Why Men Need More Zinc Than Women

Zinc is a mineral found in every cell of our bodies. It is essential to both men and women but men actually need more of it. In fact, the daily recommended intake for men and women are 12 mg and 8 mg respectively. Exceptions to this are pregnant and lactating women who have intake requirements similar to men.

However, before we get into why men typically need more of this mineral than women, let’s discuss some of the benefits of zinc for either sex:

 

1. Helps Our Immune System

It activates “T cells” in our bodies to help control and regulate immune responses, and stave off infected or cancerous cells. A byproduct of this positive immunological effect may help explain why zinc is also used in the treatment of colds. A study in the Open Respiratory Medicine Journal found that zinc lozenges reduced the duration of common cold episodes by 40% (1).

 

2. Wound Healing

It assists with wound healing in three ways: It helps maintain the structural integrity of skin tissue, it aids cell division which helps create new tissue, and it helps the immune system which is needed for staving off wound infections.
Zinc supplementation may be required to help the healing process and can be taken orally in pill form or applied topically in cream or ointment form.

 

3. Helps To Fight Off Depression

Studies have been completed that show a link between low levels of zinc and depression. Neuroscientists believe this happens because certain neurons which regulate our response to stress contain zinc so when we are deficient in this essential mineral, these neurons struggle and make depression symptoms more likely.

 

4. Supports Heart Health

It plays an important role in heart health by helping certain receptors to regulate the movement of calcium cells in the heart. This is important because excessive calcium build up may lead to heart failure and other cardiac conditions.

 

5. Increases Endurance and Energy

It helps to increase energy and endurance by facilitating the conversion of food to energy. This allows you to get more out of the food you eat and is useful for those long or gym days where you may need an extra boost.

 

Why Do Men Need More?

It provides countless other benefits but there are specific benefits to men only. Some of these are:

 

Zinc helps support normal testosterone levels

A zinc deficiency often leads to low testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels can lead to fatigue, muscle mass loss, reduced athletic performance, and decreased libido and erectile dysfunction.

Zinc promotes prostate health

A high concentration of zinc in the body is found in the prostate gland. Any zinc deficiency can have a negative effect on prostate health.

In fact, a study by the University of Washington found that a higher intake reduced the risk of advanced prostate cancer in men (2).

Zinc helps fertility

Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between low zinc levels and low sperm count and quality. As zinc levels decrease, sperm count tends to decrease and the quality of that sperm tends to decrease as well.

 

Final Word: Make sure you are getting enough zinc

Spinach, oysters, cheese, and most meats are all good dietary sources of zinc, but if you have an irregular diet or you don’t keep track of nutritional values as you eat, you might consider taking oral supplements.

It’s hard to overstate how important zinc is to the human body. It is one of the body’s most essential minerals and a zinc deficiency can cause a compromised immune system, hair loss, stunted growth (in children), diarrhea, loss of appetite, among other side effects.

Apart from men, a higher intake may also be important for people with rheumatoid arthritis and long term alcoholism as these conditions can impair the absorption of zinc in the body.

 

 


Sources:

(1) NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136969/
(2) NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19235036

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