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Zinc and vitamin B6 are so inexpensive that most makers of supplements don't try to promote them. Even good quality supplements retail for just pennies a day. Vitamin B6, zinc, and magnesium, however, pack a potent punch in supporting a man's production of testosterone.
Scientists, of course, make their livings by disagreeing with each other.
When New Zealand researchers tested the results of giving men a daily supplement consisting of:
they found that free testosterone levels increased about 35 per cent. They concluded that users of this formula should be able to grow more muscle mass after taking the supplement. It's commonly called "ZMA" for the zinc and magnesium aspartate, but the formula also contains B6.
Then another group of scientists at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, a conservative, Baptist institution where students are officially forbidden under pain of expulsion to have sex outside of church-sanctioned marriage, concluded that the supplement did not really help trained athletes gain muscle.
And there is no other reason any man might be interested in testosterone levels. Surely growing big muscles is the only reason there might be a place for vitamin B6 and zinc in male health.
Increasing free testosterone increases sex drive. It increases erectile strength. It prolongs intercourse. And since the combination of vitamin B6, zinc, and magnesium only enables a man's body to keep the free testosterone it is already making, there is no danger of steroid side effects or damage to the prostate.
The North American diet provides enough vitamin B6 to prevent deficiency diseases, but not enough to help a man's body use testosterone well. In fact, it takes careful planning to make any diet deliver 10 milligrams of B6 a day. It's also hard to get 30 mg of zinc or 450 mg of magnesium from diet alone.
But the "ZMA" combination is a great way to get these nutrients in a single supplement that does not cost a lot. Your sex life will be much better. And you might even be able to impress the guys with new muscle mass when you work out at the gym.
Brilla LR, Conte V: Effects of a novel zinc-magnesium formulation on hormones and strength.J Exerc Physiol Online 2000, 3:26-36.
Prasad AS, Mantzoros CS, Beck FW, et al.: Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults.Nutr 1996, 12:344-8.
Wilborn CD, Kerksick CM, Campbell BI, Taylor LW, Marcello BM, Rasmussen CJ, Greenwood MC, Almada A, Kreider RB. Effects of Zinc Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA) Supplementation on Training Adaptations and Markers of Anabolism and Catabolism. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2004 Dec 31;1(2):12-20.