Testosterone Production

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The interstitial cells produce testosterone, the most important hormonal product of the testes. During puberty, as the seminiferous tubules are being prodded to produce sperm by FSH, the interstitial cells are being activated by luteinizing hormone (LH), sometimes called interstitial cell stimulating hormone (ICSH), which is also released by the anterior pituitary gland. From this time on, testosterone is produced continuously (more or less) for the rest of the man’s life. The rising blood level of testosterone in the young male stimulates his reproductive organs to develop to their adult size, underlies the sex drive, and causes the secondary male sex characteristics to appear. These include: deepening of the voice due to enlargement of the larynx, increased hair growth all over the body particularly in the axillary and pubic regions and the face, enlargement of skeletal muscles to produce the heavier muscle mass typical of the male physique, and increased heaviness of the skeleton due to thickening of the bones. Because testosterone is responsible for the appearance of these typical masculine characteristics, it is often referred to as the ‘masculinizing’ hormone.

If testosterone is not produced, the secondary sex characteristics never appear in the young man, and his other reproductive organs remain childlike. This is sexual infantilism. Castration of the adult male (or the inability of the interstitial cells to produce testosterone) results in a decrease in the size and function of the reproductive organs as well as a decrease in the libido. Sterility also occurs because testosterone is necessary for the final stages of sperm production.

If you or someone you know wants to boost testosterone and reduce stress levels, take the time to watch this TED talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html.

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