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A little-known cause of infertility and impotence all men should know


Male infertility
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(NaturalNews) If you are a man suffering from poor sexual health, including impotence, low sperm count and infertility, your body could be lacking the essential mineral zinc.

Broadly speaking, other than sexual health, zinc has many roles in the human body, notably on immune health, wound healing, skin health and sensory functions. It is involved in numerous bodily and enzyme functions.

Zinc can be found in high concentrations in different parts of the body, including the muscles, red blood cells, white blood cells, bones, kidney, liver, pancreas, heart, spleen, lungs, retina and skin. Significantly, the prostate and semen also have high concentrations of zinc, suggesting this mineral's importance in male sexual health.

In one of her books, Phyllis Balch, CNC, stated that the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for zinc is 15mg per day. Michael Murray, ND, was more specific in stating that the RDA for males aged 11 and above is 15mg per day.

Zinc and male sexual health

Zinc is needed for the healthy growth of the reproductive organs and the healthy functioning of the prostate gland. It also contributes to the healthy functioning of male sex hormones. In fact, according to Murray, "zinc is perhaps the most critical trace mineral involved in male sexual function. It is used in virtually every aspect of male reproduction, including the hormone metabolism, sperm formation, and sperm motility."

With its importance in male sexual health, it is no surprise that zinc deficiency can cause poor sexual health and function in men. Some symptoms of zinc deficiency include slowed or delayed sexual maturation, poor prostate health (including prostate enlargement), testicular atrophy, reduced testosterone levels, impotence, low sperm count, as well as infertility.

In cases of severe zinc deficiency, there could even be the total absence of sexual function.

Zinc supplements

Some research has demonstrated the usefulness of zinc supplements in improving male sexual health. In one study, men with initial low testosterone levels who took 60mg of elemental zinc each day (in the form of zinc sulfate) for 45 to 50 days had markedly improved sperm counts (8 million to 20 million) and increased testosterone levels. Nine of the 22 wives even conceived during the research period. Considering that the study lasted under two months and the subjects had suffered from long-term infertility, the quick results obtained were impressive.

Research has also found that zinc supplements could help prevent prostate-related health issues, for example prostate enlargement.

In terms of dosage, both Murray and Elson Hass, MD, wrote that, for men, 30 to 60mg of zinc per day could be used to help with specific health issues.

According to Murray, zinc is "probably the least toxic trace element". While zinc is generally not toxic, especially in amounts less than 100 to 150mg of elemental zinc per day, care should always be taken when consuming single-nutrient supplements, as these can often cause nutritional imbalances in the body. Excessive zinc intake, for example, can reduce copper levels in the body, which can in turn lead to anemia. Zinc and iron also compete for absorption.

Excess zinc intake can also cause immune suppression, dizziness, drowsiness, elevated sweating, lowered alcohol tolerance, premature heartbeats, loss of muscular coordination and hallucinations.

Foods

To be safe, get your zinc from foods which contain good amounts of the mineral. These include almonds, Brazil nuts, buckwheat, ginger, green peas, hazel nuts, lima beans, oats, parsley, peanuts, pecans, potatoes, pumpkin seeds, rye, sunflower seeds, turnips, walnuts, whole wheat, fish such as herring and sardines, beef, lamb, pork, liver, dairy products, egg yolks, poultry, shellfish, seafood, as well as oysters, which are particularly high in zinc.

Sources for this article include:

Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements. 5th ed. New York, NY: Avery, 2010. Print.

Haas, Elson M., MD, and Levin, Buck, PhD, RD. Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. New York, NY: Celestial Arts, 2006. Print.

Murray, Michael T., ND. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 1996. Print.

http://www.insights-on-health.com

About the author:
Reuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as personal growth.

Subscribe to his natural health newsletter or follow his health websites on Facebook.

His main health websites Insights on Health and All 4 Natural Health focus on being healthy naturally, while his other health websites cover topics such as cancer, depression, holistic depression help, as well as omega 3 fatty acids. He also owns self improvement and inspirational websites like Inspiration 4 Living, allinspiration.com, Life Changing Quotes, and 101 Inspirational Ideas. Through his network of sites at The Journey of Life, he hopes to help improve people's lives.

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