Did You Know?

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Published on June 24th, 2014
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Last reviewed February 27, 2013

When you think of testosterone, what comes to mind? Macho men? Aggressive, impatient, type A behavior? Road rage? Violence?

Testosterone's role in bad behavior is largely a myth. What's more, testosterone plays other important roles in health and disease that may surprise you. For example, did you know that testosterone is a key player in prostate cancer? Or, that women need testosterone, too? There's more to testosterone than guys behaving badly.

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Testosterone's Role

Testosterone is the major sex hormone in males and plays a number of important roles, such as:

Adolescent boys with too little testosterone may not experience normal masculinization. For example, the genitals may not enlarge, facial and body hair may be scant and the voice may not deepen normally.

Testosterone may also help maintain normal mood. There may be other important functions of this hormone that have not yet been discovered.

Signals sent from the brain to the pituitary gland at the base of the brain control the production of testosterone in men. The pituitary gland then relays signals to the testes to produce testosterone. A "feedback loop" closely regulates the amount of hormone in the blood. When testosterone levels rise too high, the brain sends signals to the pituitary to reduce production.

Did You Know?

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