Omega-3 fatty acids: a promising possible treatment for Meniere's disease and other inner ear disorders of unknown origin?

Med Hypotheses. 2012 Oct;79(4):468-70. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.06.024. Epub 2012 Jul 15.


A consolidated therapy for "idiopathic" acute disorders of the inner ear, including Meniere's Disease (MD), does not exist despite the long-lasting and widespread attempts: this lack is strictly linked to pathogenic uncertainties. According to the theoretical model that our group developed and tested over the years, a possible cause of labyrinthine damage could be identified in systemic hemodynamic changes followed by an abnormal peripheral vasoconstriction: the latter could be responsible for a more or less prolonged ischemia able to threaten a highly energy-requiring and complicated organ as the inner ear. A possible way to treat MD attacks - as well as other inner ear disorders that possibly share the same origin - according to our model should be addressed to modulate the peripheral circulation and to maintain the balance of ion exchange, acting both on systemic hemodynamics and on cell and organelle membranes. Despite the absence of such a proposal in the English literature, a reliable solution could derive from the supplementation of the intake of a nutritional principle as Omega-3 (omega-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that seem to theoretically fulfil all the requirements necessary to achieve a homeostasis of the inner ear.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Labyrinth Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Labyrinth Diseases / etiology
  • Labyrinth Diseases / physiopathology
  • Meniere Disease / drug therapy*
  • Meniere Disease / etiology
  • Meniere Disease / physiopathology
  • Models, Biological


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3