Most people have heard that increasing testosterone by taking supplements can help muscle mass growth. This is why it’s a popular supplement for bodybuilders hoping for quick results. However, many people don’t know exactly what testosterone does and why taking supplements can help in other ways.
One of the many hormones the body needs to stay healthy and function efficiently, testosterone is produced in the testicles in men and adrenal glands and ovaries in women. Its main function is to develop male growth and masculine characteristics. During early adulthood and adolescence, the body produces 30x more testosterone, before dropping slightly. After you turn 30, it’s normal for testosterone levels to drop by around 1%.
Testosterone plays an important part in the ability to think and process information, libido, general mood and quality of life, body hair, bone density and muscle mass. Because it’s natural for levels to fall as the body ages, it gets harder to gain muscle mass, shred fat and can cause all kinds of other problems too.
While doctors can treat clinically low levels of testosterone with replacement therapy (usually in the form of injections or patches), testosterone supplements also offer a way to boost levels. Some supplements on the market claim to directly boost muscle mass, and it’s important to steer clear of the ones with overwhelmingly unlikely claims. It’s also important not to take too much testosterone, as it can lead to anger problems and other issues. However, other testosterone supplements such as Centrapeak increase levels slowly over time, which has a positive effect on the problems caused by low testosterone as described above.
Low testosterone can lead to heart problems. The heart is vital to get oxygen to organs and muscles and testosterone helps the body produce more red blood cells to do this in the bone marrow.
A study in the early 2000s of a small number of men with heart disease shows improvements through testosterone therapy. They were able, on average, to increase endurance during exercise by 33%. However, further studies show that while testosterone widens arteries, it only works on already healthy arteries and doesn’t do much for angina pain.
More recently there was a bigger study that examined 83,000 men that shows that men who increased testosterone to normal levels were 36% less likely to have a stroke and 24% to have a heart attack.
Testosterone increases muscle mass, and the more lean muscle mass in the body, the easier it is to lose fat and stay energetic. There is evidence that shows men with low levels of testosterone can increase the size and strength of their muscles by combining strength training with replacement therapy and/or supplements.
Testosterone impacts bone mineral density in a significant way. As men get older and testosterone levels naturally decrease, this can lead to osteoporosis. Bone strength is absolutely vital to support muscle strength and internal organs. It also affects athletic endurance. Increasing testosterone in high doses can help maintain strong bones.
Men with higher testosterone levels are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease later in life, according to studies. There is also a significant link between testosterone levels and mental processing, reasoning and verbal memory.
A higher sexual libido is associated with higher testosterone levels in men. Older men may need extra testosterone to deal with erectile disfunction, however it’s important to note this can also be caused by many other illnesses. Studies show that increasing testosterone levels can help sexual health, but generally only for men with clinically low levels. In other words, if your testosterone is already at normal levels, taking more won’t change your libido.
Low testosterone can lead to depression, fatigue and irritability. Replacing testosterone and boosting levels can therefore help some men improve general quality of life. However, it does vary depending on each situation and isn’t a one-size-fits-all remedy. For some men, it can act as an effective anti-depressant.