High and low testosterone: signs and consequences
Testosterone is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands and gonads. Its concentration in the blood can vary considerably depending on the lifestyle, diet, age, climatic conditions of residence, heredity, and even the time of day. But its concentration is always in men ten times higher than in women
Testosterone belongs to the group of androgens ─ the male hormone responsible for the development of secondary sex traits. The progress of the majority of physiological processes as manly appearance and sexual activity directly dependent on its concentration. Good physical condition, excellent memory and attention, energy, and men’s natural behavior are signs of adequate secretions produced by glands.
Normally, this androgen is able to protect the psyche from stress, normalize metabolic processes, to prevent the development of atherosclerosis, hypertension and other cardiovascular pathologies. The deficiency, as well as excess of this hormone dramatically affects the aspect and behavior of both men and women.
Testosterone levels: norms and deviations
To determine the level of testosterone in the body is needed blood tests. Doctors assess its concentration studying two key indicators: total and free. Norm of total androgen levels in the blood for men is considered 2,6-11,0 ng/ml; in females ─ 0,26-1,30 ng/ml. About 2% is in pure form, the remaining is bound with proteins. Biologically it is active in both bound and free hormones.
Testosterone is a widely used steroid in bodybuilding that is taken in almost every cycle. Being the basic steroid, this drug has an important impact on the growth and development of body muscles.
A popular testosterone compound, well known between bodybuilders/athletes is Testosterone propionate. It represents an oil-based injectable steroid. Testosterone propionate is considering being one of the most effective preparations for gain body mass and strength.
Propionate is one of the shortest ester, with active life 2-3 days, that doesn’t mean that it is not efficient. It is the same efficient as other long acting testosterone. The positive side is that it will release more quickly into the bloodstream, which will produce quick gains in size and strength.
Being short acting Testosterone propionate also leaves the body quickly, which means that your body can begin to recover from side effects more quickly. Its detection time is about 2-3 weeks. Testosterone propionate is also low toxic on liver.
The negative side is that propionate need to be injected more frequent that other testosterone ester. Bodybuilders find effective to inject every 2 other day. Recommended dose for male sportsmen is 50mg-150mg per day. Testosterone propionate is often used among female bodybuilders, because blood levels are easier to control with it compared to other esters. Recommended dose is 25-50mg per day and should be administered every 5-7 days. The duration of their cycle should not exceed 8 weeks.
Testosterone phenylpropionate represents a short-acting ester characterized by both anabolic and androgenic proprieties. Its active life is 4-5 days although detection time is about 3 months.
Testosterone phenylpropionate is not so popular between bodybuilders/athletes as other testosterone ester because many think that it is not so efficient. Most sportsmen want quick results, but this drug need some patience. By using testosterone phenylpropionate correctly the results will be excellent. A positive characteristic that bodybuilders should know about this stuff is that side effects such water retention appears very seldom.
Also, by taking testosterone, phenylpropionate athletes report an increase in appetite, aggressiveness, and strength. In general, by using this kind of testosterone in the right way the effects are similar to other testosterone ester but it doesn’t require very frequent injections and doesn’t cause water retention.
Testosterone phenylpropionate stacks well with other compounds. In order to increase the density and the mass of muscles, it is recommended to be combining with dieting and exercising. A good drug to be combined, especially in cutting cycles, is Nandrolone phenylpropionate.
Testosterone cypionate represents an injectable steroid that contains testosterone with the cypionate ester attached to the testosterone molecule. The drug is the longest-estered testosterone available today, its real life in the human body is about 15 to 16 days. It is considered to be one of the most popular and effective testosterone products.
Testosterone is widely used in bodybuilding, no matter what are the bodybuilders/athletes goals. Testosterone is a highly anabolic and androgenic steroid. As most injectable steroid by taking Testosterone cypionate bodybuilders/athletes can expect effective muscle gain and strength. Testosterone cypionate is not the best choose in cutting cycles.
Testosterone cypionate has the characteristics to convert to both estrogen and dihydrotestosterone. This proprieties result in such side effects as gyno and water retention.
Testosterone cypionate is often compared with testosterone enanthate, the difference as many think that cypionate is powerful. The truth is that these steroids are almost identical.
Testosterone is a hormone that is produced by specific glands in the human body by both sexes. It regulates both sexually related and non-sexually related mechanisms. This happens by binding to receptors in several tissues of the body, such as the brain, heart, lungs, muscles, bones, skin, sexual organs, and others. In bones, testosterone binds to receptors within osteoblasts.
The osteoblast is stimulated to incorporate calcium and other proteins to form new bone tissue. In red blood cells, testosterone binding results in an increased hemoglobin concentration. Testosterone is one of the principal male sex hormones. It plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as the testis and prostate as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle, bone mass, and the growth of body hair.
Testosterone is classified as a steroid due to its molecular structure. A steroid represent any chemical that possesses the specific four-ring molecular structure. Testosterone’s chemical name is 17-beta-hydroxyandrost-4-en-3-one.
As a steroid – testosterone make part from the androgen class of hormones. Synthetic analogs of natural testosterone produced by human body is anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) that is widely used in sport especially in bodybuilding.
Testosterone characteristics cause building effects on the body. Prolonged protein synthesis can result in enhanced muscle mass and strength, especially when combined with athletic and weight training. Testosterone helps to retain nitrogen in the muscle, and the more nitrogen the muscles contain the more protein the muscle stores, and the bigger the muscle gets. Testosterone also helps to increase the activity of satellite cells. These cells play a very active role in repairing damaged muscles.
Testosterone action on skeletal muscle
Testosterone increases lean body mass and decreases fat mass in young men; the magnitude of the changes induced by testosterone in lean and fat mass are correlated with testosterone dose and the prevalent testosterone concentrations. Older men are as responsive to the anabolic effects of testosterone on the muscle as young men, but have increased frequency of adverse events with higher testosterone doses.
This reciprocal change in lean and fat mass induced by androgens is best explained by the hypothesis that androgens promote the commitment of mesenchymal pluripotent cells into myogenic lineage and inhibit adipogenesis through an androgen receptor-mediated pathway. Resident muscle satellite cells increase in number with testosterone administration forming myoblasts, leading to greater numbers of myonuclei in larger myofibers.
Testosterone administration is associated with the increased size of motor neurons. The role of 5-alpha reduction and aromatization of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone and estradiol, respectively, in mediating testosterone effects on body composition are poorly understood.
Testosterone induces skeletal muscle hypertrophy through multiple mechanisms, including its effects in modulating the commitment of pluripotent mesenchymal cells. These changes in skeletal muscle lead to improved muscle strength and leg power; however, further studies are needed to determine the effects of testosterone on physical function and health-related outcomes in sarcopenia associated with aging and chronic illness.
Testosterone increases muscle mass and strength and regulates other physiological processes, but we do not know whether testosterone effects are dose dependent and whether dose requirements for maintaining various androgen-dependent processes are similar.
To determine the effects of graded doses of testosterone on body composition, muscle size, strength, power, sexual and cognitive functions, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), plasma lipids, hemoglobin, and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels, 61 eugonadal men, 18-35 yr, were randomized to one of five groups to receive monthly injections of a long-acting gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist, to suppress endogenous testosterone secretion, and weekly injections of 25, 50, 125, 300, or 600 mg of testosterone enanthate for 20 wk. Energy and protein intakes were standardized.
The administration of the GnRH agonist plus graded doses of testosterone resulted in mean nadir testosterone concentrations of 253, 306, 542, 1,345, and 2,370 ng/dl at the 25-, 50-, 125-, 300-, and 600-mg doses, respectively. Fat-free mass increased dose dependently in men receiving 125, 300, or 600 mg of testosterone weekly (change +3.4, 5.2, and 7.9 kg, respectively). The changes in fat-free mass were highly dependent on testosterone dose (P = 0.0001) and correlated with log testosterone concentrations (r = 0.73, P = 0.0001). Changes in leg press strength, leg power, thigh and quadriceps muscle volumes, hemoglobin, and IGF-I were positively correlated with testosterone concentrations, whereas changes in fat mass and plasma.
The HPT Axis
The term axis simply refers to the pathway in question. The glands of this pathway include the hypothalamus, pituitary, and testes. The sequence of events culminating with the production and/or release of T begins at the hypothalamus. Here specialized nerve cells release a hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
GnRH is a decapeptide (chain of ten amino acids) that travels by direct blood vessel connections to the anterior pituitary where it stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) (1). LH is then secreted into the blood where it attaches to receptors on the Leydig cells of the testes. This induces activity of an enzyme, P-450scc, referred to as the cholesterol-side-chain-cleavage enzyme (1). Through a series of five enzymatic steps, cholesterol is converted into T.
The body regulates the circulating blood levels of T via several mechanisms. Once in the blood, about 44% of T is bound to a protein called either sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG) or testosterone-binding globulin (TeBG), to indicate the greater affinity for T over estradiol (E2, an estrogen). About 54% of T is bound by albumin and other proteins, leaving 2% to circulate.
Testosterone. Test. The Big T. Whatever you call it, as a bodybuilder, you need more of it in your system. The equation is unfortunately simple — if your body isn’t releasing an adequate amount of T, you flat out won’t grow. Now the good news. By manipulating your training and diet, you can naturally escalate your levels of this anabolic male hormone. Intrigued? If you call yourself a bodybuilder, you’d better be.
UNLEASH THE BEAST – A natural increase in your testosterone levels can have a dramatic impact on your ability to add muscle mass, improving your physique through several different mechanisms: by stimulating protein synthesis, it helps to increase muscle mass; by encouraging fat cells to store less fat and pull more from storage, it promotes fat loss; and by enhancing the firing of motor nerves that supply muscle fibers, it immediately increases muscle strength.
Of course, higher levels of testosterone are also associated with aggression in male athletes. Often, this is portrayed as a negative, but to a point, it can be a huge positive for bodybuilders seeking to improve results and performance in the gym. Both strength and aggression can be important tools for your workouts — if you train when your strength and aggression are highest, your intensity and your results will be magnified. Increasing testosterone is one of the best ways to get more from your bodybuilding program.