Testosterone is one of our primary sex hormones and it plays an important role in fertility for both male and female bodies. However, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) often experience elevated testosterone levels, and since this is an androgen (male sex hormone), it may cause a number of negative symptoms.
Side effects from elevated testosterone may include excess body hair, balding, acne, irregular menstrual cycles, mood swings, infertility, and obesity. Additionally, long term testosterone imbalances can increase a woman’s chance of developing cancer, type 2 diabetes, or metabolic disease. With that being said, finding ways to lower and balance your testosterone levels may be necessary if you have PCOS.
If you’ve been looking for a testosterone fix for a while, you may have seen zinc listed as a possible remedy for high testosterone. However, there’s been some confusion on whether or not it lowers or raises your androgen levels. So, today, I’ve dedicated this post to answering if zinc will help with elevated levels of testosterone.
Does Zinc Boost Testosterone?
After a little internet research, you’ll find sources that say zinc raises testosterone and other sources that say it lowers it. So, which is it? The answer is: both!
Zinc actually helps regulate your body’s hormone levels, that means whether your testosterone is low or high, zinc will help get you to the appropriate levels. So, if you’re a woman with PCOS worried about high testosterone levels and the related symptoms, a zinc supplement may be a good thing to consider!
What Is Zinc?
Zinc is considered a “trace mineral,” which means we only need low levels of zinc for healthy human body function. (You just need about 8 milligrams of zinc). However, zinc is an essential mineral responsible for nearly 100 biological chemical reactions! This means a zinc deficiency could easily lead to a number of negative side effects. However, a healthy amount of zinc from a proper diet or zinc supplement helps your body:
- Develop a strong immune system
- Regulate hormones
- Manage blood sugar
- Maintain a healthy thyroid
Because zinc does so much, you can see improvements in a number of PCOS symptoms when you’re getting the recommended amount of zinc. Here are some ways you could see your PCOS symptoms improve with zinc:
Zinc Effects on Testosterone
- Improved skin health
- Reduced hair loss
- Less unwanted hair growth
- Better mood
- Less inflammation
- Improved fertility and menstrual cycles
- Better insulin sensitivity for easier weight loss
- Reduced acne
- Improved immune function
Does Zinc Increase Testosterone In Females?
Though zinc can increase testosterone in men, it does not increase testosterone in females! That’s because rather than simply raising or lowering testosterone in the body, zinc actually seeks to regulate it. So, regardless of what your body needs as far as androgenes go, zinc can help you get to a healthier balance.
With the right balance of androgens, you could see improvements in many symptoms. Studies show zinc can help regulate your menstrual cycle, promote healthy ovulation, reduce inflammation, and balance other hormones too, including stress and thyroid hormones. All of this makes zinc one of the best supplements for PCOS, since hormone balance is prevalent in almost every type of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Before taking zinc, consult your doctor to determine the right dosage. Below, I’ll list some of my top zinc supplements. However, you could also take a multivitamin that includes zinc like Metabolism Plus from Ovafit, which includes other helpful supplements or PCOS like circumin, CoQ10, and omega-3.
Best Zinc Supplements For PCOS
Aside from our personal Ovafit supplements, Pure Encapsulations vitamins and minerals are my first recommendation! Each capsule, as the name suggests, only includes the necessary ingredients and nothing extra. There’s no wheat, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, gluten, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, coating, shellacs, GMOs, or other unnecessary binders, fillers, and preservatives. Just one capsule a day gets you your daily zinc requirements!
NOW Foods also makes high quality vitamins that are vegan, soy-free, Kosher, non-GMO, Halal, and sugar-free. They come at a great price too! Every bottle is GMP quality assured as A-rated, which basically just means the capsules have been checked for quality in every step of the manufacturing process. Additionally, these zinc supplements are packaged by a family owned business in the U.S.
This zinc supplement has more than your daily dose of zinc, it also includes vitamin C and probiotics. All included vitamins are made from whole foods and are organic, certified vegan, non-GMO, NSF gluten-free, Star K Kosher, and carbonfree. There are also no synthetic binders, additives, and fillers or artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors. Garden of Life truly uses just the best ingredients.
This is another vitamin blend dietary supplement. It includes zinc, molybdenum, vitamin B6, riboflavin, taurine, and malic acid. Designs for Health maintains top standard qualities and all ingredients are non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegetarian-friendly. Their supplements are made in the USA and come in premium glass packaging. This blend is a great source of zinc and other top quality vitamins!
Zinc may help balance your testosterone & reduce PCOS symptoms.
One of the best benefits of zinc for PCOS is its androgen-balancing properties, which can help alleviate a number of PCOS symptoms. You can find more ways to lower testosterone and heal your PCOS symptoms naturally on the PCOS Weight Loss blog and the Cyster & Her Mister podcast.