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15 Facts about Testosterone

15 Facts about Testosterone

By Mike Kocsis | 10 minutes read | Last updated: May 7, 2024
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  • Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos

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    Testosterone is usually referred to as the “male hormone” and is the genetic driver of the maturation and growth of sex organs. Its levels peak at around 20 in men. Women also produce testosterone, and its level peaks when they are pregnant, regardless of the gender of the growing fetus.

    Testosterone is an interesting hormone as it plays different roles in the body. This article has highlighted 15 surprising facts about testosterone to help you understand it better!

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    1.    It’s produced in the testicles

    Testosterone is an androgen, meaning it is a hormone that controls the development of male characteristics. In men, it is produced by the Leydig cells present in the testicles. However, adrenal glands also produce it in small quantities.

    The secretion of testosterone is controlled by the hypothalamus (a part of the brain) and pituitary gland (situated in the brain). Upon getting a signal from the hypothalamus, pituitary glands secret a hormone that travels through the blood to the testicles and stimulates them to produce testosterone.

     

    2.    Women also produce testosterone

    Even though testosterone is a male hormone, women also produce it in small quantities. It’s secreted by ovaries and adrenal glands in females.

    Testosterone is an essential hormone for females as it works with estrogen to perform different roles in the body, such as the development, repair, and maintenance of the reproductive system. It also controls human behaviour and bone mass density.

     

    3.    It’s more than a sex hormone

    Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, but its role is not restricted to sex life only as it controls various other functions as well. It helps with sperm production, sex drive, and genital transformation and, besides these roles, testosterone plays the following roles as well.

     

    4.    Making money can affect your testosterone levels

    British researchers have found that men get a testosterone spike when they make higher profits. Similarly, if men had higher testosterone in the morning, their evening profits would be higher than the low-testosterone days. The study suggested a cause-and-effect relationship between profit and testosterone.

     

    5.    Testosterone may reduce anxiety

    Experts believe that testosterone may also act as an anxiolytic (a medication that reduces anxiety) and an aid to memory. Studies also prove that testosterone reduces unconscious fear in women. However, these studies are done on a small scale. More research needs to be done to prove the effectiveness of testosterone.

     

    6.    Testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day

    In men, testosterone levels do not stay the same throughout the days and years. They vary throughout the day. They reach their peak around 8 in the morning and start declining after 12. Testosterone levels reach their lowest at around 8 in the evening and peak during the night.

    Due to this fluctuation, doctors often recommend men with low T get their testosterone measured around 8 in the morning. Testosterone levels are usually highest at this time of the day.

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    7.    Stress can reduce your testosterone levels

    If you stay under stress for long, it can cause testosterone levels to drop. Under stress, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol. During its production, the body puts its all focus on cortisol and testosterone levels are no more its priority.

    In a study published in the Hormones and Behavior journal, 57 men participated and had a one-on-one competition. Men who lost the competition were asked if they wanted to compete again. Many of them declined. When their hormone level was checked, researchers found that they had high cortisol and low testosterone.

     

    8.    Certain health conditions can lead to low T

    The healthy testosterone level in men is between 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Low T is a condition that develops when men produce testosterone lower than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Certain medical conditions contribute to the development of low T. Common examples of such conditions are:

    • Injury of testes
    • Cancer of testes
    • AIDS/HIV
    • Chronic kidney failure
    • Dysfunction of the pituitary gland
    • Metabolic disorders
    • Cirrhosis of the liver
    • Short-term or long-term illness
    • Inflammatory conditions
    • Klinefelter syndrome
    • Kallman syndrome
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Head injury
    • Obstructive sleep apnea

    You may also experience low T if you are going through chemotherapy or taking certain other medications such as steroids. If medications are the reason behind your low T, then your testosterone level will most probably restore when you stop taking medications.

     

    9.    A simple blood test can tell your testosterone levels

    You can get your testosterone levels tested through a simple test. A doctor first does a physical examination and asks questions to patients to identify the issue. During the physical examination, he will check the amount of body hair, size of your testes and breasts.

    For a blood test, he will draw your blood intravenously from your arm. This test does not require any preparation, such as fasting. However, you will be asked to get your blood drawn at 8 in the morning. Your doctor may have two to three tests before drawing a conclusion.

    You may also be asked to have an MRI scan, genetic or hormone test based on your condition.

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    10.   Skipping sleep can lower your testosterone levels

    Cutting back on sleep can reduce testosterone levels in healthy young men. That is why you should sleep at least eight hours a day to ensure your body gets enough time to heal (as the natural healing process starts at night when you sleep) and produce healthy levels of testosterone.

    According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), lack of sleep can reduce the amount of testosterone in men by the same amount as getting old 10 to 15 years. This study also found that sleep quality and duration are equally important for the normal functioning of the endocrine system.

     

    11.    Low T can lead to low bone density

    Testosterone plays several roles in the body. One of them is maintaining bone mass density. Due to this reason, when testosterone levels decline, bone mass density also starts declining, which makes men with low T prone to bone fractures.

    Older men may also develop osteoporosis when their testosterone levels reach a low level.

     

    12.    Testosterone deficiency is not only linked to age

    It is commonly believed that as men age, their testosterone levels start declining, which makes it a natural ageing symptom. This notion is true, but ageing is not the only cause of low T. Younger men can also have low testosterone levels due to one reason or another.

    The cause of low T in younger men is commonly an illness. Low T can disrupt your life in several ways. That is why you should visit a doctor to find the proper solution on time.

     

    13.      Low T can drain your energy

    One of the most commonly reported symptoms of low testosterone is fatigue. You may feel tired even after taking a full night’s sleep. It can also change your mood, and you may also feel depressed. People having low T also complain about having less focus and trouble concentrating.

    The good thing is, you can get your testosterone levels restored again and get rid of the low T symptoms.

     

    14.       You can get your testosterone levels boosted again

    Making healthy lifestyle changes and eating testosterone-boosting foods are the best natural ways of increasing your testosterone levels. Low T patients are often asked to exercise regularly, take less stress, eat a balanced diet, get healthy sleep, and get some sun.

    If natural ways do not work for you, you can get a suitable treatment as well. Testosterone replacement therapy is the most popular treatment used for low T. It involves the supplementation of testosterone exogenously. You have the options to choose from testosterone injections, pills, patches, gels, and implants. Your doctor will choose any of these options based on your preferences and health condition.

     

    15.       Discuss the effects of testosterone replacement therapy with your doctor

    Testosterone replacement therapy is a safe treatment, but it has certain side effects such as oily skin, larger breasts, and shrinkage of the testicles. The risk of negative side effects is very small but you should always consult your doctor if you’re considering undergoing TRT.

     

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    Summary

    Testosterone is a male hormone, but women also produce it. It is formed in the testicles in men and in the ovaries in women. Testosterone levels change throughout the day in men. Its levels are the highest in the early morning and reach their lowest at around 8 in the evening.

    Men can develop low testosterone due to ageing or a medical condition such as type 2 diabetes, testicle cancer, head injury, metabolic disorders, etc. Low T can influence different aspects of your life negatively. Therefore, getting rid of it is the best solution to live your life to its fullest.

    Bring positive changes to your lifestyle, or go for testosterone replacement therapy to get your testosterone levels restored!

     

    References/Scientific studies/Bibliography/Further reading

    van Honk, J., Peper, J.S. and Schutter, D.J., 2005. Testosterone reduces unconscious fear but not consciously experienced anxiety: implications for the disorders of fear and anxiety. Biological psychiatry58(3), pp.218-225.

    https://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/testosterone-levels-by-age

    https://www.everydayhealth.com/mens-health/can-stress-affect-low-testosterone.aspx

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    Evidence Based Research

    This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

    References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

    Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject. You can read more about our Editorial Process by clicking here.

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    About the Author: Mike Kocsis

    Mike KocsisMike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

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