Lack of beneficial effect of zinc sulphate in rheumatoid arthritis.
ABSTRACT Twenty-two patients with severe long-standing rheumatoid arthritis were treated with oral zinc sulphate in a prospective long-term open trial. Six patients had (only subjective) improvement during the first 6 months of treatment, but all deteriorated subsequently. The remaining 16 deteriorated or did not improve and these patients expressed a wish to stop taking the drug after a mean period of 5 months. In the whole group of 22 patients, neither the number of affected joints, the ARA grading, nor functional classification changed significantly, nor did ESR, haemoglobin, haematocrit, or platelet count. The unpleasant taste and nausea caused by zinc sulphate was the main side effect. Our study confirms that ZnSO4 has no long-lasting beneficial effect for patients severely affected with rheumatoid arthritis.
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ABSTRACT: Conventional treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) present a number of problems, in terms of both safety and efficacy. A number of different alternative therapies have been studied, including dietary modifications, nutritional supplements, botanicals, and antibiotics. While the response to these treatments is variable and often unpredictable, some patients have shown dramatic improvement or even complete and long-lasting remission. Moreover, alternative therapies, with the exception of antibiotics, have a low incidence of adverse effects. Consideration of these treatment options has the potential to benefit many patients with RA.Alternative medicine review: a journal of clinical therapeutic 12/1999; 4(6):392-402. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The oft-quoted Ebers papyrus, a therapeutic compendium from the eighteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt (about 1500 bc), is one of the first known citations of the use of trace elements, particularly various metallic compounds, for relief of musculoskeletal disorders. Verdigris (basic copper acetate), blue vitriol (copper(II) sulfate), and pulverized metallic copper were recommended as topical therapies for rheumatic pains.30 The role of these trace elements in chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is of great interest because many of them are co-factors in metabolic processes involving collagen and bone or immune system function.1, 7, 13 and 32 Studies of the nutritional status of patients with active RA frequently demonstrate deficiencies in these “micronutrients, ” in particular various metallic elements, including copper, zinc, selenium, and magnesium.1 and 13 The increase in levels of proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and IL-6 seen in the setting of active RA may affect the availability of these elements by inducing the production of metal-binding proteins, metallothioneins, in the liver or intestine.32 The increased metallothionein production may result in sequestration of these metal ions so that they are unavailable to peripheral tissues.7, 13 and 32 In peripheral tissues, including within inflammatory cells, many of these trace metallic elements are incorporated into antioxidant enzymes. Antioxidant metalloenzymes interfere with the production of free radicals by inactivating reactive oxygen molecules in tissues and immune cells. Although the physiologic role for these trace elements may be reasonably well substantiated, their therapeutic usefulness is less compelling.Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America 11/1999; 25(4):929–935. DOI:10.1016/S0889-857X(05)70111-3 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The trace element zinc is a crucial cofactor for many proteins involved in cellular processes like differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. Zinc homeostasis is tightly regulated and disturbance of this homeostasis due to genetic defects, zinc deficiency, or supplementation influences the development and the progression of various infectious and autoimmune diseases. The immune system is strongly impaired during zinc deficiency, predominantly the cell-mediated response by T-lymphocytes. During zinc deprivation T-lymphocyte development, polarization into effector cells, and function are impaired. This leads to reduced T-cell numbers, a decreased ratio of type 1 to type 2 T-helper cells with reduced production of T-helper type 1 cytokines like interferon-gamma, and compromised T-cell mediated immune defense. Accordingly, disturbed zinc homeostasis increases the risk for infections, and zinc supplementation restores normal immune function. Furthermore, several disorders, like mycobacterial infections, asthma, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis are accompanied by decreased zinc levels and in some cases disease progression can be affected by zinc supplementation. On the molecular level, apoptosis of T-cell precursors is influenced by zinc via the Bcl-2/Bax ratio, and zinc ions inhibit caspases-3, -6, -7, and -8. In mature T-cells, zinc interacts with kinases involved in T-cell activation, like protein kinase C and the lymphocyte protein tyrosine kinase (Lck), while higher zinc concentrations are inhibitory, reducing the activities of the interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK) and calcineurin. Taken together, zinc homeostasis influences T-lymphocytes via several molecular targets, leading to a modulation of T-cell-dependent immune responses.Endocrine Metabolic & Immune Disorders - Drug Targets(Formerly Current Drug Targets - Immune Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders) 07/2009; 9(2):132-44. DOI:10.2174/187153009788452390