The Benefits of Testosterone You Didn't Know About
Most people are aware of how testosterone works in relation to the male reproductive system. But did you know that testosterone also affects bone and muscle mass, fat storage, and red blood cell replication within the body? It can even have a profound impact on mood and mental health.
Hormones affect us all and can impact how we behave and interact with those around us. While a lot of the conversations around hormones focus on women, men can be affected just as much, but usually more subtly.
Because of that subtlety, men may not be aware of what is occurring within their own bodies or how it impacts the people around them. At the appropriate levels, testosterone offers a feeling of motivation or drive and influences sexual performance in the bedroom. These positive effects of testosterone fade quickly when testosterone levels are low.
Some more of these symptoms of low testosterone levels may not seem as obviously connected to the sex hormone:
- less energy
- weight gain
- feelings of depression
- low self-esteem
- less body hair
- thinner bones
Mood and Mental Health
Have you ever seen the 1993 movie “Grumpy Old Men”? Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau star as, you guessed it, a pair of grumpy old men who bicker over everything, including the woman who moves in across the street.
You may not have seen the movie, but we’ve all met a grumpy old man before–and sometimes they aren’t even that old! Even young men can experience irritability, low energy, and other negative side effects of low testosterone.
Testosterone can have similar effects to an antidepressant and provide an increased level of motivation and ambitious energy. Appropriate levels of testosterone can also improve focus and concentration.
Body and Muscle Mass
Testosterone levels naturally decrease after age 30. But unlike the way women experience menopause as a dramatic decrease in hormone levels in a short period of time, men lose testosterone gradually each year.
As testosterone levels decrease, it is common to also experience a decrease in bone mineral density (BMD) which means bones become weaker and more prone to fractures and osteoporosis.
Additionally, testosterone is an important hormone for building and maintaining muscle mass. There are tiny receptors on the exterior surface of muscle cells. When these androgen receptors come into contact with testosterone, it is easier for the body to maintain muscle fibers.
Lower testosterone levels mean fewer receptors are interacting with the testosterone needed to maintain muscle fibers and, in very simple terms, cause more fat deposits to collect in the abdomen and hips.
Increasing your testosterone levels can improve your strength and mobility, which in turn, will continue to benefit your long-term health.
Red Blood Cell Production
The process of your body creating new red blood cells is called erythropoiesis and begins with a hormone called erythropoietin in your kidneys. But what is interesting about this process is that testosterone can actually stimulate erythropoietin and help your body recognize when to begin erythropoiesis.
The primary role of red blood cells is to carry and circulate oxygen to the entire body. If the organs and tissues of your body don’t receive enough oxygen from healthy red blood cells, it becomes much harder for those organs and tissues to function properly. This also means your body does not have normal levels of energy.
Synthetic Testosterone Vs. Natural Supplements
Once the symptoms of low testosterone are identified, some choose to address the problem by taking synthetic testosterone or performance-enhancing pills. You may see some benefits from these supplements, but the negative consequences and risks far outweigh the minor benefits.
Misusing testosterone can lead to serious side effects, some irreversible or fatal, such as heart attack, stroke, liver disease, bone growth issues, aggression, high blood pressure, and infertility. Some unwanted physical side effects of synthetic testosterone are skin color changes, acne, and irregular hair growth.
In contrast to the unpleasant experience of synthetic testosterone or performance-enhancing pills, many natural herbs can support your body’s healthy testosterone production.
Many of these herbs and ingredients have been used for thousands of years to improve male virility in a natural way that works with your body’s natural processes.
- Tribulus has been used by many cultures to support healthy male virility, stamina, and energy; it may also help the body to produce testosterone.
- Ginseng Root was used in China for virility and longevity and as an adaptogen to balance energy and stress conditions.
- Muira Puama is also called “potency wood” and is used to enliven and improve male vigor.
- Sarsaparilla has been used to enhance male potency and hormone production.
- Damiana helps reduce tension and builds the nerves.
- Nettle Root has been used for hair loss, prostate inflammation, and to prevent testosterone loss.
- Ho Shuo Wu Root is used in China to increase longevity and virility.
As is often said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and many of these herbs require some time to get your body back in balance and properly functioning at its full potential. It may take one to two months to restore performance and “right the ship,” so to speak.
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