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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - October 2006

Do you have questions about tinnitus, our products or specific treatments? Ask Barry. Arches President Barry Keate will select the most representative questions each month publication. Regardless all questions will receive a personal reply from Barry.

ASK BARRY Tinnitus expert, Barry Keate, answers your questions about Tinnitus Send your question to:  Ask Barry

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NOTE: Ask Barry is pleased to be able to answer your questions based upon the information we have available. Our answers to your email inquiries are not substitutes for a physician's advice nor are they reviewed by a physician. If you are under a physician's care, please share with your doctor any suggestions you have received from Ask Barry

This Month's Questions:

Glutathione Gambit?

HI Barry, Lifewave from Atlanta, GA has introduced a new science that increases Glutathione levels in the body up to three times normal. Together with your nutrients, do you feel that this also may help in ameliorating hearing loss? I appreciate your input.


Dear Marjorie, Thank you for your question and the attached clinical study; I believe it is very important. Glutathione Peroxidase is the body’s primary anti-oxidant. As such, it is responsible for neutralizing toxins, slowing the aging process, protecting neuronal systems, improving the immune system and preserving good health. Glutathione is absolutely necessary in order to stay healthy and I am convinced that it can help with many neuro-degenerative conditions, including tinnitus and hearing loss.

However, I have some serious reservations about the supposed “clinical study” in the news release you sent. This study does not seem to have been published in any peer-reviewed scientific journal. If it had, the authors would have included the study’s citation and we could read the details of the study. This leads me to believe it is an in-house study conducted by the company using whatever controls the company determined would best show off their product. This gives the announcement little more credibility than a press release.

Secondly, it measured blood glutathione levels only. The glutathione molecule is very large and is not absorbed well by the cells and does not pass easily through the blood-brain barrier. Blood glutathione does not indicate how well it is being used by the body.

Thirdly, they compared their skin patch to people not taking any supplemental glutathione. I well designed study would compare the skin patch with other methods of administering glutathione to show it is a superior product, not simply show that using it increases glutathione levels.

Glutathione, as they mentioned, is a tri-peptide. They left out one of the most important parts, however. Glutathione is a selenium based enzyme and without selenium, the body cannot produce glutathione. It is far better to provide the body with the constituents of glutathione peroxidase and produce it in the brain and the cells where it is most needed. The constituents of glutathione are: cysteine, glutamine, tryptophan and selenium.

Selenium is deficient in most diets due to the gradual acidification of rain and soil and modern agricultural methods. Acidification locks minerals in the soil and inhibits plants’ ability to draw them out. Similarly, the widely prevalent use of chemical fertilizers also locks minerals in the soil. Because of these conditions, most Americans are deficient in many minerals including zinc and selenium.

In order to ensure proper glutathione at the cellular level, it is necessary to take the components and allow the body to form it where needed. I have been doing this for some time now. I take 1,000 mg N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), 1,000 mg L-Glutamine, 1,000 mg L-Tryptophan and 600 mcg (micrograms) Selenium daily. Dividing this in two equal doses, one in the AM and one in the PM, is helpful. The components are fairly inexpensive and easy to find in better health food stores.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

Dumping the diet drink

Hi Barry, I wanted to give you an update; I have been taking the Tinnitus Relief capsules for four months now and I have noticed positive results. I have read and used the information in your articles and totally refrained from Diet Coke and other products that utilize the same artificial sweeteners (I think it is aspartame) and adopted a more regimented light exercise program (brisk walks five days a week for 2.5 miles), changed my headache aspirin to Excedrin.

My doctor many years ago after determining that I had Meniere's Disease and tinnitus in my right ear recommended diuretics to be taken to help flush out any excess salts in my body. So for the past four months I have taken your tinnitus capsules and my diuretics three times a week. I can say that there has been a great reduction in the ringing sensation in my ear! I understand that I will always be dealing with the hearing loss in that ear but the reduction in the ringing symptoms is great. I will be due for another 4 month supply purchase soon but thought you would like to hear of my results so far.

Thanks, Jason

Dear Jason, This is wonderful news! Thank you for sharing it with us. You are correct; the villain in diet products is Aspartame which was listed by the FDA as a neuro-toxin before it was approved as a sugar substitute. You should continue to see further improvement in the months ahead.

For our readers: There is an article on the effects of aspartame in our Tinnitus Information Center

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

Vitamin toxic levels?

Hi Barry, I have Meniere's Disease in both ears and have been experiencing a louder roaring of tinnitus in my ears. I am currently on a ginkgo supplement along with magnesium, zinc, and calcium supplement. I was also told that vitamin A is good for treating tinnitus as well, is this true and how much would one take as to avoid toxic levels. I can’t stand the ringing anymore and it is interfering with my job and personal life. Everything sounds hollow as well as the ringing. I will try anything at this point.

Thanks Renee Royersford, PA

Dear Renee, You only have to worry about toxic levels with zinc and vitamin A. The others are not harmful in high dosages. The maximum amount of zinc should be 50 mg per day unless also taken with 2-3 mg of copper and 5-10 mg of manganese. Zinc competes with these minerals for absorption and can lead to a deficiency in them. Higher levels of zinc can be taken for up to three months, with copper and manganese, but should not be continued longer than that. Chronic zinc toxicity results in abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

A safe level of vitamin A is between 3,000 and 10,000 IU. Mega-doses of vitamin A can cause drowsiness, irritability, headache and vomiting. In extreme cases it can cause death. Chronic toxicity in older children and adults does not occur unless 100,000 IU is taken for several months.

I cannot comment on your Ginkgo biloba intake as I don’t know the brand or the dosage you are using. Pharmaceutical quality ginkgo can be very helpful for Meniere’s disease but most over-the-counter products lack in at least one component to ensure they are therapeutic. We published an article about Meniere’s disease and can be seen in our Tinnitus Information Center.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

NOTE: "Ask Barry" is pleased to be able to answer your questions based upon the information we have available. Our answers to your email inquiries are not substitutes for a physician's advice nor are they reviewed by a physician. If you are under a physician's care, please share with your doctor any suggestions you have received from Ask Barry.