Does Zinc Increase Testosterone? | What You MUST Know

Daniel Louwrens

Last Updated August 27, 2022

Daniel Louwrens

 August 27, 2022

Does zinc boost testosterone?

It can! In this in-depth guide, we look at all the current research regarding zinc, hormones, and libido.

We live lives where we are always busy. We rarely have time for anything else but work, and studies have found that men produce less Testosterone as we age [1]. There has always been a strong connotation between zinc and testosterone, and it will often be found in natural testosterone boosters. But does Zinc actually increase testosterone levels?

Inside this detailed guide, we’ll break down everything you MUST know about zinc, testosterone, and supplementation.

Disclaimer: The contents of Testosterone.org are for informational and educational purposes. We do not provide legal advice. Likewise, we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician prior to consuming any over-the-counter supplements, like a natural testosterone booster, and/or getting a prescription for a pharmaceutical medication. Your access to Testosterone.org is subject to our full disclaimer and terms of use.


What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is the primary male sexual hormone. It is responsible for the development of men’s secondary sexual characteristics, such as broad shoulders, facial hair, and a deepened voice. However, it also plays an extremely important role in men’s physical and mental health as they age.

Men produce less testosterone as they age. This sometimes leads to hypogonadism, a clinical condition when men produce very low levels of testosterone. Low testosterone levels in men have been linked to various health risks [2, 3]:

  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Increased risk of Fatty Liver disease
  • Depression
  • Increased fat gain
  • Erectile Dysfunction

As you can see, no man would really love the idea of having low testosterone. Having healthy levels of Testosterone is also needed for sperm health and the ability to have children. Having normal to high levels of Testosterone can lead to [4]:

  • Normal Sexual function
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Muscle gain and fat loss
  • General feeling of well being

It is extremely important for men to have functioning levels of Testosterone, as low Testosterone can be extremely detrimental to the male body.


Does Zinc Increase Testosterone


Zinc and Testosterone

Zinc is a mineral that plays a vital role in the human body Since humans do not naturally produce Zinc, it is important for your diet and/or supplementation to be rich in this mineral. Zinc is important for many different things, including DNA synthesis, immune function, protein synthesis, and rather curiously, testosterone production [5].

Studies have found that strenuous workouts can lower total body zinc levels, which may lead to a decrease in blood testosterone levels [6]. The mechanism by which this works is not exactly clear with the current research available. However, they hypothesize that zinc might influence the cells in the testes that produce testosterone.

A study published in 1996 showed that a Zinc deficient diet can lower endogenous testosterone levels by a large amount, almost 75% [7]. While it is still unsure why a zinc deficiency causes low Testosterone levels, the evidence is clear that there is a great connotation.


Does Zinc Increase Testosterone?

As the studies mentioned before mentioned, a zinc deficiency can certainly lead to lower testosterone levels. Most diets are already zinc deficient [5]. This begs the question, will a zinc-rich diet or zinc supplements increase testosterone levels in men?

A study published in 2000 showed that ZMA (Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6) supplementation not only increased Free Testosterone in the blood of football players but also lead to increased IGF-1 levels compared to a placebo [6]. These two factors can greatly aid in muscle gain and fat loss.

In this study they found that 30mg of Zinc raised Free Testosterone (pg/mL) levels from 132.10±36.16 to 176.34±36.11, an increase of 25%. They found similar increases in IGF-1 and strength levels in the athletes.

Another study published in January of 2018 studied zinc supplementation vs placebo in sedentary men vs active men. They found that 3mg per day per kg of body weight significantly raised free testosterone levels, especially in the active group [8]. The reason for this is that we tend to lose quite a lot of zinc when we do strenuous training.

A similar study published in 2007 studied the effects of cycling on testosterone and thyroid levels within the body. They determined that both thyroid hormone and free Testosterone were lower after cycling, but oral zinc sulfate (3 mg/kg/day) can counter this loss we see inactive individuals [9].

These studies show that low testosterone can be treated with Zinc, and in doing so men can avoid the dangers associated with low Testosterone, at least for athletic men. But what men who just have Hypogonadism?

An analysis published in 2020 found that zinc plays a vital role in male reproduction and the endocrine system. The researchers found that 220 mg of zinc sulfate (equivalent to 50 mg of elemental zinc) twice a day, over one to four months can be a treatment for male Hypogonadism, increasing free testosterone and sperm count [10].


Does Zinc Increase Testosterone in Females?

So far we have only discussed zinc’s role in men’s production of testosterone. However, the truth is testosterone plays a huge role in women’s health as well.

Here are a few of the functions that are modulated by testosterone in women [11]:

  • Musculoskeletal health
  • Sexual Function
  • Healthy oestradiol levels

Health testosterone levels are extremely important for women’s overall health. Studies have also found that Zinc can play a vital role in female hormone production and regulation [12, 13]:

Zinc can be beneficial for women with PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) by lowering Insulin concentration and HOMA-IR index
By inhibiting MMPs (Matrix metalloproteinases), Zinc could lower the risk of Endometriosis
Zinc can increase free testosterone in females
Zinc can increases sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm satisfaction in women

The evidence is clear that females could benefit a lot from having a diet that is higher in zinc, as low levels of testosterone in women are linked to poor bone density, poor skeletal muscle levels, and lowered sex drive [14].


Does Zinc Increase Testosterone


How to Test Testosterone Levels

It should come as no surprise that in the modern world you have choices as to how to test your testosterone levels. The traditional option is to talk to your local doctor, describe the symptoms you’re experiencing and request that they test your hormonal levels. An easier option would be to simply make use of an online company, like Let’s Get Checked.

Online companies will be just as effective, but potentially more efficient as the meetings can be done via Zoom. You can request the exact tests you’d like to be done, and within a few days, you could have your results. The question now of course is, which tests do you end up picking? There are quite a few options, however, these are the most important ones to get done:

  • Total testosterone
  • Free testosterone
  • Estradiol

There are of course other tests available as well, Let’s Get Checked isn’t solely focused on endocrine hormones. Other tests can give you great insight on your health, and could even be the reason for some of the results we see in the endocrine system. Other tests include:

  • Blood Lipids (Cholesterol)
  • Metabolic Profile
  • Kidney and Liver Function
  • Thyroid Health

Being safe is always going to be better than sorry, therefore it is advised to have yourself tested at least twice a year, potentially more if you are suffering from cardiovascular or other illnesses.

If you are interested in using an online lab testing company, then we highly recommend Let’s Get Checked. Here is where you can learn more:

Get your hormone levels tested ASAP...


Signs of Low Testosterone in Men

Men and women both need healthy testosterone levels for optimal health. Low testosterone levels can negatively affect your cardiovascular, sexual and reproductive health. It is extremely important to know the signs and symptoms of low testosterone. Here are some of the most common symptoms that men experience [15]:

Muscle Wastage: As Testosterone is an incredibly important androgenic hormone for skeletal muscle, having low Testosterone can lead to muscle loss
Erectile Dysfunction: Testosterone acts as a vasodilator in the penile arterioles and cavernous sinusoids, low Testosterone can also lead to delayed ejaculation
Increased Depression Rates: A lot of men who suffer from depression have underlying Testosterone problems

The main causes of Hypogonadism in men are vast, but some of the more common ones are [15]:

  • Aging: As men age, Endogenous Testosterone levels will begin to lower, typically starting in their 30’s, but every person is different
  • Damage to Testicles: This one seems too obvious to be true, but it is. While damage to one testicle might not impair Testosterone levels, damage to both can certainly lead to lower levels of free Testosterone
  • Steroid use: When men take Androgenic and Anabolic Steroids to push Testosterone levels past supraphysiological levels, their own Testosterone production will shut down, and will take a long time to restart, if even at all
  • Obesity: Having great levels of body fat has been linked to lowered Testosterone levels.
  • Stress-induced Hypogonadism: Doing an excessive exercise or following a diet too low in calories can lead to lower Testosterone levels

If you think you are suffering from low testosterone levels, then it is extremely important to have a blood test performed. A blood test is the most accurate and reliable way to measure your testosterone levels.


How to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally w/ Zinc

As the studies have shown, supplementing with Zinc can increase Testosterone levels, especially when combined with Vitamin B6 [6]. There are of course other things you can do to further increase Testosterone production, as the biggest factor is going to be lifestyle choices.

Exercising to lose weight and building lean muscle mass are two of the easiest ways to increase your own testosterone levels [16]. Exercise doesn’t just increase testosterone – it also increases natural growth hormone levels as well. Following a diet, rich in protein can aid in fat loss as well, which in turn can aid in increasing Testosterone levels [17].

All in all, combining Zinc supplementation (increased dietary Zinc) with a healthy lifestyle is going to yield the most optimal results for increased Testosterone production. If you choose to supplement, the one with the highest rating on Amazon is Garden Of Life, Vitamin Code Zinc. This supplement is dosed at 30mg per serving which seems to be a good dose for normal individuals.


How to Increase Testosterone Levels with TRT

Men will often opt for Testosterone Replacement Therapy as a solution for hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels. This is a treatment that involves replacing your natural Testosterone (or lack thereof rather) with a prescription testosterone medication. Of course, this is always done under the supervision and guidance of a medical professional.

Zinc and other over-the-counter medication could help raise Testosterone levels. However using actual Testosterone is going to allow for more stable blood serum levels, which will yield a better result. Going the TRT route is also going to allow for a greater change in Testosterone levels, making you feel the difference more.

Zinc supplementation can raise Testosterone by as much as 25% [6]. However, using a TRT dose, you could raise your Testosterone to exactly where it needs to be, no matter how low it is at the moment.


The BEST Online TRT Clinic

Sometimes it could be a hassle to make time every two or three weeks (depending on your dosing schedule) to go do the doctor and have your Testosterone shot. That is why online TRT Clinics exist. They are a great alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar TRT clinics.

Online TRT clinics are extremely simple to use: you have a video meeting with a medical professional where you discuss your signs and symptoms of low testosterone. Next, your doctor orders a blood test with one of their partnered lab testing companies. Finally, your doctor reviews the results of the blood test with you and discusses your TRT treatment options. In our opinion, the best TRT provider is going to be Fountain TRT.

With decades of experience helping both men and women who are suffering from mismanaged or low Testosterone, they will be in a prime position to help you. They will guide you through a simple three-step process:

Step 1: Take a free Low Testosterone assessment to see if you have symptoms of low testosterone. Your doctor will then schedule a time to talk to you about your results.

Step 2: Perform a blood test at one of their partnered labs to test your exact testosterone level. Your Fountain TRT doctor will coach you through this process, so it goes as smoothly as possible.

Step 3: Schedule a follow-up visit with your online doctor to discuss the results of your blood test. If you and your doctor agree that TRT is the right choice for you, then they will deliver your medication right to your door.

Doing TRT via an online clinic such as Fountain TRT has tremendous benefits such as:

  • Could be more cost-effective than going to a doctor every time
  • More time-efficient
  • Registered Health Practitioners are there to help you every step of the way
  • Ability to restore physical – and emotional health

If you are looking for a great online TRT clinic then we highly recommend Fountain TRT. Here is where you can learn more:

Get hormone therapy today with Fountain TRT...


Does Zinc Increase Testosterone? | Overall

Hypogonadism, or clinically low testosterone levels, is a condition that affects millions of men around the world. It can have serious impacts on one’s physical and mental health. If you are suffering from hypogonadism then making efforts to raise your testosterone levels could be one of the greatest decisions you can make.

Zinc is a mineral that has been proven to increase testosterone levels. You can focus on eating zinc-rich foods like oysters, or you can choose to use a zinc supplement. Combined with a healthy lifestyle of eating well and frequent exercise, you can expect to see some increase in your Testosterone.

That being said, if you really want to make a change, TRT will be the best way forward due to the efficiency and effectiveness of the treatment.


 

References

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  2. Ranadive, S.M., Lofrano-Porto, A., Soares, E.M.K.V.K. et al. Low testosterone and cardiometabolic risks in a real-world study of US male firefighters. Sci Rep 11, 14189 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93603-z
  3. Cohen J, Nassau DE, Patel P, Ramasamy R. Low Testosterone in Adolescents & Young Adults [published correction appears in Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Jul 14;11:449]. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020;10:916. Published 2020 Jan 10. doi:10.3389/fendo.2019.00916
  4. Guo C, Gu W, Liu M, Peng BO, Yao X, Yang B, Zheng J. Efficacy and safety of testosterone replacement therapy in men with hypogonadism: A meta-analysis study of placebo-controlled trials. Exp Ther Med. 2016 Mar;11(3):853-863. doi: 10.3892/etm.2015.2957. Epub 2015 Dec 23. PMID: 26998003; PMCID: PMC4774360.
  5. Jurowski K, Szewczyk B, Nowak G, Piekoszewski W. Biological consequences of zinc deficiency in the pathomechanisms of selected diseases [published correction appears in J Biol Inorg Chem. 2015 Oct;20(7):1219]. J Biol Inorg Chem. 2014;19(7):1069-1079. doi:10.1007/s00775-014-1139-0
  6. Effects of a Novel Zinc-Magnesium Formulation on Hormones and Strength. L.R. BRILLA1 AND VICTOR CONTE2. 1Exercise and Sports Science Laboratory, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9067 and 2BALCO Laboratories, 1520 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010, Tel: 800-777-7122
  7. 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.
  8. Cinar, Vedat & Talaghir, Laurentiu-Gabriel & Akbulut, Taner & Turgut, Mine & Sarikaya, Mucahit. (2018). The effects of the zinc supplementation and weight trainings on the testosterone levels. Human.Sport.Medicine. 17. 58-63. 10.14529/hsm170407.
  9. Kilic M. Effect of fatiguing bicycle exercise on thyroid hormone and testosterone levels in sedentary males supplemented with oral zinc. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2007 Oct;28(5):681-5. PMID: 17984944.
  10. Heitor O. Santos & Filipe J. Teixeira (2020) Use of medicinal doses of zinc as a safe and efficient coadjutant in the treatment of male hypogonadism, The Aging Male, 23:5, 669-678, DOI: 10.1080/13685538.2019.1573220
  11. Davis SR, Wahlin-Jacobsen S. Testosterone in women–the clinical significance. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2015 Dec;3(12):980-92. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00284-3. Epub 2015 Sep 7. PMID: 26358173.
  12. Nasiadek M, Stragierowicz J, Klimczak M, Kilanowicz A. The Role of Zinc in Selected Female Reproductive System Disorders. Nutrients. 2020;12(8):2464. Published 2020 Aug 16. doi:10.3390/nu12082464
  13. 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.
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  15. Kumar P, Kumar N, Thakur DS, Patidar A. Male hypogonadism: Symptoms and treatment. J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2010;1(3):297-301. doi:10.4103/0110-5558.72420
  16. Craig BW, Brown R, Everhart J. Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. Mech Ageing Dev. 1989 Aug;49(2):159-69. doi: 10.1016/0047-6374(89)90099-7. PMID: 2796409.
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