Impact of oral zinc therapy on the level of sex hormones in male patients on hemodialysis

Ren Fail. 2010 May;32(4):417-9. doi: 10.3109/08860221003706958.


Background: Sexual dysfunction in chronic renal failure patients undergoing hemodialysis is common. It is demonstrated that the zinc level is significantly lower in the hemodialysis patients.

Objective: In this clinical trial, we investigate the effect of zinc supplement therapy on the serum levels of sexual hormones in hemodialysis male patients.

Patients and methods: We carried out a clinical trial study including 100 of our male patients with end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis. Testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, and zinc plasma level were measured in all of the patients. The patients received zinc supplement (zinc sulfate, 250 mg/day) for 6 weeks, and sex hormones and zinc plasma level were checked again.

Results: Serum level of FSH and prolactin did not have any significant changes before and after intervention, but serum level of testosterone, LH, and zinc increased significantly.

Discussion: These results suggest that although zinc administration did not have a definite effect on hemodialysis patients with sexual dysfunction, it can cause increase in the serum level of sex hormones which may improve the sexual function of the patients in some aspects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / blood
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / drug therapy*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Zinc / administration & dosage
  • Zinc / blood
  • Zinc / pharmacology*


  • Testosterone
  • Prolactin
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Zinc