Androgens: what are they and what are they for?
You probably didn't know anything about this! Today, it is clear that everyone knows what testosterone is and what its main functions are in the body (especially in men). However, I am convinced that not many people know where it comes from... If you don't know what androgens are... Stay! Because I'm going to explain everything about them.
Androgens are the male steroid hormones (since they arise from cholesterol like estrogens) that include testosterone , androsterone and androstenedione and whose main function is to develop masculine sexual characteristics . However, all people produce and need certain levels of these hormones for the proper functioning of our body (both men and women ).
Thanks to hormones like this, communication between the cells of our body is easier, since some of them have androgen receptors . Therefore, it would be wrong to say that these are only essential for sexual function ... Rather, they are more important than you think! Among the most common functions , androgens are responsible for metabolism , insulin sensitivity or composition, the distribution of body fat and muscle tissue, bone density , and cardiovascular health . In addition, and although there are still no studies that verify it 100%, it is believed that androgens also have an impact on brain function and mood states ; as well as with the libido .
In addition, this type of hormones , as I have told you before, can be divided into several types , although the main one (and the best known) is testosterone:
- Testosterone: it is the sexual steroid hormone characteristic of male mammals, birds and reptiles , thanks to its natural production in the body thanks to the testicles (in the case of women thanks to the ovaries -in much lower amounts-).
- Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): This type of biological metabolic androgen comes from testosterone and is synthesized through the prostate , testicles , and hair follicles . It is the one that has the greatest effect against androgen receptors.
- Androsterone: This sex hormone is derived from testosterone , which is produced naturally in the body by the adrenal glands . They are essential especially in the puberty stage of men , since they favor the development of masculine characters .
- Androstenedione: This male sex steroid hormone is produced in our body by the adrenal cortex and gonads .
Now you know where testosterone (and all other types of androgens ) come from. But... What would happen if we had an imbalance of androgen levels in our body ? Read on to find out more about them!