Study Shows that Zinc May Improve Botox Results
Zinc has a long list of therapeutic properties as both a dietary supplement and topical product. It has been known to help with the body’s immune system, with some evidence that it may even shorten the common cold. Topical zinc oxide preparations protect against sunburn and windburn, as well as diaper rash in babies. Recently, researchers have discovered yet another possible benefit of zinc. A recent study by Charles Soparker, MD. , suggests that zinc may actually increase the degree and duration of Botox injections.
Botox injections can last anywhere from 3-4 months in most people. However, the results can vary from one person to another and even from one treatment to another (in the same patient). There is no simple explanation, as many factors are involved. However, based on the study by Soparker, we now know that botulinum toxin requires a certain baseline zinc level in the body. In addition to this, we also know that there is a marginal zinc deficiency in most of the population. Every molecule of botulinum toxin must adhere to a molecule of zinc in order to be activated. Therefore, people with zinc deficiency may not have lasting results after injections.
The study was based around a product called Zytaste, which is a prescription dietary supplement combining zinc and phytase. Phytase is an enzyme that increases the body’s ability to absorb zinc. The product is manufactured by OCUSOFT and each prescription costs around $80, which includes a 5 day supply (a total of 10 pills). The theory is that by taking this product before neurotoxin injections (which includes Botox, Myobloc, Dysport and Xeomin), patients will see an increase in the degree and duration of the effects. The results of the study reveal that 92% of subjects who took the zinc and phytase combo, experienced a 30% average increase in duration effect. Additionally (and most importantly), 84% of the subjects said they noticed an overall improvement of the effects.
While we don’t plan on advising our patients to increase their zinc intake before Botox injections just yet, this evidence is definitely worthy of consideration when addressing issues of degree and duration. Also, please be advised that consuming too much zinc and phytase may result in gastrointestinal issues as well as deficiencies in other nutrients.