Zn is an essential micro-nutrient shown to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. The biological activity of Zinc also includes bacterial and viral inhibition.
Zinc is a fundamental mineral that can be found in almost every cell of human body. It regulates the immune system by helping cells to kill the virus, microbes and other harmful organisms.
Taurine, or 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, is an organic acid found in almost all tissues in mammals, playing various important physiological roles in each organ. Taurine exhibits an antioxidant effect, as to significantly decrease lipid peroxidation and to increase the activities of the antioxidant enzymes and it is also known to have effects on cell proliferation, inflammation and collagen genesis.
A possible use of a Zinc-Taurine combination for therapeutic purposes as, for example, the treatment of lesions of the oral mucosa, can be justified on the basis of two possibilities of therapeutic benefit afforded by the combination of the two components:
- Zinc and Taurine possess, separately, favorable properties which contribute to the therapeutic benefit (additive effect).
- The combination of Zinc and Taurine gives rise to favorable properties, not possessed by the components separately (synergistic effect).
- The mechanism whereby Taurine and Zinc exert some synergistic effects is unclear. There are, however, some indications that may help shedding light on this issue.
- The addition of Taurine, but not other amino acids, in an amino acid glucose solution, led to a constant increase in Zinc uptake by fibroblasts.
- Taurine and Zinc have both been reported to possess stabilizing effects on biological membranes. If these two agents act through different mechanisms in order to induce such membrane-stabilization, then a synergistic outcome of these two different mechanisms of action would be reasonable.
The intended use of a Zinc-Taurine combination for the topical treatment of lesions of the oral mucosa is of considerable interest. A significant body of literature is available on biological activities of Zinc, Taurine, and some also on the Zinc-Taurine combination which represent a sound rational for the planned indication. Moreover, the product polapreZinc (Zinc-carnosine), which bears similarities to the planned Zinc-Taurine combination, is being marketed in Japan for the treatment of gastric ulcers and has been reported to be active in many animal models of injuries of the gastrointestinal mucosae. These observations suggest that a Zinc-Taurine combination may be equally effective in similar indications.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Zinc gluconate, Taurine or their combination as a complex was investigated using a Caco-2 (epithelial) in vitro cell assay. In this study monolayer Caco-2 cells were grown in culture. Cells were then treated with Doxorubicin, Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or Dextran Sulfate Sodium (DSS). Serial dilutions of Zinc gluconate, Taurine or a mixture of Zinc-Taurine were delivered as a complex. Following an incubation period, cell culture supernates were evaluated for expression of IL-6 and IL-8, two pro-inflammatory cytokines associated with aphthous ulcers and oral mucositis lesions.
The results of this study demonstrated that Zinc gluconate and Taurine inhibited IL-6 and IL-8 expression in a dose dependent manner. The experiment also revealed that the monodentate/bidentate Zinc-Taurine complex was superior inhibiting IL-6 and IL-8 compared to Zinc gluconate alone or Taurine alone. The synergy and increased biological activity of BMG’s Zinc-Taurine compositions is the basis of the Company’s GelX® family of products designed to treat mucosal inflammation by improving the potency and delivery of essential mineral nutrients.