Understanding the Various Roles of Testosterone for Men
Over the years testosterone has often been misunderstood and even cast in a negative light at times. Much of that misunderstanding stems from the fact that testosterone is often referred to as the ‘male sex hormone’ – which while true, tends to lead to the assumption that its effects are only sexually-related. Nothing could be further from the truth however, and in fact testosterone has very large and important roles in many different areas for men.
While there are many items on its benefits list, some of the main roles that testosterone plays in men includes:
- Lowering body fat
Research has shown that testosterone plays a key role in helping men to regulate their insulin and glucose levels – both of which affect how they are able to metabolize fat. If testosterone levels are too low it can lead to a vicious cycle of sorts, as more fat will be stored which will lead to more testosterone being coverted to estrogen and even lower testosterone levels as a result. The converse is true as well however, which is why raising low testosterone levels can often dramatically help to lower body fat.
- Increasing muscle mass
Probably one of the most well-documented roles of testosterone is its effects on muscle protein synthesis that adds to muscle mass as well as strength. Although there is some suggestions that the boost in testosterone that occurs naturally after working out can help increase muscle mass and strength, there are also dissenting opinions that point out that other growth hormones and higher levels of testosterone are required.
- Strengthening bones
While testosterone has a part to play in bone health in general, it more specifically helps to increase bone density, and decrease the risk of bone loss. It is one of the main reasons why men sometimes suffer from osteoporosis as they age and their testosterone levels drop – which is why maintaining higher testosterone levels can help to counteract it.
- Behavioral patterns
In addition to its health effects, testosterone has also been shown to affect men’s behavioral patterns. It is often associated with an increased drive, greater competitiveness, and an inclination towards risk-taking. That is partially also tied to the desire for dominance and power that testosterone levels are linked to – which can be either positive or negative depending on how it is channeled.
Keep in mind that these roles are still just a fraction of the part that testosterone has to play in men’s bodies and day by day research continues to help build upon that understanding. Some of its other prominent roles include the part that it has to play in sexual libido, stress management, cognitive capability, and so on.
Suffice to say testosterone levels are important, which is why men should be aware of that and take measures to increase theirs. As men age testosterone levels tend to decrease naturally, but steps can be taken to prevent that – which will help various areas of their health in the process.