TL;DR - men with flagging testosterone levels may be better skipping the supplements.
This article looks at the effects of testosterone on the body, and the effects of testosterone supplements.
Socially testosterone is seen as the MAN hormone. Its effects encapsulate the
"male" attributes - strength, virility, aggression but actually, a lot of men are supplementing their bodies with the hormone when actually, it might not be at all necessary to do so.
Firstly: what is testosterone?
Testosterone is a type of steroid
hormone, which is associated with the development of the primary sex
characteristics of men (development of the testes and prostate) as well as the
secondary sex characteristics in men (increased muscle mass, higher bone
density, body hair) (Science Daily). It's also essential in women for the reduction of Osteoporosis (Karger).
Both men and women have testosterone, but women produce far less (usually) than men.
Due to the higher metabolic consumption in males, men produce 20 times more
testosterone in a day than a woman would (on average), however levels of
testosterone are around 7-8 times higher in men than they are in women (JCEM). Women are also
much more sensitive to the effects of the hormone (as stated in the article in
What happens to testosterone levels as men age - and what does this mean?
They are thought to drop; however, in a study of Tsine men, testosterone levels were found to be
fairly level throughout adult life (New Scientist). Could
this all be a socially constructed ploy to sell you something you don't
Well. When testosterone comes into
contact with fat cells, it does change into a form of oestrogen, which in turn
helps lay fat down. This in itself could be a tempting reason to reach for the
supplementation - but when men exercise, the body naturally releases
testosterone, raising levels of the hormone in the body.
fact, staying active throughout life has shown that levels of the hormone remain
relatively stable and reduces the chances that you'll lay down a load of
So what's wrong with taking the hormone
Firstly: why would you supplement something you don't need?
Surely having a healthy, natural body is much more in line with what you'd want
as a healthy person? It's a bit like taking a multi-vitamin tablet when you have
a full and varied diet - there's no benefit and we actually don't know the long
term effects of doing this.
Some of the dangers
highlighted in this article are increased risk of heart attack - testosterone
has a massive role in blood clotting ability, higher levels = higher clotting
factor. Which in itself can cause all kinds of problems - bringing in the risk
of stroke and other problems associated with blood clotting when it's not
So why would you supplement
I can only speak as a woman. I have no idea
what the male psyche encounters as it ages, but at a female guess I would say
that fear of ageing, of not being able to "perform" - either in the bedroom, in
your job, or in the weights room would strike fear into the heart of the nearly
The age old fear of growing
old. The social issues surrounding the loss of a man's virility are widely
published. Men are made to feel less than human, less than "a man". Even the
saying "man up" - what connotations does that bring? That you're not a man. That
you're behaving like a child. That you shouldn't be showing your fears, or your
emotions, or your pain.
If that's the case -
why would you want to be a "man"? Because that is what is expected of you. Just
as women are expected to grow up and have babies, so men are expected to grow up
and provide for the woman, for their family. The sword cuts both ways.
But what if we challenge these expectations?
What would happen if the women provided for the family? Would that be the end of
the world? What happens if you are hurt, or scared and you show it? Maybe in
evolutionary terms you might get eaten, but in modern society - what is the
worst that can happen? You'll be told to man up. What does that even
For me this article really highlights
something that has been entirely created by a media construct designed to sell a
product. You need supplmentation. You'll buy the supplements from the big
companies that sell them. The cycle of money
How do they convince you to buy their stuff?
They insinuate that you're less of a man as you age. That you're not able to perform, that you're not able
to keep up with the lads. That you won't grow muscle. That you won't be big and
strong and tough unless you eat this supplementation designed to keep you
Man up guys - you don't need that
crap. Having a penis makes you a male - why would you want to be the media's
construction of a "man"?
Stay strong brothers.
Stay active, stay happy. Your body knows what it's doing!