There may be no hormone more important to a man’s body than testosterone, but what does testosterone do? What role does it play in your body?
What Does Testosterone Do? First, Let’s Talk About Where Testosterone Comes From
I’ve addressed this topic before (you can read the entire article about where testosterone comes from, for both men and women, here), but I think it warrants a brief discussion.
When people ask me “what does testosterone do?”, I usually start with an explanation of the source of testosterone.
(By the way, if you’re interested in where testosterone comes from and what testosterone does for a woman, read this article.)
The source of testosterone, in men, is primarily in the testicles.
And when I say “primarily,” I mean that about 95% of a man’s testosterone is produced by his testicles.
A small amount of your testosterone is produced by your adrenal glands, but this is negligible at best.
That being said, there’s something important to note here: if your adrenal glands are only producing a measly 5% of your testosterone, that means they can’t really take over testosterone production if your testicles are injured or damaged in some way.
So, Testosterone Comes From the Testicles—But What Does Testosterone Do in Your Body?
The main role of testosterone in your (male) body, as you’re probably aware, is to help you transition from childhood to adulthood—basically, to become a man.
As you enter puberty, your testosterone levels begin to rise. In response to this, parts of your body begin to change.
But we’re probably past the birds and the bees lesson at this point.
Testosterone production does level off after puberty, but testosterone certainly does not fall back to prepubescent levels (which can be incredibly low; at least, compared to an adult male).
So, once you’ve reached adulthood, testosterone helps drive a number of functions throughout your body, including the following:
- Creation of blood cells
- Creation of new muscle mass
- Distribution of body fat
- Regulation of bone mass
- Regulation of libido
- Production of sperm
- Regulation of mood
- Production of body hair
And that’s likely just the tip of the iceberg. Though we’re still not quite sure yet, it seems that testosterone also plays a protective role in heart health, possibly affecting everything from rhythm disorders to heart attack severity. We also suspect it plays a role in cognition, happiness (or a lack thereof), anxiety, and other brain-related functions.
So, What Does Testosterone Do? A Better Question Would Be: What Doesn’t It Do?
Just as estrogen plays a huge role in a variety of processes within a woman’s body, so too does testosterone play a gigantic role in your body.
It’s certainly goes much further than mere libido or sperm production.
Your body is a well-oiled machine. It uses an incredible number of chemicals to run itself, but it also uses many of the same chemicals over and over for a variety of different tasks.
It only makes sense that it would take advantage of all the testosterone produced through puberty to run a few other processes on the side.
If you suspect that your testosterone levels aren’t what they should be, schedule a free consultation. We’ll discuss your symptoms, what normal levels look like, and how to get your levels tested for a reasonable price.
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