Mitsuhiro Aoki1,2*, Hiroshi Okuda1, Natsuko Obara1
1 Department of Otolaryngology, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan
2 Department of Otolaryngology, Center for dizziness and hearing loss, Ogaki Tokushukai Hospital, Japan
*Corresponding author: Mitsuhiro Aoki, Mitsuhiro Aoki, MD, Ph.D., 6-85-1 Hayashi-machi, Ogaki City, 503-0015 Gifu, Japan; Email: [email protected]
Citation: Aoki M, et al. (2022). Improvement of Self-Perceived Tinnitus and Speech Discrimination in Noise by Lyophilized Powder of Enzymolyzed Honeybee (Apis melifera) Larvae in Older Adults with Age-Related Hearing Loss: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Study. Traditional Medicine. 3(2):11.
Received Date: Aug 30, 2022
Published Date: Sep 19, 2022
Copyright: Aoki M© (2022).
Background: Tinnitus troubles many older adults accompanying an increased threshold of high-frequency hearing, and most older adults struggle to understand conversations in noise. Objectives: An exciting power of honeybee products has been reported as alternative medicine. We also previously reported that lyophilized powder of enzymolyzed honeybee (Apis melifera) larvae may have a therapeutic effect on hearing loss or tinnitus. Methods: Fifty-eight older adults with age-related hearing loss were recruited from nearby Japan regions through online advertisements. Participants were randomized (1:1) to either honeybee (Apis melifera) larvae or placebo interventions for 12 weeks for a double-blind placebo-controlled, randomized study. The outcome was evaluated with pure-tone hearing levels, a visual analog scale (VAS) to rate tinnitus severity, and speech discrimination in quiet and noisy conditions. The effects of the honeybee (Apis melifera) larvae on the neurosteroid related to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS)) and inflammatory cytokines (IL-2R, IL-6 and TNFα) were also estimated. Results: The honeybee (Apis melifera) larvae significantly improved the speech discrimination in noise and reduced the VAS of tinnitus loudness despite showing no effects on the hearing level and speech discrimination in quiet conditions. The intervention of the honeybee (Apis melifera) larvae was related to the reduction of the cortisol/DHEAS ratio. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the honeybee (Apis melifera) larvae have the potential to improve impaired speech discrimination in noise and self-perceived tinnitus for older adults with age-related hearing loss by modulating the endocrine pathways of the HPA system associated with auditory cognitive function-related centers.
Keywords: honeybee (Apis melifera) larvae; age-related hearing loss; tinnitus; dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate; speech discrimination