Zinc is one of the essential minerals which help in maintaining human health. Zinc plays a pivotal role in bodily functions of reproduction, growth and immunity. Zinc is also known to produce or regulate many hormones which include the male hormone testosterone. Few studies have established a link between Zinc and erectile dysfunction stating that lack of Zinc levels in a male body can lead to ED.
Role of Zinc in regulating male sexual health
Zinc is quintessential for the development and the function of sex organs in men. It has been observed that men with Zinc deficiency have lower sperm count as well as not so developed testes. Zinc is responsible for producing the important hormones of prolactin and testosterone in the male body. Not only that, Zinc also enables the production of the main component of the prostatic fluid.
Researchers have evidence that taking Zinc supplement can enhance the sexual competence of a man. An experiment on Rats showed that Zinc sulphate increases the penile thrusting and delays the ejaculation time. A recent study carried in 2016 also showed that taking a supplement consisting of Zinc, folic acid and golden root herb helped people suffering from premature ejaculation by improving ejaculatory control in men. Zinc has also been found effective in treating ED in people suffering from chronic kidney diseases.
About Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is the inability of the penis to become erect or stay erect during the entire session of sexual intercourse. Several studies have estimated that around 30 million men suffer from ED in the United States alone. While people may associate ED as a physical ailment, it is often a combination of emotional and physical factors.
Health conditions such as cholesterol and diabetes reduce the blood flow to the penis which affects its’ firmness/ erection. Other factors such as anxiety and stress can also be responsible for the decrease in a sexual desire of men.
In some cases, serious health conditions or medications which affect hormones and blood system, also lead to ED. Erectile dysfunction can vary slightly from person to person. Few man also complaint about symptoms of delayed or premature ejaculation along with ED.
Some of the most common reasons responsible for ED are:
– No or lack of physical activity
– Cardiac diseases
– High blood sugar
– Increased cholesterol levels
– High blood pressure
– Excessive Alcohol consumption
– Chain smoking
– Drug abuse
– Nerve damage
– Injury of the spinal cord
– Chronic stress
– Performance anxiety
– Zinc deficiency
About Zinc deficiency
It is estimated that about 17% of the global population suffers from Zinc deficiency. The question that arises is how to identify the Zinc deficiency. These symptoms will let you know if your underlying reason for ED is Zinc deficiency!
– Lack of energy
– Loss of appetite
– Longer time in healing of wounds
– Respiratory infections taking long to cure
There are few rare cases of severe Zinc deficiency as well. The severe deficiency is usually caused due to genetic disorder or long-term illness. Whatever, the reason may be, the deficiency can take a toll on health. Moderate deficiency is often associated with poor diet and is very common. Around 2 million people across the globe suffer from mild zinc deficiency. For adults, the deficiency is not as threatening as it is for growing children.
It has been observed that pregnant women, children and people over the age of 65 are prone to Zinc deficiency. Strict vegetarians can also suffer from zinc deficiency as it is found in abundance in shellfish and meat. Consumption of legumes or certain cereal grains can also lead to zinc deficiency as they contain phytic acid known for blocking the Zinc.
How to improve Zinc levels in a body:
The best way of improving Zinc levels is through natural ingredients rather than opting for supplements. Food items which contain Zinc are:
– Oysters and shellfish
– Wheat germ (toasted)
– Lean beef (cooked)
– Sesame and squash seeds
– Toasted pumpkin
– Dark chocolate
– Soya beans/ green beans/ lima beans
– Nuts (especially cashew nut)
However, it is essential to consult a doctor before taking any supplements to avoid any health complications.