|Posted by Steroids on October 2, 2021 at 9:25 PM|
In almost all vertebrates, testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid . This means it's a substance that helps to develop and maintain male characteristics. Testosterone affects behavior as well as maintaining bone density, fat distribution , muscle strength, red blood cell production , sex drive * , sperm production , and general energy levels.
When our bodies are preparing to go into battle or defending themselves from predators (or natural disasters), our bodies release testosterone (and other hormones) to ready us for what's ahead. It releases fatty acids into the blood stream for quick access as energy later on during the "fight" or "flight." The actual tingly feeling you get when scared is your body releasing adrenaline which increases heart rate . Fun fact: This is part of how animals sense danger, a slowed digestive system which conserves energy for later.
In humans, testosterone levels go up and down depending on the situation at hand. Testosterone is associated with dominance , ambition , aggression , and sexual desire . Many criminals have been found to have lower-than-normal testosterone levels. On the other hand, sportsmen/women or those who are especially competitive tend to have higher levels of cortisol (an antagonist of testosterone) but higher levels of testosterone as well. Suppression of testosterone production is one reason why steroid use among professional athletes can be so dangerous-- not only does it hit your body hard when you do decide to taking them, they've also suppressed their own production of testosterone which causes their bodies to "try" to compensate. This leads to decreased sperm counts , testicular shrinkage, and an increase in estrogen (both sexes naturally produce this hormone).
Testosterone levels peak between the ages of 30-34 for men. On average, males produce 6-8mg/day while females produce 0.5-2mg/day. Production starts decreasing around age 40 where it's estimated that 5% of males experience low T ( hypogonadism ). After the age of 60, less than 1% suffer from this condition.
Testosterone replacement therapy began in the 1930s when scientists found they could replace or mimic testosterone with other substances such as methyltestosterone (which would only be used until the 70s when it was found to be carcinogenic, or cancer-causing). Testosterone gels were introduced in 2000 and proved to be an effective treatment for hypogonadism. A more recent development is testosterone implants (which are covered by insurance but not all plans), which last up to six months depending on implant size.
What about those who don't suffer from low T? Will taking extra testosterone help them excel at their goals? The answer is simply, no. It will most likely damage your body's ability to produce natural testosterone . This means you're stuck wondering why you can't get strong/bigger no matter how much work you put in at the gym. Steroid use is very dangerous when it's taken with no medical supervision (and even if prescribed, follow dosage precautions!). If you're worried that your levels are low , get them tested through your doctor.
The most common uses of testosterone are in transgender therapy or anti-aging medicine. When treating the latter , they prescribe small doses to keep people healthier for longer (not bigger/stronger). It is also used illegally in sports in order to enhance performance but this has been banned in professional sports since 2004 . If you want more information about why athletes take steroids, check out our article series called 'The Athlete's Mind'.