The Benefits and Side Effects of Zinc

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Updated February 26, 2021

Zinc is a popular ingredient in testosterone boosters
We all know that zinc is a necessary part of the diet for us to remain healthy we must consume it, even in minimal amounts, in the food that we eat every day. What most of us are not aware of, however, is that among the many zinc benefits, one is that it can help promote the production of testosterone in men. Although it has many other benefits in the body (we will look at them later), research has shown that zinc and testosterone go hand in hand in sexually healthy males. To understand how it works let us first understand what zinc is and how it works in the body.

Zinc is an element that is necessary for the healthy growth of plants, animals and human beings alike. It supports numerous cellular processes in the human body. Naturally, everyone should have about 2-3 grams of zinc in the body at any one time to remain healthy. Zinc plays a vital role in male fertility. For males to have a normal sperm count they have to have enough zinc in their diet. It is also important in protecting the prostate gland and stopping it from enlargement ultimately leading to prostate cancer and other prostate complications.

A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic showed that taking certain amounts of zinc was particularly beneficial in men. Those who took between 4 mg and 24 mg every 2 hours lowered the risk of getting colds. Those who took up to 150 mg had improved immune function. Most important, however, was the group that took 220 mg of zinc every day there was reduced sexual dysfunction and they had more and better quality sperm. This is a very significant finding when you consider that infertility levels in men are at an all time high. Because zinc affects testosterone it also affects other male factors. For those who are looking to increase muscle mass, for instance, taking zinc can be a big boost. One of the telling factors for men who suffer zinc deficiency is reduced muscle mass and an overall struggle with bodybuilding.

Today, most of the zinc that is consumed outside of the diet is consumed in the form of herbal supplements. It can be packaged as zinc on its own but in many cases it comes combines with other trace elements such as magnesium for optimal health. It can be consumed by anyone not just men who are looking to increase their testosterone levels. This is because zinc has multiple benefits, co many in fact that we cannot cover them all here.

The important thing to understand when it comes to the benefits of zinc is that if you don’t consume enough zinc in your diet or in supplement form you will have a deficiency.

Symptoms of zinc deficiency

  • Your sense of taste is altered so that you cannot taste salt and sugar at normal levels. You will end up consuming more sodium and sugar than is good for you.
  • You will get frequent diarrhea that is not linked to food poisoning.
  • You will suffer from chronic fatigue and low energy levels (may be the reason for low libido).
  • Your immune system is compromised.
  • Your memory gets worse and worse as the deficiency increases. You also have a problem staying focused and keeping alert.
  • This may lead to Attention deficiency Disorder symptoms.
  • If you get any wound they take a long time to heal.
  • You will hear frequent ringing in your ears.

Think of zinc benefits as the opposite of these symptoms. They include good vision, great hair, skin and nails, a good appetite, proper growth in kids and teenagers and it also helps alleviate menstrual symptoms.

For those who do not want to take zinc supplements there are some foods that are so rich in zinc that consuming them on a regular basis will keep you healthy. These include: red meat, poultry and fish, other kinds of sea food, dairy products, whole cereals and some dark, green, leafy vegetables.

It should be noted that the older you grow the more zinc you need to consume.

Zinc Side Effects

Everything, when not taken in moderation, has the potential to be harmful. Zinc is a naturally occurring element that should be taken at the recommended dosage that is about 40 mg per day for an adult. If you consume more than this you many experience gastric discomfort because it may irritate the gut. You may also experience headaches accompanied by drowsiness as well as a metallic taste in the mouth. It should be noted, however, that this is when zinc is consumed at very high levels in supplement form. It is rare that you will get an overdose of zinc from food sources as most of them contain just trace amounts that the body can deal with.


Men who are looking for a testosterone boost should first seek to increase their zinc levels as it has been proven to be necessary for male fertility. It also helps reduce the risk of prostate problems. Zinc is an element that is necessary for women and children as well.

Just do your research and make sure you are taking zinc in an appropriate way. Like most things, too much of a good thing turns into a bad thing.

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Joe Costello CNC
Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC)
Joe Costello is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Nutrition Coach, author, and internet blogger. Joe has more than 10 years of experience in the sports nutrition industry and over 3 years of experience as a supplement and nutrition blogger. As a Certified Nutrition Coach who specializes in dietary supplements, Joe strives to deliver accurate, comprehensive, and research-backed information to his readers.

You can find more of Joe’s work including his E-Books about fitness and nutrition at his official website joecostellonwc.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, or YouTube. Joe Costello is one of the founders of TheSupplementReviews.org and years after the creation of the site, partnered with TEK Naturals, a nutritional supplement company.