Zinc and Fertility
Men: 5 Important Facts About Zinc And Fertility
Men need Zinc in their diet to maintain their sexual function, protect their prostate gland from infection and also from enlargement.
1. A deficiency can cause up to a 30% reduction in sperm.
Zinc is vital for the making of testosterone. A healthy level of Zinc stops the overactive function of an enzyme called aromatase. The aromatase enzyme enables testosterone to turn into oestrogen so naturally if it is allowed to be overactive, there will be an imbalance of oestrogen and testosterone.
Zinc also plays a key role in the function of luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormones. It is these hormones that send signals to your body to increase testosterone production. So a deficiency in Zinc will lead to a drop in testosterone and in turn a fall in sperm production. Zinc and fertility are directly related.
2. High protein foods contain a high amount of zinc.
So conversely, vegetarians generally have a low amount of zinc in their diet as the zinc from plant proteins is actively worked against by an element called phytate which decreases zinc absorption.
The reason for the low levels of Zinc in non-protein foods is generally due to a deficiency in the soil and the fact that cooking with water can result in releasing 50% of the zinc into the water.
Here below is a list of Zinc rich foods that you can eat to maintain your Zinc levels:
Oysters (per 6) provides 33.0 mg of Zinc
Rack of ribs (beef) provides 38.7mg of Zinc
Ribeye Steak (129g) provides 14.2mg of Zinc
Pork Shoulder (147g) provides 7.4mg of Zinc
Chicken drumstick (each) provides 2.11mg of Zinc
Peanut Butter provides 15.1mg per 100g serving
3. A Stressful lifestyle fuelled with caffeine and high alcohol intake all helps to decrease zinc levels.
Around 30-50% of alcoholics have a low zinc level as the ethanol decreases absorption of zinc through the intestine and increases urinary zinc excretion
4. Zinc is needed to create the outer membrane and the tail of the sperm.
A deficiency would prevent the sperm from maturing and being strong enough to swim the long journey required. Zinc is required for fertility. Every ejaculation can include up to 5 mg of Zinc.
5. Sperm need Zinc to mature and move.
Any changes in your diet or taking supplements will take 3 months to make a difference as it takes 75 days minimum for sperm to mature.
As Zinc assists the sperm to grow strong, then a low motility could mean that they need more Zinc. Therefore if you have any concerns about low levels of Zinc then examine your diet and make changes where necessary, particularly when considering vasectomy reversal surgery here at The Vasectomy Reversal Centre. Your ultimate aim is to produce strong, swimming sperm.