The testosterone plays a key role in the body, especially in the male, which is associated with virility thanks to this hormone. However, its effects and competences go beyond the development of masculinity.
Then we will develop everything you need to know about testosterone, trying to clarify myths and curiosities that are born around them as well as dedicate a section on the role they play in women.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the group of androgens that is found in both humans and other vertebrates (mammals, birds or reptiles).
It is mainly secreted in mammals (including humans) in the testes and prostate of the male and, to a much lesser extent, in the ovaries of females. The reticular zone of the adrenal glands is another source of testosterone.
This means that testosterone is more important in the male organism than in the female organism. While the concentration in the human plasma ranges from 30 to 120 nanograms, in women the range ranges from 3 to 9.5 nanograms.
Natural effects of testosterone
Testosterone has effects on our health from the prenatal stage, more or less after 4 weeks, where there is virilization of the genitals (scrotal increase, phallic formation) and the development of the prostate and seminal vesicles.
Once we are born, the levels of testosterana rise, being from 4 and 6 months when they begin to be detectable. It will no longer be relevant until the pre-puberty stage, where testosterone causes hair to increase, the appearance of axillary hair and sideburns or mustache and an acceleration in bone anatomy.
When puberty is reached, facial and pubic hair appears and spreads, the libido increases, the voice changes in hue, the throat of the throat develops, the man becomes fertile, the thoracic box expands and the shoulders become they expand and psychologically a more active and aggressive attitude is adopted. All this occurs because testosterone seeks to regulate itself, being decisive in this significant hormonal change.
It is remarkable the sexual development in the individual since the interest for sex and romantic relationships go hand in hand with testosterone levels in both men and women. Sexual arousal will be higher depending on the testosterone peaks that the individual possesses, which can be exposed to multiple erotic stimuli such as a conversation with a woman or watching an erotic movie.
Entering already in the adult stage, the levels can only go in decrease, reason why maintaining the levels at good level are synonymous of a life of quality.
Below we will list a series of studies to try to better understand the importance of testosterone in our body.
The prevention of Alzheimer’s is another reason why maintaining adequate levels of testosterone is essential. Several are the investigations developed since the beginning of the century in which it is demonstrated that the increase in neuronal death or cognitive disorders are directly linked to low levels of testosterone.
A study developed in Italy concluded that testosterone levels in adults were one of the important causes of people suffering from anemia. The hypothesis indicates that men and women with low testosterone levels were more likely to develop anemia.
Derived from hypogonadism we find osteoporosis. Disease caused by many causes, but found in low levels of testosterone one of its best allies for its development. The medicine uses drugs rich in testosterones to fight it.
A high-fat diet causes testosterone levels to decrease, in turn decreasing muscle mass, leading also to diseases such as obesity. Maintaining adequate levels of this hormone helps distribute fat better and therefore maintain body well-being.
Type 2 diabetes and arterial diseases
Testosterone helps regulate arterial disease and type 2 diabetes. This could be demonstrated in a study in which testosterone was administered to middle-aged men, which decreased levels of glucose in fat and viscera and experienced an increase in blood flow. coronary.
Testosterone is strongly associated with increased athletic performance and competition. Although there are detractors about this, we can extract an interesting study, in which taking as participants six college tennis players, testosterone levels were evaluated and what role they played during games. The results were very favorable for those tennis players who had the highest levels.
Later, in the section of ‘curiosities’, you will find one that shows that sports performance finds a great ally in testosterone.
There is a belief that testosterone supplements increase the risk of atherosclerosis, but today there is no scientific evidence to support this assumption.
A good summary to explain the importance of testosterone could be introduced by citing a study in which it was concluded that elderly men with testosterone levels below normal, had a mortality rate of 34%, higher than 20% suffering those who had normal levels.
How to boost testosterone?
Testosterone levels naturally decrease with age, but can also be reduced by:
- Testicular injuries
- Cancer treatment such as chemotherapy
- Certain genetic disorders
- Inflammatory diseases
- Suffering of diseases such as HIV
- Consumption of certain medications
If your testosterone levels were not at normal levels, going to the doctor and carrying out some treatment is more than necessary to lead a quality life. Some of the most common proposals that specialists usually recommend to combat this lack are:
The consumption of sugar reduces testosterone. This is what the scientific journal Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism publishes , which ensures that a diet high in sugars decreases the levels of testosterone in our body.
Although sugar takes away all of our critical thoughts at this moment, the truth is that where all the weight really lies is in us, trying to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The quality of sleep is paramount so that testosterone levels do not decrease drastically. This statement is taken from an investigation carried out by scientists from the University of Chicago, who discovered that men with adequate sleep patterns (7-9 hours) increased their levels of the male hormone.
Zinc deficiency in the body can affect the cells of the testes where testosterone is produced. Although its effectiveness remains to be verified, supplementation led by a specialist can help restore normal testosterone levels.
In a study on zinc and magnesium, it was found that men who were given 30 mg of zinc per day, showed higher levels of testosterone than they had before the investigation.
Take vitamin D
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, the correlation between vitamin D levels and testosterone is quite high. The study authors found that participants with the highest levels of vitamin D had higher testosterone levels than those who suffered from vitamin deficiency.
Testosterone supplements can be purchased in pharmacies, specialty stores or online stores. In countries like Spain you need a prescription to buy them in pharmacies, but normally doctors prefer other methods due to the side effects that these supplements produce. Depending on the quantity, brand or composition, its price may vary between 15 and 80 euros.
Side effects of testosterone
If by necessity or personal desires you decide to increase testosterone levels through pills or injections, consider the possible side effects to which it is exposed as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Continuous erection of the penis
- Enlargement of the clitoris
- Change in skin color
- Painful urination
- Dysfunctional problems, decreased sperm, impotence
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Appearance of acne
- Fecal problems
- Swelling in certain parts of the body such as ankles or feet
- Excessive hair growth
- Breast growth and menstrual changes
- Chest pains or sudden cough
- Blood clots in the legs
- Liver problems
- Numbness or tingling sensation
To avoid this situation, consult your doctor before making a decision.
Testosterone in women
The studies about testosterone reveal that levels of this hormone in women are up to 8 times lower than men.
Despite this, they have some importance within their organism, and there are many studies that try to draw conclusions about the effects derived from testosterone in them.
According to one study, during pregnancy, testosterone is contraindicated, since its consumption can cause fetal malformations and other irreversible damage. In turn, during lactation should also avoid testosterone so that its side effects do not affect the mother and infant.
Along with estrogen and progesterone, female hormones, testosterone has a negative influence on polycystic ovarian syndrome. This is a disease in which the imbalance of the female sex hormones cause changes in the menstrual cycle, hinder the possibility of pregnancy and produce cysts in the ovaries.
The menopause, the menstrual period ceases, usually accompanied with symptoms that reduce the quality of life in women. Alterations of mood, sweating, stress, decreased libido or even anxiety were some of these consequences that has long been treated with hormone therapy with testosterone.
This therapy was a success because it minimized the sequelae, but in a study published in the scientific journal Archives of Internal , diagnosed that the combination of estrogen and testosterone increased by 77% the risk of breast cancer. Later studies have also mentioned the possibility of suffering thrombosis taking this treatment.
According to a team study between the University of Chicago and Northwestern University in 2009, testosterone levels in women could influence when choosing one career or another. In the sample conducted, they concluded that women with higher levels chose to choose more risky careers within the field of administration and finance compared to those with lower levels.
Since 1976, for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the gender difference in competitions does not depend on the genitals, but on the levels of testoterona. A male born transsexual can compete with women as long as their testosterone levels are less than 10 nanograms.
Following the sport, the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibits the consumption of testosterone or clenbuterol (anabolic that mimics) as it promotes muscle growth. The excyclist Lance Amstrong mixed EPO with testosterone to perform more in competitions. Obviously their titles were removed.
‘Testosterone’ (2000) refers to a novel written by the American James Robert Baker and then taken to the movies by David Moreton.
The Argentine rock group Bersuit Vergarabat, published in 2005 its eighth album, which was titled “Testosterone”