Botulinum toxins represent a family of some of the most potent naturally occurring toxins in the world, and because of their ability to inhibit muscle contractions, these toxins have been widely used in the treatment of various involuntary movement disorders and cosmetic procedures. However, to be effective, each toxin molecule must be associated with a molecule of zinc. Without zinc, the otherwise powerful botulinum toxins have little or no effect.
Botulinum toxins are made by bacteria in a laboratory, collected, purified, and then processed into a fine, dry powder. Oddly enough, if zinc is added to the toxin during processing, the toxin’s potency is greatly diminished. To be effective, botulinum toxins must find and bind zinc in human tissues after being injected. If a person has inadequate amounts of zinc in their tissues, then the botulinum toxin will have a significantly decreased effect.
Zinc levels are increased by eating zinc, and although numerous foods such as poultry, beef, pork, eggs, whole grains, beans, and legumes are relatively rich in zinc, various of these as well as other foods simultaneously block zinc absorption. Zinc supplements found in local natural food, or vitamin stores are an alternative resource, but some forms of zinc are much better absorbed than others, and taking a poorly absorbed form of zinc can compete for absorption with better zinc available through foods, which can be worse than taking no zinc at all.
There are a number of reasons why zinc absorption might be inhibited. Blocked absorption is one, and perhaps the biggest culprits responsible are phytates, a group of phosphate-containing compounds that tightly bind zinc in the intestinal track and prevent zinc absorption. As little as 0.26 grams of phytate will inhibit the absorption of 50 mg of pure zinc. Phytates are found in whole grain breads, whole-wheat products, various cereals, soy, oats, legumes (including peas, peanuts, and peanut butter), beans, corn, nuts, and rice. Unfortunately, various of the foods rich in zinc also contain phytates, so it can be very difficult to increase and monitor zinc levels through diet alone.
ZYTAZE® is specially formulated with a unique patent-pending combination of highly bioavailable, organic zinc along with phytase (an enzyme that effectively breaks down phytates) to maximize zinc absorption, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of botulinum toxin injections.