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Testosterone and Muscle Growth

Increase Your Muscle Mass with Testosterone

August 21, 2012

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Testosterone, the male hormone, is secreted by the testes (in males) and our adrenal glands in regular circadian (regular cycling) manner. It enhances strength and muscle size, but also improve body composition, bone density, libido, immunocompetence, and even supports brain functions. It is also better known as the muscle building manner as it synthesizes proteins to rebuild muscle fibers damaged by bouts of resistance training. Males normally produce 7mg of testosterone each day.

Increasing levels of free testosterone in your bloodstream helps you gain more muscles. As it is a limiting factor in bodybuilding, you cannot gain muscle mass if your testosterone levels are not high enough. The level of testosterone your body produces is determined by your genetics. It is also influenced during resistance training - the amount of muscle mass stimulated, the training load, and the level of exercise intensity.

When testosterone is secreted into the bloodstream, 96-98 percent is bound to proteins called albumin and globulin. This binding is thought to serve three purposes: 1) it makes testosterone soluble for transport within the blood, 2) it protects testosterone from degradation by the liver and kidneys, and 3) it serves as a reservoir or storage depot that can be used to dampen fluctuations in plasma testosterone.

Of the "free" testosterone that interacts at the tissue level, much of it is converted within the cells to DHT - a more potent androgen - by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. This process is responsible for muscle growth. In the prostate, for example, this conversion is thought to be necessary for physiologic effects. But other tissues (like the epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, skeletal muscle, and bone) lack the 5-alpha reductase enzyme and therefore are thought to respond to testosterone directly.

Testosterone also converts into estrogens (estriol, estrone and estradiol). The conversion is governed by the aromatase enzyme complex and occurs mainly in the liver, brain and fat tissue. Some bodybuilders attempt to avoid / reduce the conversion of testosterone to DHT or estrogens by maintaining low bodyfat and using drugs or nutritional supplements that block 5-alpha reductase and aromatase. Chrysin, saw palmetto and indole-3-carbinol are three examples of legal plant-derived supplements that may maximize testosterone levels by minimizing its conversion to DHT and estrogens. Unfortunately, the bio-availability of many "bioflavanoid" compounds when ingested is poor.

It is therefore beneficial to use the free testosterone once it is available in the bloodstream, to prevent its conversion to estrogen. Taking supplements that boosts free testosterone levels, like IgniTEST®, before your workout regimen is advised.

August 21, 2012