When it comes to boosting your testosterone levels, most people choose to use dietary supplements to aid them in their journey. In the world of supplements, it might seem like everything needs to sound complicated and fancy. In fact, I’m willing to bet that you’ve probably seen ads targeted towards a variety of different demographics, hawking the latest, most innovative, new supplements — that really just sound like every other supplement you’ve heard of.
So maybe it’s time to simplify.
The truth is, some of the most basic minerals can actually be suited to what you’re trying to accomplish nutritionally or physically. Vitamin and mineral-based nutritive supplements are becoming increasingly popular as their benefits are discovered and popularized in the fitness world.
One such ingredient that can serve to boost your testosterone is copper. Not only does it serve as an LH stimulator and subsequent testosterone booster, but it can also counteract the negative effects of other popular testosterone supplements (read on to find out which ones specifically) while synergistically helping other nutrients expand their benefits.
Why Is Copper Important Anyway?
So what does copper do exactly? And more specifically, what does it have to do with testosterone at all?
Copper is definitely not the most widely-used or discussed mineral when it comes to anabolic growth or testosterone-boosting methods. Yet, chelated copper could actually be holding a few secrets that can unleash greater T levels in your body.
Copper is one of those great and absolutely necessary elements for our bodies when taken in the right dosage. These elements, known as trace elements, must be supplemented in our diets, but as our bodies do not have reliable mechanisms for their excretion, buildup can be toxic. Other well-known trace elements are iron and zinc.
Copper has super important roles when it comes to oxygen transport and other cellular processes. Deficient copper levels can mess with your glucose and cholesterol metabolism, which in turn, can have adverse effects on your T levels . In truth, copper is fairly common in the foods we eat, so having severely low copper levels, is usually not an issue for most people. Despite it not being absorbed too easily by our bodies, we end up getting enough copper through diet. Where we (especially men) run into copper deficiency is when we over-supplement with the known testosterone-booster, zinc.
So What Does Zinc Have To Do With Copper?
Ah, zinc. Like the much cooler, more popular cousin of copper, zinc is used or known by most guys wishing to amp up their testosterone levels. So what’s the problem?
It turns out that zinc and copper are actually biological antagonists, much like testosterone and estrogen . Proper homeostasis must be achieved by balancing zinc and copper levels, so that the overuse or supplementation of zinc is counterbalanced by the supplementation of copper. When found in the right ratio, usually 10:1 zinc to copper, the two minerals can actually act synergistically to help raise T levels .
Zinc is found everywhere, from cold medicine to nasal spray. Because the tolerable limit of zinc is around 40 mg per day, men run the risk of over-intake, which can heavily affect copper levels in the body .
This is bad news. Copper not only helps run several vital functions in our bodies, but also supports antioxidant synthesis. Antioxidants are 100 percent great for preventing free radical damage to testosterone.
The general guidelines for copper dosage hover around three mg per day for the average human guy. If you think you’re running a zinc-caused deficit on copper, you might want to talk to your physician about the benefits of supplementing an appropriate amount of copper for your body to benefit.
The Real Story: Copper And Lutenizing Hormone (LH)
Chelated minerals are pretty much how most trace elements are consumed in the world of supplements. Chelation means that the mineral is bound to amino acids .
So how does chelated copper work to boost testosterone? The answer isn’t as direct as you might think. The authors of a certain study propose that copper, when chelated by a peptide or amino acid, helps release gonadotropin-releasing hormone (known as GnRH), which is a secondary endocrine messenger that aids the pituitary gland in the production of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) .
Leydig cells in the testes are primary receptors for LH. LH, when bound to receptors in these cells, promotes the synthesis of free testosterone, which can help start the testosterone feedback loop your body needs to keep itself balanced .
Luteinizing Hormone release is of major significance to keeping high testosterone levels. In both men and women, LH is a known stimulator of reproductive cells that use an LH signal to produce testosterone. In female ovarian cells, the testosterone is converted to estrogen and progesterone. In the testes however, it remains as testosterone after release. In both cases, the sex hormones serve in a negative feedback loop that inhibits pituitary LH from stimulating reproductive cells when the hormone levels get too high .
What’s The Takeaway?
So all in all, copper definitely holds a really important role in your body’s production and maintenance of high testosterone. The reason copper supplementation is necessary, particularly in men who already supplement their testosterone with zinc compounds, is due to the dualistic balance both copper and zinc must maintain in order to act synergistically.
LEARN MORE: 3 Testosterone Boosting Foods High in Magnesium
When done correctly, your testosterone should really skyrocket. Both copper and zinc are necessary for cellular function, so when either one is heavily antagonized, your overall health could be at risk.
If you’re not healthy, low testosterone is a foregone conclusion; you need to be good on all fronts before you can focus solely on amping up your T. Why not test out a few chelated copper supplements? Make sure you take the right dosage, and see how it can aid your zinc supplementation.
If you have any experience or thoughts you would like to share on copper supplementation to boost testosterone and/or counteract zinc, share them in the comments below. For more ideas on how to naturally raise your testosterone levels, check out my TestShock program and e-book and let me know what you think.
1. Kuoppala, A. (2015, June 20). Copper and Testosterone: Not Popular, but Should Be Effective. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
2. Mineral Balance: Copper-Zinc. (2013, February 1). Retrieved July 10, 2015, from http://www.bodybio.com/content.aspx?page=mineral-balance-copper-zinc
3. Stirling, S. (2013, August 16). How to Get Higher Levels of Free Testosterone. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
4. Chelated Minerals. (n.d.). Retrieved July 10, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-41-chelated minerals.aspx?activeingredientid=41&activeingredientname=chelated minerals
5. Rice, G., & Barnea, A. (1983). A Possible Role for Copper-Mediated Oxidation of Thiols in the Regulation of the Release of Luteinizing Hormone Releasing Hormone from Isolated Hypothalamic Granules. Journal of Neurochemistry J Neurochem, 41(6), 1672-1679.
6. Chelated Copper: A Forgotten Lutenizing Hormone (LH) Booster. (2010, July 17). Retrieved July 10, 2015.
7. Bowen, R. (2004, May 13). Luteinizing and Follicle Stimulating Hormones. Retrieved July 10, 2015.