CSN Login
Members Online: 5

Taking Zinc supplement for regeneration of taste

jkinobay's picture
jkinobay
Posts: 247
Joined: May 2007

My Dentist has 13 years experience with HNC working at a VA hospital in Tucson. During my treatments he encouraged me to take 200 mg. of Zinc per day. He said, and I have found some supporting info on the Internet, that zinc helps taste buds to regenerate. He pushed it to many, many of his HNC patients at the VA and there was a significant difference between those that used it and those that did not.
For me, during treatment I did not take the zinc because it is a heavy metal and in conjunction with my Cisplatin (platinum) chemo I was concerned about interaction during IMRT. But, post treatment I am taking 50mg. per day and I think it has helped. I am only 3 months out and my taste has recovered to about 50-60% of pre-treatment. And, it continues to improve. I frequently find new things that taste similar to what they used to. Very encouraging.

Has anyone else heard of or tried Zinc supplements to accelerate taste recovery?

mom674
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2008

I am about to start chemo(cisplatin) and radiation next week. i had surgery last month. i will ask about zinc post treatment.
ps. really scared.

jkinobay's picture
jkinobay
Posts: 247
Joined: May 2007

Please remember that every single one of us experiences fear at one time or another. And usually more than once. IT IS HUMAN NATURE. I am a fairly Newbie in that my tonsil cancer was found last July and I had 35 IMRT's and 7 Cisplatin chemos last Sept-Oct. BUT, I can tell you you will get through it. I would love to help you and offer you whatever benefit there might be of my experience(s) but I don't want to tie up the boards here. So, please email me directly by clicking on the small email icon in the lower left of this message box. Also, please check your CSN email and I will send you one directly. Hang in there.......you will beat this.......JK

jkinobay's picture
jkinobay
Posts: 247
Joined: May 2007

It has been suggested through direct email to me that you and "we" should correspond here on the boards so that others can contribute and/or benefit. I think that is a great idea. So, please tell us about yourself and your cancer so that we may be somewhat specific in advice and tips. We'll electronically hold hands and go through this together. Trust me, that is what really made a difference for me..........tremendous support from total strangers who had "been there done that". Of course now I consider them close friends even though we have never met. OK........TALK TO US MOM!!

MLC53's picture
MLC53
Posts: 109
Joined: Sep 2007

I never took any Zinc, but my taste buds started to return about three months out anyway. I am now 7 1/2 out and they are almost back to normal.

stevelfun's picture
stevelfun
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2007

I heard that from one doctor.... And saw some things on the internet...

On a related note, found one that said 'green tea extract' did likewise for salivary glands.

Haven't noticed a difference/change.

My 'taste' - I would put it about 50% of what it was before as well. Somethings more than others - e.g. I can taste cucumbers like nothing is wrong - as you know - other tastes - e.g. coffee - barely.

Saliva - maybe about 10% of what it was before.

There is drug that helps 'protect' the salivary glands during radiation. My doc told me that there were 'side-effects' that they don't like using it for that reason. Kinda wish I looked at that more closely at the time.

Best to all.

stevelfun's picture
stevelfun
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2007

BTW - DO NOT mega dose zinc or any heavy metal. They are toxic in such dosages!!!!

Sometimes people feel if one is good - two is better - ten is GREAT!!!

NO!!! NO!!!! NO!!!!

Just like the chemo - side effects - too much zinc (or any heavy metal supplement) will have the same effects - hair loss, finger nail weakness/loss, etc...

I think if you do - 50 mg you are all good (daily recommended allowance 15mg) 100 or 200 is probably 'safe' - yet if a doctor didn't tell me to do it - I wouldn't. Anything more than that - I would really question.

Just my opinion - feelings.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network