A new prescription drug called Zytaze has been proven to extend the effects of Botox by and average of 25 percent. But is it worth it? San Francisco plastic surgeon Roy Kim, MD does the geek research so that you don’t have to.
- How Long Does Botox Usually Last?
- How Does Zytaze Work?
- Is Zytaze Worth The Effort?
- Is Zytaze Worth the Money?
- How Long Does Botox Usually Last?
As you probably know, Botox and its lesser known competitor, Dysport, are forms of neurotoxins. These extremely popular injections temporarily weaken the muscles that cause wrinkles in your face. The effects of Botox and Dysport typically last 3-4 months for facial cosmetic use, and after that, you’ll need another repeat injection.
How Does Zytaze Work?
Basically, Zytaze is a zinc supplement, which helps with the effectiveness of Botox. A doctor in Houston realized that most patients are deficient in zinc and proved that zinc supplements help with the effects and duration of Botox. Natural animal sources rich in zinc include oysters and roast beef. Plant sources include wheat germ, peanuts, sesame or pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate.
As an added bonus, zinc is broken down and digested more easily with “phytase,” an enzyme that increases the absorption of certain minerals, including zinc, by breaking down phytates. Phytates cause zinc to bind to the intestinal walls and block absorption. Foods rich in phytates include unprocessed grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, and rice. Interestingly, they are not found in animal products.
So to help with zinc absorption, they added phytase to the Zytaze pills.
Is Zytaze Worth The Effort?
Zytaze treatment protocol is 2 pills a day for 5 days before your injection. The cost is about $60.
The effort is in remembering to take Zytaze for 5 days before every Botox injection that you get. Also, Zytaze is not widely available at pharmacies, so for now, it seems that most plastic surgeons and dermatologists are buying it in bulk and selling it to their Botox patients.
In my opinion, it’s just easier to eat a healthy diet rich in zinc and other unprocessed foods, and to ensure that your digestion is normal. The average human being is capable of eating a healthier diet with a wide variety of sources of zinc, with unprocessed foods to help with digestion.
Of course, you could just eat oysters, roast beef with potatoes, dark chocolate, and skip the Zytaze tablets altogether. If you’re a vegetarian, you can go for a Napa cabbage salad with hearts of palm, sun dried tomatoes, shitake mushrooms and green peas, all of which are on the list of top 10 vegetables highest in zinc. And always remember the dark chocolate.
Is Zytaze Worth the Money?
Brace yourselves, I’m about to get all geeky with a spreadsheet analysis.
In a year, you may need Botox injections every 3 months. This works out to 4 injections a year. If you take Zytaze, and if you can reduce your Botox injections to every 4 months, that means you will need 1 less Botox injection a year. If your average Botox injection costs more than $60, then you will have definitely saved some money.
If you have a Botox injection cost of $400 per procedure, and you can save 1 injection per year, then that translates into $8,000 over 20 years ($400 x 20 = $8,000). This can help get that Hermes Birkin bag you always wanted, although it probably won’t get you the limited edition ones.
Of course, $60 per Zytaze purchase, 3 times a year, will cost $180 per year, or $3,600 over 20 years. So, in the end, you’ll only save $4,600 over 20 years ($8000 – $3600 = $4400). This will help with a lesser Hermes purse, but not the Birkin one. Drat!
So is Zytaze worth the money? If you don’t want to increase your zinc intake but you want to decrease your Botox intake, then it seems worth a try. But If you just alter your diet to the above suggestion, you don’t have to “remember” to eat healthy food with zinc in it, since you’ll already be eating it. And you’ll be seeing doctors like me less (insert my crying here).