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Does zinc increase testosterone?

Let's dive into all things testosterone production and zinc.

Written by
Bailey Petts
Medically reviewed by
Last updated
August 15, 2023
min read
Does zinc increase testosterone?
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Increased testosterone levels can have a big impact on your body. In fact, there are quite a few health benefits connected to increased testosterone levels.

You might remember when you were a young boy and your voice started cracking, or when you noticed your first facial hair. You can thank increased testosterone levels for that.

Testosterone can also improve your:

  • Sexual health
  • Heart health
  • Muscle mass
  • Bone strength
  • Concentration [1].

With these benefits, it's good to maintain healthy testosterone levels and look for ways to do so. Zinc is an essential mineral and zinc supplementation has been considered a top-tier way of boosting testosterone production.

But, before we *add zinc supplement to cart*, let's get to know more about testosterone production, testosterone levels and safe zinc supplementation.

What is zinc?

Zinc is an essential mineral meaning your body needs it to support full immune function and growth. It supports the:

  • Immune system
  • Thyroid function
  • Wound healing such as blood clotting
  • Our senses such as smell and taste

And many other of your body's typical systems and functions [2].

Maintaining healthy zinc levels is extremely important for DNA synthesis and enzyme and protein activity. Signs that you have a zinc deficiency can include hair loss, erectile dysfunction, loss of appetite and skin issues.

As the body doesn't make zinc, you need to obtain the right amount from your food or supplementation each day.

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone found in both men and women, although men have higher levels of this hormone in their bodies. During puberty, your testosterone levels will increase significantly and you'll have visible changes. Hello, deep voice.

Often linked to libido and sexual function, testosterone levels play a role in other parts of your body composition, too [3]. It also affects your cognitive health, bone health, sexual health and red blood cell production.

Another thing that testosterone impacts is your hair growth. This is why you might notice your hairline receding or your hair thinning as your approach your 30s when testosterone levels tend to start declining [4].

While it is a part of getting older, it can feel quite sudden and understanding your testosterone levels and including supplements in your routine could be the answer you're looking for.

What causes low testosterone?

Low levels of testosterone or a testosterone deficiency is more commonplace than you think. While age is a common factor, your testosterone hormone levels changing can also be caused by:

  • Medications
  • Genetic conditions
  • Alcohol or drugs
  • Hormone disorders.

Is it possible to boost testosterone levels?

If you're dealing with low testosterone or testosterone deficiency, you can try boosting your testosterone production with a treatment like TRT (testosterone replacement therapy).

Exercise can also play a positive role in boosting testosterone, especially weight training, which encourages muscle mass and in turn, can trigger an increase in testosterone.

Alternatively, a supplement can also prove helpful in supporting the production of testosterone.

Does zinc increase testosterone?

Zinc supplements for the increase of testosterone levels have little research behind them. Although some men experienced an increase in their testosterone levels, others did not [5].

If you're getting enough dietary zinc intake from what you eat, it's unlikely you need to rely on a zinc supplement. But, zinc can be helpful in enabling testosterone development.

Zinc can't be stored in the body but it can support testosterone production, so a supplement containing zinc can be helpful.

Does zinc balance testosterone levels?

Zinc is a vital mineral for your body's systems and functions, including male sex organs and a healthy level of zinc in your body means your testosterone levels will be balanced.

Although further research is needed in this area, preliminary studies show that low zinc intake is likely to reduce testosterone levels due to the male sex organs not being properly supported.

Those with a zinc deficiency need zinc supplementation to help can maintain their hormone balance [6]. The main takeaway here is that it all depends on what your body needs.

If you're getting enough zinc, a zinc supplement on its own won't balance out your testosterone levels as they probably don't need to be balanced.

Can you take too much zinc?

It's all about maintaining the right levels for your body. If your zinc intake is below the necessary amount, zinc supplements can provide that necessary addition to your daily regimen.

But, given you can get zinc from your diet, it's important to make sure you're taking just the right amount [7]. Adult men should not exceed 40 milligrams — anything higher and you can run the risk of zinc toxicity.

The symptoms of zinc toxicity include:

  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps.

How much zinc you take is completely dependent on your personal mineral imbalance. If you think you might need to try supplementation, be sure to check with your doctor first.

Which zinc is best for testosterone?

Zinc sulfate is commonly used in dietary supplements that treat male hypogonadism (when your sex glands produce little to no sex hormones) [8].

However, there are other forms of zinc that have been proven to have better absorption. For example,

  • Zinc gluconate: usually found in cold medications
  • Zinc acetate: this is also found in cold medications to speed up recovery
  • Zinc citrate: this has been found to be as well absorbed as zinc gluconate with a better taste [9]
  • Zinc picolinate: one study showed that this was better absorbed than zinc citrate and zinc gluconate [10].

If you're concerned that you might be experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone, we recommend speaking to your doctor about it so you can be sure you're receiving the right treatment.

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