What makes a man a man? Biologically speaking, the male sex hormone, testosterone plays a significant role in doing this. Many of you probably associate it with hyper-masculinity and bad behaviour, but testosterone performs several essential functions in a man’s body. Let’s take a closer look.
What is the meaning of testosterone?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. What is testosterone's function? It is responsible for male characteristics such as a deep voice and beard. It is produced in the testes. It performs many vital functions in the body. Read on to
Testosterone regulates male characteristics and sexual development
You know how testosterone is called the male hormone. This is because it governs functions like:
- Development of the male sex organs
- Sperm produced by the testes
- Libido and sex drive in men
- Deepening of your voice
- Red blood cell production
What are normal testosterone levels in males?
Normal testosterone levels among men differ from age to age. For example, 249 - 836 nanograms of testosterone per decilitre is considered normal for males between the ages of 19 to 49 years.
193 - 740 nanograms per decilitre is considered normal for males at 50 years of age or above.
Testosterone takes care of building muscle mass and bone strength
Has your gym trainer talked to you about boosting your testosterone to increase muscle mass? Well, this is because testosterone helps your body build muscle mass and strength. It is also responsible for increasing and maintaining the growth and strength of your bones.
Testosterone and hair growth
DHT or Dihydrotestosterone, is a popular hormone that contributes towards hair growth. Interestingly, DHT is a natural bi-product of testosterone. Hence, testosterone and hair growth are more closely related than we think.
What are some low testosterone symptoms?
Here are some low testosterone causes:
Testosterone and age are linked. What this means for you is that, as you grow older, its production in your body will start to decline. You will notice the change more prominently in your 40s and 50s than in your 30s. This is normal. However, even as a young man, you may suffer from testosterone deficiency in some instances.
If you are obese or overweight, have suffered from an injury to your testes or undergone treatments such as chemo and radiation, the chances are that you might have low-T levels.
Certain illnesses such as tumours, HIV/AIDS, and several medications such as opioids may also reduce your T-levels.
Having low testosterone affects your overall health, especially your sexual health. You might have to face issues such as erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, and a low sex drive because of it. It becomes harder for you to put on muscle and may even lead to mental health issues such as depression.
What happens when you have high levels of testosterone?
You need to know that the chances of having high T-levels naturally, enough to be considered abnormal, are pretty low in men. High T-levels are usually found in sportspersons who make use of anabolic steroids and other related drugs. High T-levels cause many health problems such as:
- Weight gain
- ED, or Erectile Dysfunction
- Low sperm count,
- Heart issues
- Hair loss due to excess production of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone)
The link between testosterone and fertility
Let’s look at how low T-levels impact your fertility. While sperm production is primarily controlled by hormones other than testosterone, having low T-levels can affect sperm development. Further, low levels of testosterone reduce your sex drive, which may hurt your chances of conceiving. Testosterone replacement therapy, which is usually prescribed for low T-levels can also negatively affect your sperm count.
How to keep your testosterone levels balanced?
Now that we’ve seen what having high as well as low T-levels mean for your body let’s look at what you can do to ensure that your T-levels are balanced.
Exercise for Testosterone
Start by asking yourself if you have a sedentary lifestyle. If you are obese or overweight, losing weight can be a good start. Ensure that your workout is the right mix of cardio and strength training. Strength training helps boost T-levels.
Diet for Testosterone
Cut down on eating unhealthy food, excessive drinking, and smoking. Make sure you get proper rest and do what you can to reduce stress levels. Undue stress and overworking are not conducive to having the right T-levels.
Medicines or Supplements for Testosterone
If the above steps do not work for you, then you can speak to your doctor. He may prescribe you testosterone supplements or even recommend testosterone therapy.
Ayurvedic medicine to increase sperm count and testosterone
Ayurveda has prescribed several herbs to keep the testosterone levels in the ideal range.
Some of the many herbs commonly used for all ayurveda related issues are as follows:
- Safed Musli for Testosterone- Commonly also referred to as swet musli, safed musli helps increase testosterone levels and is also commonly used in body building for the same reason. Here’s everything you need to know about Safed Musli
- Gokshura or Gokhru for Testosterone- Gokshura or Gokhru benefits for men are aplenty. Gokhshura can be had alone or combined with other herbs such as ashwagandha to attain the optimum testosterone levels in the body.
- Ashwagandha for Testosterone
Ashwagandha acts as panacea herb and can cure all problems from erectile dysfunction related to testosterone to sleep that directly affects the production of testosterone in the male body. Ashwagandha can be had in the form of ashwagandha churna balls or mixed with milk.
Here is guide on the accurate ashwagandha dosages and the best time to consume ashwagandha
- Kaunch Beej for Testosterone
Adopting a healthy lifestyle, paying attention to your overall health, and taking timely action in case of a discrepancy, will go a long way in helping you maintain the right amount of testosterone.