The good stuff...Zinc
You are low on Zinc! Zinc deficiency was already recognized in the 60-ties. Zinc is needed for many essential biochemical functions in our body like DNA synthesis, cell division, and protein synthesis....To build muscle (1), (2), (3), (4). Over 300 enzymes require Zinc for their activation and nearly 2000 transcription factors require Zinc for gene expression. Zinc is essential for cell mediated immunity and it is also an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
Zinc deficiency is prevalent not only in the Western World but also in the Developing World with 2 billion subjects being affected.
One of the reasons for Z deficiency is the lack of intake via food or consuming foods that negatively influence absorption. One example is the consumption of cereal proteins high in Phytate which decreases the availability of Zinc for absorption.
Free that T
One of the many positive effects that are linked to Zinc is the increasing availability of free Testosterone.
A Canadian research illustrates the positive effect Zinc supplementation has on free Testosterone levels in the body and highlights that Zinc specifically aids in increasing Free testosterone by influencing the Testosterone binding effect of SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin). By doing so it optimizes free T levels.
Free Testosterone is the really good stuff and having optimal levels of Free-T allows it to do all its good on a cellular level. This is what we are after. The reduction of SBHG in the presence of a Zinc Ion is great (5).
Better performance, more power
Besides the already mentioned positive effects of Zinc, several studies suggest that further positive effects of Zinc can be observed. Those include performance enhancement and hematological parameters.
A study investigated how exercise affects Thyroid hormones and T levels in elite athletes who supplemented with Zinc for 4 weeks. Resting total Testosterone and free Testosterone levels before Zinc supplementation were significantly higher than exhaustion levels before Zinc. Findings of the study demonstrate that exhaustion exercise led to a significant inhibition of both Thyroid hormones and T concentrations, but that 4-week Zinc supplementation prevented this inhibition. In conclusion; physiological doses of Zinc administration benefits performance (6).
In another study, the hematological effects (your blood values) of supplementation of Zinc with training athletes were reported. The study group exercised for 90-120 min, 5 days a week and supplemented with 3 mg of Z per kg of body weight per day. At the end of the supplementation period, the parameters of the subject group were significantly better than the control group. These results suggest that Zinc supplementation has a positive effect on hematological parameters in athletes (7).
The effect of fatiguing bicycle exercise on Thyroid hormone and T levels in males supplemented with Zinc was investigated. Both the resting and fatigue hormone values were higher after 4 weeks of supplementation than the same values before supplementation.
The results indicate that exercise decreases Thyroid hormones and Testosterone, however, Z supplementation prevents this decrease. Administration of Zinc can be beneficial to performance (8).
The effect of fatiguing bicycle exercise on Thyroid hormone and T levels in males supplemented with Zinc was investigated. Both the resting and fatigue hormone values were higher after 4 weeks of supplementation than the same values before supplementation. The results indicate that exercise decreases Thyroid hormones and Testosterone, however, Z supplementation prevents this decrease. Administration of Zinc can be beneficial to performance (8).
The effects of Zinc administration on plasma Testosterone and sperm count were investigated with patients with idiopathic infertility of more than five years duration. The effects of Zinc therapy on plasma Testosterone rose significantly after oral administration of zinc, as did the sperm count (9).