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What is a Testosterone Supplement?

Article Details
  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 08 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Testosterone is known as a male sex hormone, but it is found naturally in both the male and female body. Of course, males tend to have much more than females do, but the unfortunate detail is that it exists in varying amounts in different individuals. It appears that increased age and excess fat can both diminish quantities of this hormone. A testosterone supplement, which is a type of anabolic steroid, is available to increase the levels. Typically, the main consumers of this product include athletes and men attempting to raise their levels of testosterone, along with the benefits that come with it.

Natural testosterone is developed in both the testes and ovaries, and tends to increase around puberty. Unfortunately, it appears to be converted into estrogen as men age, especially after the 40th birthday. Supplements of this hormone can be obtained either through a prescription or over the counter, and are usually available in the form of pills, gel, cream, and a patch.

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The consequences of low levels of testosterone are many. They include sexual dysfunction, increased risk of diabetes, and loss of mass in both the bones and muscles. Though some athletes might decide to take a testosterone supplement in order to dodge the latter effect of low levels, many males who are not athletic also opt to take pills. In fact, some women are prescribed lower levels of this hormone in order to obtain the same benefits that men seek, especially if they have had their ovaries removed.

Though there are many benefits to adding a testosterone supplement to the daily routine, there are some drawbacks, as well. Changing the quantity of hormones in the body can often increase the risk of prostate cancer. Additionally, acne, hair loss, a deeper voice, and increased aggression are all possible side effects from testosterone supplements. While these risks are unwanted by many men, they can be especially traumatizing to women who decide to take a testosterone supplement.

Due to the risks involved, many doctors prescribe the lowest dose of supplements possible to their patients. If the initial dosage does not solve the issue, it might be eventually increased, but the risk of experiencing side effects is also often increased in such cases. Of course, some patients do not consult a doctor at all. They may instead get the testosterone supplement illegally from the black market, or purchase creams and gels of unknown effectiveness from drugstores or the Internet.

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