Testosterone is a hormone that is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. It is an androgen that is produced primarily in the Leydig cells of the testicles. Men without adequate testosterone are often infertile because testosterone is required in the process of developing mature sperm. Females also produce testosterone but in very small amounts.
Testosterone is a very powerful hormone, controlling sex drive, regulating sperm production, promoting muscle mass, increasing energy levels, and also influencing behavior. It also plays an important function in the development of the fetus during pregnancy. It is the key to the development of the male reproductive system and helps “masculinize” the brain.
Testosterone levels may rise or fall depending on the health and age of the individual. Optimal levels of testosterone benefit the body in the following ways:
- May combat depression – Deficient testosterone levels are often linked to depression. Scientists still do not know if it is low testosterone that causes depression or depression that leads to low levels of testosterone. What is clear, though, is that people suffering from depression often show signs of recovery after undergoing testosterone treatments.
- Decreases body fat – Testosterone plays an important role in regulating glucose, fat metabolism, and insulin. When there is a decrease in testosterone levels, the body’s ability to regulate fat metabolism, glucose, and insulin decreases, too. This can result in the accumulation of fats that contribute further to decreasing testosterone levels as testosterone is converted into estrogen.
- Increases muscle mass – Testosterone increases strength and muscle mass by increasing muscle protein synthesis. You also feel stronger with higher levels of testosterone, which means you can perform physical activities with greater vigor.
- Strengthens the bones – As with women, men are also prone to the bone-weakening disease known as osteoporosis. Strong testosterone levels play an important role in bone health, increasing bone density by stimulating mineralization of the bones.
- Increases libido – Testosterone is a sex hormone. A decline in testosterone levels often results in low libido and erectile dysfunction. This can usually be corrected by increasing testosterone levels.
- May decrease chances of Alzheimer’s disease – An increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease is linked to a low level of testosterone in the body. Maintaining optimal levels of testosterone may lower the risk of the debilitating disease.
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