How Zinc Helps With Sexual Function And So Much More
I was just thinking about it, and I believe this is the first time I've run a blog post featuring the word "sex" in the headline.
Well, we're all adults here, and we can agree this topic is pretty darn important.
I mean, you wouldn't be here if it weren't for sex, and plenty of you engage in the activity so it's my duty to inform you about how to make it more enjoyable and more productive.
But don't worry, I'm not going to focus singularly on how zinc affects your sex life.
I'll also touch on a couple of the other powerful benefits associated with zinc.
The Cool Reasons Zinc Is So Great For Sex
If you've been following this blog for any amount of time, you know one of our focuses here at Health As It Ought To Be is working to stabilize hormone levels.
Part of the way this is accomplished is through the use of Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy. Another way is by ensuring your intake of essential minerals is maintained.
Zinc is incredibly important for males and females when it comes to sexual health.
For men, zinc is one of the few minerals that'll positively affect the sex hormone testosterone. As you might already know, millions of men struggle with lagging testosterone levels. It's what happens as we age, and/or when our diet and lifestyle are questionable.
A lack of testosterone for men can lead to occasionally being unable to maintain an erection and can also cause libido to drop. When zinc is added through supplementation or diet, it can create opportunities for the body to generate more testosterone.
This can lead to better sex because men can maintain firmer erections more often and have a stronger desire to make love.
Perhaps the most interesting way zinc works to boost libido is noted in a report issued by HealthLine on the subject.
A 2013 study shows that sense of smell may actually be important to libido, especially in younger men. That means that zinc deficiency, which can reduce sense of smell, may also reduce libido. Zinc not only impacts the level of testosterone, but may cause a loss of the ability to detect subtle chemicals that induce arousal.
Then there's what zinc can do for women and their sexual health.
Let me just say this directly: for some women, sex can seem like a chore. It's not that they don't enjoy it, it's just that their sex-drive doesn't match that of their partner. That can create tension, and it can also make sex (which is supposed to be enjoyed) less than enjoyable.
Lo and behold (to sound Shakespearean), zinc might be able help with this distinct problem. Zinc has the known ability to increase testosterone in women as well. Not to levels that aren't healthy mind you. The reason this helps with sex drive is studies show women with higher levels of testosterone have a higher sex drive, so this can help a woman match her partner's desire to make love.
Zinc also plays a role in other hormones essential to a woman's sexual and reproductive health. Zinc is vital for the production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones associated with many of the intricate details of a woman's health.
Many times when a woman has too little of either hormone, she is moody, irritable, suffers from PMS, might have trouble becoming pregnant, and could even develop cancer. By taking zinc supplements, or getting it in her diet from natural sources, a woman is able to help balance the levels of these essential hormones.
Of course, I want to conclude this section by saying zinc isn't a total cure for many problems related to sexual health.
In many cases, it can only help the physiological side of things.
So if you're having issues related to intimacy, please don't expect zinc to work miracles.
More Surprising Benefits Provided By Zinc You Never Knew Existed
1 - Zinc can help improve cellular function:
Most people are unaware of just how effective zinc is at improving cellular function.
As my colleague Dr. Axe writes:
When researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of Michigan studied potential zinc benefits from zinc supplementation on 50 adults, they found that levels of oxidative stress markers were significantly lower in the zinc-supplemented group than in the placebo group.
Those with lower zinc levels who didn’t take supplements had higher levels of inflammatory cytokines, higher plasma oxidative stress markers and endothelial cell adhesion molecules. After zinc supplementation, the incidence of illness-related side effects and infections was also significantly lower in the zinc-supplemented group, another example of zinc’s immune-boosting abilities.
2 - It helps maximize nutrient absorption:
People who are low in zinc likely have issues getting the most out of the food they eat.
This is because zinc's essential for breaking down proteins and carbohydrates in your food. It's because it's used in the metabolic process that a deficiency will make you feel tired and run down. In fact, zinc deficiency can be a contributing factor in conditions like chronic fatigue.
3 - It can help you build muscle:
Going off of the importance of zinc in the metabolic process, it's also important to realize if you have optimal levels of zinc, it means building muscle is easier.
That's because zinc is essential in breaking down the amino acids that make up protein, so they're assimilated and useable in the muscle creation process. Not to mention zinc's ability to affect hormones like human growth hormone, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which are needed for muscle growth.
One of the most extraordinary ways it works to grow muscles is, after working out, zinc will help convert the hormone androstenedione to testosterone. For people who engage in difficult exercise for the purpose of muscle growth and great health, this is of great benefit to them.
4 - It helps boost immunity:
If you've ever been caught hacking up a lung while battling a cold, I'm sure you've heard someone tell you to take zinc lozenges.
Even if they didn't know why you should take zinc lozenges, the truth is there's wisdom in the advice.
Zinc can do two things for your immune system: the first is it's able to strengthen it so you don't get sick. If you take it for five months solid (or eat foods with enough zinc) then you can reasonably expect not to get sick as much.
And if you do get sick, zinc can help there too.
Evidence of zinc's ability to fight colds demonstrates its ability to fight bacteria (and mucous) from growing in the nasal passages. A form of zinc known as ionic zinc will even fight viruses "by attaching to receptors in nasal epithelial cells and blocking their effects."
The Best Places to Get Zinc
If you want to get more zinc, I recommend trying your best to get it from your diet.
Here's a chart from the World's Healthiest Foods showing the best sources:
It can be tough to get enough zinc from diet alone.
Especially if you're really busy and don't have enough time to eat as well as you'd like.
The next obvious step is to supplement.
There are several forms of zinc available.
Perhaps the best in terms of bioavailability (and a cost perspective) is Zinc Caps provided by Life Extension. This blend serves to optimize the bioavailability of zinc and encourage optimal uptake of this important mineral.
For your money's worth, this is the best zinc on the market.