Il testosterone is a steroid hormone, of a lipid nature, present in humans and animals; in men, the testicles are responsible for producing testosterone, while in women it is produced by the ovaries, in significantly lower quantities.
The production of testosterone begins to increase significantly during puberty and decreases from the age of 30; testosterone is associated with sex drive, plays a role in sperm production, affects bone and muscle mass, fat storage and red blood cell production, and is also capable of influencing mood.
Let's find out everything there is to know about testosterone and optimal levels for men and women!
This hormone performs several functions in the human body:
- Development and maturation of the sexual organs
- Development of characteristics related to sexuality (increased hair, beard, lowering of vocal timbre)
- Increased muscle and skeletal mass
- Increased sexual desire
- Increased sperm production and quality
- Better fat storage
- Increased production of erythropoietin (a hormone that regulates red blood cell production)
- Role in cognitive functions: greater concentration, brilliance, happiness and lower levels of bad mood with low risk of depression.
Il testosterone can be measured with a simple blood draw, but the actually active one is difficult to measure; the production of testosterone is influenced by many other hormones and the units of measurement with which the values of this hormone are indicated vary from laboratory to laboratory, as well as the reference values.
In average, the daily production in man, reached the age of 30, tends to decrease by 1% every year; in young meni, after the age of 18, the average production ranges from 240 to 1100 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter); in women the value is between 8 and 60 ng/dl.
Low testosterone levels in men can produce a number of symptoms:
- Decreased sex drive
- Less energy
- Weight gain
- Feeling depressed
- Thinner bones
Although testosterone production naturally declines as we age, other factors can cause testosterone levels to drop:
- Testicular injuries in men
- Removal of the ovaries in women
- Diseases of the pituitary gland
- Anti-tumor treatments
- Chronic health conditions (AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver)
Higher testosterone levels in men generally don't cause obvious symptoms; boys with higher levels begin puberty earlier, while women with high testosterone develop masculine characteristics.
One of the proposed treatments in case of low testosterone is the use of supplements; one of these, the methyltestosterone, has been approved by Food&Drug Administration, but the guidelines recommend to do not prescribe it due to the rate at which it is metabolized by the liver.
This can lead to liver toxicity; until more evidence is available to support the safety of this hormone supplementation, only older adults with severe clinical symptoms of testosterone deficiency should be candidates for a prescription for this supplement.
Instead, there are some methods for increase testosterone naturally, which you can read about in this article.
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