Real men don’t drink

Alcohol’s detrimental effects on manhood are manifold. Heavy alcohol intake causes a dramatic rise in oestrogen levels in men as it significantly inhibits the clearance of oestrogen from the bloodstream. Heavy drinking in men has long been recognized as causing high oestrogen levels with related symptoms such as spider veins, the reddish colouration of the palms, enlarged breasts and testicular atrophy. Increased sexual dysfunction is also common and there is every reason to believe that raised oestrogen levels, induced by alcohol, are a significant cause of that.


Liver health – hormone health – sexual health

Alcohol has a negative effect on liver health which in turn directly affects men’s sexual health. P450 enzyme system in the liver is a primary processing system that eliminates chemicals, hormones, drugs, and metabolic waste products from the body. Among its many duties is the task of excreting excess oestrogen from the body. An impaired liver function and impaired P450 system may be the most important contributing factor in male menopause. A build-up of excessive oestrogen is a common finding in alcoholic men.


Zinc deficiency – male infertility connection

Zinc deficiencies are extremely common with the modern diet. Zinc is a critical mineral for male sexual health and fertility. Observational studies show that low zinc status or deficiency is associated with low testosterone levels, poor sperm quality and an increased risk of male infertility. It is well known that alcohol consumption depletes the nutritional reserve of vitamins and minerals and zinc and folate depletion is particularly concerning when it comes to male fertility. 

As zinc deficiency induces aromatase enzyme activity in males, more and more of testosterone is converted into oestrogen and the male is oestrogenized. An adequate level of zinc inhibits aromatase activity and maintains male/female hormone ratio.

 Zinc is also necessary for normal pituitary function, without which the proper hormonal signals will not be sent to the testicles to stimulate the production of testosterone. Not only is zinc important for testosterone production, but testosterone has been found to be necessary to maintain levels of zinc in the tissues. Clearly, in men whose zinc status is inadequate, a vicious cycle has established which must be broken.


You lose your ardour, in an accelerated fashion

Alcohol is a cellular toxin that has a destructive effect on organs and hormones. Research shows that alcohol has a severe effect on the brain, linked with dementia. Contrary to the widespread general perception that it relieves stress and helps sleep, alcohol can make one depressed as it is a central nervous system depressant and disturbs circadian rhythm so sleep quality becomes poor. Alcohol abuse is correlated with mental health issues. 1 in 5 NHS hospital patients have alcohol-related problems.

Alcohol is a complete no-no when it comes to fertility for both men and women. It is toxic to the sperm and egg and to the baby once you are pregnant. It has no nutritional value consisting of empty calories which work as the worst possible fuel. 


Alcohol’s Effects on the Body

Zinc is an Essential Element for Male Fertility: A Review of Zn Roles in Men’s Health, Germination, Sperm Quality, and Fertilization

Agnes Ryu

Agnes Ryu

Dr. Ryu is a clinician and biochemist specializing in integrative medicine. Her clinical interests include fertility, hormones, metabolism, healthy ageing, menopause, and natural breast cancer care. As an integrative practitioner, Dr. Ryu aims to uncover the root causes of health issues and strives to empower patients with the knowledge and tools to take charge of their own health.

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