We covered the physical components of the male reproductive system in the last post and despite being highly complex and mechanically a miracle of nature… Like a flash car they are useless without the right fuel.
In this case it would be the Male hormone – testosterone
Testosterone is the most important of the male sex hormones, called androgens.
It is responsible for the development of the male sexual and reproductive organs – which I have already covered in the first post on the male reproductive system. You can find all the Top to Toe posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-health-2017-top-to-toe/
Testosterone also stimulates the development of the secondary male sex characteristics, such as an increase in muscle mass, increased body and facial hair, enlargement of the larynx and the vocal-chord-thickening, which leads to a deepening of the voice.
There are likely to be some changes in behaviour around this time too. In some cases there will be an increase in aggressive behaviour but there is certainly much more sexual awareness as the effects of the testosterone kick in.
Although testosterone is produced in the testes its production is regulated by a complex chain of messages that begins in the hypothalamus in the brain.
The hypothalamus secretes Gonadotropine-releasing hormone (GnRH) to the pituitary gland in carefully timed bursts. This triggers the release of luteinising hormone (LH) which in turn stimulates the Leydig cells of the testes to produce testosterone.
At puberty the production of testosterone increases very rapidly and declines equally rapidly after the age of 50. This change in testosterone levels is one of the reasons that it is quite likely that men will suffer some form of menopause and need to ensure that their diet reflects the reduction in this bone and muscle-protecting hormone. It is also possible that, as in women, the sexual hormones also help protect the body against a number of other diseases such as heart disease and cancers.
The testes produce between 4-7 mg of testosterone per day but – like the two female hormones oestrogen and progesterone – this decreases naturally with age. There are rare cases where young boys fail to develop at puberty, causing problems with bone and muscle development and underdeveloped sexual organs. The likely cause is damage to the hypothalamus, pituitary gland or the testes themselves.
How is testosterone produced?
Believe it or not one of the essential components needed to produce all hormones including testosterone is…. The demon cholesterol.
Cholesterol is known as a sterol and is naturally occurring in the human body and like any other substance that is present without human intervention… It has a purpose.
Without it there are certain vital functions in the body that would not happen. There would be no steroidal hormones such as testosterone or Vitamin D (that considers itself a hormone) and is so vital to our immune system and for regulating minerals such as calcium for bone density. Also cortisol the stress hormone that is needed to boost strength and energy in times of crisis.
Essential message network
Cholesterol is part of the communication network within the body and is responsible for relaying messages between cells. Whilst cells within an organ such as the brain will work together to perform a function, there are thousands of interactions a day between the brain and other organs in the body. Without that message being sent effectively to elements of the male reproductive system, those flash and miraculous organs would not function at all. This messaging service applies to all interactions between cells and organs of the body.
Cholesterol is also very important in later life to prevent cataracts and also in reducing the risk of dementia.
For those who read my health posts regularly, you will know that I am totally against the suggestion that all men and women over 50 should be prescribed statins to lower cholesterol levels which are already declining naturally.
Before I go onto to talk more about statins… I must stress that if you are taking this as a prescribed medication you should not suddenly stop taking without a consultation with your doctor. I do however urge you to research yourself and discuss other options.
A change in diet and lifestyle is just as effective at tackling an imbalance in cholesterol and it is my opinion that statins should only be prescribed when absolutely necessary, not as a preventative. The potential side effects of long term use of statins is only now becoming evident including loss of sex drive, reduced bone density, Vitamin D deficiency and therefore reduced immune system function and possibly higher risks of cancer, muscle wastage, liver damage and dementia. There is a great deal of information on the web and here is just one viewpoint. I encourage you to explore various sources.
A bit more about cholesterol
It is important that cholesterol in your body is balanced correctly. The problems arise when one of the components. LDL cholesterol is damaged by being oxidised.
This is where we come in. Every substance in our bodies is produced through the processing of the food that we ingest. If that does not encourage you to think twice about what you are eating then nothing else will.
I admit that I do use the term lousy cholesterol for low density lipoprotein– because this is the one that can get contaminated and cause health problems. Although when talking about cholesterol we refer to high density lipoprotein and very low density lipoproteins (not usually in substantial amounts) as well, they are all the same molecularly but have different packaging to be transported in the blood stream.
HDL and LDL sub divide into different types of lipoproteins and at the moment more is still to be discovered about this. The LDL is associated with the plaque that forms in the arteries leading to blockages – the smaller the size of the LDL particles the more you are likely to develop coronary disease than if the particles are larger and less dense. There is a theory that if the walls of the arteries are damaged in any way, the smaller and denser particles of the LDL can push their way through that break in the tissue and start clumping together to form the plaque whilst the larger HDL particles would not gain purchase.
In essence then, whilst the LDL cholesterol does have a role in the body there are strong indications that if there is already weakness in the artery it will attract the smaller particles that will then clump forming the harmful plaque leading to coronary disease. There is another problem with LDL cholesterol which is oxidation – this is where the particles react with free radicals, produced through a number of activities including smoking and eating a diet high in white fat as found in processed foods, crisps, pastries and cookies.
Thank you for stopping by and please leave your views in the comments and click a few share buttons.. many thanks Sally
Next time early detection of prostate problems can save your life.
All the Top to Toe posts can be found her : https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-health-2017-top-to-toe/
©sallygeorginacronin – Forget the Viagra, Pass me a Carrot. 2013
Thank you for dropping by and please feel free to share.. thanks Sally