Zinc and Men’s Fertility
The 7 Reasons to Take It + Food Sources
Beware of the faulty assumption that only women’s health is important for fertility; men’s health is just as critical for fertility! In fact, zinc, an essential trace mineral involved in many biochemical functions in the human body, plays a paramount role in men’s fertility. Read on to discover 7 ways zinc can boost men’s fertility, as well as the best food sources of zinc!
Increases Testosterone Zinc is a powerful hormone balancer. It can help prevent the excess conversion of DHEA to estrogen for improved testosterone production. Studies have shown that increased zinc supplementation can increase testosterone levels.
Improves Quantity and Composition of Sperm Sufficient zinc intake can lead to an increase in spermatogenesis, also known as sperm production, and improved composition of the sperm.
Membrane Integrity and Motility Supplementing with zinc can improve sperm motility in men who are zinc-deficient. Zinc is also found in every single cell in the body and has an important role in the integrity of the membrane (the outer protective layer) of sperm, as well as the membrane lining of reproductive organs. This is particularly important for fertility since free radicals can cause damage to sperm cells. Heavy metals are also a threat to membrane integrity, and zinc helps with the detoxification of heavy metals--double win!
Antibacterial Zinc has been shown to kill off bacteria in men’s urethra that could otherwise affect the vitality of the sperm passing through the urethra.
Regulates Blood Pressure Blood pressure is an important factor in men’s fertility since optimal circulation is key for the physiological aspect of intercourse--wink wink, nudge nudge! In this sense, zinc can assist in optimal erections for men.
Thyroid Hormone Zinc is responsible in the conversion of thyroid hormone, which affects body temperature, metabolism, sexual health and more! Zinc deficiency can affect thyroid health, which in turn can affect testosterone levels and sperm production.
Embryonic Implantation If sperm production is adequate, issues with fertility may arise if the embryo is not attaching to the walls of the uterus. Zinc helps to ensure that the embryo is successfully implanted on to the uterine walls.
Food Sources: Before turning to supplements, look to your diet to ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of zinc*. Thankfully, there are lots of foods high in zinc. It’s no wonder oysters are considered the best aphrodisiac food--oysters weighing 1 ounce can contain 8-9 mg of zinc, which is a lot considering the daily recommended intake is 11mg*! Other best sources include: Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil, chickpeas, beef, cashews, mushrooms, yogurt, salmon and cacao.
*Adequate levels of zinc depend on your individual constitution. Refer to your doctor for your recommended intake and for your individual fertility planning.
Megan Horsley is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist , Blog Writer and Recipe Developer. Megan is passionate about helping her clients discover their best selves with a holistic approach to their wellbeing. Find Megan on social media @megan_rhn and visit her website for information on nutrition services, recipes, and more: www.meganhorsleynutrition.com