Testosterone: the male hormone par excellence.
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for virility and governs sexual desire, even in women and when it drops it can change a life.
There is no doubt that testosterone is the hormonal responsible for masculinity, that is, for that set of anatomical, physiological, psychological and behavioral aspects that a word we call virility.
Also, read the article on impotence.
The testosterone is a steroid hormone androgen group mainly produced by the Leydig cells in the testes and, minimally, testosterone is synthesized in the adrenal cortex.
It is also present in women, but as an intermediate product in the synthesis of estrogen. A woman who does not work the two glands that produce it, the ovary and the adrenal gland, is seen to fall into a dramatic loss of all desire.
It contributes to ensuring fertility, as it acts on the maturation of spermatozoa in the testicles. It influences the quality and quantity of the sperm produced since it also acts on the seminal tract and on the prostate, organs for the production of sperm. Testosterone also regulates sexual desire, erection, and satisfaction: it has the function of «synchronizing» sexual desire with the actual sexual act, regulating the beginning and the end of the erection of the penis.
Testosterone is also the fulcrum on which the same desire to get up in the morning to face the day, respond to the small and large provocations of daily life, desire to grow professionally, not allow depression to take hold of our thoughts.
It is the testosterone that from the first weeks of fetal life transforms a female embryo into a male embryo, placing an indelible imprint on the body of the man who will be born.
Testosterone can be said to be the «rib» that turns into men when the sex chromosomes are XY, rather than XX like in women.
This very powerful hormone also leaves its mark on the brain of the unborn child, causing one day to think and behave as a male, rather than a female.
A few years after birth, testosterone will again cause the voice to become deeper, the muscles will grow and the body and face hair will grow.
Then, throughout life, the level 10 to 20 times higher of this hormone, will continue to biologically distinguish a man (in which it is produced from the testicles) from a woman (in which it is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands).
But if the woman normally produces less it is proven that many esteroides anabolicos comprar of her tissues are much more sensitive to testosterone than the male ones.
It is this subtle balance between production and sensitivity to testosterone that distinguishes males and females from a psychological and behavioral point of view, even if the skein of biology and culture is one of the most difficult to unravel.
According to the scientists, the testosterone level drops year after year.
Thus, for example, they discovered the doctors who wrote the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism), observing that lately, about 1.2% of testosterone disappears from the male body every year, the hormone that characterizes masculinity.
For example, testosterone allows you to have long-lasting and powerful erections, strong muscles and bones, increases the desire for domination, improves the quality of sleep.
With puberty and entry into the adult world, testosterone hormone secretion increases year after year. Suddenly you feel the need to go out with girls, you have the first full erections, sometimes there is the urge to fight between companions.
From the age of 30, however, a slow decline begins (about 1% are lost every 12 months).
If we add to this the 1.2% loss that characterizes our time, it becomes worrying.
According to Professor Douglas Granger of the Pennsylvania State University endocrinology laboratory, when you want to conquer a woman, the body secretes a significant amount of testosterone to make the male more attractive (and possibly to prepare for the struggle for conquest).
Some studies suggest that when mutual falling in love occurs, male testosterone levels tend to align with female testosterone levels (women also have a little testosterone): male testosterone levels go down and female testosterone levels go up.
Sexually speaking, it seems that the moment of testosterone peak is early in the morning when you wake up.
The woman also reaches the peak of estrogen in this period. It, therefore, arises spontaneously to say: what better time to have sex?
It is also curious to observe (from studies by Dr. Katharina Hirschenhauser of the Institute of Applied Psychology in Lisbon) that testosterone levels increase on weekends (more time for sex) and on full moon nights (hence the term wolves ).
In case of divorce, it seems that testosterone levels will rise again, probably because it would be up to us to show our muscles, exteriors, body again.
You can take an exam to measure your testosterone levels, such as taking blood or saliva. If the levels are between about 350 and 1000 ng/dl it falls into normal; under about 270 it may be necessary to intervene with a cure.
With age in men, testosterone levels drop, although not as rapidly as estrogen in women.
There is then talk of andropause, the male equivalent of menopause, with quite similar symptoms.
Body fat tends to increase, the physiological «form» decreases (short-term memory loss, depression, anxiety, and loss of self-confidence), increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and cancer of the organs of the sexual sphere (breast and prostate).
Free testosterone: only a small part circulates freely and is free to penetrate the cells (free testosterone), while most are linked to proteins (SHBG and albumin).
In fact, about 60-70% binds to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin ) according to the known mechanism for transporting a hormone (protein + hormone).
Another 30-40% binds to albumin with a weaker bond. Basically only 1-2% of testosterone is free.
Since protein-bound testosterone is inactive ( protein binding must break to activate), it does not make sense to measure total testosterone, it would be necessary to measure free testosterone.
In fact, in old age (or in alcoholics and in subjects suffering from hypothyroidism) the production of SHBG has increased and free testosterone is further reduced.
It should be evident that since the free fraction is only a small percentage, it is better to have 4 ng / ml of total testosterone and 2% free than 7 ng/ml of total testosterone and 1% free.
Unfortunately, if the determination of total testosterone is insignificant, that of free testosterone is very expensive and is rarely done.
The highest testosterone levels are found in the morning; low levels are found in cirrhosis of the liver, in renal failure, in estrogen therapy, in food imbalances (malnutrition and obesity).
If an excessive amount of testosterone turns into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), baldness arises, as DHT binds to the hair bulb of the hair, atrophying it.
Beware of abuse of the use of testosterone for pharmaceutical use. You must not be attracted by the ease of putting on muscle mass or losing weight and you must go to the endocrinologist in case of presumed important deficiency or symptoms.
There are published studies that present cardiovascular risks for those taking testosterone and there may be especially if you take it unnecessarily.
If in doubt, I personally periodically take natural supplements like Man Plus Power.
TESTOSTERONE AND SPORT
Testosterone levels increase significantly during exercise and often remain high for an hour after the end.
It occurs that in conjunction with the athlete’s maximum peak of shape, the levels are generally lower, (i.e. the increase is less), a sign of an adaptation to the stress induced by training.
This figure is very important because it indicates that testosterone is not an absolute bottleneck: if it is important to have minimum levels to obtain the best performance, having very high levels is not a guarantee of improved performance.
In particular, the data on testosterone levels in cross-country races such as the marathon is not consistent (Kuoppasalmi, 1980, Ponjee, 1994 and Vogel, 1985).
Testosterone control is not a routine check, except for those subjects who have very low total cholesterol values (less than 160 mg/dl); for the sportsman, it is sufficient to check it every 3-5 years to track its evolution over time.
As with all hormones, the examination must be conducted in sporting and non-sporting conditions of rest and non-administration of drugs (estrogen, barbiturates, thyroid drugs, etc.) for at least 48 hours.
The values normally vary in humans according to age: before development between 0.1 and 5 ng / ml, in adulthood between 4.5 and 8.5 ng / ml, over 60 years between 1 and 5 ng / ml.
In women, they vary in the follicular phase between 0.25 and 0.35 ng/ml, in the preovulatory phase between 0.33 and 0.47 ng/ml, in the lutein phase between 0.30 and 0.40 ng/ml, during menopause between 0.25 and 0.35 ng/ml.