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    Men's Health
    1234 · 20 min read

    How zinc can boost testosterone in men

    How does supplementing with zinc influence the level of testosterone in your body? If you're low on zinc and low in testosterone, taking a zinc supplement (or eating foods high in zinc) could increase your testosterone levels. If you're not deficient in zinc, taking more of it may not increase testosterone levels.

    Zinc is part of the 24 greatest minerals that are essential for our body. Our body is not capable of synthesizing zinc on its own and we don't have storage systems for keeping an adequate supply of zinc available to us at all times. Therefore, you need to obtain sufficient amounts of zinc in food form or as dietary supplements on a regular basis.

    Zinc It is involved in various actions of cellular metabolism. It supports healthy growth and regulates more than 100 enzymes. It is highly related to our reproductive health system and assists in DNA synthesis.

    Zinc can be considered as a testosterone booster, which slows down the aromatase enzyme, decreasing the conversion of testosterone into androgen.

    Zinc deficiency affects the enzyme complex aromatase that is normally inhibited by zinc. The increased activation results in an excessive conversion of testosterone into estradiol.

    In summary, taking a zinc supplement can boost testosterone levels by preventing our body from converting our already-existing testosterone into other chemicals.

    Zinc improves testosterone levels among healthy men that are depleted of zinc. However, if you already have an adequate supply of zinc, extra supplementation may not give you any benefit.

    How can we tell if we are zinc deficient?

    Our bodies have something called the "endocrine system". It is made up of glands that secrete hormones. These hormones regulate functions of our organs and other aspects of our body such as growth, metabolism and sexual function. To maintain the functions of the most vital endocrine system, you need to have at least 15mg of zinc daily.

    If you cannot get 15mg of zinc through your diet, you should consider supplementation. Also, consider the fact that zinc will leave your body through sweat. This makes supplementation of zinc necessary for many athletes.

    Clinical benefits of zinc supplementation

    There was a study where elite wrestlers (who engaged in strenuous exercise) were given 3 mg/kg of zinc on a regular basis for one month. They were proven to have much higher testosterone and thyroid hormone levels compared to the group of placebo which showed a normal decrease in both types of hormones. This can be explained by the fact that the group which belongs to the placebo lost a large amount of zinc through sweating regularly, and their diets weren’t adequate enough to take back the wasted minerals in the body. However, in terms of the supplementation group, the trend was not only limited to maintaining testosterone, but at the same time increase the free and total testosterone levels from the baseline of these two states; exhaustion and rest.

    Similar researchers repeated the study using 10 young “male volunteers who are sedentary”, utilizing the same dosage of zinc and the same duration of time. The men were made to perform “fatiguing bicycle exercise” in a span of 4 weeks and just like the study referenced in the above paragraph. This study found that zinc supplementation has the ability to sustain and boost total and free testosterone levels, and also thyroid hormones compared to the group that were given placebo pills.

    The two studies above show that among the individuals who work out, zinc supplementation is a great advantage for hormonal health. Both of these studies show effective results in improving free-testosterone levels in people who exercise by taking zinc supplements.

    Zinc and chronic renal failure

    Zinc helps people with chronic renal failure to increase testosterone. This is a condition that has depleted zinc levels as a symptom. In a study where chronic renal failure participants mega-dosed 250 mg/day of zinc per day, test subjects received significantly higher serum zinc, testosterone, and LH levels.

    Zinc as infertility treatment

    There was an infertility study that was made up of 37 infertile-subjects. The men were given an undetermined amount of zinc in a period of six months. They found that subjects who had lower levels of testosterone to begin with (less than 48 ng/dL) received a positive increase in DHT and testosterone levels. However, among men that started the study with already-high testosterone levels (more than 480 ng/dL) found no significant improvement. During the infertility study, nine men were able to conceive a child who supplemented zinc.

    Foods high in zinc

    The following foods are high in zinc. If you prefer getting your zinc by eating food, rather than supplementing, add the following foods to your diet.


    Serving Size



    Beef4 oz175.04.09mg
    Lamb4 oz310.43.87mg
    Sesame Seeds0.25 cup206.32.79mg
    Pumpkin Seeds0.25 cup180.32.52mg
    Garbanzo Beans1 cup269.02.51mg
    Lentils1 cup229.72.51mg
    Cashews0.25 cup221.22.31mg
    Quinoa0.75 cup222.02.02mg
    Turkey4 oz166.71.95mg
    Shrimp4 oz134.91.85mg
    Tofu4 oz164.41.78mg
    Scallops4 oz125.91.76mg
    Green Peas1 cup115.71.64mg
    Oats0.25 cup151.71.55mg
    Yogurt1 cup149.41.45mg
    Spinach1 cup41.41.37mg
    Asparagus1 cup39.61.08mg
    Mushrooms, Crimini1 cup15.80.79mg
    Mushrooms, Shiitake0.50 cup40.6mg0.96mg
    Beet Greens1 cup38.90.72mg
    Summer Squash1 cup36.00.70mg
    Broccoli1 cup54.60.70mg
    Swiss Chard1 cup35.00.58mg
    Brussels Sprouts1 cup56.20.51mg
    Miso1 TBS34.20.44mg
    Parsley0.50 cup10.90.33mg
    Sea Vegetables1 TBS10.80.33mg
    Tomatoes1 cup32.40.31mg
    Bok Choy1 cup20.40.29mg

    Does zinc really boost testosterone levels?

    Most likely, yes, at least if you have a mineral imbalance and/or you exercise all the time. In that case, where your zinc levels are already depleted, supplementing with zinc or eating foods high in zinc can help you increase your levels of testosterone.

    What if I have low testosterone but am not deficient in zinc?

    If you are low in testosterone, but have an adequate supply of zinc, there may be other issues that are lowering your testosterone (such as getting older). In such cases, you may wish to use a testosterone gel to increase the testosterone available to your body. One such supplement is called Testogel, which requires a prescription.

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