If you are struggling with low testosterone, it is important to understand the underlying cause of your testosterone deficiency before you begin testosterone therapy. The human body is extremely complicated, so there are several things that can affect the production of testosterone. Low testosterone in men and women can be caused by insufficient levels of certain hormones. Here’s what you need to know about zinc and vitamin D for testosterone improvement.
Why Is Zinc Important for Testosterone Levels?
Zinc is a type of nutrient that is called an essential trace element. This means that you only need a very small amount of it each day. Though humans do not need a lot of zinc, the body cannot function properly without it. Having proper amounts of zinc in the body is linked to both higher testosterone readings and lower amounts of testosterone being excreted through urine. Zinc is helpful for those with testosterone deficiency because it aids the body in producing sex hormones. Its exact mechanisms are not fully understood, but researchers also believe that zinc improves testosterone availability by increasing the population of testosterone receptors in the body.
How Does Vitamin D Affect Testosterone?
Vitamin D is a nutrient that is essential to biochemical functions in the body. This vitamin helps to metabolize energy into hormones and it helps to regulate cell and tissue growth. Due to its important role in creating hormones, it is no surprise that you need vitamin D for proper testosterone production. Studies that measure people’s testosterone and vitamin D levels find that testosterone increases linearly as vitamin D intake increases. The relationship between vitamin D and testosterone has been researched in both men and women, and it seems that vitamin D is essential for producing adequate amounts of testosterone.
How Much Zinc and Vitamin D Do You Need?
The dietary requirements for males and females will vary a little bit because the different genders tend to have different nutritional needs. Men normally need about 11 milligrams of zinc a day while women need about 8 milligrams a day. If a woman is pregnant, she will need 11 milligrams a day, and lactating women need 12 milligrams per day. These are the minimum recommended amounts for healthy living, so you definitely need at least this much. However, taking up to 30 milligrams a day can be even more beneficial since studies have found that this amount of zinc increases testosterone in men. Vitamin D levels are a little less precise since it is a major nutrient. The US Institute of Medicine recommends that both men and women get around 800 IU of vitamin D a day. However, some recent research suggests that humans actually need up to 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day to operate at an optimal level.
What Can You Do to Get More Vitamin D and Zinc?
For some people, just increasing their zinc and vitamin D levels is enough to improve testosterone. However, if you still have low testosterone, it may be time to talk to your doctor about testosterone injections. To ensure that your TRT is as effective as possible, you will still need to make sure you are getting enough zinc and vitamin D during your testosterone therapy.
Dietary Sources of Zinc
Keep in mind that your body cannot store or produce zinc as it can with vitamin D, so you will need to try to get enough zinc every day. In general, zinc is found in dairy, grains, legumes, shellfish, and meats. For low testosterone in women and men, a diet rich in beef, pork, chicken, crab, oysters, beans, yogurt, oatmeal, nuts, and certain cereals can be very healthy. Keep in mind that phytates can block zinc absorption, so you may not want to eat excessive amounts of legumes.
Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a somewhat unusual vitamin because you do not necessarily need to eat vitamin D to increase your vitamin D levels. The human body can create vitamin D from sun exposure. Just ten minutes in the sun can be enough to help your body produce 10,000 IU of vitamin D. Keep in mind that this does come with some skin cancer risks, so it is not always ideal. In order to synthesize vitamin D, the body needs cholesterol. You can find healthy forms of cholesterol in eggs and fatty fish that already contain plenty of vitamin D. Good sources of vitamin D include tuna, salmon, sardines, milk, eggs, mushrooms, beef liver, and fortified orange juice.
Ways to Supplement Zinc and Vitamin D
If you feel like you cannot get enough zinc and vitamin D for testosterone improvement from your diet, you have some other options. There are oral supplements that patients can take to increase vitamin D and zinc levels. They typically come in the form of pills, but some tinctures are also available. If you have a severe deficiency, your doctor might even suggest that you get injections for improved vitamin D absorption. Keep in mind that excessive levels of zinc and vitamin D can have some side effects, so you should talk to your doctor if you are considering taking supplements during your testosterone therapy.