If Dr. Halaas has placed Botox injections to ease the lines of expression on your face, then she has also told you that the effects of these injections are not permanent.
Botox is a neurotoxin that disrupts normal nerve function. Injecting very small quantities into the muscles that help us form smiles, frowns, raised eyebrows, and squinty stares temporarily weakens those muscles, easing the lines that form on the brow, and around the mouth, nose, and eyes.
These beneficial effects last only three or four months, however, after which time additional treatment is required to maintain your gains.
Researchers have discovered that the zinc supplement Zytaze (zinc combined with phytase) can help extend those effects by as much as 30%.
“Zinc is thought to be necessary to help Botox realize its neurotoxic effects,” explains Dr. Halaas, “and the enzyme phytase reduces the amount of time it takes zinc to break down in the body so it can fulfill this purpose. This combination seems to provide an effective ‘boost’ to the benefits achieved with Botox alone.”
If you plan to try it, you’ll need to take two Zytaze pills a day for five days before your Botox injection. You’ll need to weigh the cost of these zinc supplements (plain zinc supplements from the health food store do not deliver the same results; you need zinc coupled with phytase) against the savings of needing fewer Botox treatments.
“A healthy diet that supplies the body with unprocessed foods and enough zinc to ensure proper digestion may be enough to have the same effect,” adds Dr. Halaas. Oysters are the richest source of zinc, delivering 493% of the daily-recommended value per 3-oz. serving. Chuck roast is a distant second, providing 47% of DV per 3-oz. serving. Next comes Alaskan king crab, and a 3-oz beef patty (broiled), providing 43% and 35% DV, respectively.
Other foods that provide zinc, but in much lower concentrations, include dark chocolate Napa cabbage, hearts of palm, shiitake mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, chickpeas, green peas, baked beans, dark meat chicken, cashews, Swiss cheese, low fat or skim milk, and almonds.
Talk to Dr. Halaas about your interest in extending the beneficial effects of your Botox treatments with zinc.