Testosterone is a male sex hormone (an androgen), although it is also present in women, but in smaller amounts. In men it is produced mostly in the testicles; in women it is produced by the ovaries; and in both men and women it is secreted in small amounts by the adrenal glands.
Testosterone is essential in the development of the testicles, penis and prostate, as well as sperm production. It is also responsible for the growth of facial and body hair, and helps in the conformation of the characteristic body constitution of the male.
Testosterone is an anabolic steroid and promotes protein synthesis; that is, it favors the growth of muscle mass. However, testosterone needs androgen receptors to boost muscle development. The most recent scientific studies show that the men who developed more muscle after a few weeks of weight training were not those who had the highest levels of testosterone, but those who had more androgen receptors, as their bodies could make better use of available testosterone.
To fulfill its function in regards to muscle growth, testosterone needs to interact with muscle tissue, and it does so through androgen receptors. These receptors order muscle cells to increase the rate at which new muscle proteins are deposited. Over time, this increase in muscle protein synthesis leads to larger and stronger muscles. In few words, androgen receptors are essential to make the most of the testosterone found in the body.
Testosterone plays an important role in fat metabolism and helps burn fat. It also increases bone density and stimulates bone growth and maturation. Therefore, the drop in testosterone levels may cause obesity and weakening of the bones.
Testosterone can influence behavior and mood, for better or worse: A lot of testosterone can make you more aggressive and dominant, or it may help you be more competitive and increase your self-esteem. Low testosterone levels may cause loss of confidence, lack of energy and lack of motivation.
In addition, an imbalance in testosterone levels may cause many other health problems such as infertility, depression, erectile dysfunction, blood sugar problems, irregular or no menstruation, polycystic ovary syndrome, etc.
For all these reasons, it is important to maintain healthy testosterone levels; especially after 30 years old, when the levels of this hormone begin to decrease, in these cases it is advisable to use effective nutritional supplements.