Functions of Testosterone in males and the Consequences of Low Testosterone Levels

Testosterone is an anti aging hormone in men that is responsible for many other functions apart from defining sexual characteristics and drive in men. This hormone which also known as anabolic steroid regulates basic body metabolism, stimulates red blood cell production and hinders the excessive production of free radicals. It also facilities protein synthesis and build up of lean body tissue. Unlike most other hormones testosterone exerts its effect by quickly passing through the membranes of cell and binding itself to the specific activation site of the DNA.

Testosterone is produced by small group of specialized cells within the testicles. Production is triggered through the simulation of these cells by the luteinizing hormones from the pituitary gland. As with most hormones the level of testosterone is monitored by hypothalamus in the brain. If testosterone levels exceeds certain value then hypothalamus issues a command to stop secreting luteinizing hormones and in their absence testosterone production comes to a halt. Such is the complex process of testosterone production.

High levels of testosterone are associated with balding and overtly aggressive behavior. Sometimes high levels of this hormone may be a factor in causing prostate cancer. Further too much of this hormone can cause blood to thicken and red blood cells to clamp together. This can place a man at a greater risk of stroke and heart attack.

With age the levels of testosterone slowly decreases. From the age of 30 there is a 1% to 2% reduction in testosterone levels till the age of 70. The decrease in levels of this hormone may vary depending on the individual and may produce menopausal like conditions in some men. Many men who are above 80 years of age have abnormally low testosterone levels. Men with low levels of this hormone have diminished sex drive and have difficulty in maintaining erection. They may become lethargic, withdrawn and may loose strength and physical endurance. Body composition also changes with low levels of this hormone and the lean muscle is replaced with fat.

Author Andy Kahn

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