Everybody has heard of testosterone, right? But very few people actually know how it works.
It's part of the endocrine system, which is made up of various glands that manufacture hormones.
It all starts up in your brain, where the hypothalamus acts as the controller of your hormone system. The hypothalamus produces hormones to send messages to the pituitary gland, which then forwards them to different organs of the body.
The hypothalamus, through the pituitary gland, controls the amount of testosterone produced by the adrenal gland, and by the gonads (testicles, or ovaries - to a much lesser extent - in women). Specifically, the hypothalamus produces gonadotrophin-releasing hormone; this in turns tell the pituitary to produce luteinizing hormone, and this in turn travels in the bloodstream to the gonads and stimulates production of testosterone.
This is a closed feedback loop. As the testosterone level in the blood increases, the hypothalamus detects this and produces less gonadotophrin-releasing hormone, which then suppresses the pituitary gland's production of luteinizing hormone. So it's a self-regulating system - or it should be, if everything is working well.
Testosterone is already produced by the foetus as early as 7 weeks after conception. A certain level of testosterone will start the fetus developing male sexual characteristics.
But the production of the hormone increases dramatically at puberty. It's that increased production of the hormone at puberty that makes boys' voices break, and that gives them body hair and the beginnings of a beard, and it's also increased testosterone that has them thinking about sex all the time, awake or asleep. Testosterone is one of the main determinants of libido in both men and women.
Testosterone production stays high in the 20s, and it then starts to drop off after the age of 30-35. That's perfectly normal, but if it drops too far, you may have a problem.
Testosterone isn't just a sex hormone; it has other important jobs in the body, too. For instance, it stimulates the creation of new blood cells. It also helps to build lean muscle mass. That's one reason athletes and body-builders are interested in taking testosterone supplements, in order to build muscle and to gain greater stamina.
So too little testosterone can have a number of negative effects. If you have too little testosterone, for a start you may experience a loss of libido; some men even experience erectile dysfunction (though there can be a number of other, more serious, reasons for this). This may be exacerbated by low mood, poor self-esteem, and even depression.
Depleted testosterone levels can also lead to the loss of lean muscle mass, difficulty building muscle, and building up fat, instead, around the waist (typical 'Dad bod'). This can affect even very fit people. What's worse is that if this is accompanied by a loss of stamina, and by a longer recovery time, both of which can also be effects of low testosterone, you have a vicious spiral of exercise becoming more and more effortful and less and less effective.
That's why you might consider a testosterone supplement such as Tongkat Ali or Fadogia Agrestis. Simply taking a capsule once or twice a day can help boost your testosterone levels and give you more get-up-and-go. Whether you're a body-builder or an athlete, or just want to get your sex life back to the way it was a few years back, a testosterone boosting supplement from Helix Prime (www.helixprime.com) can help you get on track, so check out our site now!