(BlackDoctor.org) — What exactly is testosterone anyway? When most people hear the word, they envision an aggressive-acting man lifting tons of weight at the gym and/or strutting around with a hard-to-miss swagger.
Yes, there is some truth to the above two situations: studies have shown there is a link between aggressive behavior and the need to appear “manly,” at least in competitive situations, such as with a peer or for a sexual partner.
However, there appears to be a subtler interplay between testosterone and behavior in other types of situations – in men, and surprisingly, women as well.
Here are some interesting facts about that “man-hormone.”
What exactly is testosterone?
Testosterone is the main male sex hormone. It supports normal male traits such as muscle growth, facial hair, and deep voice. In men, testosterone 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 bone mass. In addition, testosterone is essential for health and well-being, as well as the prevention of osteoporosis.
Women (especially women in love) have testosterone, too.
On average, an adult human male body produces about ten times more testosterone than an adult human female body, but females are more sensitive to the hormone.
According to studies, women in love have higher testosterone for the few months after a relationship starts than women who are single or in long-term relationships.
The opposite is true for men; those newly in love have lower testosterone than men flying solo or with a long-term partner.
Testosterone may help blast that gut.
Men whose levels of testosterone are below normal may lose their spare tire when treated with testosterone.
“Most of the studies show there’s a reduction of abdominal obesity in men who are given testosterone,” says Adrian Dobs, MD, a professor of medicine and oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore.
Because the long-term effects of testosterone therapy have not been well studied, however, it is generally only recommended in men with below-normal testosterone levels and symptoms such as fatigue, muscle or bone-mass loss, or sexual dysfunction.
Money affects testosterone.
Young men who are futures traders get a testosterone spike on days when they make an above-average profit, British researchers found.
And on the mornings when men’s testosterone levels were higher than average, their average afternoon profits were higher than on their low-testosterone days, suggesting a possible cause-and-effect relationship.
More experienced traders showed an even stronger tie between testosterone and profits.
Too much testosterone isn’t great for the testicles.
In men, taking steroid hormones such as testosterone as performance boosters can cause testicles to shrink and breasts to grow. For women, it can cause a deeper voice, an enlarged clitoris, hair loss from the head, and hair growth on the body and face.
In both genders, steroid abuse can cause acne, mood swings, aggression, and other problems.
Men working with an experienced doctor to treat low testosterone or women taking small amounts of testosterone under medical supervision are unlikely to have testosterone-overdose symptoms.
Sports can influence testosterone levels.