Zinc Supplements Can Lower Good (HDL) Cholesterol

Nelson Vergel

Founder, ExcelMale.com
Thread starter #1
Effects of zinc on plasma lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations in humans: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials


Studies in humans and animals suggest that zinc has the potential to affect lipoprotein metabolism and hence impact cardiovascular disease risk.

A meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials was conducted to determine the effect of zinc supplementation on plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in humans. Potentially relevant studies were identified from a literature search covering the period 1980–2008 (inclusive), and additional citation searches.


Thirty-three interventions (n = 14,238 subjects) were included in the random effects meta-analysis. No overall significant effects of zinc supplementation were observed for plasma cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or plasma triglyceride concentrations. Plasma zinc concentrations increased significantly (+2.42 ± 0.25 μmol/L, P < 0.001; n = 14,047). Secondary analyses in individuals classified as healthy revealed that zinc supplementation is associated with a significant decrease in plasma HDL cholesterol concentrations (−0.10 ± 0.02 mmol/L, P < 0.001; n = 13,215), equivalent to a 7% decrease from baseline.


No effect of zinc supplementation on plasma lipoproteins was detected in the overall analysis. In individuals classified as healthy, zinc supplementation is associated with a decrease in HDL cholesterol concentrations and thus contributes to an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

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Nelson Vergel

Founder, ExcelMale.com
Thread starter #4
I had to stop zinc since it tanked my estradiol. My HDL is OK and I do not remember having seen a change when I stopped zinc.
I recently started approximately 100 mgs daily of zinc in an effort to reduce E2, which was 34.9 (8.0 -35 ref range). Will retest in 6 weeks to see how it affects it. So far I have had a slight reduction in joint clicking so I"m hoping the zinc will work and I don't have to resort to an AI. I"ve asked my doc about AI's in the past and he's reluctant to rx.
What other elevated E2 symptoms were you dealing with? What is your TRT protocol?
My protocol up until a week ago was 200 mg test cyp IM every 2 weeks (started by the last urologist I went to). I had previously experimented with SQ injections based on the forums and work of Crisler, but probably did not allow long enough for it to stabilize and impatiently switched back to IM every 2 weeks when I did not feel improvement. At 330 lbs I have too much body fat although I have plenty of muscle. Probably 40% BF level for many reasons other than hormones (depression, lack of consistent, exercise, caretaking of my mother who has chronic health issues which require me to be home-bound along with her, etc.) I have excess fluid retention as well as joint issues, along with some peripheral vascular problems in my legs ( I apparently blew out the valves in my leg blood vessels from heavy weights and the valsalva technique) so I have phlebitis). Also carrying the classic buddha belly syndrome. At one point a few years ago I my E2 was at 29 and it's around that number that I felt pretty decent.

Gene Devine

Super Moderator
I have read about zinc's effect on estradiol, but you're providing the only first-hand account of it that I have come across.

I agree; while Zinc has shown to have a very very mild effect as an aromatase inhibitor I've never seen one paper or study that showed it worked in the clinical spectrum in men with elevated E2 levels.

Remember, higher then 50 mg a day of Zinc requires supplementation with Copper as Zinc depletes Copper in our bodies and this can lead to serious illness and even death! This is one supplement that you can get very ill if you take too much of it on a daily basis and for a prolonged period of time.

This from rxlist.com re higher doses of Zinc:

High doses above the recommended amounts might cause fever, coughing, stomach pain, fatigue, and many other problems.

Taking more than 100 mg of supplemental zinc daily or taking supplemental zinc for 10 or more years doubles the risk of developing prostate cancer. There is also concern that taking large amounts of a multivitamin plus a separate zinc supplement increases the chance of dying from prostate cancer.

Taking 450 mg or more of zinc daily can cause problems with blood iron. Single doses of 10-30 grams of zinc can be fatal...
Sorry, didn't mean to hijack this thread and make it about my case. I've read the concerns about excess zinc and the potential copper imbalance. Just looking for a way,not permanently, to lower E2 before having to resort to an AI, prescribed or not. I'm no longer seeing the urologist due to his dismissive attitude about alternative options. My primary care doctor is a great, personable doctor I've been seeing for over 25 years, but he isn't up-to-date with current trt protocols and when I've mentioned possibly needing an AI, he is not open to it. It was a major coup just getting him to allow me to self-inject test at home and I don't want to push too much with him. So it's either try high dose zinc or resort to "research chemicals". Zinc appears to be the lesser of the two evils at this point.

Do your own "study of one". Get your estradiol tested before and 2-3 weeks after zinc supplementation (50 mg zinc plus 3 mg copper per day). Let us know what you find out.

yessir, basically what I'm doing now with the exception of the dosage is 100 mgs. But I will adjust down to 50 mgs (that's the dose in the ZMA I take anyway, and ditch the extra 50 zinc gluconate I've added). I take a multivitamin that has 15 mgs as well but it's the oxide form and may not be bio available anyway. Will update the before (39.4) with a follow up after in a couple weeks. Thanks to all for the guidance.
Reduce High Cholesterol with Nutritional Magnesium Written By:
William Davis, MD

February is Heart Health Month and heart health expert and cardiologist Dr. William Davis, M.D., talks about the importance of lowering high cholesterol naturally and reducing your chances of coronary heart disease with the use of magnesium and other nutritional strategies.
Tired of the media onslaught promoting statin drugs? What happened to the conversation about nutritional strategies that reduce cholesterol? Since February is Heart Health Month, now is a great time to highlight the importance of magnesium for the reduction of high cholesterol.
There are a number of ways to significantly reduce cholesterol using diet and nutritional supplements. Reductions in bad cholesterol, or LDL cholesterol, of 25, 30, 50, even 100 mg/dl are possible—if you have the right information.
At the top of the list of natural strategies to reduce LDL and supplement and/or sometimes replace your need for prescription medication (in consultation with your doctor) is magnesium.
Magnesium can act like a natural statin drug and lower bad cholesterol (LDL), reduce triglycerides and increase good cholesterol (HDL) (1).
In order for the body to make cholesterol, it requires a specific enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase. Magnesium regulates this enzyme so as to maintain only a proper amount of cholesterol in the body. When the body is magnesium deficient, cholesterol continues to be produced in excess, which can cause a cholesterol buildup and may lead to coronary heart disease.
The HMG-CoA reductase enzyme is the exact same enzyme that is targeted and inhibited by statin drugs. The inhibiting process is similar to magnesium's function, except that magnesium is the natural way that the body has evolved to use to control and limit cholesterol when it reaches a certain level; statin drugs are used to destroy the entire mechanism.
The term metabolic syndrome describes a set of conditions that many believe may be another name for the consequences of long-term magnesium deficiency. The list includes high cholesterol, hypertension and elevated triglycerides that lead to and promote coronary heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes. In a 2006 study (2) published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, entitled: Magnesium Intake and Incidence of Metabolic Syndrome Among Young Adults researchers concluded: “Our findings suggest that young adults with higher magnesium intake have lower risk of development of metabolic syndrome.”
In an age when statins dominate conventional heart disease prevention, an important role remains for nutritional approaches. Because statin drugs are principally LDL-reducing agents and do not address other causes of heart disease, nutritional strategies add a real advantage. Nutritional approaches can be used to minimize and sometimes eliminate the use of statin drugs altogether. Perhaps it would be better to regard statin therapy as a solution only when natural, nutritional means have been exhausted.
The adherence to a healthy diet is not enough in the majority of cases. The American Heart Association's diet, for instance, yields a 7% drop in cholesterol. That's too small to make any real difference (3) and, by itself, virtually guarantees a future of heart disease. The formerly popular ultra low-fat diets (&#8804;10% of calories from fat) yield variable drops in cholesterol, but HDL or the good cholesterol is also substantially reduced and harmful triglycerides increased (4). The net effect can be increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The restriction of processed carbohydrates is an effective way to lose weight and thereby reduce cholesterol, particularly for people starting with lower HDL and higher triglycerides. Reducing intake of flour products (pasta, breads, bagels, pastries, cookies, cakes, pretzels, and other processed foods) may, in fact, yield larger drops in cholesterol than now outdated low-fat diets (5).
While dietary restriction of total fat intake has only limited power to reduce cholesterol, avoidance of saturated fat (e.g., in butter, greasy meats, cured meats, fried foods) and hydrogenated fat (“trans fats” in margarine, shortening, and many processed foods) remains a well-proven means of reducing LDL cholesterol modestly. Replacing saturated fat sources with healthy monounsaturated oils (olive, canola, flaxseed) provides even greater benefits for cholesterol reduction, as well as reduced triglycerides and VLDL (6, CM Williams, et al., 1999).
Weight loss (if you're overweight) has broad effects on risk reduction: reduction of cholesterol levels (total and LDL), increased HDL, reduced triglycerides, and correction of small LDL, VLDL, and abnormal postprandial (after-eating) fat clearance (7).
Magnesium can help. Magnesium helps the body digest, absorb, and utilize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and helps prevent obesity genes from expressing themselves.
As a practical solution, supplementation at a level of 2.3 milligrams of magnesium per pound of body weight per day (this comes to about 345 milligrams per day for a 150 lb individual) can really help. When supplementing with magnesium, start on a gradient of a low dose and gradually build up. If you get diarrhea you can lower the dose back down until you are at a comfortable level. While magnesium supplementation is generally quite safe, people on certain antibiotics should not take magnesium. If you have kidney disease (renal failure) or any kidney disorders, you should not take any magnesium supplements without consulting a physician.
In all practicality, because of magnesium's crucial role in health, its widespread deficiency in Americans, and the growing depletion of magnesium in water and foods, supplemental magnesium is necessary for nearly everyone to ensure healthy levels. Not all forms of magnesium are equally absorbed by the body. One of the most absorbable forms of nutritional magnesium is magnesium citrate in powder form. Start out slow and build up to and find your body's tolerance level.
For most people, no single supplement or diet change will reduce LDL to your target. A combination of several strategies usually yields the large drops that we need to achieve dramatic LDL reduction, but nutritional magnesium and the above diet adjustments will help.

The ideas, procedures and suggestions contained in this article are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your physical health require medical supervision. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be liable or responsible for any loss, injury or damage allegedly arising from any information or suggestion in this article. The opinions expressed in this article represent the personal views of the author and not the publisher.

Rosanoff A, Seelig MS, “Comparison of mechanism and functional effects of magnesium and statin pharmaceuticals.” J Am Coll Nutr 2004;23(5):501S-505S.
Ka He, MD, ScD; Kiang Liu, PhD; Martha L. Daviglus, MD, PhD et al. Magnesium Intake and Incidence of Metabolic Syndrome Among Young Adults. Circulation 2006;113:1675-1682.
Pearson TA, Blair SN, Daniels SR, Eckel RH, Fair JM, Fortmann SP, et al. AHA guidelines for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke: 2002 update. Consensus panel guide to comprehensive risk reduction for adult patients without coronary or other atherosclerotic vascular diseases. Circulation 2002;106:388&#8211;91.
Krauss RM, Dreon DM. Low-density lipoprotein subclasses and response to a low-fat diet in healthy men. Am J. Clin Nutr 1995: 62:478S&#8211;87S.
Krauss RM, Blanche PJ, Rawlings RS, Fernstrom HS, Williams PT. Separate effects of reduced carbohydrate intake and weight loss on atherogenic dyslipidemia. Am J Clin Nutr 2006 May;83(5):1025&#8211;31.
Gulesserian T, Widhalm K. Effect of a rapeseed oil substituting diet on serum lipids and lipoproteins in children and adolescents with familial hypercholesterolemia. J Am Coll Nutr 2002 Apr;21(2):103&#8211;8.
Miller WM, Nori-Janosz KE, Lillystone M, Yanez J, McCullough PA. Obesity and Lipids. Curr Cardiol Rep 2005 Nov;7(6):465&#8211;70.
Reduce High Cholesterol with Nutritional Magnesium | Whole Foods Magazine

Do your own "study of one". Get your estradiol tested before and 2-3 weeks after zinc supplementation (50 mg zinc plus 3 mg copper per day). Let us know what you find out.


Results of my N = 1 case study on the effect of 50 mg zinc for 6 weeks to see if it helps with estradiol.

Prior to zinc- estradiol, sensitive assay (Labcorp via Discountedlabs): ref 8.0 - 35 result- 34.9
After 6 weeks zinc (NOW brand ZMA- 50mg daily) same test method: ref 8.0 - 35 result- 36.6 high

It appears zinc doesn't do anything for me. I'm now adding 100mg D.I.M. daily and will retest in 6 weeks.


I'm also taking Zinc/Copper 50/3 in hopes to lower my elevated E2 (from TRT) as well. My concern is that my Multi (Vitamin Shoppe Ultimate Man) already has 25mg, that puts me at 75mg per day of Zinc, I'm 56. Any concerns with 75mg per day?
I recently started approximately 100 mgs daily of zinc in an effort to reduce E2, which was 34.9 (8.0 -35 ref range). Will retest in 6 weeks to see how it affects it. So far I have had a slight reduction in joint clicking so I"m hoping the zinc will work and I don't have to resort to an AI. I"ve asked my doc about AI's in the past and he's reluctant to rx.
Yes, do you have any high E2 symptoms? The notion of a fixed E2 number - without taking into consideration your Total T is a bit outdated. The notion that a "good" E2 level is between 20 and 30 is based on a Total T level of 600-700. So if your Total T is, say, 1000 then your E2 should be higher than 30.