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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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, 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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