Effect of Lyophilized Powder Made From Enzymolyzed Honeybee Larvae on Tinnitus-Related Symptoms, Hearing Levels, and Hypothalamus—Pituitary—Adrenal Axis-Related Hormones
Ear & Hearing, May/June 2012 - Volume 33 - Issue 3 - p 430–436
Objectives: Tinnitus interferes with sleep and concentration which is associated with depression; however, no drug has been effective in treating tinnitus. Our purpose is to evaluate our hypothesis that the treatment with lyophilized powder of enzymolyzed honeybee larvae as a complementary medicine may provide a therapeutic effect on tinnitus-related symptoms.
Design: Sixty tinnitus sufferers participated in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial using the lyophilized powder of enzymolyzed honeybee larvae or a placebo. The Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, a visual analog scale to rate the severity of tinnitus, hearing levels, and hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis-related hormones drawn early in the morning were measured upon entry into the study and after 12 wk of follow-up.
Results: The lyophilized powder of enzymolyzed honeybee larvae was not superior to placebo with regard to the total score on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and the visual analog scale. However, subjects in the honeybee larvae group showed significant improvements in some items about depression associated with tinnitus, whereas subjects in the placebo group showed no improvement in any items. The honeybee larvae group showed significant improvements in the hearing levels at 2 and 4 kHz in the audiogram of the better ear. The intervention of the lyophilized powder of enzymolyzed honeybee larvae was associated with lower serum cortisol levels, serum prolactin levels, and cortisol/dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate ratios. The ratios in the placebo group significantly were increased.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that the lyophilized powder of enzymolyzed honeybee larvae represents an effective complementary medicine to alleviate depression associated with tinnitus by regulating the activity of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis.