Testosterone can be best defined as a male sex hormone that is critical for reproductive and sexual development. The truth is that this hormone is found in men, women, and animals. It is found in smaller amounts in women than in men, and its production begins significantly during puberty and dips when the man is 30 years old. The hormone usually plays a huge role in the sex drive of a man and production of sperm. It also affects the muscle and bone mass of men. Also, the hormone determines the way in which men’s bodies store fat and the production of their red blood cells. The levels of testosterone a man has at one time will also affect the mood he is in.
Where and How Testosterone Is Produced In Man
Testosterone is part of the male hormones that are called androgens and sometimes also include anabolic steroids. This hormone is mainly produced by the testes. It is considered a steroid hormone because it is released by all cells in the body. The hypothalamus and the pituitary glands manage the level of testosterone produced. Note that the hypothalamus calculates the amounts that will be required each day, and the pituitary glands then send the messages to the testes. This results in the production of the hormone. Testosterone for men determines a lot of things and is produced even before birth. During the first few days of life, the testosterone produced in the body of a male child begins to rise. Later on, these levels remain in a pubertal range but will not be detectable during the first six months of age. This rise in the testosterone for men is responsible for “brain masculinization” as it does not perform any other function in the body.
How Testosterone Affects Men
Testosterone affects men in various ways. To begin with, the endocrine system of the body consists of glands that are responsible for the production of hormones. The pituitary gland sends messages to the testicles that testosterone is needed. During puberty, it helps men to develop male attributes like a deeper voice, beard, and body hair. It also controls sexual drive and muscle mass. As early as seven days after birth, testosterone helps to develop the male genitals and allow the penis to grow. With the steady flow of testosterone at puberty, the body can create a fresh supply of sperm on a daily basis.
Testosterone also plays an instrumental role in the development of bulk muscles and strength that are usually lacking in women. It increases neurotransmitters, which increase the growth of tissues and also interacts with DNA receptors, thus causing protein synthesis. The hormone also increases the levels of growth hormones, hence increasing the muscles a man is likely to gain from regular exercises. As a man transitions from childhood to adulthood, his hair growth to the face and genitals is spiked. Low testosterone in men is primarily responsible for hair loss.
Testosterone Levels by Age
Men should have about 270- 1070ng/dl with an average of 679ng/dl. At the age of 20, the levels of testosterone peak and then begin to decline slowly. Regardless, testosterone levels above or below the normal range are considered imbalanced. Researchers suggest that the healthiest men tend to have testosterone levels between 400 and 600ng/dl.
Benefits of Optimal Testosterone Levels
There are numerous benefits a man gains when they have optimal testosterone levels. Such benefits include:
- It Helps To Fight Depression
If you have been fighting with depression for years, it may be because you have low testosterone levels. According to researchers, men with balanced levels of testosterone in their bodies have better moods and lower chances of suffering from depression.
- Decreased Body Fat
One of the roles of this hormone is to predict where the body of a male will deposit fat. Testosterone levels ensure that a man has less fat and more muscle mass. As its levels decrease, the body is unable to regulate glucose and insulin, and the metabolism of fat goes down. This, in turn, causes fat accumulation. Obesity in men then increases with the reduction in the testosterone levels.
- Stronger Heart and Bones
According to scientists, high testosterone in men results in lower chances of suffering from heart diseases. By itself, it helps to strengthen your cardiovascular system and prevents the buildup of cholesterol around your heart. This keeps your heart strong. Because men have testosterone, they do not suffer from osteoporosis as much as women do. Thus, they tend to have stronger bones than those of women.
- Stronger Erections, More Libido
Testosterone is a sex hormone that determines the libido a man will have. It also determines whether a man will have erectile dysfunction or not.
What are the Causes of Low and High Testosterone
Age is one of the reasons that may cause increased or decreased levels of testosterone. There are also other disorders such as hyperthyroidism that cause a decrease in testosterone levels. The use of steroids also affects the levels of this hormone in a person’s body.
Ways to Increase Testosterone level
- Weight Loss
Once you shed a couple of pounds. Your testosterone levels are going to get back on track since statistics show that overweight men tend to have lower levels of the hormone.
- Testosterone Therapy
This is, by far, the most effective way to ensure that your testosterone levels are on track. You will need to get a blood test that will measure the levels of testosterone in your body. In testosterone therapy, a patient takes an artificial version of the hormone either in a gel that is applied under the armpits, scrotum or in the shoulders daily. It may also come in the form of a patch that is put on the scrotum twice a day, or a solution. In some instances, it is recommended that the patient gets injections every two or three weeks. There are testosterone implants that last for up to six months.