Testosterone 101: What it does, How it works, How to maintain it.

Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men and is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. It is produced by the testicles in cells called the Leydig cells.

Testosterone is usually produced by females as well but in smaller amounts. 

Let’s look at what it does to our body. 

The role of testosterone 

Alongside sperm production, testosterone is known to regulate a number of functions. These include maintaining sex drive, bone mass, fat distribution, muscle size and strength, facial and body hair and red blood cell production. In male, testosterone plays an important role in puberty. 

Because testosterone helps in the development of mature sperm, hence without the adequate amount of testosterone, men usually become infertile. Testosterone levels in men affect everything starting from the reproductive system and sexuality to muscle mass and density. It also plays an important role in certain behaviours, including aggression and dominance. 

It sparks competitiveness and improves self-esteem as well. If a man is taking part in any competitive activity, it may also lead to fluctuation in his testosterone levels. 

However, being a male sex hormone doesn’t limit testosterone to males only. Even in women testosterone contributes to sex drive, bone density and muscle strength. However, excess of testosterone can cause women to experience male pattern infertility and baldness. 

How Testosterone works 

The body’s endocrine system consists of hormone manufacturing glands. The hypothalamus which is located in the brain tells the pituitary gland about how much testosterone the body needs. The pituitary gland then sends signals to the testicles. Even before a boy is born, testosterone is quite active and works to form male genitals.

After about seven weeks of conception, testosterone begins to form male genitals. At the stage of puberty, testosterone production increases, so the testicles and penis grow more. From the start of Puberty, the testosterone levels increase. Thus, encouraging the growth of testicles, penis and pubic hair. The voice begins to become hoarse, muscle and body grow. Along with these changes, sexual desires also grow. 

Now during the journey of adulthood, testosterone increases the growth of hair on the face, in the armpits and around the genitals as well. You may notice hair growing on the arms, chest and legs as well. 

How to maintain the level of testosterone in body

Low levels of testosterone can lead to loss of confidence and lack of motivation. A man may also lose his desire for sex and shed some body hair as well. Thus, it is important to maintain a good level of testosterone in the body. Let’s see how you can do so. 

  • Naturally, you can have a diet which is enriched in Tuna, Low fat-milk with vitamin D, egg yolks, fortified cereals, shellfish and beans as well. All of these food items are filled with fibers and plant-based proteins that can also help to protect your heart and health as well. 
  • Talking about supplements, testosterone supplement is an easy and time saving way to boost up the levels of testosterone in your body. It also keeps you energized throughout the day. 
The Takeaway  

For men, testosterone levels are very important to maintain. The brain and the pituitary gland control testosterone levels in our body. It is the key male sex hormone that regulates fertility, muscle mass, fat distribution and RBC production and also controls certain behaviours in men. Thus, it is important to keep a check on testosterone levels in the body to maintain an overall good health.