You’ve probably heard of testosterone. It’s often described as the male hormone and is linked to athletic performance; muscle growth and even libido.
But do you know where it comes from? What effect it really has on your body and what it really does?
It is important to note that these facts relate mainly to adults; although testosterone is present and relevant all the way through your life.
This excellent and informative video from Dr Kiel explains everything you need to know:
What Is Testosterone?
It is considered to be an androgenous steroid hormone.
To understand this better you can break it into three concepts:
- Androgen – A natural or synthetic compound which binds to receptors in your body. By doing so it can control and boost the development of male characteristics in your body.
- Steroid – There are many steroids all of which have similar structures. Testosterone is just one of these.
- Hormone – A molecule which signals organs in your body to ensure they react.
Testosterone is actually created from cholesterol as they have similar structures. This is the reason why some people recommend increasing saturated fat in your diet.
This male hormone is produced in your testicles. It is also necessary for women but in much smaller amounts. They produce it in their ovaries.
There is also a small amount created in the adrenal cortex.
Your testosterone is carried round in your blood.
An organ in your body known as the hypothalamus gland detects if you are low on T.
When you are it sends a signal to the pituitary gland which release Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH); these trigger the testicles to produce testosterone.
It is worth noting that if you take T boosting supplements for too long (years without a break in the cycle) it will trick your body into believing there is enough T in your body.
This can shut down your natural production process temporarily.
How It Effects the Body
The anabolic effects of testosterone are not all visible. It will boost your muscle mass and help to decrease body fat.
It can also build bone density and increase your red blood cell count. But, it can also increase the size of your prostate.
The androgenic effects are male orientated. It will boost your libido and help you to get and maintain and erection. It is also essential in the development of sperm.
Testosterone is also converted in your body to estradiol. This is the female hormone and is necessary for a healthy body.
Unfortunately too much of this can cause the development of female features; this can be a particular issue if you are obese as estradiol production is greater.
This male hormone is also known to improve your mood, energy levels and cognitive function. It has also been linked with lower risk of depression or dementia.
The Decline of Testosterone
Women will experience a decline in T when they hit the menopause. This is generally around the age of 45 – 50 although there is no specific schedule.
Men reach peak serum T levels at approximately 30. After that it will decline by roughly 1 every year. This is a gradual decline which is often associated with old age.
Signs of Low T
The following signs indicate your T levels are low:
- Reduced bone density
- Problems getting erections
- Low libido
- Fewer red blood cells
- Reduced muscle mass and strength
- Decline in cognitive ability.
- Increase in body fat
Side Effects of Steroids
Steroids should only be used if you are prescribed them by a doctor. There are many side effects which need to be monitored when taking steroids, these include:
- Liver dysfunction
- Risk of heart attacks and strokes
- Reduced sperm count
- Lower production of testosterone
- Increased risk of prostate cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Increase in bad cholesterol
As you can see testosterone is a very important hormone in your body. It starts to decline from age 30 and it is important to take the appropriate steps to maintain your levels.
However, this should be done with legal supplements and the help of your medical professional. You can check out the best test boosters to achieve this.