Benefits of Testosterone: Muscle Growth
Testosterone has long been associated with bulging muscles and bodybuilders, but that is not the purpose of this hormone. Yes, it does play a role in muscle growth, but not to the extent that is often conjoined with athletic competition. It is the man or woman next door already dealing with Low T who will often see the best form of muscle growth with testosterone therapy.
There are significant benefits of testosterone for muscle mass, particularly for aging men and menopausal women who will often see an increase in lean muscle mass at the same time as they experience a decrease in body fat mass with testosterone therapy.
These are two areas where a decline in testosterone production, often termed as Low T, is most seen. The muscle loss and reduction of physical strength noted during these times associated with the natural aging process have been linked to a decrease in the secretion of testosterone from the testes or ovaries.
A July 2013 study published online at the JCEM – The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism – website reported that the use of testosterone replacement in hypogonadal men was successful in enhancing skeletal muscle mass through the stimulation of the muscle protein synthesis rate.
Link Between Testosterone and Muscle Growth
A 2004 University of New Mexico article titled “How do muscles grow?” explains a correlation between particular hormones such as growth hormone and testosterone and muscle growth. Testosterone can affect muscle hypertrophy. It stimulates growth hormone responses in the pituitary gland that will go on to enhance protein synthesis and cellular amino acid uptake in skeletal muscle.
Skeletal muscle is made up of sarcomeres and thread-like myofibrils that together form a muscle fiber. Testosterone interacts with nuclear receptors on the DNA that results in protein synthesis as well as increases the presence of neurotransmitters at the muscle fiber site. It may also play a role in the regulatory effect on satellite cells. Growth hormone, in part, triggers the metabolism of fat for the energy that is used during the muscle growth process.
Growth hormone is the main stimulator of Insulin Growth Factor 1 being released by the liver. Together, IGF-1 and testosterone play the biggest role in promoting muscular growth. Testosterone stimulates GH responses through a process of increasing the presence of neurotransmitters at the site of damaged muscle fibers, which can, in turn, help to activate the growth of tissue. Testosterone also makes muscle cell receptors more sensitive to the effects of free testosterone.
IGF-1 assists the process through its effects on glucose and amino acid uptake, and by activating satellite cells to increase muscle growth.
Positive Influence of Testosterone for Muscle Growth
A report from November 1995 published by the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism explains that aging men experience a significant loss of muscle strength in conjunction with a decline in their serum testosterone concentrations. Their findings also concluded that an increase in testosterone also increased skeletal muscle protein synthesis and strength.
A diagnosis of Low T following appropriate blood testing by a hormone replacement therapy specialist can result in the prescription of testosterone therapy that will aid in muscle growth.
For men dealing with andropause and women experiencing the effects of menopause, this is excellent news. Not only do muscles help in the process of increasing strength that has been reduced as a result of Low T, but they also protect the skeletal structure of the body from injury during falls or accidents.
To learn more about the effects of testosterone for muscle growth, contact the hormone replacement specialists at National HRT®.