We studied the involvement of zinc in the sexual behavioral response of male rats. The study design employed a rat model to predict the human sexual response to elemental zinc supplementation. Rats were used because they are very social and copulate under a variety of circumstances, regardless of the presence of a human experimenter. They are practical (small and easy to handle) and certain tissues and neuroendocrine systems are strikingly similar to humans.
Zinc affects different aspects of mammalian reproduction. Testicular disruption, impaired spermatogenesis and subsequent poor semen parameters are found in males with zinc deficiency. Testicular concentration of zinc was lower in male sheep fed with zinc deficient diets. The same animals showed smaller seminiferous tubules and less lumen development than the controls. Similarly variable degrees of maturation arrest in different stages of spermatogenesis with reduced diameter of seminiferous tubules were noted when rats were fed with zinc deficient diets. Zinc deficiency causes a reduction in the structural parameters of seminiferous tubules influences serum levels of testosterone (T) and prolactin (PRL) in rats.[3,4]
It’s important to note that high levels of zinc can reduce available copper in the body and affect iron levels. High levels of zinc can also interfere with different kinds of medications. Though it is estimated that 40 milligrams of zinc supplement are safe for men to take daily, there is no long-term research into the effects that this practice could yield.
On the other hand, high zinc levels have negative effects on sperm quality. Excessive zinc intake in mice have indicated a negative effect of increasing doses of zinc on sperm count and motility. Although there have been studies focusing on various aspects of zinc related reproductive functions, studies on zinc related sexual behavioral aspects have received scant attention. In one study, intranasal irrigation with zinc sulphate has been reported to completely abolish the sexual behavior of male rats.
That said, I think that guys like myself who eat a ton of plant foods have to be consider the fact that they may not always be getting all the niacin they could. Men with lower niacin status can probably give their erectile strength and cardiovascular health a nice boost by consuming more niacin-rich plant foods. There are many plant foods, such as broccoli and mushrooms that are quite high in niacin. I actually consume nutritional yeast and BPA-free sardines daily and get a nice amount of niacin this way on top of my regular diet. Therefore, I feel that I am likely maximizing my erectile strength by combining the best of both worlds, i.e. some NO-boosting plant foods and high niacin foods as well. (Both sardines and nutritional yeast also have a decent amount of protein as well, which is important to me since I enjoy lifting weights.)
There are two things that need to be looked at in recommending a supplement for a medical condition: what is the physiology of the medical condition and what is the pharmacology of the supplement you are using. There then is a search for a link between the two that leads to a tie in with a therapeutic approach. In some ways this is like a logic course that says A causes B, B causes C therefor A causes C. We then must apply this to the scientific method and finally the ultimate test: clinical response and safety. This is often made out to be the gold standard for our typical Rx meds that I dispense every day, but often ridiculed when it crosses the barbed wired “nutraceutical” boarder. If it is a nutrient then we must be getting the right amount in our food after all right? Regardless of 1)what the real amount is in the food we eat, not to mention 2)the depletion that may be taking place of that nutrient due to a prescription drug we are taking (an absolute science based cause and effect) – we blindly accept what our food has in it and the level our bodies maintain – this is an incorrect assumption. In fact it is quite ironic that the anti-nutraceutical court is still hanging onto this assumption when both are established by science.
In addition, when research has shown a nutrient such as zinc or niacin to improve sexual function, it's usually in people who are deficient in it. So, before you stock up on over-the-counter nutritional supplements for ED, speak with your doctor. He can test you for deficiencies and steer you toward the most effective and safest way to treat your erectile dysfunction.
Eggs a supplement? Yup. Testosterone is derived from cholesterol, and eggs are the healthiest way to ensure you’re getting enough of the good kind (LDL cholesterol). Plus, eggs are rich in choline, a powerful natural chemical that not only burns fat but can help set your pants afire. Choline triggers the production of nitric oxide (NO), which relaxes arteries in the penis and enables blood flow to do its thing. Choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which controls sexual behavior through its activity in the brain; having a higher level of AcH has been associated with more frequent sex and more intense, longer orgasms. And that’s not all: Check out these things that happen to your body when you eat eggs!
If other options sound boring, maybe you should consider a fun, revved-up option like salsa dancing. You and your partner can lose yourself in the music, and it’s an intense exercise that engages the senses, combining cardio, balance, and coordination. Plus salsa dancing is great for keeping weight under control because it burns a lot of calories. Furthermore, it’s an activity that can build self-confidence, and if you’re single, the classes can be terrific for meeting new people. Regular exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery, and there are many types of dance classes that can seriously improve fitness and help you address erectile dysfunction.
"The good news is, our study also found that a large proportion of men were naturally overcoming erectile dysfunction issues. The remission rate of those with erectile dysfunction was 29%, which is very high. This shows that many of these factors affecting men are modifiable, offering them an opportunity to do something about their condition," Professor Wittert says.
Health benefits and risks of copper Copper is an essential trace mineral that occurs in all body tissues. It is vital for a range of body functions including the production of red blood cells and energy, and the maintenance of nerve cells and the immune system. A copper deficiency can be harmful, but too much can be toxic. Learn more about copper here. Read now