Testosterone (टेस्टोस्टेरोन) is the primary male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid. In male humans, it plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass, and the growth of body hair. In addition, testosterone is involved in health and well-being, and the prevention of osteoporosis. Insufficient levels of testosterone in men may lead to abnormalities including frailty and bone loss. Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System has taken note of issue regarding testosterone. Hence, I wish people should widely know about it and get well acquainted with it to avoid many health complications.
Testosterone meaning (टेस्टोस्टेरोन का अर्थ)
It is a steroid hormone that stimulates the development of male secondary sexual characteristics, produced mainly in the testes, but also in the ovaries and adrenal cortex. It is a steroid from the androstane class containing a keto and hydroxyl groups at the three and seventeen positions respectively. Testosterone is biosynthesized in several steps from cholesterol and is converted in the liver to inactive metabolites, which exerts its action through binding to and activation of the androgen receptor.
Testosterone Biological effects (टेस्टोस्टेरोन का जैविक प्रभाव)
In general, androgens promote protein synthesis and thus growth of tissues with androgen receptors, which can be described as having virilizing and anabolic effects:
- Anabolic effects include growth of muscle mass and strength, increased bone density and strength, and stimulation of linear growth and bone maturation.
- Androgenic effects include maturation of the sex organs, particularly the penis and the formation of the scrotum in the fetus, and after birth, usually at puberty, a deepening of the voice, growth of facial hair (such as the beard) and axillary (underarm) hair. Many of these fall into the category of male secondary sex characteristics.
Testosterone effects can also be classified by the age of usual occurrence. For postnatal effects in both males and females, these are mostly dependent on the levels and duration.
Effects before birth (जन्म से पहले प्रभाव)
The first period occurs between 4 and 6 weeks of the gestation. Examples include genital virilization such as:
- Midline fusion
- Phallic urethra
- Scrotal thinning and rugation
- Phallic enlargement
- Development of the prostate gland and seminal vesicles
During the second trimester, the androgen level is associated with sex formation. This period affects the feminization or masculinization of the fetus and can be a better predictor of feminine or masculine behaviors such as sex-typed behavior than an adult’s own levels.
A mother’s testosterone level during pregnancy is correlated with her daughter’s sex-typical behavior as an adult, and the correlation is even stronger than with the daughter’s own adult level.
Effects during early infancy (प्रारंभिक अवस्था के दौरान प्रभाव)
Early infancy androgen effects are the least understood. In the first weeks of life for male infants, testosterone levels rise. The levels remain in a pubertal range for a few months but usually reach the barely detectable levels of childhood by 4–7 months of age. The function of this rise in humans is unknown.
Effects before puberty (यौवन से पहले प्रभाव)
Before puberty effects of rising androgen levels occur in both boys and girls. These include:
- Adult-type body odor
- Increased oiliness of skin and hair
- Pubarche (appearance of pubic hair)
- Axillary hair (armpit hair)
- Growth spurt
- Accelerated bone maturation
- Facial hair
Pubertal effects (सार्वजनिक प्रभाव)
Pubertal effects begin to occur when androgen has been higher than normal adult female levels for months or years. In males, these are usual late pubertal effects and occur in women after prolonged periods of heightened levels of free testosterone in the blood. The effects include:
- Growth of spermatogenic tissue in testicles
- Male fertility
- Penis or clitoris enlargement
- Increased libido and frequency of erection or clitoral engorgement
- Growth of jaw
- Chin, and nose
- Remodeling of facial bone contours
- Human growth hormone
Completion of bone maturation and termination of growth. This occurs indirectly via estradiol metabolites and hence more gradually in men than women. Increased muscle strength and mass, shoulders become broader and rib cage expands, deepening of the voice, growth of Adam’s apple.
Enlargement of sebaceous glands. This might cause acne, subcutaneous fat in face decreases. Pubic hair extends to thighs and up toward umbilicus, development of facial hair (sideburns, beard, mustache), loss of scalp hair, increase in chest hair, periareolar hair, perianal hair, leg hair, armpit hair.
Adult testosterone (वयस्क टेस्टोस्टेरोन)
Testosterone is necessary for normal sperm development. It activates genes in Sertoli cells, which promote differentiation of spermatogonia. It regulates acute HPA response under a dominance challenge. Androgen including testosterone enhances muscle growth, which also regulates the population of thromboxane A2 receptors on megakaryocytes and platelets and hence platelet aggregation in humans.
Adult testosterone effects are more clearly demonstrable in males than in females but are likely important to both sexes. Some of these effects may decline as testosterone levels might decrease in the later decades of adult life.
Health risks (स्वास्थ्य को खतरा)
Testosterone does not appear to increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. In people who have undergone testosterone replacement therapy, testosterone increases beyond the castrate level have been shown to increase the rate of spread of existing prostate cancer.
Conflicting results have been obtained concerning the importance of testosterone in maintaining cardiovascular health. Nevertheless, maintaining normal levels in elderly men has been shown to improve many parameters that are thought to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, such as:
- Increased lean body mass
- Decreased visceral fat mass
- Decreased total cholesterol, and glycemic control
High androgen levels are associated with menstrual cycle irregularities in both clinical populations and healthy women.
Sexual arousal (कामोत्तेजना)
When testosterone and endorphins in ejaculated semen meet the cervical wall after sexual intercourse, females receive a spike in testosterone, endorphin, and oxytocin levels, and males after orgasm during copulation experience an increase in endorphins and a marked increase in oxytocin levels.
This adds to the hospitable physiological environment in the female internal reproductive tract for conceiving, and later for nurturing the conceptus in the pre-embryonic stages, and stimulates feelings of love, desire, and paternal care in the male.
Testosterone levels follow a nyctohemeral rhythm that peaks early each day, regardless of sexual activity.
Sexual arousal and masturbation in women produce small increases in testosterone concentrations. The plasma levels of various steroids significantly increase after masturbation in men and the testosterone levels correlate to those levels.
In men, higher testosterone levels are associated with periods of sexual activity.
Men who watch sexually explicit films also report increased motivation, competitiveness, and decreased exhaustion. A link has also been found between relaxation following sexual arousal and levels.
Androgens may modulate the physiology of vaginal tissue and contribute to female genital sexual arousal. Women’s level is higher when measured pre-intercourse vs pre-cuddling, as well as post-intercourse vs post-cuddling. There is a time lag effect when testosterone is administered, on genital arousal in women. In addition, a continuous increase in vaginal sexual arousal may result in higher genital sensations and sexual appetitive behaviors.
When females have a higher baseline level, they have higher increases in sexual arousal levels but smaller increases in testosterone, indicating a ceiling effect on levels in females.
Sexual thoughts also change the level of testosterone but not the level of cortisol in the female body, and hormonal contraceptives may affect the variation in testosterone response to sexual thoughts.
Romantic relationships (रोमांटिक रिश्ते)
Falling in love decreases men’s testosterone levels while increasing women’s. There has been speculation that these changes in testosterone result in the temporary reduction of differences in behavior between the sexes.
Men who produce less testosterone are more likely to be in a relationship or married, and men who produce more testosterone are more likely to divorce; however, causality cannot be determined in this correlation.
Marriage or commitment could cause a decrease in testosterone levels. Single men who have not had relationship experience have lower levels than single men with experience.
Men who produce more testosterone are more likely to engage in extramarital sex. Testosterone levels do not rely on the physical presence of a partner, but the levels of men engaging in same-city and long-distance relationships are similar.
Fatherhood decreases levels in men, suggesting that the emotions and behavior tied to decreased testosterone promote paternal care. In humans and other species that utilize allomaternal care, paternal investment in offspring is beneficial to said offspring’s survival because it allows the parental dyad to raise multiple children simultaneously. This increases the reproductive fitness of the parents because their offspring are more likely to survive and reproduce.
The enzyme aromatase converts testosterone into estradiol that is responsible for masculinization of the brain in male mice. In humans, masculinization of the fetal brain appears, by observation of gender preference in patients with congenital diseases of androgen formation or androgen receptor function.
There are some differences between a male and female brain, one of them being size: the male human brain is, on average, larger. Men were found to have a total myelinated fiber length of 176 000 km at the age of 20, whereas in women the total length was 149 000 km (approximately 15% less).
Key cognitive functions affected by testosterone in humans include:
- Spatial ability
Preliminary evidence suggests that low levels may be a risk factor for cognitive decline and possibly for dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, a key argument in life extension medicine for the use of testosterone in anti-aging therapies.
Medical use (चिकित्सा उपयोग)
Testosterone is used as a medication for the treatment of males with too little or no natural testosterone production, certain forms of breast cancer, and gender dysphoria in transgender men. This is known as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), which maintains serum testosterone levels in the normal range. The decline of testosterone production with age has led to an interest in androgen replacement therapy.
It is unclear if the use of testosterone for low levels due to aging is beneficial or harmful.
Testosterone is included in the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines, which are the most important medications needed in a basic health system. It is available as a generic medication. The price depends on the form of testosterone used. It can be administered as a cream or transdermal patch that is applied to the skin, by injection into a muscle, as a tablet that is placed in the cheek, or by ingestion.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (टेस्टोस्टेरोन प्रतिस्थापन चिकित्सा)
The symptoms of low testosterone are sometimes obvious, but they also can be subtle. Levels decline naturally in men as they age over the decades. But certain conditions can also lead to an abnormally low level. Symptoms of low testosterone include:
- Low sex drive (libido)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Fatigue and poor energy level
- Decreased muscle mass
- Body and facial hair loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low sense of well-being
What can you expect from testosterone treatment? It’s impossible to predict because every man is different. Many men report improvement in energy level, sex drive, and quality of erections. Testosterone also increases bone density, muscle mass, and insulin sensitivity in some men.
Men also often report an improvement in mood from TRT.
Karen Herbst, MD, Ph.D., an endocrinologist at the University of California-San Diego, specializes in testosterone deficiency. She estimates about one in 10 men is ecstatic about their response to TRT, while about the same number don’t notice much. The majority have generally positive, but varying responses to TRT.
Common side effects from medication and or TRT include:
- Breast enlargement in males
- Liver toxicity
- Heart disease
- Behavioral changes
- Stimulation of prostate tissue, with perhaps some increased urination symptoms such as a decreased stream or frequency
- Risk of developing prostate abnormalities
- Increased risk of blood clots
Individuals with prostate cancer should not use the medication. It can cause harm if used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Testosterone levels (टेस्टोस्टेरोन का स्तर)
Total levels of testosterone in the body are 264 to 916 ng/dL in men age 19 to 39 years, while levels in adult men have been reported as 630 ng/dL. Levels in men decline with age.
In women, mean levels of total testosterone have been reported to be 32.6 ng/dL. In women with hyperandrogenism, mean levels have been reported to be 62.1 ng/dL.
Other animals (दूसरे जानवर)
The classical nuclear androgen receptor first appeared in gnathostomes. Agnathans such as lampreys do not produce testosterone but instead use androstenedione as a male sex hormone. Fish make a slightly different form called 11-ketotestosterone. Its counterpart in insects is ecdysone. The presence of these ubiquitous steroids in a wide range of animals suggest that sex hormones have an ancient evolutionary history.
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