By Barry Keate
Barry Keate, has lived with tinnitus over 40 years and has published 150+ research articles on numerous aspects of tinnitus. He is an expert on the condition and a well-known advocate for those with tinnitus.
When Arches Tinnitus Formula® was introduced in 1998, only one other company offered a product to reduce tinnitus symptoms. Then as now, Arches Tinnitus Formula was based on verifiable scientific research and employed ingredients shown in numerous clinical studies to be effective for tinnitus.
With the explosive growth of the Internet, numerous “tinnitus relief” companies have sprung up. Many make exaggerated claims, even offering “miracle” cures (there is no “cure” for tinnitus) and bogus money-back guarantees. In this confusing and growing landscape of tinnitus products, how does the savvy consumer know which product to choose?
Here are five things you need to know before purchasing any tinnitus-related product:
1 – Only consider supplements with scientifically proven results.
When choosing the right tinnitus product for you, remember to look for the science. When visiting a prospective product’s website look to see if they support their choice of ingredients with science-based evidence. Do they back-up their claims of efficacy with independent, placebo-based clinical studies? If they don’t, keep looking.
Arches Tinnitus Formula contains Ginkgo biloba extract, zinc picolinate and odor-controlled garlic. All these ingredients are effective in reducing tinnitus.
Ginkgo biloba is the most studied herb in the world, with over 400 clinical studies conducted on its various medicinal characteristics. Many studies have shown conclusively that it is effective in reducing tinnitus symptoms. One study, a systematic overview of other studies, included 19 clinical trials on ginkgo for tinnitus and involved nearly 4,000 study participants. Ginkgo proved effective for both acute and chronic tinnitus, but physicians were advised to start treatment as early as possible, because early treatment had better results.
Another systematic overview of 5 clinical trials using Ginkgo biloba for tinnitus concluded that Ginkgo biloba extract was helpful for most tinnitus sufferers who used it.
Zinc has been shown to be helpful for tinnitus. In the most recent study 82% of participants using 50 mg of zinc daily had improvement in tinnitus sound level. On a scale of 0 to 7, the average decrease was from 5.25 to 2.82, a significant reduction.
Garlic helps reduce plaque build-up in the artery leading to the cochlea, improving circulation and reducing tinnitus. One study showed garlic reduced hearing loss due to ototoxic medication, through increased circulation in the inner ear and antioxidant effects that countered the ototoxic medication.
Finally, a clinical study on the use of Arches Tinnitus Formula showed two-thirds of participants had a significant decrease in their tinnitus over a 90-day treatment period. The average decrease was 35%, with some achieving a decrease of over 50%.
No other tinnitus product on the market has this kind of scientific support.
2 – Only choose supplements that contain the highest-quality ingredients.
Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as to the quality of the ingredients used. In selecting a possible tinnitus product, the ancient Roman advice, caveat emptor, “let the buyer beware” has never been more true. It is important to see if a prospective tinnitus product provides a discussion and evidence regarding their choice and quality of their ingredients.
Ginkgo biloba is quite expensive and is one of the most adulterated herbs on the market. It takes about 50 lbs. of raw ginkgo to make 1 lb. of standardized ginkgo extract, meaning it is a 50:1 extract. According to ConsumerLabs.com, up to 70% of ginkgo is adulterated with phony and ineffective components or does not contain the amount advertised.
Some tinnitus products advertise a 4:1 ginkgo extract, which would be entirely ineffective for treating tinnitus. This comes from a very fast and inexpensive extraction process and is not at all suitable for medicinal purposes. Some other products don’t use an extract at all, but simply use the ground-up leaves – another ineffective treatment.
Arches Tinnitus Formula has developed a proprietary Ginkgo biloba extract, trademarked Ginkgo Max 26/7®. This extract contains a higher percentage of the active ingredients in Ginkgo biloba than the standardized 50:1 extracts and is much more effective for reducing tinnitus symptoms. It was developed specifically for people with tinnitus and is exclusive to Arches Tinnitus Formula.
Zinc also has many forms, some of which are more effective than others. Zinc oxide is used in many inexpensive multi-vitamins. It has very limited bioavailability; only about 5-10% of elemental zinc can be absorbed by the body.
When combined with an amino acid, zinc has much higher bioavailability. The body easily absorbs the amino acid, and the zinc is then separated. Among the amino acids used, picolinic acid has the highest absorption rate. Our zinc picolinate is a combination of elemental zinc and picolinic acid. It has an absorption rate approaching 60%.
3 – Only purchase products with a solid history of tinnitus relief.
Track record. Does a prospective tinnitus product (and company) have one? How long have they been in business? And do they provide a real street address and phone number?
Arches Tinnitus Formula has been on the market since 1998. During that time we have forged relationships with many Ear, Nose & Throat physicians and thousands of tinnitus sufferers. We have sold over a million bottles of Tinnitus Formula and have thousands of satisfied customers who continue to use our product on a regular basis.
We have developed trust among ear doctors, some of whom have publicly stated their support for the use of our products. One prominent Manhattan ear doctor claims that, among his patients who have tinnitus due to hearing loss – the most common cause – our product reduces the sound level in 75% to 80% of cases.
Many new products have entered the marketplace in recent years. Many of these companies will do anything they can to get market share and quick sales. For example, one way to rise in Amazon.com rankings is to get favorable product reviews from people who have previously purchased a product. This has led to a product review scam that is sweeping the Internet. Companies have sprung up that provide phony product reviews for a price. Some manufacturers offer customers free product or a reduced price in exchange for favorable reviews.
Amazon.com is now suing over 1,000 manufacturers and companies who offer paid reviews. Many think this is just the tip of the iceberg, and that there is much more fraud than anyone yet realizes.
So if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Wary customers should avoid products with unrealistically favorable reviews; they’re most likely fraudulent. Credible products from credible companies tend to have a mix of reviews, with plenty of good reviews and some bad ones. We believe Arches Tinnitus Formula to be the best tinnitus product on the market – but even we claim only 75% to 80% success with the most common type of tinnitus.
4 – Beware of money-back guarantees and “risk free” trial offers.
Some manufacturers promise money-back guarantees or risk-free trials. These should make buyers suspicious. There are two primary ways these offers work.
Not every company which offers a money-back guarantee is unreliable, but false guarantees have become so common that the Federal Trade Commission has specifically addressed the issue in the Code of Federal Regulations Handbook (§ 239.1). Often the customer never receives a promised refund.
Risk-free trial offers are another way shady marketers take advantage of consumers. A company may offer to send you a product for trial, with the understanding that you can send it back if you don’t like it. If you don’t return it within a specified time, the company will charge your credit card for the product and may also charge for more products each month thereafter. These traps are difficult to escape – and they already have your credit card information.
5 – Avoid products that claim a tinnitus “cure” or “miracle”.
A few people with tinnitus have it due to a medical condition other than hearing loss. These can include TMJ dysfunction, Eustachian tube dysfunction, hypothyroidism, ear infection, Muscular Sclerosis, and others. For these people, successful treatment of the underlying condition can reduce or even eliminate the tinnitus.
Most people with tinnitus, however, have it due to hearing loss. Estimates for overlapping hearing loss and tinnitus range from 70% to 90%. For these people, there is simply nothing that will cure their tinnitus. There is no miracle cure for hearing loss; therefore there is no miracle cure for hearing loss-induced tinnitus.
There are treatments which will reduce the noise level of tinnitus and manage the condition, so most people with it can live a more normal life. Among these treatments is Arches Tinnitus Formula. Other helpful therapies include yoga, biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and dietary modifications. None of these therapies will cure tinnitus, but they will allow for better management of the condition and a degree of peace and quiet for people with tinnitus.
The simple truth is this: marketers that claim tinnitus cures, miracle products, or medical breakthroughs “your doctor doesn’t want you to know about” are charlatans, out to get as much money as possible before they move onto the next scam.
The discerning consumer should be able to spot the fast-buck artists and avoid being taken in.
Finally, please remember: Superior Ingredients Produce Superior Results.®