain, eyes and ears. It acts as a vasodilator, allowing capillaries to carry more blood. It also inhibits Platelet Aggregating Factor (PAF), which slows circulation by causing blood platelets to clump together.
Increased blood flow in the inner ear promotes the uptake of nutrients, primarily glucose and oxygen, speeding the healing process and protecting delicate hair cells.
2 – Antioxidant activity. Normal metabolism produces free radicals when oxygen is burned for fuel. They are also produced in disease states and in response to environmental pollution and toxins. Free radicals are a leading cause of age-related disease, including many types of cancer. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and preserve tissues from their damaging effects.
During noise exposure, free radicals are produced in large quantities within the cochlea. This damages hair cells and also neurons in the auditory nerve leading to the brain. The antioxidant activities of ginkgo protect hair and nerve cells from noise damage and promote healing of damaged cells.
3 – Glutamate antagonism and neuroprotection may be the primary reason ginkgo is helpful for tinnitus. Glutamate in an excitatory neurotransmitter which facilitates the transfer of chemical information across synapses (spaces) between neurons and neuron receptors in the cochlea and the auditory nerve. When hearing loss occurs and hair cells are damaged, they produce excess glutamate, which overwhelms the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA and overexcites the neurons in the auditory system. The neurons then fire across the synapses until they become chemically depleted and die. This process is known as glutamate neurotoxicity. It is responsible for many neurological conditions, including tinnitus.
Bilobalide, one of the constituents of Ginkgo biloba extract, is potently therapeutic in disorders such as tinnitus. It is a powerful glutamate antagonist and neuroprotector. It also inhibits GABA uptake, keeping more of it in the system, which reduces the effect of increased glutamate.
Nutritionists consider zinc picolinate to be the most important mineral supplement. Zinc is often lacking in the diet but is essential for normal immune function. It is also a powerful antioxidant.
A clinical study on zinc and tinnitus was published in Otology and Neurotology in 2003. Patients were treated with 50 mg of zinc daily for a period of three months. At the end of treatment 82% of tinnitus patients reported their tinnitus had improved by an average of 45%. (4)
Zinc comes in many forms, with differing degrees of bioavailability. The zinc oxide in many less expensive multivitamins has an absorption rate of about 35%. Arches Tinnitus Formula® uses zinc picolinate, which has an absorption rate of approximately 90%.
Garlic has been used for centuries to improve blood circulation. More recently it has been found to reduce plaque build-up on the walls of blood vessels, prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and lower lipid (fat) levels in the blood. All of these lead to healthier arteries and improved blood flow to the cochlea.
Not all Ginkgo Products are Alike
Ginkgo biloba extract is very popular, but expensive to manufacture. Many retail outlets are more concerned with price than effectiveness, so they order the least expensive raw material they can find. Worse, some unscrupulous manufacturers adulterate ginkgo with cheaper constituents that are not effective but are designed to fool standard testing measures.
ConsumerLabs tested a large number of over-the-counter ginkgo products and found that more than 77% of them “lacked adequate levels of one or more important compounds expected of clinically effective ginkgo.” Most important, 67% of them contained less than one-fifth of the expected amount of bilobalide, the most important component for reducing glutamate toxicity and promoting neuroprotection. Among other things, this explains why our customers who try other retail products for a while inevitably return to us.
Development of Ginkgo Max 26/7®
The German Commission E says Ginkgo biloba extract should contain a minimum of 24% ginkgo flavone glycosides, 6% terpene lactones and 2.6% Bilobalide. Few products on the US market meet these minimums; some contain only 0.5% Bilobalide.
In 2013, to help people with tinnitus, we at Arches decided to produce a ginkgo extract that exceeded these standards. We found a US raw material supplier who could provide a product with a minimum of 26% ginkgo flavone glycosides, 7% terpene lactones and a minimum of 3.5% Bilobalide, a full 40% increase over the Bilobalide in the 24/6 specification.
The standardized ginkgo extract requires 50 pounds of raw ginkgo to make one pound of extract. To reach our higher standard, we have to use 60 pounds of ginkgo to make one pound of extract. This makes our more effective product more expensive too, but we are able to absorb much of this cost by selling directly to the consumer.
A Certificate of Analysis on Ginkgo Max 26/7 is available for this more effective and highly concentrated product.
In 2015 the US Patent and Trademark Office granted us a trademark on Ginkgo Max 26/7®. It is the highest-quality ginkgo extract in the world, and it’s the only ginkgo we use in Arches Tinnitus Formula.
Arches Tinnitus Formula® with Ginkgo Max 26.7® for Tinnitus Relief
Several diseases can cause tinnitus, including TMJ dysfunction, hypothyroid conditions, MS and others. For some of these cases, Arches Tinnitus Formula may not be helpful. But 80% to 90% of tinnitus cases are caused by hearing loss and noise exposure, and for these, Arches Tinnitus Formula can be highly effective. Darius Kohan, MD, a highly-regarded Manhattan Ear, Nose & Throat physician, states that, when isolating for this condition, Arches is effective in reducing tinnitus sound levels in 75% to 80% of his patients.
As with all dietary supplements taken for specific conditions, it can take up to three months (4 bottles) to get the full benefit of Arches. We recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply. This kit provides a discount on the single bottle price and avoids the possibility of running out during the critical initial period.
Start using Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit now to reduce annoying tinnitus sounds.
Feel better and sleep better.
Take back your life.
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1 – Data derived from the 2011 – 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2 – The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicine. Published July 19, 1994. American Botanical Council, Boston, MA. Edited by Mark Blumenthal.
3 – Alexander von Boetticher, Ginkgo biloba extract in the treatment of tinnitus: a systematic review. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2011; 7: 441-447.
4 – Arda, HN. Et.al. The role of zinc in the treatment of tinnitus. Otol Neurotol 2003 Jan;24(1):86-89.