Testosterone naturally declines with age in men but lower than normal levels can have a large effect on overall well-being.
Most people assume that testosterone is implicated in building more muscle mass and increasing libido, but it’s effects extend beyond that. Deficiency can lead to fatigue, low libido, erectile dysfunction, increased body fat, depression, bone loss, reduced sperm production, hairloss and loss of muscle mass.
Testosterone naturally starts to decline around 30 years of age but zinc deficiency can reduce levels even further.
One study in 1996 showed that healthy men with zinc deficiency had a drop in testosterone of almost 50%. Serum testosterone concentrations were significantly correlated to zinc levels.
How does Zinc Affect Hormone Levels in Men?
- Lower Production: Zinc is required in the chemical pathway to make testosterone in the body from androstenedione. Zinc deficiency causes lower levels.
- More Conversion of Testosterone to Estrogen: Low zinc levels causes more testosterone to be converted to estrogen.
- Less Hormone Binding: Zinc deficiency reduces the ability of testosterone to bind receptors making it less functional. Zinc deficiency also causes estrogen receptors to attract more estrogen. Changes in hormone receptor binding lead to symptoms of testosterone deficiency and estrogen excess.
Test, Don’t Guess
Before you run out and buy a supplement, you may want to check your zinc status. If you are not in fact deficient and supplement with zinc, you may end up with Zinc toxicity. Acute zinc toxicity lead to fatigue, headache, irritability and dizziness. Excess zinc accumulates in the kidney and can affect cardiac function, impair pancreatic enzymes and affect copper status that lead to red blood cell microcytosis, neutropenia and reduced immune function.
If you suspect you have low zinc status or are experiencing symptoms of hormone deficiency, book an appointment with one of our experienced team of Naturopathic Doctors. Simply testing your zinc status and testosterone help you get healthy, look good & feel amazing!