Lower Levels Of Testosterone May Raise Depression Risk In Men, Says New Study, 7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Hormone

According to a new study, depression in men can be linked to low levels of testosterone. The study of 200 men, with the average age of 48, found that over half of those who were lacking a wee bit in the testosterone, had either been officially diagnosed with depression by their doctor, or, if not, they at least showed signs of it. Of those who had been diagnosed, 25 percent were being treated for it with medication.

Why would smaller levels of testosterone cause depression? Well, the hormone is the reason for sperm production, sex drive, facial hair, muscle mass, and body structure, so if those things aren't up to par, it can create mental issues. Men who do not produce enough are often diagnosed with hypogonadism, but the problem with which researchers are grappling is what’s “enough?” What’s a “normal” amount of testosterone anyway? Even blood tests remain inconclusive in regards to how much is necessary, especially since the amount shifts throughout a man’s life, reaching its peak at adolescence, then slowly dropping after age 40.

The data from the new research found that these same men who were suffering from depression due to lower counts of testosterone, were also fairly obese, suffered from erectile issues, low energy, and sleep disturbances. The rate of depression for the participants fluctuated between 62 and 65 percent, depending on age, with the older age group suffering more.

While the authors of the study admitted they needed more research on the subject, there was a direct correlation between depression and “Low T,” something of which can be helped with testosterone replacement therapy.

But depression isn’t the only thing that comes from having your testosterone levels off. Here are seven other things you didn’t know about testosterone.

1. Men With More Testosterone Are More Likely To Work In Finance

According to a 2009 study of 500 MBA students by Northwestern University, the more testosterone found in the participants' saliva, the more likely they were willing to take risks, especially financial risks. I guess that sums up any doubts about the testosterone level in The Wolf of Wall Street.

2. Too Much Testosterone Is Actually A Bad Thing

In 2010, a neuroscientist who was once a trader decided to conduct an experiment on the trading floor… aka. one of the scariest places in the world when it comes to testosterone. What he found was that at the right level, the traders were awesome at their job, raking in profits left and right. But when the testosterone levels got a little higher than what was considered “peak,” the brain literally went bonkers.

The effect of too much testosterone resulted in mania: “[The traders] were euphoric, delusional, and overconfident; they couldn’t put a coherent sentence together; and they were unusually horny, judging from the number of lewd comments and the amount of porn that was showing up on their computer screens.”

3. Women's Testosterone Levels Jump When They’re Pregnant

While we’ll never have as much testosterone in our body as men ― thank god ― pregnant women can have as much as three to four times the amount of testosterone as a woman who isn’t pregnant. This is the case, no matter what the sex of her fetus happens to be.

4. Stress Can Decrease Testosterone

If the majority of the testosterone in the world is on the trading floor in New York City, what happens if all those guys get stressed? Well, they would stop being so aggressive and stocks will tank. I guess it’s a good thing that stress isn’t contagious, because the way Cortisol, the stress hormone, reacts with testosterone is that it literally sucks it dry.

5. Declining Testosterone Can Lead To Menopause In Men

As men get older, their testosterone starts to deplete by one percent every year after hitting about 40 to 45 ― it’s different for each man. What this means is that men are going through their own version of menopause, known as andropause, that has very similar symptoms to the women’s version.

6. Men With Kids Have Less Testosterone In Their Saliva

Because when testosterone levels are being measured for experiments it’s done through the saliva, one study by The Royal Society of Biological Sciences in the UK found that men with kids have less testosterone in their saliva than men without kids. The some study found that amounts varied between married and unmarried men, too, but the most noticeable difference among all groups was in the men with kids.

7. Men With More Testosterone Are More Selfish

A 2009 study found that the more testosterone men have, the more selfish they are. The study of 25 men found that high levels of testosterone made them 27 percent less generous with money toward strangers. The same study also found that those with elevated testosterone were more likely to punish people whom they felt were ungenerous toward them.

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