What is Zinc?
Zinc is actually a type of metal, thus, an essential trace mineral that people need to stay in good health. It is one of the 24 micronutrients that is naturally present in some foods, fortified to other food sources, and available as a dietary supplement yet only a very small amounts of zinc are necessary for human health. The human body cannot synthesize nor have a storage system for zinc – so human must get ample amount of zinc through foods or supplementation.
Zinc are very much important in boosting the immune system as well as in preventing stunted growth. Also, zinc is required in treating common colds and preventing lower respiratory infections.
In addition, zinc is also used in treating macular degeneration, night blindness, and cataracts. Among other else, it is also used in treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcers and urging weight gain to those people who are suffering from eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa.
Some men utilize zinc for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), male infertility, and erectile dysfunction as it is said to be a natural aphrodisiac and testosterone booster. Zinc inhibits the aromatase, an enzyme involved in the production of estrogen (female hormone) that acts by catalyzing the conversion of the androgen testosterone (male hormone) to estrogen estradiol.
Zinc Increases Testosterone Levels and Blocks Estrogen
As mentioned above, zinc can act as an aromatase inhibitor and reduce estrogen levels. High estrogen levels in men can result to sexual dysfunction (reduced libido, lessen morning erections, decreased erectile dysfunction), enlarged breast, BPH, build up of abdominal fat, exhaustion, loss of muscle mass, emotional disturbances such as depression and Type-2 diabetes.
Zinc on the other hand, is considered to be an estrogen blocker. It reduces the activity of estrogen receptors and inhibits aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen A diet rich in zinc will keep estrogen levels in check while increasing testosterone levels.
Zinc and Other Benefits
Athletic Performance Booster
Aside from being an estrogen blocker, zinc also known to improve athletic performance. A study were conducted to 10 male wrestlers and each of them were given 3 mg of zinc sulfate daily for 4 weeks; each of the wrestler’s testosterone levels were tested during rest and after an exhausting workout and the study shows that after inducing zinc, testosterone levels became higher. According to the study as well, zinc prevents testosterone levels from dropping that typically occurs during intense workout, and suggested zinc as a physical performance booster.
Reproductive and Sexual Health
Zinc is critical for men’s reproductive and sexual health. When zinc is well-supplied to the diet, men can expect a great improvement on their sex drive and semen volume. Surprisingly, zinc is important for women’s sex drive too. However, not as important as it is for men who lose zinc every time they ejaculate. Men loses 3-5 mg of Zinc every time they ejaculate. Zinc is the main component of seminal fluid and is what makes it white. A slight deficiency is a major cause of infertility in men.
Improves LH Hormones for those with Chronic Renal Failure
Also, for patients who are suffering from chronic renal failure, a condition in which the kidney loses its function, is also the same condition linked to a remarkable depleted zinc levels. Megadosing with zinc can notably increase serum zinc, testosterone and Luteinizing Hormones (LH) levels (which stimulates the production of testosterone).
When men don’t get enough zinc, aromatase enzyme rises and men begins to experience weakened sex drive, reduced muscle mass, lower energy levels, and increased body fat. Men with too much estrogen often develop minor issues such as bloating and build up of fats around their nipples, creating a man boob.
Keeps the Dopamine Levels High
Zinc can maintain the dopamine levels high. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is important to mental health. Dopamine helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. On top of that, it also helps regulate movement and emotional responses. When dopamine levels are low, sex drive is reduced.In addition, studies show that zinc helps regulate the function of dopamine and that a marginal deficiency in zinc may result to Parkinson’s disease and ADHD. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder of the central nervous system. While ADHD, is a brain disorder marked by difficulty to pay attention and control impulsive behaviors.
Crucial for Thyroid Function
Also, zinc is one of the minerals that is crucially fundamental for thyroid function. The thyroid produces hormones that regulates the body’s metabolic rate so when it’s not working properly results to low energy levels and the body won’t be able to burn the calories efficiently.
Improve Immune System Function
High zinc diet can keep the immune system working at its peak levels. Zinc is being used by thyroid glands to promote the growth of testosterone hormone that can fight and protect the body against infection.
Food with Significant Amount of Zinc
Since the body can’t produce and store zinc, you have to boost your zinc intake through food or dietary supplement. Zinc is usually accessible in various forms, including lozenges, syrups, gels and capsules. Also, it can be found in nearly all multivitamin and mineral supplements. These supplements can contain zinc in the form of zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate or zinc acetate.
As per USDA, for men over 14 years of age, the recommended daily intake is 11 mg of zinc per day. While for women 19 and above, the recommended daily intake is 8 mg of zinc per day.
However, here are some foods with significant amount of zinc:
- Shellfish (oysters, crabs, lobster, shrimp)
- Dairy Products (Cheese, Yogurt, Milk)
- Legumes (Kidney Beans, Chickpeas, White Beans, Mung Beans)
- Nuts (Cashews, Almonds, Pistachios, Pecans, Walnuts)
- Seeds (Pumpkin, Chia, Flaxseeds)
Zinc supplements can help you boost your zinc levels. However, too much could be harmful and toxicity may occur once you exceeded 40 mg of zinc per day. Zinc toxicity may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps and stomach upset
On Final Note
Testosterone is what drives men to aggressiveness not just in bed but also in their daily “men” activities. Testosterone levels should not be overlooked so, make sure that your testosterone levels are always at its best. How? Include right amounts of zinc in your diet.