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Does Zinc Help Erectile Dysfunction

does zinc help erectile dysfunction

What Is Zinc?

Zinc is an essential trace mineral that is necessary for all cells. Prostate cells, however, accumulate more zinc than cells anywhere else in the body. In addition to the prostate, zinc is found in high concentrations in bone, eyes, kidney, liver, muscles, and pancreas.

Zinc is an active participant in numerous functions and reactions in the body, including immune system function, synthesis of DNA and protein, cell metabolism, wound healing, cell division, proper sense of smell and taste, and proper growth. It also helps stimulate about 100 different enzymes.

Overview

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common sexual problems that men deal with. There are a host of different causes of ED that range from nutrient deficiencies to clinical depression. It’s important to talk to a medical professional about ED, in order to determine the cause of the issue before exploring treatment options. That said, erectile dysfunction has been found in recent years to be a symptom of zinc deficiency.

Low levels of zinc can be the cause for a variety of health-related problems. Zinc is a key mineral that cells use to metabolize nutrients. Immune function, DNA and protein production, and cell division are all related to zinc levels in the body. Zinc also enables the male body to produce testosterone. Because of this, your levels of zinc may affect erectile dysfunction.

Despite its importance, many adults do not get enough zinc.

Risk Factors for Zinc Deficiency

Certain groups of people are more likely to have low zinc levels. Conditions that can cause an increased risk of zinc deficiency include:

  • gastrointestinal diseases
  • eating disorders
  • a purely vegetarian or low-protein diet

High levels of alcohol consumption can result in a zinc deficiency. Some medications can reduce zinc levels. These include ACE inhibitors, thiazide diuretics, and stomach acid reducers like Zantac and Prilosec.

Safety precautions for zinc supplements

The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board warn adults not to consume more than 40 mg of zinc daily to avoid side effects or toxicity.

Common symptoms of mild zinc toxicity include gut problems, such as cramping, diarrhea, and nausea. More severe zinc toxicity can also cause headaches, fever, loss of muscle coordination, and drowsiness.

Long-term zinc toxicity can cause anemia and dramatically weaken the immune system. Extreme copper deficiencies have also been associated with long-term zinc toxicity.

People should take zinc supplements 1-2 hours after meals and should not take them at the same time as other mineral supplements, such as iron and copper.

Foods that contain phytic acid, such as cereals and whole grains, may reduce the absorption of zinc supplements. Foods rich in fiber and phosphorous may also reduce zinc absorption.

Zinc supplements may interact with several medications including diuretics and blood pressure medications. In particular, ACE inhibitors may be affected. A person who is taking medication for their blood pressure must discuss zinc supplementation with their doctor.

Benefits of Zinc for Men’s Health

Enough of the basics. Now let’s zero in on the benefits of zinc for men’s health.

It promotes better brain health. High concentrations of zinc are found in the hippocampus, which is a center for memory and learning in the brain. A team of scientists from MIT and Duke University studied neurons in this area of the brain and discovered evidence of how zinc is critical for a process called long-term potentiation, which is important for memory and learning.

A deficiency of zinc, which is a potent antioxidant, seems to increase the ability of bacteria, viruses, toxins, and other harmful agents to cross the blood-brain barrier. Sufficient zinc, however, is believed to provide protection against such an invasion, according to research from the Linus Pauling Institute. Healthy zinc levels also may help protect against serious brain diseases such as schizophrenia, Pick’s disease, Wilson’s disease, and epileptic seizures, as well as alcoholism.

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