Sulfite intolerance: A cause of tinnitus?
Received 8 May 2008;
revised 3 June 2008;
accepted 11 June 2008.
Available online 26 September 2008.
AbstractTinnitus is a common disorder characterized by a ringing or buzzing in the ear, and is poorly understood. Recent studies have linked tinnitus with impairment of the nucleus accumbens, an area of the brain responsible for filtering sensory information.
It is hypothesized that in individuals with sulfite intolerance, elevated serum sulfite levels inhibit enzymes related to the synthesis or activation of neurotransmitters active in the nucleus accumbens, resulting in tinnitus.
Avoidance of sulfites in food and drugs may potentially bring relief to sulfite intolerant patients experiencing tinnitus, hyperacusis or other illnesses associated with decreased dopaminergic or serotonergic activity.
Keywords: Sulfite; Tinnitus; Hyperacusis; Nucleus accumbens; Sulfite oxidase; Dopamine; Serotonin; Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease; Depression; Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Autism; Thyroid; Hypothyroidism; Aggressive behavior