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Testosterone has been given a lot of bad rap over the years.
Myths and rumors link heightened levels of testosterone to prostate cancer, testicular shrinkage, and increased aggression while athletic events ban its usage despite the fact that some testosterone boosting products are legal when purchased over the counter.
Despite this, testosterone may be the best way to build muscle, improve bone density, increase red blood cell count, stimulate libido, and even enhance oxygen flow throughout the body.
And that's not all, "Testosterone replacement may promote weight loss in obese older men who have low levels of the male sex hormone" says experts at WebMD. Men who received long-acting injected testosterone injections for at least two years saw the biggest reductions in waist circumference and body mass index.
But what is it, exactly, that makes testosterone so powerful?
Testosterone is a steroid hormone naturally produced by the body – in both sexes. The reason why it's typically considered a "manly" hormone is the fact that men produce approximately 7 mg of testosterone a day in the testes, which is nearly 15 times more the amount of testosterone women produce on a day to day basis.
Interestingly enough, testosterone plays a key role in a wide variety of other bodily functions, and approximately 96-98% of it is used to transport proteins from the kidneys to the bloodstream.
However, the remaining 2-4 % of testosterone, otherwise known as free testosterone, is what the rest of the world thinks of when they hear about this particular hormone. It interacts with other cells to trigger various responses in the body, including the building up of bigger, stronger muscles.
Testosterone influences muscle hypertrophy by stimulating the HGH (Human Growth Hormone) responses in the pituitary gland. This then sets off a reaction that triggers the increase of cellular amino acid uptake and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle.
Furthermore, testosterone increases the presence of neurotransmitters at the muscle fiber site, activating tissue growth.
Testosterone is regulated by two factors: the total amount of the hormone in the bloodstream and the binding capacity of certain plasma proteins. As the binding capacity goes up, free testosterone levels go down (though total testosterone remains the same).
Additionally, out of the small percentage of free testosterone in the body, a small percentage of that is then converted into DHT, a more powerful androgen hormone, while yet another percentage of free testosterone is converted into estrogens.
Consequently, certain drugs and steroids are used to reduce the binding capacity of the plasma proteins to increase the amount of free testosterone, while other supplements are designed to inhibit conversion of testosterone to DHT and estrogen.
Andro-Shock for example contains ingredients such as saw palmetto, which interacts with the 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, reducing the amount of testosterone converted into DHT. You can read more about Andro-Shock here at: www.trulyhuge.com/andro-sh.htm.