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How is Testosterone Produced in Men?

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You hear us at TestoFuel talk about testosterone a lot.

Why? Because it’s such an important hormone.

It’s a natural anabolic which means it’s responsible for helping you remain strong and athletic.

It helps ramp up muscle protein synthesis which build muscle. Not only that but T has androgenic benefits too because it helps you form masculine features such as broad shoulders, a booming deep voice and body hair – all signs of virility and attractiveness.

And if you’re interested in testosterone yourself you might even know all of this part.

But do you know exactly how this powerhouse hormone is made?

And are you familiar with what regulates it’s production and what fights to keep it ticking over?

If not then this article will be right up your street. Read on to find out more…

An Overview of Testosterone

Testosterone is a steroid hormone that is synthesised from cholesterol. In fact, the term sterol is a direct reference to steroid.

T forms one of five steroid sub-classes which also includes glucocorticoids, mineralcorticoids and the female sex hormone estrogen. Vitamin D is often called the sixth steroid hormone it also has a close relationship with cholesterol and T production.

Testosterone controls a number of male characteristics and is subsequently classed as an androgen and anabolic hormone.

There are other types of androgen hormone too and these include dihydrotestosterone (DHT), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenedione, and androstenediol.

All play a part in keeping you what you are.. a man.

The role of T

Our male hormone has two categories of effects:

  • Anabolic – actions primarily include development of male characteristics – increased strength, voice deepening and hair growth
  • Androgenic – actions include increased protein metabolism and inhibition of protein breakdown

This is isn’t an exhaustive list as it’s involved in hundreds of different processes in the body… but it should certainly give you an idea of how important T is.

Muscularman with high testosterone with skipping rope

How is Testosterone Produced?

Now for the biology lesson…

And before you think, is it worth learning about this? The more you understand about the mechanisms of testosterone release, the more you can hack your hormone levels – so it’s definitely worth getting to grips with it.

The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonodal axis

This elaborate system is made up of two glands called the hypothalamus and the pituitary. They’re both situated in your brain. The third part – your gonads – refers to your testes.

If you think of the body being like a computer, the two glands in the brain are like the control switch that regulates your software. They ping messages to the testes, telling it exactly how much of hormone to release into the bloodstream.

When your body feels like it needs a bit of extra testosterone, the hypothalamus kicks into action – it essentially runs the whole show.

It does this by releasing gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and sending it directly to the pituitary gland. This gives your pituitary a gentle nudge, a bit like an alarm clock.

From there, your pituitary releases its own hormones, the most important of which is called luteinizing hormone (LH).

Once it’s passed the hormonal message from GnRH, LH travels through your bloodstream all the way down to the testes, where it passes the message on your testicular tissue.

Okay, so where is testosterone actually made?

Well, once LH passes the message to your testes, specific sites called Leydig cells manufacture and then release some testosterone. There’s a little bit made in your adrenal glands too but that’s not not really relevant here.

The Leydig cells do this by using some of the cholesterol that’s available in your body (remember that cholesterol is a sterol that helps you make steroid hormones).

Negative Feedback Loops – How is T regulated?

At this point we’ve got a nice release of T going straight into the bloodstream.

And cleverly, once T levels reach the desired level, your hypothalamus stops sending GnRH to the pituitary. That in turn stops LH being sent to the testes – and guess what?

You stop making more T until your levels begin to drop again and the process starts again.

This is what’s called a negative feedback loop and it’s how most hormones are regulated in the body.

The problem is though that your blood also contains two proteins called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and albumin.

As the name suggests, the role of SHBG is to grab excess T in the blood to stop levels from going too high. This helps the negative feedback loop to do its job effectively.

In fact, SHBG grabs the majority of your floating testosterone – as much as 97% of it. That of course leaves us with 3% circulating freely in the blood to be used by your muscles and other parts of the body.

Total and Free T – What’s the Difference?

T can be measured either with a blood test or a saliva test. And what these hormone profile tests give you are readings of both free and total testosterone.

Free testosterone is the amount of T you have in your blood that’s not bound to SHBG. It’s basically the amount of the steroid hormone you have that’s available for use in the body – its bioavailable amount.

Your total testosterone is the amount that’s either bound to SHBG or unbound – it’s the total amount in your blood regardless of SHBG involvement.

What’s a normal T concentration?

The most common T test is total testosterone – and if you have a reading that falls between 300 – 1,000 ng.dL you’re in the normal category.

Strong and fit man doing press-ups with a woman on his back

What If Your T Levels Are Too Low?

If your blood test shows you have T levels below 300 ng.dL you’ll be clinically diagnosed as hypogonadal. Even falling into the lower portion of ‘normal’ can negatively effect you too.

Statistics from the HIM Study (Hypogonadism in Males) [1] suggest that as many as 40% of men aged 45 or over suffer from hypogonadism. Unlike the female menopause, which is an inevitable process, not all men suffer from the effects of low T as they age. You can fight back.

Low T can lead to a number of health issues. These include:

  • Mental health decline – depression, mood changes, loss of energy
  • Loss of fertility and libido
  • Reduced physical capabilities
  • Loss of muscle mass and increase in belly fat
  • Lower cognitive skills
  • Long-term metabolic health risk

What’s The Solution?

TestoFuel uses clinically dosed nutrients that have been found to elevate testosterone levels in the most robust of scientific studies.

It boosts muscle mass, strength and athleticism, as well as libido, sexual performance and health.

Including active ingredients such as oyster extract and magnesium this is the best product you can choose.

This supplement has the ability to support:

  • Muscle Growth and Strength – the golden chalice of weight lifting
  • Improved Recovery – hit the gym time and time again
  • Enhanced Energy – you’ll be able to train longer and harder to maximize results

TestoFuel is ideal for improving your performance both in and out of the gym, and helping you attain that all-important muscular physique.


  1. Mulligan, T et al. Prevalence of hypogonadism in males aged at least 45 years: the HIM study. Int J Clin Pract. 2006 Jul 1; 60(7): 762–769.