Serum testosterone and urinary excretion of steroid hormone metabolites after administration of a high-dose zinc supplement.
Koehler K, Parr MK, Geyer H, Mester J, Schänzer W.
Institute of Biochemistry, German Research Centre of Elite Sport, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether the administration of the zinc-containing nutritional supplement ZMA causes an increase of serum testosterone levels, which is an often claimed effect in advertising for such products; to monitor the urinary excretion of testosterone and selected steroid hormone metabolites to detect potential changes in the excretion patterns of ZMA users. SUBJECTS: Fourteen healthy, regularly exercising men aged 22-33 years with a baseline zinc intake between 11.9 and 23.2 mg day(-1) prior to the study. RESULTS: Supplementation of ZMA significantly increased serum zinc (P=0.031) and urinary zinc excretion (P=0.035). Urinary pH (P=0.011) and urine flow (P=0.045) were also elevated in the subjects using ZMA. No significant changes in serum total and serum free testosterone were observed in response to ZMA use
. Also, the urinary excretion pattern of testosterone metabolites was not significantly altered in ZMA users. CONCLUSIONS: The present data suggest that the use of ZMA has no significant effects regarding serum testosterone levels and the metabolism of testosterone in subjects who consume a zinc-sufficient diet.