Low Testosterone (LT) Information
Low testosterone levels
Testosterone is produced mainly in the Leydig cells in the male testes, and in smaller amounts by the adrenal gland near the kidneys. In women, where production is about one-tenth the total of males, roughly one-half comes from the ovaries. For men, the normal level of testosterone in the bloodstream is between 350 and 1230 nanograms per deciliter.
The production of testosterone increases rapidly at the onset of puberty. Once you reach middle age, however, testosterone levels begin to drop by about one percent each year. In the short-term, this might not sound like much. By the time you reach your 70's and 80's, this constant decline increases the risk of obesity, brittle bones, muscle loss and impotence. Very low testosterone levels can also increase your risk of dying from a heart attack.
Although it's considered as a male hormone, women need testosterone too. Despite the fact they only produce a small amount, testosterone helps women maintain the strength of muscle and bone. After the menopause, testosterone levels drop. Estrogen replacement therapy can also reduce testosterone levels, leaving some postmenopausal women concerned about a lack of energy and libido.
Testosterone is a hormone that's also very important for people wanting to shed fat while preserving (or even gaining) lean muscle. In fact, hormones such as testosterone are one reason why you can lose weight on the scales without being able to shift the fat that seems to be glued to your stomach.
Think of a hormone like the remote control for your television. In much the same way that you change the channel using the remote control, hormones can change the way your fat cells respond to the food you eat.
Your body has billions of these tiny fat cells. They expand to many times their original size in order to store fat. They also shrink when they release stored fat. Fat cells respond to hormones in one of two ways, depending on whether the signal is lipogenic or lipolytic.
The term lipo means fat, while lysis means breakdown. So, a lipolytic (pronounced lip-o-lit-ik) hormone increases the number of fat calories burned for energy. Hormones that promote fat storage, on the other hand, are known as lipogenic (pronounced lie-po-jen-ik). In other words, lipogenic hormones promote fat storage.
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