Testosterone is the major male sex hormone produced in the testicles. Women too have some traces of it produced in the ovaries. The hormone is responsible for major physical changes that occur during puberty including deepening of voices, increased muscle mass, and hair growth. The hormone is however important throughout a man’s life.
When do testosterone levels increase?
Nearly every aspect of a man’s body relies on this steroid hormone! The hormone is necessary to help the body in the development of proteins that play an integral part in all body functions. This hormone surprisingly starts getting produced as early as the age of 7 weeks of a baby boy. The hormone levels then begin to rise as the boy nears puberty and gets to the optimal levels in the late teenage years before it starts leveling off. Sadly the levels start declining when a man hits 30 and continue declining as age catches up.
The onset of the decline comes with several symptoms such as low sex drive, less energy, memory loss, and weight gain among others. At this instant, all a man needs is to restore the hormone levels so as all body functions are kept at the optimal levels.
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Why are testosterone levels important?
T-levels affect many body functions and behaviors as well. It is for this reason that you need to manage your testosterone levels no matter the age bracket you fall under. The following are some of the body systems and body functions affected by testosterone.
This is the system that contains the glands producing this hormone. This system, therefore, is responsible for all men attributes such as body hairs, muscle mass, and sex drive, and deep voice.
Central nervous system
This system controls the amount of testosterone released into the bloodstream. When there is less release of this hormone, men’s behavior is affected including dominance and aggression. Sometimes, low T-levels lead to low self-esteem, lack of energy, and loss of concentration.
Testosterone is responsible for development of male genitals and production of sperms to the testicles. With low T-levels, a man is likely to develop erectile dysfunction
At puberty, testosterone is responsible for the transition of teenage boys into adulthood. At this stage, they start developing deep voices, hair growth on the face, legs, genitals, chest, and armpits. When the hormone levels start declining, a man starts to lose some of the body hair.
Gain in muscle mass and bone density
Testosterone plays a critical role in the development of muscle and strength. It increases neurotransmitters that boost tissue growth as well as interacting with nuclear receptors in DNA to increase muscle growth while exercising.
On the other hand, testosterone helps in increasing bone density by sending a message to the red marrow to produce more red blood cells. This explains why men with low testosterone hormone are prone to bone fractures.
Finally, testosterone aids in fat metabolism, converting the fats into muscles; decline in testosterone levels thus leads to weight gain as is evident in many men above thirties.
This system is essential in boosting blood circulation throughout the body supplying body cells with necessary nutrients. For this reason, you men need to ensure their testosterone levels are normal all the time.
What is the normal Testosterone level in men?
The truth is that there is so much confusion on the subject of normal testosterone levels. While one website says “A” is the normal testosterone level, another says “Y”. This is actually the case because of lack of standardization in the hormone testing regarding testosterone.
In 2010, The Centre for Disease Control in the US started a project to standardize hormone testing procedures and a lot has been achieved since then. The following details put everything into perspective concerning normal T-levels.
Total and free testosterone levels
To begin with, you need to understand that there are three types of testosterone hormone in the body; free testosterone, albuni-bound testosterone, and SHBG-bound testosterone. To determine your testosterone levels, there are two tests to be taken; total testosterone and free testosterone.
Total T is the combination of the three types of T-hormones floating in your body at the time of testing. It is measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). Free testosterone is the amount of free testosterone floating in the body. This is measured in picograms per milliliter. Free T usually makes a small percentage of your total T, thus the reason why it is ignored most times when measuring your T levels.
Different labs for testing hormone levels have their own reference range for testosterone. But averagely the normal T-level is estimated to range between 280 and 1100 ng/dl according to University of Rochester Medical Center. Anything below 280 is considered low T and we have elaborated the consequences above.
Whatever said, critically looking at the figures and observing your levels, may not feel right for you. For instance, if you are aged 30 and your T level is equal to that of an 80-year-old and diabetic granny, you will not be ok irrespective of the fact that it may be within the reference range.
T levels typically start declining by 1% per year after age of 30. While this true, it would be ideal to keep your T levels at the optimum. It won’t be fair if you are 30 and your T-level is already at 350, the same as that of an adult in his 70s. I hope you get the point. It is always good to ensure that your T levels match up with the average level for men your age.
The chart below breaks down the normal ranges of testosterone by age, according to Mayo Clinic
|Age||T level (ng/dl)|
|Z`6 months-9 years||<7-20|
|Average adult male||270-1,070|
|30+ years||-1% per year|
What are the benefits of optimal T?
Optimal testosterone is critical in the body. It offers a myriad of benefits including;
- Fighting depression
- Reducing body weight
- Increasing muscle mass
- Strengthening the heart
- Strengthening the bones
- Boosting libido and improving erections
- Lower chances of Alzheimer’s disease
- Improve cognitive ability
- Increase competitiveness
- Increase dominance and desire for power
Any levels below the minimum testosterone levels respective to age to a specific age range is considered as low T. low testosterone can be told from the symptoms it exhibits even before getting that lab test.
Signs of low testosterone
Low T is common among elderly men, but can also affect young men below the age of 30. The following are the symptoms of testosterone deficiency. If you notice these
- symptoms, immediately visit the lab to get tested for your T levels. Erectile dysfunction including inability to maintain an erection and fewer spontaneous erections
- Decreased sexual activity and libido
- Hair loss
- Reduced muscle mass
- Increased body weight
- Increase in breast size
- Sleep problems
- Regular and persistent muscle fatigue
- Stress and depression
- Memory loss
- Weight lifting and workouts
- Taking enough protein, fat and carbs
- Reduce cortisol levels by minimizing stress
- Get enough vitamin D from the sun or take a vitamin D supplement
- Take enough vitamin and mineral supplement
- Get enough quality sleep
- Observe a healthy sex lifestyle
- Testosterone therapy
How to boost testosterone level?
There are various natural ways you can boost Testosterone levels when you realize your level is below the normal range. Some good and effective ways include;
Endeavor for some testosterone Boosters like Nugenix: It contains natural ingredients that are non-stimulating and safe.
Why testosterone levels matter?
We have seen the importance of testosterone hormone in men. It is therefore important to observe a healthy lifestyle to optimize testosterone levels throughout your life. This way, you will be improving your health and body too.
Generally maintaining healthy levels of testosterone is important for the overall health of adult men in terms of sexual function, strengthening muscles and prevention diseases among other things. For this reason, it is important for men to maintain optimal levels, especially as they age. From the various functions highlighted above, it is clear normal testosterone levels are crucial in a man’s life.