Zinc is perhaps best known for its approved use in Japan for the management of stomach ulcers. In a randomized, controlled, double-blind study, 258 subjects with confirmed stomach ulcers were randomly assigned to receive 150 mg zinc per day, a placebo, 800 mg of cetraxate hydrochloride (a known mucosal protection agent), or its placebo for eight weeks. Endoscopy was done before and after treatment and subjective measures of symptoms were collected. Symptoms were 61% better in the marked improvement category in the zinc group and 61.5% in the cetraxate group at four weeks. At eight weeks, the zinc group increased to 75% markedly improved compared to 72% for the cetraxate group. The endoscopic cure rate was 26.3% in the zinc group and 16.2% in the cetraxate group at four weeks and 60.4% in the zinc group and 46.2% in the cetraxate group at eight weeks. This suggests that zinc can provide superior relief of symptoms and improvement in gastric ulcers compared to a known mucosal protection agent.
Miyoshi A., Namiki A., Asagi S., Harasawa S., Ooshiba S., Hayakawa K. Clinical Evaluation of Z-103 on Gastric Ulcer–A Multicenter Double-Blind Comparative Study with Cetraxate Hydrochloride. Jpn. Pharm. Ther. 1992;20:199–223