Testosterone Review

Published Oct 20, 2016 by:
Dan Chaiet Author
Biomedical Science
Biomedical Science Graduate. After completing the educational and research requirements for a PhD in Biomedical Science, Dan is currently studying at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and has less than a year before joining the Medical Board becoming an MD and qualified Doctor. Dan's educational emphasis is on performance enhancement drugs (PEDs), endocrinology, nutritional supplements and strategies for health, fat reduction, anti-ageing, muscle growth, disease control and vaccinations. Dan has had an interest in learning and writing about steroid use for over 15 years.

Everything You Need To Know About Testosterone

The primary sex hormone of half the population of the world, testosterone has been lauded and vilified, searched for and rejected. Central to the masculinizing characteristics that many men celebrate, testosterone is both a scientific term as well as a colloquial term. It refers to many different things and depending on the context can have several different meanings.

While many people will talk about testosterone, it can be a challenge to find information on this central but often misunderstood sex hormone. Whether you are a body builder reading up on the best anabolic steroids and derivatives or you are simply curious to learn about the affects of testosterone on a person, the following guide is written specifically for you. Without further adieu, let’s begin!

I. Testosterone: A Basics Definition

Testosterone is most notably referred to as the male sex hormone. It is a naturally occuring steroid hormone in the human body. The bodies of men secrete the hormone from what is known as the Leydig cells in the testicles. Men also produce testosterone in their adrenal glands. Just because testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men, it doesn’t mean that women don’t have them as well. In women, the ovaries are responsible for producing testosterone.

Testosterone provides a number of primary and secondary sexual characteristics. First, it is crucial for the continued production of sperm and virility in men. Along with helping to develop reproductive features and ensure virility, testosterone is also responsible for secondary affects like increased muscle mass and retention. Masculinizing men with typical masculine features, testosterone can aid in both increasing strength and decreasing things like osteoporosis. It’s function as a steroid hormone means that it will aid in bone density as well as things like bone maturation. It also helps things like deepening of the voice as well as growing hair on different parts of the body. Rates of testosterone in men are far above the amount for women. In men, it is typical for there to be hundreds of units of difference between individuals. If there is a masculine trait, it no doubt at one time or another has been blamed on testosterone.

II. Testosterone: A History

One of the first researchers and scientists to discover testosterone was Arnold Adolph Berthold. Through experimentation on fowls, he discovered that there were effects in the blood caused by the removal of testosterone creators. This research would lay the foundation for everything to come. Two researches at Harvard University took this even further by isolating testosterone and then attempting to market it as a ‘rejuvenation elixir.’ This not only helped to popularize the idea of testosterone, but also make it the subject of research for decades to come. Research published on taking testosterone stated that while an individual would feel wonderful, the effects would only last for a short amount of time. Disappointed that there was not more progress, research stopped for some time.

In 1927, research continued again as a Physiologic Chemistry professor began to isolate cow testosterone. He worked on creating a solution that created masculinizing effects on animals even if they had no reproductive organs capable of producing their own testosterone. This research was further expanded on by a research group in Amsterdam that extracted testosterone from cows and began researching the potential uses of it in closer detail. However, it was not until the 1930’s that serious investigation began across Europe. Full scale research by pharmaceutical companies led to the first production and access to testosterone by average individuals.

In 1935, the term ‘testosterone’ was given by a researcher named Organon. Working on the structure of the hormone, researchers chemically synthesized testosterone from cholesterol. With research occuring the world over, Both Butenandt and Ruzicka received the joint Chemistry Nobel Prize. Made in 1939, the discovery would herald in a new century of understanding regarding how we operate.

Research would soon discover that among other things, testosterone was responsible for the retention of nitrogen in the muscles. This increased nitrogen retention was linked to better anabolic activities. Testosterone was soon linked to anabolic activities in women, eunuchs and boys. Adding to past discoveries, the golden age of steroid research was about to begin.

Between 1930 and 1950, research on steroids entered what many considered to be the ‘golden age.’ Quickly progressing, researchers found many different qualities of testosterone and greatly improved the existing research on the subject. A lot of the findings were based on showing that testosterone increased muscle strength, wellbeing, and health of those who used them. It would not be long before synthetic testosterones and steroids would be created for use by the masses.

III. Testosterone Produced In the Body

As we stated at the beginning, testosterone is primarily created in the Leydig cells in the testicles of men. Creating a regular hormone cycle known as the HPTA cycle (hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular), it operates in the following way. The hypothalamus is responsible for detecting what the level of testosterone is in the body. If and when the level of testosterone in the body falls below a certain amount, the hypothalamus is responsible for secreting a gonadotropin release hormone (known as GnRH.) The purpose of the GnRH is to stimulate the pituitary gland to release a stimulating hormones into the system. These hormones are responsible for stimulating the testicles to produce testosterone through the Leydig cells.

The entire cycle will come to an end when the hypothalamus detects the hormone level to be at or above what is should be. At this point, the hypothalamus will stop secreting the GnHR leading to the pituitary gland to stop releasing its stimulating hormones. This is known as a negative feedback loop. It is specifically designed to maintain a balance within the body and to ensure that the level never goes above or beyond a certain amount. What the range is and how long the body can sustain that range will depend greatly on the physiology of the individual and it can range dramatically depending on who you are.

Testosterone travels through the body by binding to a protein. This is called the Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (also known as SHBG.) When bound up like this, it cannot take part in any other functions save for what it is designed to do. As a result, it is completely useless for pretty much any other purpose. What a person requires is having freely circulating testosterone. Unbound, this freely circulating testosterone can bind and do additional masculinizing affects like muscle growth. The more that SHBG levels increase in the body, the less free floating testosterone there will be in the body. As it turns out, too much of a good thing results in bad side effects.

IV. Testosterone: Physiological Effects

Throughout the life of a person, testosterone will play an important role. For example, starting at between 4 to 6 weeks testosterone will develop characteristics that are sex specific including genital virilization and seminal vesicles. For the first few months, the testosterone levels in a baby boy will resemble that of a boy in puberty. After the first few months, the levels will again return to a barely detectable levels. It is suggested that the testosterone is in part responsible for the masculinization of the brain. What does that mean? We will get into that in just a moment.

Testosterone is also responsible for the speed of growth, the quality of growth, and the amount of muscle tissue that there is. It is also responsible for shaping the brain and can have a direct result on learning skills, memory, and activity. Testosterone is also responsible for regulating the physical activities and energy levels.

Puberty is the next great period of growth where testosterone plays a crucial role. In men, puberty means that the system is filled with testosterone. These cause many different effects like the voice changing pitch. It can also result in the growth of body hair and body odor. Bone maturation and pubic hair are also affected by testosterone. Increased muscle mass, the appearance of a notable Adam’s apple, and the loss of subcutaneous fat in the face are all things that will occur.

After puberty, testosterone continues to play a crucial role in a man’s life. During adulthood, it is responsible for maintaining the development of sperm and muscle trophism. As a person ages, the average level of testosterone will decrease as well, resulting in lower levels the older you are.

V. Testosterone: Affects On Behavior & Personality

Understand that as the primary sex hormone, testosterone affects the entire body as well as all the organs in it. Because of this, it is natural to assume that testosterone is in part responsible for behavior. It has been shown that testosterone can affect things like career choices, risk taking, and financial decisions. Several studies have shown that testosterone levels can account for how selfish a man is. As a final consideration, it has also been linked to the fight or flight response. Despite all of this, people assume that testosterone does not affect the basic mood of a person.

While mood may not be directly affected, there are some other things that can change due to testosterone. For example, how aggressive a person is depends on their testosterone level. It has been noted for millennia that castrated men are far less aggressive. Due to aggressiveness being a cause of crimes, testosterone has been linked to things like breaking the law and criminal activities. While testosterone may not affect our mood, it can most certainly affect our behavior if cooler heads do not prevail.

VI. Testosterone: Health Affects

Testosterone has been shown to have many beneficial and negative effects on health. Some of these effects will provide benefits indirectly while others will have direct influence over aspects of our health. An indirect and continuous benefit of testosterone is that it can maintain cardiovascular health and reduce the chances of someone experiencing high blood pressure. This is because testosterone keeps us moving and energized, making things like exercise far easier. In the same way, indirect health negatives can also be attributed to testosterone. For example, increased reckless behavior and criminality can lead to people consuming more alcohol, smoking more, and being injured more easily. Prostate cancer is not directly affected by the amount of testosterone in a person’s system. Testosterone is only an issue in prostate cancer if you have not had any in your system due to a therapy and then suddenly fill your system with testosterone that will help the growth and spread of prostate cancer.

So what happens if you have chronically low testosterone? Well, for women it is not a problem due to their over abundance of estrogen, which provides for women many of the same health affects as testosterone for men. However, for individuals with a low level of either, you will experience a lower libido. It is also not uncommon to experience decreased strength as well as lower bone mass. A link between low sex hormones and Alzheimer’s has also been discovered, though further research is required to make sense of the results.

Further research on testosterone has emerged from the Transgender community. As hormone replacement therapy is a common form of transitioning for both Female-to-Male and Male-to-Female individuals, a lot has been learned when it comes to replacing one primary sex hormone with the other. All the effects talked about above occur in smaller degrees with Transgender individuals, though the results are less noticeable the older the individual is prior to transition.

The health affects of testosterone also come up a lot when improper testosterone supplements are taken. Common side effects that are mild include hair loss and acne. Additional and more severe side effects include hematocrit red blood cells, sleep apnea, and even infertility. Heart disease is increased as sperm production is decreased as well. As we stated above, too much of a good thing will produce negative results. If you are considering taking testosterone supplements, then you should seek proper medical advice first. Supplements can be beneficial when handled correctly and carefully monitored. Thankfully, monitoring testosterone levels is relatively straightforward and requires nothing more than a quick blood test. Hormone replacement therapy providing testosterone is not uncommon for those who are undergoing certain operations. Those who are dealing with breast or prostate cancer should not take testosterone supplemental therapy.

VII. Low Testosterone: Causes

The level of testosterone that a person has will be unique to that person. While it does exist on a spectrum of levels, the majority of individuals fall into a band between a three-hundred to a thousand rating in the blood. When there is a low level of testosterone in the body, it is known as hypogonadism. Hypogonadism exists in three different levels depending on severity. First, there is primary where there is an issue with Leydig cells, secondary where the problem is with the hypothalamus, and tertiary where the problem is caused by the hypothalamus. Old age most often causes the first type. Many other factors can result in this occuring as well though. For example, injury or infection of the testicles can be a cause. Obesity, alcoholism, and stress are all also responsible for lower levels of testosterone.

Serious problems that create lower levels of testosterone include kidney failure, liver cirrhosis, pituitary dysfunction, cancer treatments, and inflammation diseases. Medications used to treat things like prostate cancer can also result in negative effects to the body.

VIII. Testosterone: Levels Linked To Age

As we discussed above, the first bump of testosterone in the system occurs in the first few months of infancy. It then dies down until puberty, where it comes back with a vengeance. The amount of testosterone in the system will gradually increase over time eventually hitting their peak at the age of 30. After that, they will decline at a rate of roughly 1% every year until death.

This is important to know because sudden testosterone reduction in older people can be an affect of age as well as disease. Figuring out what is the cause is important to diagnosing the underlying condition. In addition, there are a few symptoms that lower levels of testosterone can trigger in people. A common enough symptom is an altered sexual functioning. Simply put, people with lower levels of testosterone will have less desire for sex and less ability to do things like keep an erection. It can even lead to infertility, insomnia, sleep disturbances, and hot flashes. Symptoms can also be noticed in behavior. Psychological changes to things like mood and emotion are possible when testosterone levels drop. Increased body far, loss of hair, development of breast tissue, self confidence plummeting, increases in depression, reduced ability to remember, and a lack of concentration are also possible. When these things happen and lower levels of testosterone are observed, you and your doctor may work to increase your level of testosterone. What does this mean?

IX. Testosterone: Increasing Your Base Rates

There are many different ways to increase your testosterone levels. A common way is to increase them naturally through changing environmental factors. For example, fat cells are known to produce aromatase, which in turn is responsible for breaking down testosterone and converting it into estrogen as well as estradiol. Losing weight then decreases the amount of estrogen in the system and increases the amount of testosterone in the body. Another common way to increase testosterone levels is through vitamin D. Increasing levels to around 10-25 mcg/d can improve active testosterone in the body. Zinc as well is another important substance that having the correct amount of will help in regulating and improving testosterone levels. Improving your REM sleep, doing dominance challenges, and doing resistance training can all improve your testosterone levels.

X. Testosterone And Sports

Testosterone is known to improve people’s ability at sports. It is for this reason that athletes take testosterone supplements to improve their ability. Improving both strength and endurance, testosterone supplements can be administered in a number of different ways. Popular ingestion techniques include gels, transdermal patches, implantable pellets, and subcutaneous injections. Because testosterone supplements can caused improved performance, the World Anti-Doping Agency bans different drugs because they are considered unfair. It is considered cheating and will result in the athlete being unable to compete if they are discovered to be taking the drugs or ‘doping.’

Despite it being illegal, drug use in sports is still highly common. A study conducted in 2010 found that nearly 60% of adult athletes had higher levels of testosterone in urine and blood. Providing quicker recovery time after injury and in off season, the effects of testosterone remain a sticky subject in the world of sports. Be aware that while many people consider testosterone to be a performance enhancer, it does not give the ability to be better without significant training. You still require a considerable amount of effort to be able to compete and testosterone supplements provide only a tiny boost when compared to exercise and diet. Simply put, if you only take testosterone supplements without training, then it will not do you any good at all.

The American bodybuilding culture discovered this first hand in the 1950’s when it first began to see use among Russian weightlifters. Winning a great number of gold metals, it became highly suspect and so began rumors of doping. These rumors in particular extended to the 1990’s when conclusive proof finally showed that they had in fact been using testosterone. At the same time that Russia was playing around with testosterone supplements, the weightlifting community was taking baby steps towards using different versions of testosterone boosters in things like bulking and cutting cycles. Research discovered that testosterone supplements were not uniformly good. For example, long distance runners did not gain benefits and in fact had issues caused by the added weight brought on by having more bulky muscles. Bringing about injuries, the use of testosterone has remained largely within the confines of a few sports where muscle mass is critical above all else.

XI. Testosterone: Esters

When in the body, testosterone does not last for very long. It typically ends up binding with various enzymes through a process called aromatization. Known as pure testosterone, this version of testosterone sold is uncomfortable for athletes. There is a way around this called esterification. When testosterone is esterified, it can last for significantly longer periods of time in the body. Increasing its oil solubility, the testosterone is easier to take and lasts longer when in this form. Esters can be slow or fast acting. Slow acting are more oil soluble while fast acting ester is less soluble. Athletes will prefer slow-acting esters as they require less injections and can keep the level of testosterone higher in the blood stream.

XII. Testosterone: Ester Types

Testosterone esters are most frequently given through injections and include Testosterone Enanthate, Testosterone Cypionate, Sustanon, and Testosterone Propionate. Testosterone Enanthate is the most common and easily findable in the US under the name Delatestryl, lasting 3 weeks. Testosterone Cypionate can be injected once a week and is most frequently called Depo. Sustanon comes in two different types depending on whether or not you want slow or fast acting and it is not prescribed anywhere in the United States. Last but not least, Testosterone Propionate is among the fastest acting, lasting only 3 to 4 days and is available under the names Testovis and Virormone.

XIII. Testosterone: Administering The Drug

There are several different ways to administer testosterone into the body. The most popular method by far is through injection. Despite its popularity, there are a few other administration methods that are still used. Below we discuss each separately.

1. Testosterone Via Injection
Also known as intramuscular or subcutaneous injection, testosterone administered in this way is directly injected into a muscle of the body. The frequency of the injection is dependent on the ester of the testosterone. In addition, other factors, like size, body weight, overall physiology, and even allergies can play a role in changing the sensitivity of the person to the drug. For injection, doses typically vary from 50-300mg for each injection.

2. Testosterone Via Transdermal Application
Transdermal testosterone most frequently uses either patches or a cream/gel to attach the hormone directly to the skin and have it absorbed. Transdermal testosterone can be used to lessen the mood swings and hot flashes that accompany the lowering of testosterone in the body in between injections. It is also a better method of application than injection when considering them solely on the merits of safety. The patch will have an alcohol gel and can cause irritation to your skin. The most common brands you can find in the United States include Androderm and Testoderm. In contrast, the gels and creams are based on safflower oil and due to acting faster ay need to be applied twice a day instead of once. Common brands of gels and creams in the United States include Androgel and Testim.

4. Testosterone Via Orally
A less common administration technique, the liver will completely absorb and render useless pure testosterone taken in pill form. Methylestosterone and undecanoate are two types of manufactured oral testosterone that can have adverse affects on the liver. With only a short period of time being effective in the body, you have to take testosterone 3 to 6 times a day.

5. Other Methods
Other methods of testosterone administration include sublingual and subcutaneous pellets.

XIV. Testosterone In A Cycle

Steroids are typically used in cycles to provide the body time to adapt to and recover from their use. As constant use would be preferable, there are very real risks of things like toxicity occuring that should be carefully monitored. Testosterone cycles help to limit the potential damage and maximize the body’s ability to recover.

So why do people include it in every cycle? Simply put, it is a steroid that is required for a lot of bodily functions. The safest steroid out there, it is capable of giving the body the extra boost it needs while increasing physical strength. Testosterone is the first and only steroid that should be taken by an athlete on their first ever cycle of steroids. This can help the body prepare for the steroids to come and reduce the negative impact of future drugs. It is considered poor form for your health to stack multiple steroids in the first cycle you ever have. By taking it slow, you can trace reactions and be healthier every step of the way.

A lack of testosterone supplement during a cycle can also be a bad move. Be aware that the majority of steroids out there will inhibit your body’s natural ability to produce testosterone while you are using them. Taking testosterone will help your body recover its testosterone levels during a steroid cycle. It also helps to reduce the stress on your body from dramatically shifting hormone levels.

XV. Testosterone: Incorporating Into A Cycle

As we’ve discussed above, testosterone has an amazing affect on the body when used responsibly. This is most notable among those who are using testosterone supplements for the very first time. In the first 3 months, individuals can gain around 30 to 50 pounds of muscle. With about 10 to 15 pounds being water weight, that weight will be lost once the testosterone supplement stops. Along with helping to gain muscle mass, people will also experience fat loss.

Prior to starting a cycle, you will have to assess what your goals will be during the cycle. Consider how testosterone is going to help you reach the goals you have planned. A general rule that you will want to remember (especially if you are new to this) is that fast acting steroids have the highest number of side effects. If you take too much too quickly, your body will respond negatively to the point where you will not be able to continue the cycle and risk serious, long-term harm to your body. Too much of a good thing will also break down into things you do not want, including things like estrogen and DHT. Carefully approach what the right dosage will be for you before starting.

What is a good standard dosage for a cycle with testosterone? On average, beginners typically do around 500mg per week. This rate should be continued by you for the first 10 weeks. Starting on the 11th week, you will want to reduce the dosage to 300mg for two weeks. Every two weeks after that, you will want to reduce the amount by 100mg a week. Those coming off of using testosterone will typically use other steroids to help make the crash less extreme. Arimidex and clomid are two popular choices for this purpose.

How can you improve the effects of testosterone in your cycle? Never underestimate the importance of diet and exercise. Consider a diet at around 2000 calories more than what you want. You will want to consume around 2 grams of protein for every pound of muscle mass. In addition, be sure that you get at least 8 hours of sleep every single night.

Another consideration is to use an anti-aromatase agent to reduce the amount of water weight you gain. If you do not do this, then you will have an additional 10% of weight coming from excess water.

XVI. Testosterone: Detection In Sports

The most common way to test testosterone in the body is through a urine test. In the test, various hormone levels will be tested and compared to see if doping has occurred. In addition, previous results from the athletes will be used to draw a conclusion as to whether or not drugs are being used. Testosterone can be detected through blood tests as well. The normal levels for men will be between 300 to 1000 ng/dL, while for women it will be between 15 ng/dL to 70 ng/dL. This information and more will be compiled together in a comprehensive investigation looking into testosterone use in sports. Typically, the bigger the competition, the better the anti-doping procedures will be.

XVII. Testosterone: Myths & Rumors

Since it’s original discovery, people have assumed things about testosterone that have proven to be false. In addition, those who do not use testosterone and only see it blown out of proportion in popular media assume that it does things that it does not. With that in mind, let’s take a moment to review and dispel a number of myths and rumors surrounding testosterone use.

1. It Is Illegal
This is not entirely right. If you use high levels of testosterone while participating in athletic competitions, then yes, it will be illegal. In addition, if you attempt to purchase testosterone without a prescription, then it is illegal as well. As long as you have a legally obtained testosterone and are not using it for competitive events it is not illegal.

2. It Is Dangerous To Your Health
People forget that steroids naturally occur in the body. The same is absolutely true for testosterone. As the primary sex hormone for men, it is a necessary drug that people need to be healthy. Only when it is used recklessly and against prescription instructions can it cause damage to the body. Compared to other performance enhancing drugs, testosterone is far safer.

3. It Will Lead To Violent Behavior
As testosterone masculinizes, it is also linked to aggressiveness. Note that there is a major difference between being more aggressive and exhibiting violent behavior. Just like with the danger that is posed to your health, taking too much testosterone can potentially lead to irritability and moodiness. However, the vast majority of the individuals taking it will never be more violent. In addition, the assumption that people will somehow be more likely to commit crimes or become psychopaths is completely unfounded by both research and historical example.

4. It Will Cause Prostate Cancer
Covered towards the beginning of this article, we reviewed how testosterone will not cause prostate cancer on its own. Rather, it can help to aggravate the symptoms if it is already there. This only happens when you dramatically reduce your testosterone levels and then dramatically increase them.

5. It Will Cause Me To Go Bald!
This assumption is more or less true. In fact, high levels of testosterone have been linked to a loss of hair. This happens because testosterone breaks down into dihydrotestosterone, which is directly responsible for causing hair loss. Several different testosterone derivatives, including Propecia, do not have this happen when used.

XVIII. Testosterone: Side Effects

Testosterone in hormone form when produced by the body is not harmful. However, some of the commercial drugs out there will be harmful and will contain side effects that you should be aware of. Below we list several different categories of side effects that any person taking a testosterone steroid should be aware of before beginning the process.

1. Minor Side Effects

There are a range of minor side effects that you may experience. For the most part, these will not require medical assistance. Some of the minor side effects include things like sudden blindness, blurry vision, sudden failure of speech, slurred speech, mouth or gum irritation, weakness in parts of the body, headaches, and seizures. Typically, you can eliminate these side effects by changing the dosage that you are taking. If that does not work, then consider changing the brand that you are using.

2. Major Side Effects

These side effects will require you seek medical assistance in order to ensure your health. One of the biggest problems will be cardiovascular in nature and can result in things like hypertension and congestive heart failure. Another point of concern is with renal issues like les calcium excretion. Hepatic issues can range from peliosis hepatitis as well as liver cancer and tumors. Even jaundice and cholestatic hepatitis can occur when you stop taking the drug. Metabolic, gastrointestinal, and urinary, dermatologic, musculoskeletal, nervous system, respiratory, hypersensitivity, and endocrine issues can also result if you abuse testosterone including everything from losing fertility (at the very least a reduction in sperm count) to gynecomastia.

Others Things You Should Be Aware Of

Another issue comes with age. Those athletes who are under age can suffer a range of issues including virilization. Genitalia may develop beyond what is considered normal for the age bone growth may be affected as well. Note that many of these changes will be permanent.

When you get these symptoms, you will want to take action. Typically, you will observe these things happening in your body. There are many different ways to reduce the symptoms you experience. If nothing else, seek the medical attention of a licensed practitioner who can guide you to recovery with their medical education.

XIX. Testosterone: Recovering From Side Effects

On its own, testosterone does very little damage directly. It is what the testosterone breaks down into that causes damage throughout the body. Hair loss is an example we already mentioned where the derivative of testosterone is harmful to hair growth. Typically, testosterone will go two different routes when it breaks down. The first thing that can occur is that it turns into dihydrotestosterone or DHT. The second thing that can happen is that it turns into estrogen. There will be a lot of side effects caused by this. Addressing the underlying issues of the symptoms can help to limit them. As an example, you can take Vitamin B5 and Vitamin A to help eliminate the effects of acme that may occur through the higher levels of cortisol that result from testosterone.

Other side effects will require special attention. For example, excessive estrogen in the body will cause everything from bloating, water retention gynecomastia, and even erectile dysfunction. There are many different vitamins and minerals that you can use as supplements to help reduce the estrogen levels in your system. Anti-aromatase agents like arimidex can serve as a great way to reduce estrogen in your system.

Another common side effect that bothers people is baldness. As we discussed before, baldness is caused by having more DHT in your system. The DHT will attach itself to hair follicles on your head and become inflamed. This decreases the oxygen content to the hair, causing the hair to die out and fall out. A common way to stop testosterone from doing this is to take drugs like finastride or Propecia to restore what the hair needs. There are also a number of different shampoos that do the same thing, helping to block DHT getting to and effecting the scalp.

Individuals who use testosterone for an extended period of time will experience some changes that are even harder to reverse. A common issue among those who do long term use is testicular shrinkage. Surprisingly enough, there are ways to even reduce the effects and reverse them. HCG, also known as human chorionic gonadotropin hormone is what is typically administered. A medication with HCG in it is Clomid. It tends to act like LH in the way that it stimulates the body in producing more testosterone. With no observable side effects, you can reverse the damage thanks to HCG and get your life back on track.

Cholesterol levels are another major side effect of using testosterone for an extended period of time. Being aware of increased cholesterol is the very best way to ensure that you do not end up in this situation. While taking testosterone, be sure to avoid cholesterol heavy foods and focus on a diet that instead relies on healthier alternatives. Have your blood work done often to see if there is any increased risk of a heart attack. As the effects can be highly variable depending on the person, knowing for sure with a blood test is the best way to maintain your health both now and in the long-term.

XX. Testosterone: A Summary

The primary sex hormone of men, testosterone is in all of us in varying quantities. With centuries of research and a golden age that brought us version of testosterone based steroids that can aid in physical performance, testosterone has remained a constant presence in the world of athletes as well as those who enjoy activities like bodybuilding. While there are many side effects that can be caused by taking testosterone supplements, you risk the majority of the side effects only when you take too much and overdose on testosterone for an extended period of time. Still, if you decide to work testosterone into a cycle for your bulking, then carefully consider dosage and where your body currently is. Providing no benefit for those who do not put in the time to train, testosterone is what you make of it.

Dan Chaiet Author
Biomedical Science
Biomedical Science Graduate. After completing the educational and research requirements for a PhD in Biomedical Science, Dan is currently studying at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and has less than a year before joining the Medical Board becoming an MD and qualified Doctor. Dan’s educational emphasis is on performance enhancement drugs (PEDs), endocrinology, nutritional supplements and strategies for health, fat reduction, anti-ageing, muscle growth, disease control and vaccinations. Dan has had an interest in learning and writing about steroid use for over 15 years.