There's been a bit of a buzz lately about this - Zytaze (www.zytaze.com)- a supplement to boost the effects of Botox.
ZYTAZE® is licensed to OCuSOFT, Inc., an ophthalmic company.
It has been noted by many medics over the years since we have been using botulinum toxin for both medical and cosmetic indications that some patients simply don’t achieve the responses to the drug that others can, leading to increased dose requirements and more frequent treatments, particularly in older patients. It was from this observation that researchers started to look at the zinc levels of patients and consider the concept of supplementation.
Each capsule of the patent pending ZYTAZE supplement contains 25mg of zinc citrate and 1500mg of phytase as the primary active ingredients. Phytase is an enzyme which effectively breaks down phytates which are a group of compounds found in certain foods such as whole grain breads, whole wheat cereals, beans, corns, nuts, rice and other foods such as peas and peanuts many of which are zinc-rich as well. Phytates prevent zinc absorption by the body by tightly binding themselves with any zinc they find in the intestinal tract. By introducing an enzyme which destroys any phytates, it’s expected that zinc absorption would no longer be impaired and the maximum zinc levels could be achieved.
A recent, modified double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot study * of 44 patients (average age of 65 years, with 75% women) conducted by researchers at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, lead by Oculoplastic Surgeon Dr. Charles Soparkar (he developed the supplement), used ZYTAZE to increase zinc levels for 4 days before botulinum toxin injections in the treatment of blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm (4 patients) and cosmetic procedures for wrinkles (10 patients).
2 patients were treated with Myobloc® (Neurobloc®) for blepharospasm, 3 were treated with Dysport® for cosmetic indications and the remaining 39 were treated with Botox® for various indications.
Patients were given one of following for 4 days before their botulinum toxin treatment; either a lactulose placebo, 10mg zinc gluconate or 50mg zinc citrate and 3,000mg of phytase (the ZYTAZE® supplement). Patients were then asked to keep a daily log of their self-perceived toxin effect, and the degree of effect was then rated on a scale and compared with their pre-study experience. The duration of effect was recorded as a ratio of their usual effect duration, i.e. compared to established treatment intervals before they participated in the trial. This is a very subjective way of recording results, and the study sample is so small. I don't think there is enough clinical data to really prove anything.
The patient-specific change in the duration of the botulinum toxin effect (irrespective of the individual brand used) was compared. When given ZYTAZE a 23.6% change in the duration of action was observed which surprised the researchers, who as yet are unsure of exactly the precise method of action of the zinc supplementation.
They concluded that this study suggests that using ZYTAZE may lead to fewer botulinum toxin injections at a lower dose and with less treatment-to-treatment variability in effect.
The findings are currently under review.