Timothy C. Hain, MD
May 30, 2010
IndexPlease read our disclaimer.
Lipoflavenoids are a vitamin product distributed for treatment of Meniere's disease. It is more likely than not a placebo, but here we will review some of the data
This preparation mainly contains a mysterious substance (lemon bioflavenoids derived from lemons) and and vitamin C (300 mg). In addition to the two main ingrediants it includes choline, inositol, as well as tiny quantities of several other vitamins. We do not know of any reason why any of these ingrediants should affect Meniere's disease. According to the manufacturor, who quote Dr. Slattery (2007), it may affect "microcirculation". There is one uncontrolled study by Williams, quoted by Dr. Slattery and Fayad, that reported a "beneficial effect".
The first reference to this treatment was from a staff report prepared in 1952 from Williams and Hedgecock, in the Mayo clinic proceedings. This was an uncontrolled study in which these authors gave this preparation - -essentially a variant of vitamin C, to patients with Meniere's disease.
Williams and colleagues at the Mayo continued to publish similar papers in similarly unreferred journals (e.g. 1963)
Shaia and Sheehy published another ureferred and uncontroled article in 1975, suggesting it was useful for sudden hearing loss. They reported a "response" in 40% patients treated - the same as placebo responses.
Overall: There is presently no credible evidence that lipoflavonoids are effective for Meniere's disease. While the lack of evidence is not the same as evidence for lack of effect, still it seems imprudent to have high expectations for this treatment. We see no harm in this product. It seems unlikely that it is anything more than a placebo. We have encountered many patients who take this product for a few months. We have encountered very few who take it longer than this.