Testosterone belongs to a class of hormones known as androgens; in-fact this is the primary androgenic hormone. A very powerful hormone in its own right, testosterone is largely responsible for testicular and prostate development, as well as the development of muscle tissue, bone density and strength. Beyond these basic functions, testosterone is by-in-large imperative for our overall general health and well-being; low levels of testosterone can not only negatively affect muscle and bone strength but can negatively affect our state of mind.
While a member of the androgenic class of steroidal hormones, testosterone is also highly anabolic. As both androgenic and anabolic, like all steroidal hormones testosterone is derived from cholesterol and is largely regulated in terms of production by luteinizing hormones (LH) and follicle stimulating hormones (FSH). Being regulated by LH and FSH, in order for these hormones to be released the pituitary gland must first be stimulated in order to achieve this purpose; once achieved and LH and FSH are released, testicular stimulation is achieved thereby causing the production of testosterone. As you can easily see, as important as the testicles are in testosterone production, the pituitary gland is of equal importance; without adequate pituitary function natural testosterone production cannot occur.
The Organon group in the Netherlands were the first to isolate the hormone, identified in a May 1935 paper "On Crystalline Male Hormone from Testicles (Testosterone)". They named the hormone testosterone, from the stems of testicle and sterol, and the suffix of ketone. The structure was worked out by Schering's Adolf Butenandt, at the Chemisches Institut of Technical University in Gdańsk
The chemical synthesis of testosterone from cholesterol was achieved in August that year by Butenandt and Hanisch. Only a week later, the Ciba group in Zurich, Leopold Ruzicka (1887–1976) and A. Wettstein, published their synthesis of testosterone.These independent partial syntheses of testosterone from a cholesterol base earned both Butenandt and Ruzicka the joint 1939 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.Testosterone was identified as 17β-hydroxyandrost-4-en-3-one (C19H28O2), a solid polycyclic alcohol with a hydroxyl group at the 17th carbon atom. This also made it obvious that additional modifications on the synthesized testosterone could be made, i.e., esterification and alkylation.
Testosterone is observed in most vertebrates. Testosterone and the classical nuclear androgen receptor first appeared in gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates). Agnathans (jawless vertebrates) such as lampreys don't produce testosterone but instead use androstenedione as a male sex hormone. Fish make a slightly different form called 11-ketotestosterone.Its counterpart in insects is ecdysone.The presence of these ubiquitous steroids in a wide range of animals suggest that sex hormones have an ancient evolutionary history.
The effects of testosterone in humans and other vertebrates occur by way of multiple mechanisms: by activation of the androgen receptor (directly or as DHT), and by conversion to estradiol and activation of certain estrogen receptors.Androgens such as testosterone have also been found to bind to and activate membrane androgen receptors.
Free testosterone (T) is transported into the cytoplasm of target tissue cells, where it can bind to the androgen receptor, or can be reduced to 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by the cytoplasmic enzyme 5α-reductase. DHT binds to the same androgen receptor even more strongly than testosterone, so that its androgenic potency is about 5 times that of T. The T-receptor or DHT-receptor complex undergoes a structural change that allows it to move into the cell nucleus and bind directly to specific nucleotide sequences of the chromosomal DNA. The areas of binding are called hormone response elements (HREs), and influence transcriptional activity of certain genes, producing the androgen effects.
Androgen receptors occur in many different vertebrate body system tissues, and both males and females respond similarly to similar levels. Greatly differing amounts of testosterone prenatally, at puberty, and throughout life account for a share of biological differences between males and females.
The bones and the brain are two important tissues in humans where the primary effect of testosterone is by way of aromatization to estradiol. In the bones, estradiol accelerates ossification of cartilage into bone, leading to closure of the epiphyses and conclusion of growth. In the central nervous system, testosterone is aromatized to estradiol. Estradiol rather than testosterone serves as the most important feedback signal to the hypothalamus (especially affecting LH secretion). In many mammals, prenatal or perinatal "masculinization" of the sexually dimorphic areas of the brain by estradiol derived from testosterone programs later male sexual behavior.
Testosterone is used as a medication for the treatment of males with too little or no natural testosterone production, certain forms of breast cancer,and gender dysphoria in transgender men. This is known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which maintains serum testosterone levels in the normal range. Decline of testosterone production with age has led to interest in androgen replacement therapy.It is unclear if the use of testosterone for low levels due to aging is beneficial or harmful.
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid. In male humans, 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 muscle and bone mass, and the growth of body hair.In addition, testosterone is involved in health and well-being, and the prevention of osteoporosis. Insufficient levels of testosterone in men may lead to abnormalities including frailty and bone loss.
Testosterone is also used as a medication to treat male hypogonadism and certain types of breast cancer.Since testosterone levels gradually decrease as men age, synthetic testosterone is sometimes prescribed to older men to counteract this deficiency.
Testosterone is a steroid from the androstane class containing a keto and hydroxyl groups at the three and seventeen positions respectively. It is biosynthesized in several steps from cholesterol and is converted in the liver to inactive metabolites. It exerts its action through binding to and activation of the androgen receptor.
In humans and most other vertebrates, testosterone is secreted primarily by the testicles of males and, to a lesser extent, the ovaries of females. On average, in adult males, levels of testosterone are about 7–8 times as great as in adult females. As the metabolic consumption of testosterone in males is greater, the daily production is about 20 times greater in men. Females are also more sensitive to the hormone.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is important for sexual and reproductive development. The National Institutes of Health regards testosterone as the most important male hormone. Women also produce testosterone, but at lower levels than men.
Testosterone belongs to a class of male hormones called androgens, which are sometimes called steroids or anabolic steroids. In men, testosterone is produced mainly in the testes, with a small amount made in the adrenal glands. The brain's hypothalamus and pituitary gland control testosterone production. The hypothalamus instructs the pituitary gland on how much testosterone to produce, and the pituitary gland passes the message on to the testes. These communications happen through chemicals and hormones in the bloodstream.
Testosterone injections deliver testosterone into the muscle. The testosterone is then absorbed directly into the blood stream over time. The absorption period depends on the type of testosterone injected. Injections usually take place in the thighs, glutes or deltoid muscles.
The most common forms of injectable testosterone for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) include testosterone enanthate (TE) and testosterone cypionate (TC). Testosterone enanthate and testosterone cypionate are modified forms of testosterone. Specifically, a carboxylic acid ester has been added to the 17-beta hydroxyl group. This attachment makes TE and TC less polar than free T. As a result, they have longer half-lives and are absorbed more slowly from the injection area. Once in the bloodstream, the ester is removed to yield free (active) T. Due to their long half-lives, both TE and TC provide a sustained release of testosterone into the bloodstream for one to two weeks. As a result, testosterone injections of TE or TC need only be administered every week or every other week.
Dosing regimens for TRT, the recommended dosing regimen of testosterone enanthate or testosterone cypionate for testosterone therapy is 75 to 100 mg every week or 150 to 200 mg every other week.1-5 Weekly injections are preferred because more frequent injections lower fluctuations in serum testosterone. About 30% of men treated for low testosterone use testosterone injections. [About 65% of men use testosterone gel.
You should not receive testosterone if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
male breast cancer;
a serious heart condition;
severe liver disease;
severe kidney disease; or
if you are pregnant or may become pregnant.
To make sure testosterone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease or coronary artery disease;
a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;
high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
breast cancer (in men, or in women who have hypercalcemia);
liver or kidney disease;
if you are bedridden or otherwise debilitated; or
if you take a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven).
This medicine can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use testosterone if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use effective birth control while you are receiving this medicine.
It is not known whether testosterone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
The safety of testosterone treatment is still being researched. It has several possible side effects and some possible long-term effects, as well.
For example, testosterone treatment lowers sperm count, so Michael A. Werner, a specialist in andropause, or "male menopause," recommends that men who desire future fertility avoid testosterone treatments.
Other side effects include increased risk of heart problems in older men with poor mobility, according to a 2009 study at Boston Medical Center. A 2017 study published in JAMA found that treatments increase coronary artery plaque volume. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufactures to include a notice on the labeling that states taking testosterone treatments can lead to possible increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. The FDA recommends that patients using testosterone should seek medical attention right away if they have these symptoms:
Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
Weakness in one part or one side of the body
The treatment can also increase the risk of sleep apnea, promote prostate and breast growth, and even encourage the development of prostate cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
nausea or vomiting;
changes in skin color;
increased or ongoing erection of the penis;
impotence, ejaculation problems, decreased amounts of semen, decrease in testicle size;
painful or difficult urination;
shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);
chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder;
swelling in your ankles or feet, rapid weight gain;
signs of a blood clot in the lung - chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
signs of a blood clot in your leg - pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
high levels of calcium in the blood--stomach pain, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle pain or weakness, joint pain, confusion, and feeling tired or restless; or
liver problems - upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Women receiving testosterone may develop male characteristics, which could be irreversible if treatment is continued. Call your doctor at once if you notice any of these signs of excess testosterone:
changes in menstrual periods;
male-pattern hair growth (such as on the chin or chest);
hoarse or deepened voice; or
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