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Wednesday
Aug012012

Increased Botox Longevity With A Zinc Supplement

Botox & Zinc? Does Zinc make Botox last longer?

An American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery news brief has reported that a Houston oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Charles Soparkar, has come up with a way to make Botox (and presumably all botulinum toxin neuromodulators) more effective and last longer. In a modified double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot study and a subsequently completed formal study, the duration of effect was increased by 30% in over 90% of the patients studied. The study included both cosmetic and medical indications (blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm).

The theory goes like this: Botulinim toxin is very dependent upon zinc for effectiveness. Unfortunately, 50% of the US population is zinc deficient. Apparently, dietary zinc can be poorly absorbed due to binding elements found in many foods called phytates. Dr. Soparkar’s group posited that adding zinc to the diet of patients having a weak response or short duration of effect to botulinum toxin may be beneficial. Additionally, a phytate munching phytase enzyme was added to increase zinc bioavailability.

The result is a prescription medication called Zytaze. Each capsule contains 25mg of highly bioavailable zinc citrate and 1500 mg of Phytase. Patients take 2 caps daily for four days prior to AND on the day of injection. The drug is supplied in a 10 cap pack and cost $60 - $80. The result has been less frequent and decreased amounts of toxin needed and potential patient savings. (However, does the cost of the drug nullify these advantages?) This is great news for patients and a potential niche offering in the commoditized botulinum marketplace. Maybe not so great for practices depending on a high turnover of renewable products and services. 

Who else has experience with Zytaze?  

Reader Comments (7)

I actually find this very interesting and would love to hear from anyone who might be trying it. As for myself, I can't see that the extra trouble and cost would be of any benefit as a 'business' move since it probably wouldn't generate any additional revenue for my clinic nor would the cost savings offset the actual Botox treatment for the patient. Has anyone tried this or any other 'Botox supplement'?

08.2 | Unregistered CommenterMoody DO

I need to dig in my memory but the first report on Zinc supplementation and longevity of botulinum toxin appeared around 2009. If I recall correctly there was no specific form of Zinc salt recommended other then commercially available supplement.
Perhaps someone remembers that report...

I tried Zytase on a few patients and did not see much of a difference. I actually gave it to them for free because I could not justify charging them for it unless I personally saw increased longevity. In the end, I decided it would not be good for my practice. I just recommend that they take over the counter Zicam for a few days before their treatment. Some patients reported increased longevity, but this could be placebo effect.

I'm wondering since phytates also decrease the absorption of other minerals--such as calcium from spinach--are there other indications to give Phytase? Does anyone have experience/recommendations for Phytase?

I posted a question about this on the LinkedIn Botox forum after the study was published and got no responses. If it does work, I am wondering, on the one hand, why we would be enthusiastic in promoting it as it means less repeat visits but, on the other hand, if it actually worked it would be useful to try on our patients who are non or minimal responders.
The paper emphasised that the effect required both ZInc and Phytase not just Zinc. I found it perhaps unusual that the lead author was awaiting a patent for his commercially available Zytase?!

Where can i see the actual study?

I have cervical dystonia and have been receiving botox injections for the last 4 years. I was finding my botox was declining in effect after about a month and a half and had to wait until the three month mark after the injections to receive the injections again. I read about the necessity of zinc for the effectiveness and longevity of botox. I tried taking a chelated form of zinc (50 mg once or twice a day) for several days before and after my injections. I will now never go back to getting botox without the zinc. Since the first time i tried the zinc, and ever since, I have been able to go 3 and a half month before my next set of injections. I felt i needed to respond to this as i also was diagnosed with celiac disease and probably had a zinc deficiency. I feel there may be many people with slight to moderate deficiencies who this may help. I take the zinc first thing in the am or on an empty stomach so there is no need to worry about phytates that may interfere with absorption.

06.21 | Unregistered CommenterJen RN

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