Did you know? Testosterone is the chief hormone produced by the testes and supports energy, mood and also helps to sustain libido levels. The production of testosterone usually peaks during the early 20’s and then begins to reduce. The testes also secrete a steroid hormone called androstenedione which mainly acts as a stepping stone in the manufacture of testosterone and oestrogen within the body. Although men only produce small amounts of oestrogen, they are exposed to this ‘female’ hormone in the diet and the environment and it is not uncommon for men to suffer from ‘oestrogen dominance’ and ‘testosterone deficiency’. Excess oestrogen may explain the increase in male genital disorders, infertility, prostate and testicular cancers.
Facts – common causes of hormonal insufficiency
- Injury to the testes
- Stimulants e.g. drugs, smoking and/or alcohol
- Zinc deficiency may lead to delayed sexual development, lowered libido, impotence and sperm count
- Vitamins A, B and E along with Zinc may help the synthesis of testosterone
- Evening Primrose Oil contains high doses of Gamma-linolenic acid a fatty acid that may help improve testosterone production
- Selenium (200mcg daily) may help increase sperm production
Prostate – Have you got enough Zinc?
Did you know? After puberty the prostate gradually grows and again around the age of 50. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), sometime referred to as benign enlargement of the prostate (BEP or BPE), is a noncancerous increase in size of the prostate and a fairly common problem associated with ageing. Enlargement may lead to symptoms such as urinary frequency, reduced urinary flow and/or difficulty in starting urinary flow.The cause of prostate enlargement is unknown, but most experts agree that it’s linked to hormonal changes that occur as a man gets older. According to the NHS around 4 out of 10 men (40%) over 50, and 3 out of 4 men (75%) in their 70s have urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate.
Zinc is an essential mineral – one of the most abundant to be found in the body! It’s naturally found in some foods e.g. animal proteins (chicken, lamb, beef and eggs), fish and seafood, nuts, legumes, wholegrains, mushrooms, dark green leafy vegetables and also available as a dietary supplement. Zinc is used in by over 100 different enzymes in body, that are involved in the chemical processes of building things that the body needs or breaking down stuff that it doesn’t want. You have approximately 2-3g with around 60% is in the muscles that support your skeleton and 30% is in the bones. It is particularly important for men’s health:
- The human prostate accumulates the highest level of zinc of any soft tissue in the body (although researchers aren’t sure why).
- Cancerous prostates seem to have less zinc than normal prostates.
- Some studies show that increased dietary zinc is associated with a decrease in the incidence of prostate cancer.
- Severe zinc deficiency can affect testosterone
(If you currently take medication you should not take supplements without first consulting a health professional to ensure it is safe to do so).