Produced primarily by the testicles, testosterone is the hormone responsible for developing male sexual traits and maintaining muscle mass, bone density and red blood cell levels. Testosterone levels peak in adolescence and early adulthood then begin to decline with age, typically at a rate of 1 to 2 percent per year after age 30. Testosterone levels influence physical, emotional and sexual well being, with higher testosterone generally having a favorable effect on attitude and performance. Though increasing testosterone can have benefits, changes to testosterone levels can affect hormonal production elsewhere in the endocrine system, so consult a doctor prior to attempting to raise your testosterone.
Increased testosterone can have an impact on body composition 4. Possible benefits include gains in lean muscle mass, reduced body fat and increased bone density. Testosterone inhibits uptake of triglycerides and increases lipid mobilization from adipose tissue, and the increase or decrease of testosterone will usually have an inverse effect on fat stores, with higher testosterone generally causing a decrease in body fat. "The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism" published a study in 2007 that showed decreases in body fat and increases in lean mass in HIV-positive obese men given testosterone therapy 25. In 1989, a study of the effects of testosterone on muscle mass at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry suggests that increasing testosterone increases protein synthesis in muscles. Body composition changes from increased testosterone were also demonstrated in a 1999 study at the School of Exercise Science and Sports Management, Southern Cross University in Australia performed on male weight-training subjects, which showed increases in arm girth and body weight and decreased body fat following a 12-week cycle of testosterone enanthate.
The Effects of Testosterone Boosters for Teens
Testosterone replacement therapy can successfully treat erectile dysfunction and loss of libido in men with low testosterone from either advancing age or hypogonadism. Although the effects of increased testosterone are more dramatic in hypogonadal men there are also benefits to the libido of men with normal gonadal, also called eugonadal, function. In a 2004 study published in the "Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism," researchers found that increasing peak testosterone levels to between 400 and 500 percent above baseline in subjects resulted in a significant increase in sexual arousability over placebo subjects 5.
Low testosterone levels have a dramatic effect on emotional state. The American Academy of Family Physicians lists depression, impaired cognition and increased fatigue as symptoms of low testosterone production, or hypogonadism 1. Testosterone replacement therapy for hypogonadal men has successfully reduced negative moods relating to fatigue and depression while increasing feelings of self-esteem. Increasing testosterone in eugonadal men has also shown positive emotional benefits such as increased feelings of self-esteem and reduction of fatigue. The intensity of these benefits is dependent on dosage; a wide body of literature on testosterone increase has shown that at higher dosage aggression, and aggressive response, can become pronounced.
- Low testosterone levels have a dramatic effect on emotional state.
- Increasing testosterone in eugonadal men has also shown positive emotional benefits such as increased feelings of self-esteem and reduction of fatigue.
The Effects of Testosterone Boosters for Teens
The Effects of Testosterone Boosters on the Body
Bipolar and Testosterone
Does Weight Lifting Increase Testosterone Levels in Men?
Carbohydrates & Testosterone
Excessive Body Building & Low Testosterone Levels
Bicycling & Increased Testosterone Levels
Side Effects of Men Taking Female Birth Control Pills
DHEA or Pregnenolone to Increase Testosterone
Colostrum & Weight Loss
- American Academy of Family Physicians: Testosterone Treatments: Why, When, and How?
- The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism: Effects of Testosterone Supplementation on Whole Body and Regional Fat Mass and Distribution in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Men with Abdominal Obesity
- "Journal of Applied Physiology;" Effect of Testosterone on Muscle Mass and Muscle Protein Synthesis; (3) Griggs RC, Kingston W, Jozefowicz RF, Herr BE, Forbes G, Halliday D; January 1989
- "Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport;" Muscular Strength, Body Composition and Health Responses to the Use of Testosterone Enanthate: A Double Blind Study; Giorgi A, Weatherby RP, Murphy PW; December 1999
- The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism: Effects of Testosterone on Mood, Aggression, and Sexual Behavior in Young Men
- Stanworth RD, Jones TH. Testosterone for the aging male; current evidence and recommended practice. Clin Interv Aging. 2008;3(1):25–44. doi:10.2147/cia.s190
- McBride JA, Carson CC 3rd, Coward RM. Testosterone deficiency in the aging male. Ther Adv Urol. 2016;8(1):47–60. doi:10.1177/1756287215612961
- Kumar P, Kumar N, Thakur DS, Patidar A. Male hypogonadism: Symptoms and treatment. J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2010;1(3):297–301. doi:10.4103/0110-5558.72420
- Johnson JM, Nachtigall LB, Stern TA. The effect of testosterone levels on mood in men: a review. Psychosomatics. 2013;54(6):509-14.
- Rajfer J. Relationship between testosterone and erectile dysfunction. Rev Urol. 2000;2(2):122–128.
- Barrett-Connor E, Dam TT, Stone K, et al. The association of testosterone levels with overall sleep quality, sleep architecture, and sleep-disordered breathing. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93(7):2602–2609. doi:10.1210/jc.2007-2622
- Beauchet O. Testosterone and cognitive function: current clinical evidence of a relationship. Eur J Endocrinol. 2006;155(6):773-81.
- Golds G, Houdek D, Arnason T. Male Hypogonadism and Osteoporosis: The Effects, Clinical Consequences, and Treatment of Testosterone Deficiency in Bone Health. Int J Endocrinol. 2017;2017:4602129. doi:10.1155/2017/4602129
- Grossmann M, Thomas MC, Panagiotopoulos S, et al. Low testosterone levels are common and associated with insulin resistance in men with diabetes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93(5):1834-40.
- Cai Z, Xi H, Pan Y, et al. Effect of testosterone deficiency on cholesterol metabolism in pigs fed a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet. Lipids Health Dis. 2015;14:18. Published 2015 Mar 7. doi:10.1186/s12944-015-0014-5
- Ferrucci L, Maggio M, Bandinelli S, et al. Low testosterone levels and the risk of anemia in older men and women. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(13):1380–1388. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.13.1380
- Nassar GN, Leslie SW. Physiology, Testosterone. [Updated 2018 Oct 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-.
- Rivas AM, Mulkey Z, Lado-Abeal J, Yarbrough S. Diagnosing and managing low serum testosterone. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2014;27(4):321–324. doi:10.1080/08998280.2014.11929145
- Kanakis GA, Nieschlag E. Klinefelter syndrome: more than hypogonadism. Metab Clin Exp. 2018;86:135-144.
- Sizar O, Schwartz J. Hypogonadism. [Updated 2019 Jun 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-.
- Nahata L, Yu RN, Bhasin S, Cohen LE. Management of testosterone therapy in adolescents and young men with hypogonadism: are we following adult clinical practice guidelines?. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2015;28(5-6):635-40.
- McBride JA, Carson CC, Coward RM. Diagnosis and management of testosterone deficiency. Asian J Androl. 2015;17(2):177–186. doi:10.4103/1008-682X.143317
- Crawford ED, Poage W, Nyhuis A, et al. Measurement of testosterone: how important is a morning blood draw?. Curr Med Res Opin. 2015;31(10):1911-4.
- Wersinger SR, Haisenleder DJ, Lubahn DB, Rissman EF. Steroid feedback on gonadotropin release and pituitary gonadotropin subunit mRNA in mice lacking a functional estrogen receptor alpha. Endocrine. 1999;11(2):137-43.
- Rhoden EL, Estrada C, Levine L, Morgentaler A. The value of pituitary magnetic resonance imaging in men with hypogonadism. J Urol. 2003;170(3):795-8.
- Snyder PJ, Kopperdahl DL, Stephens-Shields AJ, et al. Effect of Testosterone Treatment on Volumetric Bone Density and Strength in Older Men With Low Testosterone: A Controlled Clinical Trial [published correction appears in JAMA Intern Med. 2017 Apr 1;177(4):600] [published correction appears in JAMA Intern Med. 2019 Mar 1;179(3):457]. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(4):471–479. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.9539
- Huo S, Scialli AR, McGarvey S, et al. Treatment of Men for "Low Testosterone": A Systematic Review. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0162480. Published 2016 Sep 21. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0162480
- Armamento-Villareal R, Aguirre LE, Qualls C, Villareal DT. Effect of Lifestyle Intervention on the Hormonal Profile of Frail, Obese Older Men. J Nutr Health Aging. 2016;20(3):334–340. doi:10.1007/s12603-016-0698-x
- American Urological Association. Evaluation and management of testosterone deficiency.
- Grech A, Breck J, Heidelbaugh J. Adverse effects of testosterone replacement therapy: an update on the evidence and controversy. Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2014;5(5):190–200. doi:10.1177/2042098614548680
- American Urological Association, Evaluation and Management of Testosterone Deficiency.
- Fillo J, Breza J Jr, Ondrusova M, Luha J, Ondrus D, Dubravicky J, et al. Results of long term testosterone replacement therapy in men with abdominal obesity, erectile dysfunction and testosterone deficiency. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2018;119(9):577-580. doi:10.4149/BLL_2018_061
- Tremellen K, McPhee N, Pearce K, Benson S, Schedlowski M, Engler H. Endotoxin-initiated inflammation reduces testosterone production in men of reproductive age. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Mar 1;314(3):E206-E213. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00279.2017. Epub 2017 Nov 28.
Colin Cash has been writing social commentary and fitness-related articles for websites and blogs since 2009. He is the CIO of a small government agency and a dedicated weightlifter with extensive study of nutrition, supplementation and training protocols. Cash attended California State University in San Bernardino and has an Associate of Science in administration of justice.