In addition to helping out with immunity, growth, and development, zinc is a great mineral for men because it appears to play an important role in maintaining prostate health. Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in American men, and most elderly men have some abnormal prostate cells, so researchers are increasingly interested in ways to protect the prostate. Although the exact function of zinc in the prostate is unknown, what we do know about zinc is that:
- The human prostate accumulates the highest level of zinc of any soft tissue in the body (although researchers aren't sure why).
- Cancerous prostates seem to have less zinc than normal prostates.
- Some studies show that increased dietary zinc is associated with a decrease in the incidence of prostate cancer.
- Severe zinc deficiency can affect testosterone and could lead to impotence.