Testosterone is the anabolic steroid that separates men from boys and girls, improves heart health, increases bone density, muscle mass, keeps the old mojo going, and helps fight fat. It’s produced by the testicles, the ovaries (although you probably don’t have to worry about these), and the adrenal gland. Although women also produce testosterone, men produce more and also have a greater capacity to consume it, so our levels are about 20 times higher than those of women.
Your testosterone has been fighting a losing battle to get around your body and where it should go, practically ever since your body decided to build a couple of them. And as we age, it becomes increasingly difficult for testosterone to get to where it’s needed. Without going into too much detail, those seven milligrams of testosterone that we produce in an average day should pass through our bloodstream without being neutralized by some pesky substances.
For example, there is aromatase, which converts testosterone into what we might call the female equivalent: estrogen. It’s been reported that the average 54-year-old man these days has more estrogen floating around inside him than the average 59-year-old woman, which might be fine in these parity days, but estrogen tends to clog up those receptor cells in our brains that send the signal to start producing more testosterone.
In short, every day there is a decrease of up to 90% of the testosterone we produce. So, depending on your age, where is your testosterone production?
In our twenties we should have gotten over that puberty slump, but not too much testosterone production. Unless there’s more navel twisting than necessary (like not being able to see the family jewels without peeking out a bit).
In our thirties now life is a bit more serious, with mortgages, families and the like – testosterone levels are starting to drop at a rate of about one percent per year. So building or maintaining muscle becomes a bit more difficult. It has been calculated that you could lose up to ten pounds of muscle before reaching forty.
in our forties, that the drop in the level of testosterone can lead to symptoms such as lethargy, reduced strength, loss of libido and, not surprisingly, depression. We can also suffer from that famous mid-life crisis where the only solution is to buy a sports car, grab the nearest available blonde, and take a road trip to relive those halcyon days of high testosterone levels. Or, more practically, stay home and dream of doing it.
our fifty They are an ideal time for accelerated muscle loss, unless we start training properly. It’s also the age when our metabolic rate slows, our overall level of fat (especially around the abdomen) increases, and then of course there’s the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Wrong.
When we reach sixty years and more, our testosterone levels will have dropped by up to 30%, leading to a significant decrease in muscle mass, bone density, and red blood cells.
So what is the best way to minimize testosterone loss? By keeping aromatase levels low, for starters. Remember, this is the substance that converts testosterone to estrogen… and it lives in your fat cells. Shrinking those fat cells reduces aromatase which neutralizes testosterone. Added benefit? There is less estrogen blocking those receptor cells that send the signal to start making more testosterone.
So if you’ve ever needed a powerful incentive to shed some of those extra pounds, how about keeping those testosterone levels elevated? It will keep you muscular, manly, and despite your mom’s claims that she’s eating your scabs, testosterone will actually make you grow chest hair. Grrrrrr.
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