The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    The role of zinc in treating dysgeusia

    Loss of taste (dysgeusia) can decrease the pleasure of eating and lead to a loss of social contact, weight changes, and depression.

    In an earlier post, zinc did not prevent dysgeusia in patients with head and neck cancer. Here is a study for the rest of us. These patients had dysgeusia not associated with any underlying disease.

    50 patients with dysgeusia were identified and treated with either zinc gluconate 140 mg/day (20 mg of elemental zinc) or placebo.

    After 3 months of treatment?

    • Improvement was reported in 13 of 26 (50%) patients receiving zinc compared to 6 of 24 (25%) patients taking placebo.
    • The average improvement with zinc was 10.7 points in the gustatory test scores compared with 2.7 points in placebo-treated patients.
    • There was also significant improvement in depression in the zinc-treated patients.

    The researchers concluded, “that treatment with zinc is helpful in treating patients with idiopathic dysgeusia.”

    3/10/07 15:25 JR

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