Zinc recommended for Testosterone Therapy for Men.
Hormone balance has been key for women; our overall health and well-being is dependent on the levels of hormones like estrogen, progesterone and DHEA. What about for men? Testosterone levels decline in men with age, and bring about symptoms of depression, loss of sexual function, muscle mass, and low energy and stamina; as it affects every cell within the body. Degenerative diseases such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes are linked to testosterone decline.
Men are now looking to testosterone replacement. Even though estrogen is considered a female hormone, there is a relationship between testosterone and estrogen. Normal testosterone metabolism can go down different pathways within the body. These include dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or estradiol via aromatase enzymes. For men, too much estrogen can be problematic. It can present as bloating, breast tenderness, fat buildup, and prostate problems. Excessive estrogen can also increase the production of SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin), which binds to the testosterone, making it an inactive form. For testosterone to produce long-lasting, libido-enhancing effects, it must be kept in an active form (not bound to SHGB). It is necessary to keep excess estrogen in check because this hormone will compete for testosterone receptor sites.
This is not to sound anti-testosterone replacement. Our recommendation for any male using testosterone replacement, is to also add a zinc supplement. In fact, a zinc deficiency is pretty common in most everyone (men and women equally).
What is the role of zinc in regards to hormone regulation?
• Low zinc leads to an increase in estrogen receptors and a decrease in testosterone receptors.
• Zinc is considered an aromatase inhibitor. Low zinc may increase the aromatization of testosterone to estrogen.
• Zinc in necessary for testosterone production.
• The prostate gland requires 10 times more zinc than any other organ in the cell
The evidence supporting zinc supplementation and testosterone levels goes back to the 1990s. A study found men with a normal T level who avoided getting enough zinc from diet, experienced a dramatic drop by more than 50 percent after 5 months.1 Athletes given 30mg of zinc daily showed an increase in free and total testosterone after 4 weeks when compared to placebo.2
Don’t be surprised if at your next prescription pick up, there is a zinc supplement attached. This is a new initiative we are focusing on. Taking 1 to 2 tablets of zinc picolinate daily while you are on testosterone therapy should keep your zinc stores high so you can continue to feel the benefits of testosterone.
If you have any questions, please contact me or any of the pharmacists.
Brandi Grimmer, CPhT, CNC
Keystone Nutrition Consultant
1. Om AS, Chung KW. Dietary zinc deficiency alters 5 alpha-reduction and aromatization of testosterone and androgen and estrogen receptors in rat liver. J Nutr. (1996)
2. Shafiei Neek L, Gaeini AA, Choobineh S. Effect of zinc and selenium supplementation on serum testosterone and plasma lactate in cyclist after an exhaustive exercise bout. Biol Trace Elem Res. (2011
3. Morgentaler, Abraham MD. Testosterone for Life. 2009.
4. Decline of Masculinity – Male Hormones by Alexander Mostovoy, H.D., D.H.M.S.