Use Zinc to Promote Testosterone Production

Use Zinc to Promote Testosterone Production


Testosterone is a major player in the synthesis of skeletal muscle and critical for growth and progress in sports and fitness. Testosterone is essential for maximizing your potential muscle growth and also contributes to fat breakdown. And while it’s true that women naturally produce less testosterone (and other androgens), it is still essential to their physical fitness as well

Zinc is a reasonably well studied mineral and researchers have looked at it quite a bit in regards to testosterone. I have linked all the studies in the discussion section below for those interested in knowing more specifics of these studies. To begin, total zinc stores are positively associated with serum testosterone levels.

Zinc Supplement Options

Zinc deficiency reduces :

  • The expression of androgen receptors
  • Synthesis of testosterone in cells
  • The overall effects of testosterone

The exact mechanism by which zinc exerts its influence on testosterone is not entirely understood, but it’s hypothesized that the androgen receptor may have a zinc binding site.

Zinc supplementation has been shown to:

  • Improve testosterone in animal models at relatively high doses (20 mg/kg)
  • In humans with zinc deficiency or low testosterone, supplementation has been shown to increase circulating testosterone by as much as 84%
  • May have modest increase when supplemented immediately after exercise in men who are not deficient
  • Otherwise, not shown to have effect if normal total body concentration

The best sources of zinc include:  

  • Seafood (oyster, crab),
  • Meat (turkey, chicken, steak, beef, lamb),
  • Seeds (sesame, pumpkin, cashews, etc),
  • Beans, peas, quinoa and lentils
  • Supplements

Recommended Daily Allowance, According to NIH:

  • 11 mg (men)
  • 8 mg (women)
  • Excessive zinc ( >150 mg/day) does have a toxicity profile, so do not supplement more than the RDA without talking to a healthcare provider.

Related Links

Health Benefits of Zinc:

Top 10 Dietary Sources of Zinc :


Am J Physiol. 1976 Jun;230(6):1730-2. Function of pituitary-gonadal axis in zinc-deficient rats. Lei KY, Abbasi A, Prasad AS.

Chung, K. W. (1990). Effects of chronic ethanol intake on aromatization of androgens and concentration of estrogen and androgen receptors in rat liver.Toxicology, 62(3), 285-295. doi:10.1016/0300-483x(90)90052-i

Life Sci. 1986 Jan 27;38(4):351-6. Androgen receptors in ventral prostate glands of zinc deficient rats. Chung KW, Kim SY, Chan WY, Rennert OM.

Habib, F. (1978). Zinc and the steroid endocrinology of the human prostate.Journal of Steroid Biochemistry, 9(5), 403-407. doi:10.1016/0022-4731(78)90608-8

Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2006 Feb-Apr;27(1-2):267-70. Zinc supplementation in rats subjected to acute swimming exercise: Its effect on  testosterone levels and relation with lactate. Kaya O(1), Gokdemir K, Kilic M, Baltaci AK.

Jalali, G. R., Roozbeh, J., & Mohammadzadeh, A. (2010). Impact of oral zinc therapy on the level of sex hormones in male patients on hemodialysis. Renal Failure, 32(4), 417-419. doi:10.3109/08860221003706958

Netter, A., Nahoul, K., & Hartoma, R. (1981). Effect of Zinc Administration on Plasma Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, and Sperm Count. Archives of Andrology, 7(1), 69-73. doi:10.3109/01485018109009378

Neek, L. S., Gaeini, A. A., & Choobineh, S. (2011). Effect of Zinc and Selenium Supplementation on Serum Testosterone and Plasma Lactate in Cyclist After an Exhaustive Exercise Bout. Biological Trace Element Research Biol Trace Elem Res, 144(1-3), 454-462. doi:10.1007/s12011-011-9138-2

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