Hormones Don't Just Make You Horny - The Mystery Chemical

By Natalie Collier, MScN, HC - May 10, 2019

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Testosterone and estrogen.

We hear a lot about these two hormones. Often, we associate these hormones with sex. While that's not wrong, there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than just spurring us on towards procreation.

Sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen are important for more than just increasing libido. Testosterone specifically is often thought of as a "men-only" hormone that helps to rev up the male libido. But, testosterone is a complex sex hormone with many important roles in the human body for both men and women.

In men, testosterone is produced in the testicles and the adrenal glands. In women, testosterone is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. As we age, it's important that the adrenal glands have been well-cared for to help support the production of testosterone later in life. By maintaining healthy levels of testosterone, we also ensure the presence of lean muscle mass which is critical for an aging body.

In women and men, testosterone has many functions including:

  • Regulate sex drive
  • Support bone mass
  • Increase muscle mass
  • Support production of red blood cells
  • Encourage overall sense of well-being
  • Increase sperm production (in men only)

Symptoms of low testosterone might include:

  • Fatigue
  • Low motivation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Low sex drive
  • Bone loss
  • Thinning skin

What can cause testosterone to decline?

  • Natural aging
  • Metabolic factors (unhealthy BMI, increased waist circumference)
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Smoking
  • Chronic diseases
  • Comorbidities (hypertension, metabolic syndrome)

How do we support the body in making healthy levels of these hormones? Start by learning more about how it is produced in the body.

So, how is testosterone made?

1. CHOLESTEROL

Yes, cholesterol. This lipid is the precursor to making sex hormones such as testosterone. In the case of testosterone, cholesterol gets converted into pregnenolone, then to DHEA, then to androstenedione, and finally into testosterone.

Remember how we said men and women need testosterone? Well, in order to achieve optimal hormone balance in both men and women we need healthy levels of cholesterol. To help support your body in making healthy cholesterol include healthy fats in the diet such as coconut, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, fatty fish, walnuts, and occasional dark chocolate.

Also, important cofactors like B-5 will help support the production of testosterone from dietary cholesterol that you ingest. This is one reason we offer custom vitamin packs to our clients - to ensure you are receiving the correct supplements you need delivered to your door.

A note about statins: Statins are a prescription medication often prescribed to address hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) and/or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Statins inhibit the enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase which reduces cholesterol. In several studies, statins have also been shown to decrease testosterone.

2. DHEA

The hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (known as DHEA) is produced in the adrenal glands. This hormone is also a precursor to the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. Tests for DHEA can help to evaluate adrenal function. A salivary DHEA sample can be measured using the My Stress Test which evaluates a combination of Cortisol and DHEA which can help to screen both adrenal hormones. We can then help you to create your own vitamin pack to get exactly what you need.

Treatment for Low T in both Men and Women:

Treatment for low testosterone depends on the individual and may vary by the individual's age, testosterone levels, and root cause of low testosterone. Exercise is an important lifestyle habit that helps to support hormone production including testosterone as well.

Research shows that high-intensity interval training and weight training can help support testosterone. Long endurance exercise can have the opposite effect and may decrease testosterone. In some cases, you can support hormone health by correcting nutritional deficiencies and utilizing clinically researched herbs to support sexual health and energy, healthy cortisol and dopamine.

Low-t can be treated by a qualified healthcare professional utilizing hormone replacement therapy (pellets, transdermal or injections). Additional testing may also be helpful. Consider testing:

Whether you are curious or not, you always have the chance to speak with a Wellnicity Clinician about your diet, lifestyle and nutritional supplements.

More about Vitamins:

Wellnicity's Clinical Team can help to customize a nutritional supplement/vitamin pack to support vitality and energy. We do this by utilizing key vitamins, minerals and botanicals to support reproductive health in both men and women. Sex hormones do more than just affect your libido, and it's time we start understanding what.