Zinc and Testosterone – What You Need to Know

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Zinc offers a wide variety of health benefits for adults and children, including supporting a healthy immune system, stabilizing blood sugars, metabolizing our food, and helping us heal from illnesses and injuries. 

However, one of the most notable benefits that many people don’t realize is that it can boost testosterone.

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is a male hormone that is important for many body functions, such as muscle strength, larger bone structures, facial hair, deeper voices, and a healthy immune system. In short, testosterone is what separates men from women.

Testosterone is also effective in helping to improve our cognitive functions as we get older, it metabolizes our food into energy, and it helps us maintain energy when we exercise.  It is even been used to help prevent osteoporosis as we get older.

Testosterone is primarily known for its role as the primary male sex hormone that promotes sex drive, endurance, and strength. It is the hormone that plays a key role in the development of male reproductive processes, as well as the stronger muscle masses and hair growth patterns associated with being a male. 

Men with low testosterone, which is also associated with hypogonadism, often suffer from obesity and obesity-related health concerns, low sex drive, loss of facial and body hair, difficulties with erections, muscle weakness, low bone density, mood changes, insomnia, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and even hot flashes. 

Women also have testosterone, although in much smaller volumes. Together with estrogen, which is a female hormone that is much more prevalent in women, testosterone plays a role in the growth and health of female reproductive organs as well as bone mass. 

All the women don’t need nearly as much testosterone as men, women who suffer from low testosterone may have issues with fertility low sex drive, higher weight, lower muscle mass, sleep disturbances, loss of bone structure/shrinking, low self-esteem, and fatigue. 

Finally, both men and women who suffer from low testosterone are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. Low testosterone has also been linked to a low blood count, which increases the risk of anemia. Anemia can cause leg cramps, dizziness, an irregular heartbeat, and insomnia.

What causes low testosterone?

Low testosterone will occur naturally over time, especially after man passes the age of 50. However, a decrease in testosterone levels can also occur in younger men due to chronic health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and zinc deficiency.

Does zinc boost testosterone?

Many men take zinc supplements to boost their testosterone, especially if they have chronic health conditions or are over the age of 50. 

Research has proven that elderly men who take zinc supplements for at least 6 months have increased testosterone levels, which indicates that zinc plays an important role in the production of testosterone in most men. 

Research has also shown that people with low testosterone are more likely to have a zinc deficiency. Therefore, zinc is a common treatment for “low T”. This is thought to be because zinc has positive impact on cells in the testes that produce testosterone.

Increasing the level of zinc in your diet can be a much healthier way to boost your testosterone then using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Testosterone replacement may be in the form of injections, skin patches, pills, or gel, and they are generally prescribed by a medical physician. 

However, there are risks associated with taking synthetic prescription testosterone replacement therapy, which may include an increased risk of blood clots, breast development, and an increased risk of stroke. 

The adverse effects may also include liver problems, an increase risk of prostate cancer, urinary tract problems, and sleep apnea. 

How much zinc should I take?

Adult males should consume at least 11 mg of zinc per day, while adult females should consume at least eight mg.  However, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, or if you take antibiotics that have a negative impact on your ability to absorb zinc, you should increase your intake. 

Note that you should never take more than 40 mg of zinc per day. Too much zinc in your system can have a negative impact on your system, such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and headaches. 

Additionally, excessive consumption of zinc over the long run can create chronic problems, such as the inability to absorb copper. 

This has significant adverse effects on your immune system, and it can lead to cardiovascular disease, anemia, brittle bones, and a host of other health problems for you.

To get the right amount of zinc in your system, you should focus on maintaining a healthy diet. For example, eating oysters can dramatically increase the level of zinc in your system and safely exceed your daily recommended intake amount in just one meal. 

Other great sources of zinc include lean chuck roast, Alaskan king crab, and lobster. If you prefer to focus on fruits and vegetables instead, you can eat a few servings of baked beans, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, chickpeas, oatmeal, 

and other foods that are high in zinc to get the daily recommended value (and make sure you eat a bit more than the daily recommended value since legumes can decrease your ability to retain zinc in your system throughout the day).

If your diet will not allow you to consume the right amount of zinc on any given day, you should consider taking zinc supplements to booster your levels. Be sure to read the label carefully to make sure you do not exceed for the 40 mg per day limit. 

You should also consider taking vitamin D, ginger, and omega-3 fatty acids to further support the effectiveness of zinc in your system to boost testosterone. Eating pomegranates, spinach, kale, olive oil, and onions can also help, but you should avoid excessive alcohol and processed foods. 

Lastly, focus on losing weight, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress to promote the production of testosterone in your system.

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