Testosterone is one of those words with plenty of misconceptions. Just by hearing the word “testosterone,” one can easily picture hostile guys screaming at the top of their lungs or perhaps a bunch of football players bulldozing their way to the opposite team’s end line. In those two images alone, one can quickly identify two of the more enduring myths. The first one is that testosterone is popularly known as THE male hormone, which boosts a man’s image as it downgrades a woman’s. The second one is the strong association between testosterone and aggressiveness.
In reality, testosterone in the right levels can immensely boost the overall health and wellbeing of both men and women. Let’s explore together why this seemingly controversial hormone can be more of a “yay” instead of a “nay,” regardless of sex, and find out how biohacking testosterone can be possible.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is one of the three sex hormones, along with estrogen and progesterone. It is also known as the steroid hormone. We know hormones to be chemical messengers that travel all over the body to give cells detailed instructions to specific actions. These actions vary between males and females.
Because men and women have the same hormones, the latter also has testosterone. The main difference is how much men and women have of each hormone, including testosterone.
For males, it’s primarily thought to be responsible for developing and regulating male characteristics. Testosterone, therefore, plays a crucial role in reproductive and sexual development, in addition to its other tasks.
For women, testosterone primarily drives sexual desire, which is critical in meeting their sexual needs and that of their partners. Because women are differently wired, sexual health has a substantial impact on their emotional and physical wellbeing. Although it is one of the most abundant hormones in a female’s body, women only produce 5% to 10% testosterone compared to men.
What happens if testosterone is deficient?
While testosterone is primarily a sex hormone, it also regulates other processes as well. As a result, low testosterone levels can impair the body’s capability to perform certain functions.
For instance, men and women who lack testosterone may experience diminished sex drive and energy, even hair loss. Also, muscle tone and bone mass may decrease while body fat may increase.
Specific to men, testosterone deficiency can lead to erectile dysfunction, smaller testicles, lower production of semen, lack of focus, sleeping problems, mood swings, irritability, and even depression.
On the other hand, women who lack testosterone may go through hot flashes, irregular menstrual cycles, and vaginal dryness. In addition, because testosterone aids in the production of red blood cells, the lack of testosterone can result in anemia.
Although this condition can happen at any age, over time, both men and women tend to produce less and less of the sex hormone. In men, the natural decline starts after the age of 30. About 40% of men aged 45 and older have lower testosterone levels. For women, there is lower hormone production after menopause, which typically happens between the ages of 45 and 55.
If you have one or more persistent symptoms, it would be best to see your doctor. They can administer tests to confirm if your testosterone levels are below normal.
Red light therapy for testosterone
Human-produced testosterone hormones or anabolic steroids are applied or given through skin patches, gels, creams, oral therapy, pellets, or injections to address low-testosterone conditions. However, the doses may be more than doctors typically prescribe, creating health risks. Perhaps, biohacking testosterone may be a safer and more natural way to help improve testosterone levels.
Biohacking is a growing movement that taps the power of science, research, and intuitive practices to hack one’s physical makeup and leverage the natural healing processes of the body and mind. A biohacking innovation called red light therapy may be just the solution to help address testosterone deficiency.
Red light therapy, also called low-level laser therapy (LLLT), makes use of safe, low levels of red or near-infrared light. The wavelengths of light are similar to sunlight but without the heat or UV rays. A device or machine beams the light onto the areas of the body that require treatment, penetrating beyond the skin into the tissues and muscles to spur deep cellular healing and regeneration. Red light therapy is a popular treatment for skin disorders, muscle aches and pains, and hair loss, in addition to many other health and beauty problems. It can also ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. But, if it works to relieve these conditions, can red light therapy boost testosterone as well?
Researchers studying animals found that red light therapy on the testicles could raise serum testosterone levels. Another study revealed that LLLT significantly increased the stem cells of the testis and elevated the production of testosterone. It then concluded that the treatment, previously thought of as mere additional support to drug treatments for male infertility, should be used as often as possible, even at the earlier stages of therapy. Further findings showed that 30 minutes a day of red light therapy dramatically increased serum testosterone by Day 4 of the treatment without any harmful tissue penetration. So, can red light therapy increase testosterone? A resounding yes!
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