February 13, 2023

Zinc is an essential dietary mineral vital to a healthy immune system. This mineral assists enzymes in breaking down food and getting the necessary nutrients and plays a role in building proteins. There is a strong link between zinc and testosterone, as the mineral affects the cells in the testes that are responsible for producing testosterone. 

Let's look at zinc and its positive effects on testosterone. 

What's the role of Zinc in our bodies?

Zinc is an essential nutrient; however, the body does not produce or store the mineral. This means you have to have a constant supply through diet, as zinc is responsible for the following processes:

  • Growth and development
  • DNA synthesis
  • Gene expression
  • Wound healing
  • Enzymatic reactions
  • Protein synthesis
  • Immune system function

Zinc plays an important role in the body, as it controls over 300 enzymes that help nerve function, digestion, metabolism, and much more. It is also necessary for the healthy development and function of immune cells. Zinc controls body growth and development through its role in cell growth and division and affects certain hormones, such as testosterone. 

What benefits does Zinc provide?

While the human body does not need a high level of zinc, there are many benefits that positively affect the body if it's within the upper limit. 

Here are some of the benefits of having optimal levels of zinc:

Healthy immune system

Zinc boosts T-cell production, which is an important part of the immune system that fights off illnesses and infections. The mineral stimulates certain cells that prevent oxidative stress. A study has shown that daily supplementation of zinc reduces the duration of cold symptoms by 33%

Helps with wound healing

Zinc is commonly used to treat certain ulcers, burns, rashes, and other skin conditions/injuries. The mineral has an important role in immune function, inflammatory response, and collagen synthesis, so it helps for fast and proper healing. 

12-week study in people with diabetic foot ulcers found that 50mg of zinc daily reported reductions in ulcer size compared to the placebo group. 

Decreases inflammation

Zinc reduces the levels of certain inflammatory proteins and decreases oxidative stress. Oxidative stress often leads to chronic inflammation, which is a symptom of many chronic diseases, such as mental decline, cancer, and heart disease. 

In a study of 40 adults, those who were given 45 mg of zinc daily showed greater reductions in inflammatory markers compared to a placebo group. 

How does it impact testosterone?

There is an established link between zinc and testosterone levels. While zinc's role is not completely understood, low testosterone levels are often attributed to low zinc levels. Experts claim that since zinc affects various cells in the body, it also affects the cells in the testes, which produce testosterone.

Various studies have been done to test the link between zinc and low testosterone. One study posted by PubMed found that men taking 30 mg of zinc supplements daily increased the levels of free testosterone in the body, ultimately increasing testosterone. 

This shows the evidence that a zinc deficiency may be a cause of low testosterone, and the effects can be reversed with zinc supplementation. 

Studies that show this correlation

Only a few studies have provided accurate results on the link between zinc and testosterone levels. A study in the Journal of Exercise Physiology found that zinc has a strong link to testosterone function and production; however, it was only apparent in specific situations. 

The study looked at how zinc affects testosterone levels in the body and stated that men with healthy levels of zinc did not see an improvement in testosterone production. However, improvements were recorded among individuals who had low zinc levels. Researchers concluded that men with low levels of zinc benefit from zinc therapy to increase testosterone. 

Another study showed that zinc plays an important role in modulating serum levels of testosterone in the body, further proving the correlation between zinc and testosterone. 

What happens if I have a Zinc deficiency?

A zinc deficiency occurs when you do not get at least 11 mg of zinc in your diet daily. The deficiency results in skin changes that look like eczema, with cracks and a glazed appearance. This is often around the mouth and hands. 

Other symptoms of a zinc deficiency include:

  • Hair loss
  • Changes in the appearance of nails
  • Increased infections
  • Feeling irritable
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye problems
  • Lack of taste and smell

A zinc deficiency is also one of the reasons behind low testosterone levels. Since zinc is responsible for cell division and healthy cells, it affects testosterone production in the testes. 

How can I replenish Zinc within my body?

Men need about 11 mg of zinc every day. A zinc deficiency can become severe if ignored, as it affects many functions in the body, including healthy levels of testosterone. Fortunately, it is possible for men to obtain an optimum level of zinc in their diet, as many foods contain zinc. There are also many zinc supplements on the wellness market. 

Zinc-rich foods

There are many foods that are high in zinc. You can incorporate one or more of the foods in your diet to ensure you have healthy levels of zinc, which increases testosterone. 


Serving Size

Zinc Content



4.09 mg



3.87 mg 

Sesame Seeds

¼ cup

2.79 mg

Pumpkin Seeds

¼ cup

2.52 mg


1 cup

2.51 mg


¼ cup

1.31 mg


0.75 cup

2.02 mg


4 oz

1.95 mg


4 oz

1.85 mg


4 oz

1.78 mg


4 oz

1.76 mg

Green peas

1 cup

1.64 mg


¼ cup

1.55 mg


1 cup

1.45 mg


1 cup

1.37 mg


1 cup

1.08 mg


1 cup

0.70 mg

Brussel sprouts

1 cup

0.51 mg


½ cup 

0.33 mg


1 cup

0.31 mg

Zinc supplementation

There are many types of zinc supplements on the market today. You can take zinc on its own or combine it with other vital minerals for an enhanced result. 

You can pick from the following zinc supplements:

  • Zinc gluconate
  • Zinc acetate
  • Zinc sulfate
  • Zinc picolinate
  • Zinc orotate
  • Zinc citrate

Zinc gluconate is one of the most cost-effective and widely available zinc supplements. However, if money is no obstacle, zinc picolinate gets absorbed by the body the easiest. These supplements can be taken as a tablet, capsules, or lozenges. 


There is a definite link between zinc and testosterone, with some studies proving that zinc does boost testosterone. While zinc helps increase testosterone, these studies prove that it is effective only when mineral levels are low, so men need to recognize zinc deficiency. 

Individuals who are vegetarians, vegans, drink excess alcohol or have gastrointestinal disorders have a greater chance of having this deficiency. You can incorporate zinc-rich foods into your diet or take zinc supplements to prevent zinc deficiency and keep your testosterone levels healthy.


How much zinc do I need to increase testosterone?

Many studies have found that 30 mg of zinc daily increases the levels of free testosterone in the body.

Is it safe to take zinc every day?

It is safe, even in higher doses; however, this should only be used for a short period of time. Taking doses higher than 40 mg may be unsafe and cause side effects such as nausea.

When should I take zinc?

Zinc is often a part of multivitamins, which are usually taken in the morning. Its absorption is best on an empty stomach, but it may cause an upset stomach in some people. For this reason, zinc should not be taken at night.

Does zinc give you energy?

Yes. Zinc gives the body the energy it needs for metabolism and affects the cells that make testosterone. It reduces fatigue and makes you more energized. 

Does zinc help with erectile dysfunction?

Zinc supplements may be a useful treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). The mineral produces sex hormones such as testosterone and prolactin, which improves the chance of achieving and keeping an erection. 

About the Author Tim Rockwell

Tim Rockwell is a highly skilled and knowledgeable fitness expert. With a background in exercise science and years of experience in the fitness industry, Tim is passionate about sharing his expertise with others through his writing. He currently contributes articles to Eurasc, where he shares practical tips and strategies for leading a healthy, active lifestyle.

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