Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "
Women, testosterone and sex | And zinc
Oh yeah. What a headline! Put something like that above your article, and you know it will be read. It's just a shame that 'zinc' had to be added as well. This makes it a nutritionally nerdy article, which the seven readers of this web magazine may appreciate, but which has made reaching an audience of millions an impossibility.
That is why Western scientists look down on their colleagues in poorer countries. And that is also the reason why scientists in poor countries are increasingly publishing studies that can be directly useful for a large group of world residents, and make their lives a little better.
The trial that Leila Mazaheri Nia, affiliated with Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Iran, published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, is such a study. The Iranians experimented with 116 post-menopausal women, all of whom had low zinc levels.
Nutritionists find that a healthy zinc level fluctuates somewhere between 66 and 110 milligrams of zinc per liter. The women who participated in the Iranian study had a zinc level of less than 62 milligrams per liter of blood.
The women also reported sexual problems. The researchers determined this on the basis of the Female Sexual Function Index questionnaire (FSFI). The higher you score, the fewer problems. On average, women score 29 on this. In the Iranian study, the average score was about 19.
The Iranians divided their subjects into 2 groups. One group took a placebo daily for 6 weeks, while the other group took a daily capsule containing 25 milligrams of elemental zinc in the form of 110 milligrams of zinc sulfate.
The same was true for the women's scores on the FSFI. Zinc supplementation increased the average score from 19.23 to 31.91.
When the researchers tried using statistical techniques to find out whether an increase in testosterone levels could explain the improvement in sexuality, they stumbled upon something remarkable. It was beyond dispute that zinc supplementation increased the testosterone level. That zinc supplementation improved the FSFI was evident as well. But there was no clear link between testosterone and FSFI scores.