- Reproductive health

Infertility Or Fertility? Understanding the Crucial Role of ZINC In Reproduction

Zinc may be classified as a trace element but it is a very important mineral in both male and female fertility enhancement. Zinc deficiency could lead to all kinds of infertility problems ranging from low sperm count in males to loss of pregnancy in females.

To understand the role of zinc in reproductive health in both sexes, lets examine the reproductive organs. In males, the prostate is the organ with the richest zinc supply while in the females, the uterus (the palace of the baby) is the zinc-richest organ. Developmentally what the uterus is in the female is equivalent to the prostate in the males. Although both organs may look different, they need the same nourishment–zinc–because they came from the same embryonic origin.

In women, lack or low zinc supply may lead to hormonal imbalance, irregular menses, lack of egg maturation or release from the ovaries. If the woman happens to conceive, zinc deficiency increases chances of spontaneous abortion, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and low-birth-weight babies. Note that the woman doesn’t lose only iron in her menses, but also magnesium and zinc.

In men, the reproductive organs like the prostate and testicles cannot function without zinc. The prostate will swell without adequate zinc supply. Zinc is critical for sperm production, and maturation. Zinc is also a heavy metal antagonism and can combat arterioslerosis as such necessary to cure erectile dysfunction in men. Zinc is the reason why semen is white. One ejaculate from a man leads to the loss of 15 Milligrams of zinc. Zinc is necessary for DNA regulation and repair, proper cell division, immune system modulation, growth, regeneration and repair. It is also an anti-oxidant protector that can combat the menace of free-radicals in the body.

In fact Zinc, is an important co-factor in well over 600 enzyme systems (including anti-oxidant enzymes like catalaze and superoxide dismutase) in the body. This ranges from metabolism of carbohydrates and vitamins to release energy. Zinc deficiency can cause loss of taste, loss of smell, poor wound healing and infertility.

The problem is that zinc is notorious for poor absorption, therefore even mild zinc deficiency can lead to low sperm count, poor sperm quality and motility. Fortunately supplementation with 60 milligrams of zinc in 50 days can reverse all these semen parameters in infertile men. Zinc does all these by raising levels of testosterone (hormone that stimulate sperm production) which is also responsible for sexual libido in both sexes. This is why we must raise the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Zinc to at least 60 milligrams daily. The erroneous notion to supplement with copper with increased dose of zinc is a baseless fear that has no practical application.

Zinc with magnesium and vitamin B6 work in synergy to modulate and balance the body’s delicate hormone cascade which is necessary for fertility and reproduction in both sexes.

Good sources of zinc include turkey, oysters, whole grains, eggs, bone meal, molasses, maple syrup, brewer’s yeast, seeds like sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds. Note that zinc supplementation is no longer and option but mandatory if you are already struggling with infertility.