Is zinc the answer to male infertility?

Men are often seen as high consumers of meat, one of the richest sources of zinc, perhaps leading to assumptions that they’re getting enough of this important nutrient. Data shows, however, that at least half of Australian males aged 14 years and over are not meeting recommendations for zinc intake. A nutrient that is fundamental for many functions in the body, zinc is also essential for a healthy male reproductive system, and inadequate intake could have negative consequences for men’s reproductive health, including sexual maturation and testosterone production. Studies have also found an association between zinc and male infertility, which is particularly concerning given male infertility is responsible for a significant number of total infertility cases. Zinc can affect sperm quality Infertility is a growing public health issue, estimated to affect around 15% of all couples of reproductive age worldwide,[1]Salas-Huetos A, Bulló M, Salas-Salvadó J. Dietary patterns, foods and nutrients in male fertility parameters and fecundability: a systematic review of observational studies. Human Reproductive Update. 2017;23(4):371-89 and around one in six couples in Australia. Rightly or wrongly, much of the focus regarding infertility is often centred on the causes of female infertility. However, male infertility, caused by factors such as reduced sperm count …

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