Zinc And Testosterone: What's The Connection

Zinc has been suggested to help with sexual function and overall health. Can zinc help boost your testosterone?

Dr. Rachel Rubin
Board Certified Urologist and assistant clinical professor in Urology
by Dr. Rachel Rubin Last updated 11/23/2022

connection between zinc and testosterone

According to the National Institutes of Health, adult men should consume about 11 mg of zinc each day.

Zinc is an essential nutrient for a variety of reasons.

Most notably, it plays a role in boosting the immune system and metabolic function.

But, studies also show a significant link between zinc and testosterone.

Ensuring adequate zinc intake can also help men with some issues in the bedroom.

Per some studies, as many as 25 percent of men have low testosterone levels.

About one out of every 20 men has clinical symptoms linked to this deficiency.

It's estimated that testosterone gradually decreases by about 1 percent per year after men hit 30 years of age.

Quick FAQs

Zinc is a nutrient that helps a person’s metabolism function and strengthens their immune system. It also helps with maintaining healthy testosterone levels

The Journal of Exercise Physiology found that zinc can help to raise a person’s testosterone levels.

The daily amount that’s recommended for adult men is 11 mg.

In this post, we'll examine the zinc/testosterone relationship.

We’ll also discuss why consuming enough zinc is vital to maintaining a healthy sex life and the best zinc supplement for maintaining testosterone levels.

What is Zinc, and Why is it Important?

Zinc is an essential nutrient for boosting the immune system and for helping manage the body's metabolism.

Some of the most common ways to get zinc are through:

  • Multivitamins
  • Suplementos
  • Medications
  • And some zinc-rich foods that we’ll discuss in detail below.

Here's a look at some of the other benefits associated with zinc consumption:

Recovery from the common cold: Supplements or cold syrup taken quickly after the onset of a cold can help relieve symptoms and shorten the length of the common cold.

Wound healing: Zinc's immune system benefits aren't just related to the common cold but to assisting with wound healing as well.

Age-related issues: Some research has discovered a link between zinc and helping to slow the progression of certain diseases, like macular degeneration.

Does Zinc Increase Testosterone?

Many studies have found that taking supplements with zinc, like VitaFLUX from Promescent, can help modulate testosterone levels in men, even if the relationship between the two isn't quite fully understood yet.

One study that is cited often is a 2000 report in the Journal of Exercise Physiology.

It found that men with low testosterone who received 30 mg of zinc began to show an increase in testosterone.

Research shows that zinc plays a significant role in testicular growth and sperm function.

The testes are the part of the male genitalia responsible for testosterone production.

And, since the body doesn't store zinc as it does with other nutrients and vitamins, it’s essential to get enough of it daily.

Having healthy testosterone levels isn't only important for your sex drive.

Testosterone also helps maintain and develop muscle mass, red blood cells, bone density, and mood and well-being.

Testosterone levels tend to be highest in the morning and decline throughout the day.

Low Testosterone Symptoms

How can men tell if they have low testosterone?

Also known as male hypogonadism, there are a variety of signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for - and they may occur at different periods of a man's life as he ages.

According to the American Urology Association, low testosterone is considered less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) for adult men.

Some symptoms of low testosterone include:

  • Reduced sex drive
  • Lack or loss of armpit or pubic hair
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Hot flashes
  • Small or shrinking testicles
  • Low sperm count
  • Depression
  • Weight gain or increased body fat
  • Enlarged male breasts
  • Lack of muscle strength or mass
  • Poor endurance

Ways to Boost Testosterone

There are numerous ways to boost testosterone, which we'll cover in subsequent sections. 

These include:

  • Consuming zinc and vitamin D for testosterone
  • Working more zinc-heavy foods into meals
  • Taking zinc supplements
  • Testosterone replacement therapy

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, may involve a number of means to ensure appropriate levels of testosterone.

It's typically only recommended for men who experience significant hypogonadism and may consist of the following:

  • Administering a skin patch on the upper body daily.
  • Applying daily gels that are absorbed through the skin.
  • Inserting an oral patch into the upper gums helps release testosterone into the blood.
  • Various injections and implants.

Oral testosterone pills are also available, but many medical experts don't suggest these due to potential side effects they could have, particularly on organs such as the liver.

Food to Boost Testosterone Levels

One natural way to boost testosterone levels is by consuming zinc-rich foods.

As discussed above, studies show that zinc intake can help with testosterone levels.

Some zinc-rich foods include:

  • Ginger
  • Tuna
  • Grapes
  • Pomegranate
  • Honey
  • Spinach
  • Red meat
  • Venison
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Beans
  • Chicken
  • Crab

Last But Certainly Not Least Are Supplements

Finally, the best form of zinc for testosterone is also taking the appropriate supplements. 

While medical professionals don't often recommend testosterone-specific supplements due to their potential side effects, zinc supplements are considered safe and beneficial when consumed appropriately.

While there are specific zinc supplements, many men may also get a healthy dose of zinc before bed testosterone in any daily multivitamins they take in the evenings.

How Much Zinc Does a Man Need?

Medical professionals suggest that men consume 11 mg per day.

On days when men work out or engage in significant physical activity, up to 15 mg is appropriate.

Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

There are a number of symptoms associated with zinc deficiency beyond potentially low testosterone levels.

These may include:

  • Hair loss
  • A greater onset of colds and infections
  • Irritable mood
  • Loss of appetite
  • Impotence
  • Eye problems
  • Weight loss
  • Poor taste or smell

Can You Overdose on Zinc?

40 mg of zinc per day is considered to be an upper dose limit.

While there are no reported zinc poisoning cases from consuming foods that are rich in zinc, overdoses have been known to occur in men who take supplements.

Symptoms of Zinc Overdose

Since zinc is involved in so many bodily functions, consuming too much of it can have significant negative consequences.

Some symptoms of zinc overdose include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Experiencing regular flu-like symptoms
  • Lack of HDL cholesterol (i.e., "good" cholesterol)
  • Changes in senses, such as taste
  • Copper deficiency
  • A greater likelihood of illness or infections

Any zinc supplements should be taken in consultation with a medical professional to ensure that appropriate amounts are consumed daily and that there's no risk of zinc overdose.

If there are signs of zinc overdose, men should immediately seek treatment via their local poison control center.

If it's caught early enough, a zinc overdose can be treated with medication that will help balance out the body.

Takeaways

Zinc is an important mineral for the body's immune system and for regulating its metabolism.

Doctors say men should consume about 11 mg of zinc every day.

A healthy zinc intake is found to help a man maintain healthy levels of testosterone. 

Low testosterone is associated with various issues in men, from poor sexual performance to loss of sex drive.

There are numerous ways a man can boost low testosterone levels.

These include testosterone replacement therapy, zinc-rich foods, and zinc supplements.

Related Articles

Dr. Rachel Rubin

Dr. Rachel Rubin

Dr. Rachel S. Rubin is a board-certified Urologist with fellowship training in sexual medicine. She is an assistant clinical professor in Urology at Georgetown University and practices at IntimMedicine Specialists in Washington DC. Dr. Rubin provides comprehensive sexual medicine care to all genders. She treats issues such as pelvic pain, menopause, erectile dysfunction, and low libido. Dr. Rubin is currently the education chair for the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) and an associate editor for the journal Sexual Medicine Reviews. Dr. Rubin has fellowship designation from both ISSWSH and the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA).

Sources:

Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC (Promescent) has strict informational citing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic or research institutions, medical associations, and medical experts. We attempt to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references and only citing trustworthy sources. Each article is reviewed, written, and updated by Medical Professionals or authoritative Experts in a specific, related field of practice. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • "Zinc - Health Professional Fact Sheet | National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements." Ods.od.nih.gov, 2022, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/. Accessed on Oct, 17, 2022.
  • Mazaheri Nia L, Iravani M, Abedi P, Cheraghian B. Effect of Zinc on Testosterone Levels and Sexual Function of Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Sex Marital Ther. 2021;47(8):804-813. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2021.1957732. Epub 2021 Jul 27. PMID: 34311679. Accessed on Oct, 17, 2022.
  • "1 in 4 Men Over 30 Has Low Testosterone." Abcnews.go.com, 2022, https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=4508669&page=1. Accessed on October 17, 2022.
  • "What Is Macular Degeneration?" aao.org, 2022, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/amd-macular-degeneration. Accessed on October 17, 2022.
  • Prasad AS, Mantzoros CS, Beck FW, Hess JW, Brewer GJ. Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition. 1996 May;12(5):344-8. doi: 10.1016/s0899-9007(96)80058-x. PMID: 8875519.
  • "Effects of a Novel Zinc-Magnesium Formulation on Hormones and Strength." Asep.org, 2000, asep.org/asep/asep/BrillaV2.PDF. Accessed on Oct, 17, 2022.
  • Fallah A, Mohammad-Hasani A, Colagar AH. Zinc is an Essential Element for Male Fertility: A Review of Zn Roles in Men's Health, Germination, Sperm Quality, and Fertilization. J Reprod Infertil. 2018 Apr-Jun;19(2):69-81. PMID: 30009140; PMCID: PMC6010824. Accessed on October 17, 2022.
  • Kumar P, Kumar N, Thakur DS, Patidar A. Male hypogonadism: Symptoms and treatment. J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2010 Jul;1(3):297-301. doi: 10.4103/0110-5558.72420. PMID: 22247861; PMCID: PMC3255409. Accessed on October 17, 2022.
  • "How New AUA Guideline on Testosterone Deficiency May Impact You." Urologyhealth.org, 2022, https://www.urologyhealth.org/healthy-living/care-blog/2018/how-new-aua-guideline-on-testosterone-deficiency-may-impact-you. Accessed on Oct 17, 2022.
  • "What is Gynaecomastia?" Nhs.uk, 2022, https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/mens-health/what-is-gynaecomastia/. Accessed on October 17, 2022.
  • Osterberg EC, Bernie AM, Ramasamy R. Risks of testosterone replacement therapy in men. Indian J Urol. 2014 Jan;30(1):2-7. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.124197. PMID: 24497673; PMCID: PMC3897047. Accessed on October 17, 2022.
  • "Does Zinc Increase Testosterone?" Centertrt.org, 2022, centertrt.org/blog/does-zinc-increase-testosterone.html. Accessed on October 17, 2022.
  • "Zinc" Oregonstate.edu, 2022, Lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/zinc. Accessed on October 17, 2022.
  • Fosmire GJ. Zinc toxicity. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Feb;51(2):225-7. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/51.2.225. PMID: 2407097.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Comparta el artículo: