Zinc on testosterone and being an Alpha Energy Male

Zinc is likely the manliest mineral out there.

There is a big chance that if you start supplementing zinc or ideally, eating more zinc-rich foods, you’ll experience a boost in testosterone.

But zinc is more than just a T-booster.

Let’s dive in!

Hans here! I increased my testosterone to 1254ng/dl and have been maintaining high T naturally. I’ve turned myself into an Alpha Energy Male.

An Alpha Energy Male with high energy, fast recovery, high sex drive, and confidence.

This is why I research obsessively, experiment and write, and have been doing so for the past decade.

Hope you enjoy and join me on this journey.

What we’ll be covering

Zinc on testosterone and DHT

Zinc is one of the most important minerals used for testosterone optimization. This is because it can have a powerful effect on boosting testosterone. However, it will only increase testosterone if you’re deficient in zinc.

Low zinc in the body leads to:

  • Low testosterone
  • High estrogen
  • Very low testosterone-to-estrogen ratio
  • Low DHT
  • High 3alpha-diol (weak DHT metabolite) and
  • An awful DHT to 3 alpha-diol ratio.

A low meat (low zinc) diet can tank your testosterone.

An interesting study was done where they put 22 men on a zinc-deficient diet for 24 weeks to see what would happen to their testosterone (R).

Their diet before the experimental diet was roughly 12.5mg, which is just above the recommended daily allowance (RDA). The zinc content of the experimental zinc-deficient diet was 4.2-5.6mg. 2-3 times less of what they usually consumed.

The low-zinc foods were from a semipurified diet based on texturized soy products with added vitamins and minerals, except zinc. I can’t believe anyone ate that for 20 weeks!

As a result, their testosterone dropped from 1150ng/dl to 305nd/dl after 20 weeks! That’s roughly an x4 drop.

As a side note, it’s quite remarkable that their baseline testosterone was 1150ng/dl since they worked in a hospital, which is demanding, can be stressful and has a severe lack of sunlight.

Supplementing zinc can double your testosterone

The same researchers did another study where that supplemented men between the ages of 50 and 80 with 30mg zinc gluconate daily for 6 months (R).

Before the supplemental protocol, their average daily dietary zinc intake was a measly 69% of the RDA. Since the RDA for zinc is 11mg, that would mean they were consuming only 7.6mg of zinc daily.

Over the 6 months, their testosterone doubled from 240ng/dl to 460ng/dl, putting them in the normal range (R).

Another study found that supplementing 240mg zinc daily for 40-50 days increased testosterone by nearly 200ng/dl. And as you can see, DHT also nearly doubled.

Zinc increases testosterone mainly by:

  • Being a cofactor for the enzyme, 17 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17β-HSD), which converts androstenedione to testosterone (R).
  • Inhibiting aromatase
  • Lowering excess cortisol
  • Lowering prolactin
  • Increasing dopamine
  • Improving thyroid function
  • Lowering inflammation
  • Improving insulin sensitivity
  • Increases undercarboxylated osteocalcin, which is the hormonally active form, stimulate testosterone synthesis (A).
  • etc.

Zinc on androgen receptors

Low zinc leads to low androgen receptors compared to animals eating enough zinc (31 +/- 5.2 vs 84 +/- 11.5 fmol/mg protein) (R). This is because Zn-finger proteins are involved in the genetic expression of various growth factors and steroid receptors (R).

Zinc on aromatase, estradiol and estrogen receptors

The testosterone-to-estrogen ratio in men declines with aging from a high of about 50:1 to half of that, or even a low of 10:1. Higher estrogen activity results in an increased risk of heart disease, weight gain, and obesity (R).

As people ate a diet low in zinc, testosterone starts to decline while estrogen increases. By eating a high-zinc diet, you can prevent this from happening.

Not only does estrogen goes up, but estrogen sensitivity also increases.

It’s been shown, that rats that are deficient in zinc have significantly more estrogen receptors (36.6 +/- 3.4 vs 23.3 +/- 2.2 fmol/mg protein) and lower androgen receptors (6.7 +/- 0.7 vs 11.3 +/- 1.2 fmol/mg protein) (R).

Also, a zinc deficiency increases estrogen sensitivity, indicating more estrogen receptor action on the nuclear fraction. Meaning, once estrogen binds to the estrogen receptor, it enters the nucleus of the cell where it affects DNA synthesis, which will affect bodily functions. Supplemental zinc reverses this excess sensitivity. (R)

Zinc on dopamine and mood


Dopamine plays a big role in motivation, focus, mood, libido and sexual function. Dopaminergic drugs are used as anti-depressants and are commonly used to boost libido in hypo-sexual individuals.

Zinc has been shown to (RRRR):

  • Increase dopamine receptors.
  • Increase extracellular dopamine.
  • Inhibits dopamine uptake by neurons.

All of which will strengthen the effects of dopamine.

👉 The complete guide on how to increase dopamine

💖Zinc can also help to increase libido


Noradrenaline is created from dopamine and has similar benefits to dopamine. The new class of anti-depressants is also noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors. Showing that noradrenaline has good anti-depressant effects. Plus, increasing noradrenaline prevents (to an extent) the sexual side effects caused by anti-depressants.

Low zinc leads to low noradrenaline in the brain and restoring zinc levels, restore noradrenaline levels (R).

Zinc on oxytocin

Oxytocin is mostly known for bonding, but it’s also involved in mood and libido. Hypersexual individuals tend to have higher oxytocin than those with lower libido.

Zinc “activates” oxytocin. Zinc directly binds to oxytocin, which increases the affinity of oxytocin for its receptor (R).

How to become hypersexual naturally


Zinc administration at doses between 25-50mg acutely inhibits cortisol secretion (R).

Cortisol is known to lower testosterone, increase frustration and anger, break down muscle, store body fat, increases aromatase, inhibit liver and thyroid function and much more.

Low levels of zinc lead to high CRH (which causes neuroinflammation and depression), ACTH and cortisol. Low zinc also increases 11beta-HSD1, which activates cortisol.

Thus low zinc can keep you in a chronically high cortisol state.

😎 The complete guide on how to lower cortisol


Too much serotonin (and dysregulation of serotonin receptors) contributes to mood disorders, low libido and sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, and anorgasmia (no pleasure during orgasm). Sexual dysfunction is one of the most common side effects of SSRI anti-depressants.

Zinc lowers excess serotonin by:

  • Enhancing serotonin uptake (R). 
  • Activating the 5-HT1A receptor. (R) Activation of the 5-HT1A receptor inhibits serotonin production.
  • Increasing the density of the 5-HT1A receptor in the hippocampal and cortical areas of the brain (R).
  • Inhibiting mast cell degranulation (mast cells release serotonin).

A lot of newer anti-depressants also block certain serotonin receptors, such as the 5-HT2A receptor.

👉Guide on how to lower serotonin


Glutamate is involved in focus, alertness, memory, recall and sexual behavior as it stimulates sexual libido and even testosterone production (R).

Glutamate acts on the NMDA receptor complex and the AMPA and kainate receptors.

Ketamine, an NMDA receptor antagonist, with strong anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects that can also promote libido. It might be because NMDA antagonism increases dopamine (R).

Zinc is also an NMDA antagonist, but increases the response of the AMPA and kainate receptors, which also has strong anti-depressant effects.

Topiramate which blocks the AMPA and kainate receptors reduce glutamate release and reduce mating frequency (a marker of libido) (R).

Additionally, a zinc deficiency promotes glutamate breakdown (R) and adequate zinc prevents its re-uptake (R).

In summary, zinc increases glutamate in the following ways. Zinc:

  • Reduces glutamate breakdown
  • Reduces glutamates’ uptake
  • Increases the response of the AMPA and kainate receptors
  • Increases dopamine via NMDA antagonism


Zinc supplementation increases BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons in the brain and ensures your brain stays healthy (R).


α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is a peptide produced from POMC, which is released from the pituitary and hypothalamus. α-MSH acts on the melanocortin receptors, which promote energy, mood and libido.

The most common libido-boosting peptides Melanotan 2 and PT-141 are also agonists of the melanocortin receptors.


  • Is involved in α-MSH release (R)
  • Is a direct melanocortin 1 (MC1) and 4 (MC4) receptor agonist
  • Potentiates the action of other melanocortin agonists such as α-MSH
  • Inhibits the binding of melanocortin antagonists (R).

Zinc on prolactin

Excess prolactin contributes to gyno, depression, erectile dysfunction, low libido and even cancer.

Low zinc intake through diet can lead to high prolactin and increasing zinc via diet or supplementation can help to lower prolactin (R)

🧾The complete guide on how to lower prolactin

Zinc on growth hormone and IGF-1

Zinc increases growth hormone and IGF-1, which are needed for sexual function, libido, mood, building muscle, cellular renewal, etc.

Zinc promotes the production of GH-producing cells and zinc also binds to growth hormone and helps improve GH storage in secretory cells (R, R).

Zinc is very important for adequate growth, as it increases IGF-1, IGFBP-3 and GH levels in short stature and normal children (RRR). IGFBP-3 is the binding protein that transports IGF-1 into cells for its important actions.

Zinc improves thyroid hormone production

Zinc supplementation boosts the metabolic rate by increasing thyroid function.

It does so by (RR, R):

  • Increasing thyroid hormone production and
  • Enhancing T4 to T3 conversion.
  • Reducing rT3
  • “Activating” the thyroid receptor. Zinc is required for the T3 receptor to adopt its biologically active conformation.

Low zinc can lead to normal T4, but low T3 and high rT3 (R).

Zinc for varicocele

Varicocele is an abnormal degree of vasodilatation in the pampiniform plexus and the internal spermatic vein.

The incidence of varicocele in the general population is approximately 15%, which increases to 35–50% in men with primary infertility and up to 81% in men with secondary infertility.

Varicocele can lower testosterone by causing oxidative stress and increasing testicular temperature.

Low levels of zinc can lead to:

  • Vascular inflammation and weakness (R) (which could predispose someone to varicocele)
  • Increase in oxidative stress (Zinc is a cofactor for superoxide dismutase (SOD), which converts the free radical superoxide to hydrogen peroxide)

This then contributes to low testosterone and infertility.

Zinc supplementation in men with varicocele has been shown to improve Sertoli cell function as shown by an increase in inhibin B (98.3 to 172.8 in 6 months) and sperm quantity (R, R).

I can’t find any studies showing that zinc shrinks varicocele, but regardless, zinc is helpful.

Zinc on libido and sexual function

When it comes to supplementation, it’s important to use the right dose.

In this study, rats were given 1, 5 and 10mg/day of zinc. The rats supplemented with 1 mg/day did not show a boosting libido or sexual function, whereas the 10 mg/day experienced a reduction in libido (R).

It’s likely due to lowering dopamine synthesis, which leads to an increase in prolactin (R).

I don’t recommend supplementing zinc for most people as getting it from food is by far the best option.

Zinc on sleep

Sleep is crucial for optimal testosterone and feeling good.

Zinc can help improve sleep quality by inhibiting NMDA receptors and modulating GABA and catecholamine signaling.

There is sparse research on zinc and sleep, but according to this study, the highest concentration of serum zinc was found in subjects sleeping a “normal” amount of 7 to 9 h per night, compared to short (<7 h) and long (>9 h) sleepers. (R)

Additionally, oysters improve sleep quality (R).

🛏️ Full guide on how to improve sleep

A few additional benefits of zinc


  • Protects the body from oxidative stress by strengthening the body’s defense systems, namely catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione.
  • Lowers lactate by inhibiting the lactic dehydrogenase enzyme (R).
    • Excess lactate contributes to fatigue, brain fog, exercise intolerance, etc.
  • Improves cellular pH balance by regulating carbonic anhydrase, which catalyzes the rapid interconversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water to bicarbonate and protons.
  • Promotes stomach acid production and secretion for better digestion.
  • Promotes digestive enzyme production and release (R).
  • Helps lower blood pressure
  • Improve insulin synthesis and sensitivity
  • Improves muscle protein synthesis and the ability to build muscle (RRR)
  • Boosts immunity by increasing thymulin, a thymic hormone involved in T-lymphocyte maturation (R)
  • Reduces inflammation (RR, R)
  • Inhibit histamine and serotonin release from mast cells and platelets respectively (R)

Absorption, utilization & nutrient interaction

To ensure you get the most out of your zinc optimization, follow these guidelines.

  • Phytic acid (an anti-nutrient found in many grains and vegetables) significantly inhibits zinc absorption.
  • Vitamin B6 helps the body utilize zinc (R).
  • Sweating wastes zinc
  • Protein intake (meat, eggs, dairy, etc.) and exercise enhance zinc absorption (RRR).
  • Inorganic iron (25-75mg) decreased zinc (25mg) uptake in a dose-dependent manner. However, there is no inhibition between the nutrients at lower doses. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iron is 8mg daily and 15mg for zinc. Iron in food will not prevent zinc absorption. The study used inorganic iron, which is not naturally found in plants or meat and will not have the same effect as organic iron.


If you want high testosterone, be stress resilient, optimize sexual function and feel fantastic, you want to make sure your zinc levels are optimal.

I prefer food as my source of zinc. The best zinc-rich food include oysters and red meat (muscle and organ meat). Decent, but likely inadequate sources include eggs, dairy and white meat.

If your diet consists mainly of dairy, eggs and white meat, you’d likely benefit from higher-zinc foods.

Although supplemental zinc can help to rapidly boost zinc levels, it can also decrease copper levels in the body over a period of time (RR). And copper is also very important for testosterone production.

Here are a few symptoms of low zinc levels in the body:

  • Erectile dysfunction (eNOS is zinc-dependent)
  • Hypertension
  • Dermatitis and rough skin
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Infections
  • Mental slowness
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Loss of taste
  • Infertility
  • High ammonia

In terms of supplements, zinc citrate, gluconate, glycinate, and picolinate are good.

Preferred product: Zinc gluconate powder

>1000ng/dl Testosterone: My Step-by-Step Guide on How I Do It Naturally!

21 thoughts on “Zinc on testosterone and being an Alpha Energy Male”

  1. hi, I googled some information about elemental zinc, so 50mg of picolinate corresponds to 10mg of elemental zinc.
    i use zinc picolinate form
    How many mg can I take per day?

  2. I will ask another question. Phytic acid in cereals prevents the absorption of some minerals. How many hours after eating food with high phytic acid can I take magnesium zinc supplement. I usually take zinc and magnesium supplements 2 hours after dinner. Is a 2-hour period enough?

  3. hello, I am using zinc picolinate 30 mg elemental and I plan to use it for 1 more month at this dose. because I can’t eat meat right now. Is the 30mg dose appropriate? because I can’t eat meat right now

  4. hello hans i am thinking of taking selenium supplement. There is 100 mcg or 200 mcg dose in the form of selenomethionine, which dose is appropriate?

    and I am still using 30 mg elemental zinc and plan to continue for 1 more month.

  5. Does zinc inhibit stress for a short time or does it balance stress over time, so when the level of zinc in the blood increases, does it decrease in stress or does it only reduce it for a short time?

      • Unfortunately, since meat is expensive in our country, I use a zinc supplement, picolinate form, I use 30mg elemental per day.

      • Unfortunately since meat is expensive in our country I use a zinc supplement, picolinate form I use 30mg elemental per day

  6. Hello again hans amato, I continued for about 2 months in the form of 15 mg of element 3mg of copper. I started using 30mg elemental lock and 3mg copper 1 month ago unfortunately, unfortunately there are only 2 in one. my question is how long can I continue with 30mg elemental 3mg copper will there be any side effects


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