By Barry Keate
Editor’s Note: This is third in a series of articles reviewing products for tinnitus that exist in an ever confusing and competitive marketplace and how they compare with Arches Tinnitus Formulas. The complete series can be seen in our Tinnitus Research Library under Arches vs. The Competition.
Several e-book downloads can be found on the Internet, claiming to have a “cure” for tinnitus. These books typically cost a little under $40.00 and a customer can download them after payment. By far the largest of these (in pages) is Tinnitus Miracle by Thomas Coleman followed by Tinnitus Remedy by Ian McCall.
Both e-books claim to offer new information that has been withheld by doctors and the big pharmaceutical companies and they will guarantee a cure or a drastic reduction in tinnitus in a very short period of time. We will examine both e-books and contrast and compare with Arches Tinnitus Formulas.
Tinnitus Miracle (an E-Book for Tinnitus)
The download is a 340-page tome on hearing and tinnitus, which costs $37.00 to access. Coleman claims a cure for tinnitus, something roundly denied by any researcher or physician knowledgeable in the field. There simply is no cure for tinnitus caused by noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), the most common form.
The word “cure” means to completely heal a disease or condition. While there is no “cure” for tinnitus, there are legitimate, clinically proven treatments, which will be discussed later.
In addition, a smaller percentage of people may have tinnitus due to a medical condition that can be treated such as TMJ disorder. Treating the underlying condition may improve or cure the tinnitus. However, the American Tinnitus Association states that 70% of tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, which damages the hair cells in the cochlea and the neurons in the auditory cortex in the brain. There is no cure for this type of nerve damage.
This e-book reveals nothing new nor any special information being “withheld” by the medical community. It is a hodge-podge of information freely found on many websites including Arches Tinnitus Research Library.
There is some good information here, just nothing new or original. Coleman is very wordy and spends 50 pages discussing how the ear and vestibular system works. He then goes on for another 30 pages describing tinnitus and its various causes. He delves into conventional treatments, employs 20 case studies and discusses tinnitus and emotions. In this way he uses up over 130 pages before he gets to what he describes as his “5-step holistic approach to curing tinnitus.”
Step 1 is a combination of eating a healthy diet, taking herbs and vitamins, and getting exercise. They are all are pretty good ideas, however nothing groundbreaking or new. Mr. Coleman discusses Ginkgo biloba and B vitamins and also throws in a number of homeopathic products.
We discussed homeopathy in a previous article where we learned that it has no scientific basis to support its claims; its axioms are contradicted by scientific facts; and the proposed mechanisms of action are physically and scientifically impossible.
Eating a healthy diet is a very important part of reducing tinnitus, as can be seen in our article, Diet and Tinnitus.
Herbs and vitamins can be very helpful for tinnitus. Pharmaceutical quality Ginkgo biloba and zinc are the basis of Arches Tinnitus Formula® and Arches Tinnitus Stress Formula® is based on high-potency B-Complex vitamins.
Step 2 is a lengthy analysis of the immune system and how to improve it. While this may be helpful for some people with disease conditions, it will do nothing for those with tinnitus caused by noise-induced hearing loss.
Step 3 is a 40-page discussion of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), which has been used by clinicians since the late 1980s. It was developed by Pawel Jastreboff, PhD. TRT has had its successes but is not practiced very often today. The problem lies in its intensive counseling, requiring extensive time with clinicians, and the cost, which can reach $5,000, including sound generators. It can take up to two years to become effective and it does not cure tinnitus nor does it claim to.
Step 4 is about detoxifying and cleansing the bowels, liver and kidneys. There is a lot of information about cleansing diets, high colonics and juice cleanses. There is even a Tinnitus Miracle-Three Day Juice Cleanse program.
As in step 2, cleansing diets may be of value for certain individuals and their overall health, but it is not a cure for tinnitus caused by noise-induced hearing loss and damage to the auditory neurons.
Step 5 concerns the use of hypnotherapy for reducing tinnitus. This is something that Arches has advocated for years. Charles Smithdeal is an ENT physician and a certified hypnotherapist. He was a guest author for an Arches newsletter article on the Hypnotherapy and Tinnitus.
Tinnitus Miracle provides a compendium of well-known ideas, some of which can be helpful, but certainly offers no "cure" for tinnitus.
Tinnitus Remedy (E-Book for Tinnitus)
Tinnitus Remedy by Ian McCall is a much smaller e-book than Tinnitus Miracle. It is 24 pages long but costs the same amount, $37.00, for the download.
The subtitle of this download is “Stop the Ringing Forever” which is total hyperbole.
McCall states that his three-step strategy is “grounded in a healthy lifestyle, including meditation, healthy diet, and regular exercise”. This is all well and good and sounds very familiar. Arches has advocated incorporating a healthy lifestyle in tandem with our products; but alone it is unlikely they will “stop the ringing forever.”
McCall goes through some of the same steps as Coleman, describing tinnitus and discussing the various causes. He lists what to do and what not to do to prevent hearing loss and tinnitus.
McCall lists some typical treatment options. Under prescription drugs he suggests antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, both of which we discourage due to their addictive qualities and severe side effects, including causing tinnitus. He lists hearing aids, which can be helpful for some people with tinnitus, especially those with low frequency tinnitus. He writes quite a bit about relaxation techniques, which can also be helpful.
Under Herbal and Dietary Supplements that may be used, he lists Ginkgo biloba and B-Vitamins, both of which are the foundations of Arches Tinnitus Formulas.
Under Homeopathic Treatment Options that may be used, McCall lists eight homeopathic products. As discussed above, homeopathy has been scientifically shown to have no value.
In the conclusion to this download, McCall lists his personal Three-Step Homeopathic Strategy as using Coffee Crudea, Ginkgo biloba and black cohosh. He obviously confuses homeopathy with herbalism as coffee crudea is homeopathic but Ginkgo biloba and Black cohosh are both herbal in nature.
Coffe Crudea is homeopathic and therefore scientifically ineffective for tinnitus. Black cohosh was originally used by Native Americans as a popular treatment for menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome. It has also been used for anxiety, which may describe how it could be helpful for some people with tinnitus.
Ginkgo biloba is the only clinically proven treatment for tinnitus in this whole treatise. McCall offers no discussion of quality or dosage.
Arches Tinnitus Formula for Tinnitus Treatment
This discussion will be very similar to the previous articles in this series, Lipo-Flavonoid and homeopathy. A large number of clinical studies show, beyond a doubt, that high quality Ginkgo biloba is effective in treating tinnitus for most people.
Norbert Holstein, MD, conducted an overview of 19 clinical studies, all using standardized Ginkgo biloba, which showed it to be very effective for most people. (1) He recommended people start as soon as possible after onset because some studies showed a better outcome than beginning many years after onset. However, I didn’t start using ginkgo until about 20 years after I developed tinnitus and it still brought my tinnitus down by about 2/3.
There are also clinical studies showing zinc to be effective in reducing tinnitus. Zinc is another primary component of Arches Tinnitus Formula. A complete discussion of Arches Tinnitus Formula and the science behind the product can be seen in our library.
What You Need to Know About Ginkgo for Tinnitus
Ginkgo biloba is a very expensive material. Most ginkgo products sold in the US do not contain the mandated specifications for standardized ginkgo. Manufacturers have found ways to fool traditional instruments used to analyze herbal compounds. They have found components that look like ginkgo to a High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analyzer, the standard instrument to analyze herbal supplements, but which are fraudulently introduced and totally ineffective.
Consumer Labs conducted a detailed analysis of many retail brands of ginkgo and found that 77% do not contain adequate levels of one or more compounds expected of clinically effective ginkgo. Particularly, levels of Bilobalide were found to be only 20% of the required amount. Bilobalide is responsible for neuroprotection and glutamate antagonism and is one of the primary components in ginkgo effective for reducing tinnitus. This is the reason many people who purchase over-the-counter ginkgo do not have success in controlling tinnitus.
After several years of research Arches has developed a new, higher concentration Ginkgo biloba extract created specifically for people with tinnitus. We have trademarked this product Ginkgo Max 26/7® to differentiate it from the standardized 24/6 extract. This designation refers to the two largest components in ginkgo, the glycosides and lactones. Glycosides are responsible for antioxidant activity while the lactones increase blood flow in the small capillaries that supply the eyes, ears and brain.
Perhaps most important is the increase in Bilobalide. The standardized extract is required to have 2.6% Bilobalide, but most products contain about 0.5% according to Consumer Labs. Ginkgo Max 26/7® guarantees a minimum of 3.6% bilobalide, a 40% increase over the requirements of standardized ginkgo and a whopping 360% increase over most over-the-counter brands of ginkgo. This is what makes Ginkgo Max 26/7® so much more effective than regular Ginkgo biloba.
When it comes to making a decision about what is helpful for your tinnitus, we recommend you follow the science and base your decision on published clinical studies and products with superior quality.
Superior Ingredients Produce Superior Results™
1 – Holstein, N. “Ginkgo special extract EGb 761 in tinnitus therapy: An overview of results of completed clinical trials.” Fortschr Med, 2001 Jan 11;118(4):157-64.