Testosterone, Five Facts & Myths
The first thing the word testosterone brings in most people’s mind is that it is a steroid and that is bad for your body or that testosterone causes prostate cancer. These are some facts about testosterone but depends on the angle you are looking at it! Yes, testosterone is a steroid but that doesn’t make it dangerous, our body is naturally loaded with various kinds of steroids.
It is a myth. According to research done at Life Extension, new evidence shows that men with higher levels of testosterone are at no greater risk of developing prostate cancer than men with low testosterone. Until just a few years ago, it was almost universally believed that “T” therapy would lead to some degree of increased risk of prostate cancer. But treating men with testosterone has not been shown to cause any increased risk of prostate cancer either.
Higher Testosterone Levels Causes Baldness
Back in 60’s a Yale doctor called James B. Hamilton conducted a research on twenty-one boys who were undergoing castration. He followed them up, some of them for as long as 18 years, and found that they showed no signs of developing male pattern baldness as they aged. On the other hand, men of the same age who were still intact, and therefore producing testosterone, already had receding hairlines. Hamilton’s research results suggested that the higher your levels of testosterone, the higher the risk you may get bald, but in fact the level is irrelevant. Castrated men, who have almost no testosterone, may retain their hair, but men with low testosterone levels can still go bald. On average, men with male pattern baldness have the same testosterone levels as men with a full head of hair. Baldness seems to be genetically determined!
Testosterone Is A Steroid, and Steroids Are Dangerous
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in mammals and it is a 19-carbon steroid hormone produced primarily by the testes (in men) and the ovaries (in women). Smaller amounts are produced in the adrenal glands of both sexes. Testosterone is a steroid, but that doesn’t make it dangerous. In fact, we’re all naturally loaded with various kinds of steroids. The word “steroid” simply refers to a molecule with a “backbone” of four rings of carbon – examples include estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, and even cholesterol. Obviously, when someone tests positive for steroids, no one is concerned that he injected himself with cholesterol. In the sports world, the word “steroid” is used for an anabolic steroid hormone, meaning steroids that specifically act to build muscle and bone, like testosterone. This anabolic steroid is a form of testosterone usually produced from soy or yams in factories, not the human body. Taking anabolic steroids is a case of too much of a good thing. The anabolic steroids can cause your body to stop its normal production of testosterone, the testes to shrink, sperm production to drop, breast tissue to develop, etc.
Lifting Weights Boosts Your Testosterone Levels
True! Testosterone is released by your body when you put under big stress, when you are trying to force it to go beyond its possibilities. T levels are at their highest 48 hours after lifting weights, according to a study at Baylor University in the US. If you lift light weights with no fatigue your body doesn’t need to produce more testosterone. And the harder you train, the more you increase your natural levels of testosterone, so base your training around compound exercises such as squats, bench presses and seated rows using heavy weights. Incorporate the following movements into your workout routine to boost your T levels and libido:
- Bench press
- Bent-over row
- Shoulder press
- Back squat
- Stiff-legged dead-lift
Booze Lowers Testosterone Levels
True! Numerous studies have found that alcohol consumption reduces testosterone levels for up to 24 hours! According to a research done by Mary Ann Emanuele, M.D. in Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, alcohol use is associated with low testosterone and altered levels of additional reproductive hormones. Researchers are investigating several potential mechanisms for alcohol’s damage. These mechanisms are related to alcohol metabolism, alcohol-related cell damage, and other hormonal reactions associated with alcohol consumption. Chronic alcohol use in male rats also has been shown to affect their reproductive ability and the health of their offspring.