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Testosterone Synthesis


Testosterone synthesis is a complex biological process, which involves many different anatomical structures and precursor hormones to occur. Problems with the functioning of these hormonal processes can cause fluctuations in T levels that can trigger an array of unpleasant side effects. Many men find success with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for the treatment of low T symptoms.

How Testosterone Works

Testosterone is the source of many bodily changes during our lifetime, in males its responsible for the onset of puberty, sperm production, and hair growth. Male sex hormones and their metabolites bind to androgen (AR) receptors, where they trigger the genetic transcription of the DNA. The “instructions” within the DNA cause changes to the body depending on the individual and their hormone levels.

Androgen receptors are located all over the body, including in your hair follicles and muscle cells. Hormone metabolites such as dihydrotestosterone and estradiol also work in this complex hormonal symphony. But they can also block the action of testosterone if they replace T molecules within AR receptors since they tend to bind more easily.

How Testosterone is Synthesized

male sex hormone formula

To understand testosterone’s biological action, we first must understand how our body synthesizes androgens. The hypothalamus emits gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which acts on the pituitary gland causing the secretion two hormones: luteinizing hormone (LH)  and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)–two of the key hormones in sperm production.

Inside the testis, Leydig cells surrounding the seminiferous tubules, are targeted by LH molecules to trigger the production of Pregnenolone. Pregnenolone is produced by the adrenal gland and is a precursor to both male and female sex hormones, as well as steroidal hormones.

Pregnenolone is then transformed into dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) by enzymes of the hydroxylase. Due to the catalyst actions of 3β-HSD and 17β-HSD in the Leydig cells, DHEA converts to testosterone; from there testosterone can be converted into DHT or estradiol via enzymatic activity in specific tissues.

Testosterone Synthesis and Aging

A slight decrease in T levels is to be expected as men age, but some research suggests that it’s not unusual for levels to fall 1-2% each year after age thirty. There is evidence that this decrease in levels isn’t entirely age-dependent, with one study finding that the average T levels of the male population have declined in the last 30 years.

The Journal of the International Society for the Study of the Aging Male defines hypogonadism as, “a condition in which the endogenous secretion of testosterone is either insufficient or inadequate to maintain serum testosterone levels within (the) normal range.” This condition can have a variety of implications depending on their sensitivity to hormone fluctuations. Some men with low T production only notice a minor decrease in stamina, whereas others with similar levels experience more severe side effects like osteoporosis and anemia.

Age-related hypogonadism was once thought to be a disorder only caused by testicular dysfunction, but newer studies are finding that problems with the hypothalamus and pituitary glands can also be a culprit. Primary hypogonadism is categorized by damaged Leydig cells in the testes, causing a condition called testicular failure.

Secondary hypogonadism, on the other hand, is caused by a malfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis; one of the main causes of this is the decrease in secretions of GnRH and LH that accompanies aging.

Additionally, older men seem to be more sensitive to hormonal changes than younger men, though scientists still aren’t sure why that is. Older hypogonadal males also seem to experience more frequent and more severe side effects, as well.

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What Happens When Testosterone Synthesis is Disrupted?

While aging is often a factor, it isn’t the only cause of testosterone synthesis disturbances. External factors such as exposure to certain chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers can also cause disturbances in T synthesis; these chemicals are sometimes referred to as endocrine disruptors, due to their ability to bind to receptors and disrupt hormone synthesis.

Ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory medication that can be bought over-the-counter at any pharmacy or supermarket, has been shown to decrease testosterone synthesis, inhibit the actions of Leydig cells, and negatively impact enzymatic activity. The decrease in testosterone caused by ibuprofen usually goes unnoticed since the body offsets the deficit by ramping up the production of luteinizing hormone and thus maintaining homeostasis.

In the case of secondary hypogonadism, the decrease of GnRH and LH are a direct cause of low T, since these two hormones play such a vital role in its synthesis.

How Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Can Help

Since TRT bypasses your body’s production mechanisms, its proven to be an effective treatment for primary and secondary hypogonadism. Supplemental doses of TRT can decrease, and in some cases, even reverse side effects of low T.

A study on bedridden elderly men found that TRT substantially increased “vigor and ambulation.” The 2015 European Association of Urology guidelines recognizes TRT as an effective treatment for the symptoms of low T and states that it can positively impact BMI and sexual functioning.

Results vary, but some TRT patients report an improvement of symptoms in as little as a month. Hormone therapy is a medical procedure, so it should only be taken under a doctor’s supervision.

About Renew Vitality

Renew Vitality is changing the way people think about hormone therapy. Our physicians believe that treating low T requires a multi-faceted approach that involves changing lifestyle factors in addition to medications.

Our providers have decades of experience working in the endocrinological medicine and stay up to date with the newest advancements in hormonal health. Besides testosterone therapy, we also provide lesser-known treatments such as sermorelin therapy to treat adult-onset growth hormone deficiency.

If you’ve noticed changes in your body and think that decreased T production may be to blame, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at our men`s health clinics. Our physicians will perform an exam and review your bloodwork to determine if low T is contributing to your symptoms. Once a diagnosis is made, we’ll work with you to find the right hormone therapy and wellness plan to help you reclaim your vitality.

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Richard Lockhart
Richard Lockhart
02/04/2024

I really appreciate the knowledge and expertise of my Patient Coordinator Lyle Frank, with his assistance I was able to see a Doctor who specialized in Men’s Health and develop a program tailored to help me overcome both mental(I was struggling with productivity, and work related drive) and physical hurdles(soreness, fatigue, recovery) I was dealing with not only in the gym but in my day to day(work, family, etc.) because of Men’s Vitality I am having an amazing social life, family life, gym life. and the best sleep I’ve had in years. While all of us are different I can attest this experience has been life changing for me, Thanks Lyle, and Renew Vitality.

Daniel Martinez
Daniel Martinez
03/12/2024

First of all, let me say this journey was not easy. It was not immediate. But, without Renew Vitality and Dr. Jacquemin, it would have been impossible. Before TRT and Renew Vitality’s Testosterone Clinic, I was a sad, depressed person. I hated myself for weighing over 400 pounds. I was a lousy husband—an inadequate father. And I had no clue how I let it get out of control. Once I created this unhealthy spiral, I could not find my way out. I had tried everything to the point where I relegated myself to “I will always be fat” and “I am going to die early.” I just assumed that would be my fate. You have to understand that I have tried everything outside of surgery.

Eric Ouelette
Eric Ouelette
12/09/2023

Renew Vitality Testosterone Replacement Clinic has truly been a game changer for me! Before discovering this clinic, l was feeling perpetually fatigued, lacking the vibrant energy that once characterized my life. It was a grey existence, one that seemed to be coated in a persistent fog. Then, I discovered the Renew Vitality Clinic. Their incredibly professional, passionate, and knowledgeable team (Lyle Frank, especially) carefully led me through the process of testosterone replacement therapy. It was a revelation! Their tireless efforts paid off, and I felt my energy levels soar, my motivation returning in an exhilarating rush. My life has palpably shifted for the better since undergoing treatment at Renew Vitality.

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