Supplements enhance effectiveness of Botox

Taking a dietary supplement of organic zinc and the enzyme phytase four days before receiving botulinum toxin injections made the toxin more effective in 93% of patients tested in a recent study at Methodist Hospital in Houston.

Research by Charles Soparkar, M.D., Ph.D., has resulted in a patent-pending dietary supplement combining zinc and phytase (trademarked as Zytaze) to be available to patients as early as this month. Forty-one of the 44 patients who took the oral supplements prior to botulinum toxin injections showed improved results. Many of the patients in the study were being treated for a rare form of eyelid spasm called blepharospasm and had previously responded poorly to botulinum toxin injections.

Dr. Soparkar's research team will present the findings next month at the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery's meeting in Chicago.

In the modified double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot study, Dr. Soparkar's team compared the effectiveness of botulinum toxin injections (Botox, Myobloc, or Dysport) with either zinc citrate 50 mg plus phytase 3,000 PU, zinc gluconate 10 mg, or placebo supplementation in individuals being treated for blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, and cosmetic wrinkles. Duration of effect was compared to each participant's established prestudy treatment interval, and efficacy was participant-graded using participants' experience prior to study inclusion as a baseline. Descriptive statistical analysis determined mean duration and effect rating for each supplementation group, and 95% confidence intervals were calculated to determine statistical significance.

"Surprisingly, the results showed that in over 90% of the patients studied, the zinc/phytase combination resulted in a remarkable improved responsiveness to treatment of blepharospasm using the same amount of botulinum toxin as previously used," Dr. Soparkar said in a press release. "The toxins seemed to have greater effect and last longer. Potentially, this could mean using less toxin, offering patients financial savings, greater safety, and more consistent results."

Zutaze is licensed to OCuSOFT, a company dedicated to ophthalmic research, development, and patient care, and will be available as a prescription supplement.

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