Lipoflavonoid® caplets are marketed as a proprietary nutritional supplement formulated to ease symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease. The formula is the creation of DSE Healthcare Solutions, which has distributed the product under the name Lipoflavonoid® since 1961 and manufactured by its subsidy, Numark Laboratories. Classified as a dietary supplement, Lipoflavonoid® caplets are available without a prescription and can be found in most pharmacies and in some supermarkets in the U.S.
The reason that Lipoflavonoid® caplets can be sold as a dietary supplement is due to the fact that the product’s formula is void of any synthetic drugs or other regulated pharmaceuticals. In fact, the product contains only natural ingredients. The active constituent is eriodictyol glycoside, which is a bioflavonoid derived from citrus fruits, particularly lemon. Other ingredients touted to provide nutritional support include vitamin C, inositol, and pantothenate. However, the majority of the formula is composed of complex B vitamins, namely riboflavin, cyanocobalamin, thiamine, and niacinamide.
One of the primary characteristics of Meniere’s disease is a ringing sound in one or both ears, a symptom otherwise known as tinnitus. This occurs when the stereocilia, the minute hair cells of the inner ear, vibrate excessively in response to certain environmental changes, such as an accumulation of fluid. Tinnitus may also occur for a variety of other reasons, but in conjunction with Meniere’s disease it is usually accompanied by vertigo and a loss of the ability to hear low-frequency sounds. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved Lipoflavonoid® caplets as a treatment for Meniere’s disease or tinnitus, there are studies that support the efficacy of the ingredients found in the product in reducing these symptoms.
Most of these studies have focused on the effects of lemon bioflavonoid, or eriodictyol glycosidase. It appears that this agent inhibits histidine decarboxylase, a compound that contributes to histamine production in endothelial cells. One of the earliest studies involved 197 subjects with hearing loss initiated by different causes, including Meniere’s disease. After supplementation with eriodictyol glycosidase, 36.9% of the treatment group reported relief from vertigo, but no improvement in hearing. However, 41% of the group experienced improvement in both areas.
A larger study involving more than 1,200 subjects evaluated the effects of eriodictyol glycosidase therapy in combination with a daily multivitamin, which resulted in 40% of the treatment group reporting a marked improvement in hearing. Subsequent studies have found that vitamin B12 complex complimented by eriodictyol glycosidase supplementation have produced similar results. Another fact that lends support to the benefit of supplementing with these compounds is that tinnitus has been independently linked to a deficiency in vitamin B-12.