Andropause & The Mid-Life Crisis (3)

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

On this page we look at various treatments which may help to overcome the andropause.

Journal of Nutrition. 1996 Apr; 126(4): 842-8

A study to establish the importance of zinc in the metabolism of hormones in the male was conducted by investigation of the impact of zinc deficiency on androgen metabolism in the liver and aromatization, androgen and estradiol cell / tissue receptor binding, and circulating levels of male reproductive hormones in rats. The rats were divided into groups, one with complete diets and one with zinc deficient diets. Hepatic conversion of testosterone to its more active form dihydrotestosterone was significantly lower, but formation of estradiol from testosterone was significantly higher, in rats fed the zinc-deficient food diet compared with those rats which had a complete diet. There were rather lower serum concentrations of LH (luteinizing hormone), estradiol and the male hormone testosterone in rats fed on the reduced zinc-deficient diet. There were no differences found in the serum concentration of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) between the two groups.

Analyses of the tissue receptor binding data revealed a significantly higher level of estradiol receptor in zinc-deficient rats when compared to controls as well as a significantly lower level of androgen (testosterone) binding sites in rats fed upon zinc-deficient diets compared to control rats. There were no significant differences in hepatic liver androgen and estradiol receptor levels between zinc deficient and complete diet rats. This suggests that zinc deficiency causes a reduction in serum concentration of LH (luteinizing hormone) and testosterone, as well as altering hepatic steroid metabolism, and in addition modifying sex hormone receptor levels, so contributing to the dysfunction of male reproductive functioning.

Testosterone, the most powerful male anabolic steroid our bodies produce, is closely interrelated with zinc. Much remains to be understood, but zinc, at the tissue / cellular level, may control testosterone metabolism. Zinc is also understood to have a major role in the metabolism of testosterone in the prostate gland, where very high levels of zinc are found.

Zinc has a major impact on male potency and sex drive. Even a moderate deficiency can cause regression of the testes, and a mild deficiency is linked to low sperm count. (Zinc is useful in the prevention and also the effective treatment of male infertility and low sperm count.) Low zinc levels  lead to decreased sex drive, are associated with a loss of appetite and possibly also emotional problems. Properly controlled studies have shown that supplemental zinc in the diet can increase levels of testosterone and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) in men with a case of mildly deficient zinc levels. The significance of this is that the majority of people are actually deficient in zinc.

Men with mild zinc deficiency, will increase their serum levels of testosterone with supplementation of zinc very quickly. This may even be the most powerful natural anabolic "supplement". The modern diet is noticeably deficient in zinc. Zinc is now almost non-existent in land farmed intensively, and foods do not contain enough zinc for the body's needs. The correct form of zinc for supplementation is zinc picolinate.

To be continued

Other pages on the andropause

Andropause 1
Andropause 2 / midlife crisis
Andropause 3 / testosterone
Andropause 4 / testosterone
Testosterone therapy
Self help for the andropause

Other pages on this site

The-penis.com - home page
Masturbation and the penis
Male arousal and desire
Andropause: low testosterone
Orgasm and ejaculation
Male initiation: rites of passage
For gay or bi men
All about semen
The testicles and scrotum
Mature masculinity