Androgens, basically testosterone, are secreted by the testes, but also by the adrenal cortex (only 10%). Testosterone is produced by Leydig cells, and this goes into circulation.
The plasma concentration of testosterone in the normal adult is 300 to 1000 ng/dL. Before puberty, the concentration is less than 20 ng/dL. The testosterone content in the human testis is of approximately 300 ng/g of tissue. In the adult man the testicle produces between 2.5 and 11 mg/day of testosterone.
Testosterone is necessary for the normal development of the external genitalia. Briefly testosterone produces the following effects on the primary sexual organs:
-Promotes the growth of the scrotum, penis and sexual secretory glands.
-Increases testicular weight and growth.
-Stimulates spermatogenesis in the seminiferous tubules.
-The testosterone completes the characteristics of semen and stimulates the definitive constitution in its passage through the epididymis and the ductus deferens.
-Testosterone increases libido (sexual desire).
What Does High Testosterone Do To A Man?
A high level of testosterone can cause your red blood cell levels to rise, which is why athletes abuse them, because it increases their ability to carry oxygen.
The Link Between High Testosterone Levels And Heart Disease
A recent study that was performed in the United States by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, has shown that older men with higher levels of testosterone are much more prone to have heart attacks or other cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
According to one of the medical researchers, the discoveries of this work contradict the results of other previously studies, which have demonstrated that testosterone levels had no link with a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease.
In this sense, many patients are currently taking testosterone supplements for several medical problems, for example for lack of sexual desire and mood disorders, ignoring that they are more vulnerable to a cardiovascular disease in the future.
The patients who participated in this study were 65-year-old men from the same collectivity. It is worth mentioning that none of them were taking a testosterone treatment.
These patients submitted to blood tests to know their testosterone levels. These people were split into four groups, taking into account their testosterone records to notice trends about the rates of events related to CVD they went through.
This type of heart disease is a direct consequence of platelet obstruction or arterial stenosis. Among the events related to coronary artery disease are heart attacks, unstable angina, a chest pain usually caused by atherosclerosis (a condition originated when plaque builds up inside your arteries, hardening and narrowing the blood vessels), or a bypass angioplasty.
It is worth mentioning that in a follow-up of about four years, approximately 100 men, 14 percent of the total, had events related to coronary heart disease.
After trying to find other factors that could actually contribute as a risk factor for these aforementioned diseases (such as high cholesterol), they discovered that higher levels of testosterone were related to an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Actually, men who had their testosterone highest quartile – at a level equal to or greater than 495 nanograms per deciliter or ng/dL – had more than double the risk of coronary heart disease than men with the lowest testosterone levels, that means below 308 ng/dL.
Other relevant measurements of testosterone in the body and a protein closely linked to testosterone – globulin sex hormone- also demonstrated a close connection between testosterone and coronary heart disease.
The researchers did not establish a difference between the patients according to their “normal or abnormal testosterone levels”, since the definition of abnormal levels depends on many aspects, including aging.
In a near future, testosterone measurements could be used to help predict which men are more prone to cardiovascular disease, but experts need more studies to confirm that high testosterone levels are a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
- Medical News Today – Higher testosterone levels tied to heart disease risk in older men: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/higher-testosterone-levels-tied-to-heart-disease-risk-in-older-men
- WebMD – High Testosterone Levels Tied to Heart Risks in Men: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20140402/high-testosterone-levels-tied-to-heart-risks-in-men
- Healthline – Testosterone Therapy Increases Heart Attack Risk in Older Men: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/testosterone-therapy-increases-heart-attack-risk-in-older-men-040914
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