Hormones are a series of substances produced by the endocrine glands and have many functions in the body. One of the best known is testosterone, A predominantly male hormone, but which is also synthesized in women.
Although it is one of the most studied hormones, there are many activities of the body in which it is involved, as well as its health benefits and the differences between men and women when exercising their action.
What is testosterone and what is it used for?
Testosterone is a sex hormone, classified as a steroid, traditionally associated with the male sex. even if this substance is the main male hormone and occurs mainly in the testes, the ovaries also possess the ability to manufacture them in very small quantities.
This hormone, present even before birth, she is in charge of male sexual development, Promoting the growth of male sexual organs, the growth of muscles, the appearance of body hair and the development of the severity of the voice.
Once a man has fully developed, reaching adulthood, testosterone maintains its activity, being involved in many bodily processes and functions. This includes, among the mechanisms most obviously related to it, such as sexual capacity, desire and sperm formation; still others in which their role is traditionally less known.
These body activities in which testosterone is involved include:
- It helps to develop muscle toning and aids recovery after aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
- It improves the production of red blood cells.
- favors memory process.
- Improves kidney function.
- It prevents the development of diseases such as osteoporosis.
- Increases bone mineral density.
How does testosterone work in women?
As noted above, testosterone is a predominantly male hormone with its plasma concentration ten times higher in men than in women. However, women are much more sensitive to the effects of this situation.
Generally speaking, the effects of testosterone on women are related to certain aspects of behavior and their physical appearance. As in men, testosterone is heavily involved in libido levels and sexual desire, to the point of qualitatively improving sexual intercourse.
On the other hand, this hormone also cooperates in the development of bones, provide a stronger bone structure and strong, resilient muscle mass.
However, there are many other female bodily functions and dynamics in which testosterone is involved, increasing the number of empirical studies attempting to establish these associations.
For example, one of these studies conducted by the University of Florida found data in favor of the hypothesis that in many cases when women subconsciously perceive that other women are ovulatingThey increase your testosterone spikes, increase levels of sexual desire, and cause more intense orgasms. This fact contains an evolutionary component, so when one woman noticed that another was in a fertile state, she became a reproductive rival, so the increase in testosterone made intercourse easier. with the men of the group.
Finally, other studies related to human sexual behavior have found a number of associations between high testosterone levels and increased masturbation, as well as an increase in behaviors considered risky.
All of this means that the influence of testosterone on sexual and other non-sexual behaviors in men and women is obvious. However, there is still a long way to go to declare it forcefully.
Its health benefits
Throughout the article, it has been commented, on several occasions, that the effects of testosterone go beyond those related to sexual desire and performance. In addition, it also has a great influence on physical performance, fat production and distribution, and cardiovascular function.
1. Physical energy and fatigue
Testosterone levels are directly related to the physical feeling of tiredness and fatigue, so the lower the testosterone levels in a person, the greater the feeling of fatigue.
2. Distribution of body fat
Numerous studies have established evidence that they associate low testosterone levels with a higher amount of body fat, Which tends to accumulate mainly in the abdomen. Thus, a high body mass index, coupled with such a high abdominal contour can be synonymous with impaired testosterone production.
3. Muscle mass
Testosterone is included in the group of anabolic hormones, so the consumption of free testosterone promotes the genesis of muscle proteins, which improve the development of muscle volume.
4. Cardiovascular function
Low testosterone levels have traditionally been considered a risk factor when developing hypertension. Likewise, optimal levels of this hormone promote triglyceride control, also regulating cholesterol issues.
What happens when an excess of this hormone is produced?
High levels of testosterone can cause a large number of physical and behavioral changes in both men and women.
1. Consequences in men
High levels of testosterone in the blood in men they can be due to diseases such as hyperthyroidism, a tumor of the adrenal gland or as a result of excessive consumption of alcohol, tobacco and steroids.
As a result, the following symptoms may develop:
- Increase in the size of the prostate and problems urinating.
- Increased production of body fat.
- Acne problems.
- Increased growth of body hair.
- Fertility problems due to decreased sperm production.
- Mood swings and mood swings.
- Aggression and violent behavior.
- Increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Cardiovascular problems.
2. Consequences in women
Likewise, abnormally high levels of testosterone in women, or hyperandrogenism, in organs for conditions such as polycystic ovaries or adrenal disease. they can trigger a number of physical and health problems. These include:
- Menstrual cycle alterations such as oligomenorrhea.
- Acne and skin problems.
- Hirsutism or increased body hair.
- Hair loss or alopecia.
- Symptoms of virilization such as an increase in the size of the clitoris, severe voice or breast atrophy.