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Oral Supplements Enhance Effectiveness Of Botox Injections
(press release from Methodist Hospital, Houston)
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
percent of patients tested in a recent study at The Methodist Hospital in
Dr. Charles Soparkar's research 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 (Botox, Dysport, or
Myobloc®) 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.
Soparkar's research team will present the effect of dietary zinc supplementation
on botulinum toxin treatments at the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic &
Reconstructive Surgery's 41st Annual Fall Scientific Symposium on Oct. 14 in
"Surprisingly, the results showed that in over ninety percent 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," said Soparkar, M.D., Ph.D., an oculoplastic surgeon
at The Methodist Hospital. "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."
Physicians began using botulinum toxin for blepharospasm in the 1980s. Today,
Botox, the first FDA approved botulinum toxin, is commonly used for cosmetic
purposes as well as the treatment of many medical conditions.
ZYTAZE is licensed to OCuSOFT, Inc., a company dedicated to ophthalmic
research, development and patient care, and will be available as a prescription
This research is the result of an on-going collaboration between Methodist's
Department of Ophthalmology and Texas Children's Hospital's Division of Plastic
In a modified double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot
study, Soparkar's team compared the effectiveness of BTX 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 pre-study 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 percent
confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to determine statistical significance.
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