Health problems do not usually exist in isolation; they often interact and amplify each other, case in point erectile dysfunction and high blood sugar levels. The inability to maintain an erection and consistently high blood sugar levels may not seem related, but the latter may cause the former. According to Mayo Clinic, erectile dysfunction can stem from damage to nerves and blood vessels caused by poor long-term blood sugar control.
The logic naturally follows that treatments aimed at one may also benefit the other.
Research investigating the health benefits of taking zinc supplements supports this argument.
Zinc is a vital mineral that supports your body in innumerable ways, such as supporting gene expression, immune function and growth and development.
It can be obtained through eating certain plant and animal foods, and via dietary supplementation.
Blood sugar benefits
Insulin is required to regulate blood sugar control. Unfortunately, some people – particularly diabetics – do not secrete enough insulin or their cells are insensitive to the insulin they do produce.
Zinc is well known for its role in blood sugar control and insulin secretion.
Some research suggests that zinc may help keep blood sugar levels steady and improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin.
One review reported that zinc supplements were effective at enhancing both short-term and long-term blood sugar control in people with diabetes.
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Other research shows that zinc may help reduce insulin resistance, which can improve your body’s ability to use insulin efficiently to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Addressing erectile dysfunction
A study published in the journal Nutrition showed a very clear relationship between zinc and testosterone levels.
Testosterone plays an integral role in the male sexual response, including the desire for sex and the mechanics of triggering an erection.
Young men were fed a diet including very little zinc so that they developed a zinc deficiency.
Testosterone levels were measured and there was a significant decrease (almost 75 percent) after 20 weeks of a low-zinc diet.
The study also examined zinc supplementation in elderly men. Researchers showed that with increased zinc intake, testosterone levels in the elderly population almost doubled.
This is regarded by researchers as strong evidence that zinc has an impact on testosterone production.
Animal studies have also confirmed the correlation between zinc intake and sexual function.
Rats that were treated with five milligrams per day of a zinc supplement were shown to have better sexual function.
This particular study concluded that in males, zinc has a positive effect on arousal and maintaining an erection.
General tips to treat erectile dysfunction
Healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help erectile dysfunction.
According to the NHS, you should:
Lose weight if you’re overweightStop smokingEat a healthy dietExercise dailyTry to reduce stress and anxiety.