High and Low Testosterone Levels in Men

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Testosterone is considered to be the "male hormone" that's produced in men by the testes. Although women's ovaries produce some testosterone, the hormone is produced in much higher concentrations in men and it is responsible for many of the secondary sex characteristics seen in men such as a deeper voice and hair on the chest, in addition to contributing to a healthy libido, building muscle mass, and maintaining energy levels.

The problems associated with high testosterone levels are infrequent and rare in middle-aged and elderly men who are not receiving testosterone or other steroid treatments. When the testosterone level becomes out of balance, it usually becomes too low rather than too elevated.

Normal or average testosterone levels

In general, the normal range in males is about 270 to 1070 ng/dL with an average level of 679 ng/dL. A normal male testosterone level peaks at about age 20, and then it slowly declines. Testosterone levels above or below the normal range are considered by many to be out of balance. Moreover, some researchers suggest that the healthiest men have testosterone levels between 400 - 600 ng/dL.

Benefits and disadvantages of higher than average testosterone levels

Men who have a testosterone level that is higher than average may experience both benefits and drawbacks.

Examples of benefits, which are modest, of men having higher than average testosterone levels (low-T) include:

Examples of drawbacks or disadvantages of men having higher than average testosterone levels include:

  • Men tend to consume more alcoholic beverages.
  • Men are more likely to smoke.
  • Men are more likely to get injured.
  • According to some researchers, the higher the testosterone level, the more likely men are to participate in risk-taking behavior (sexual, injury risk, and even criminal activity).

Anabolic steroids

Both men and women that utilize anabolic steroids to gain an athletic "edge" (for example, some professional athletes) or to increase muscle mass (for example, some bodybuilders) may experience high levels of testosterone and develop problems, for example:

High and Low Testosterone Levels in Men Resources

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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/28/2016

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