You’ve got male: the wide-ranging effects of testosterone

Muscle Man
Testosterone promotes muscle growth (Photo credit: Marcus Q)

Testosterone — its reputation precedes it. It is the very essence of maleness and evokes images of raw strength and competitiveness, virility and square-jawed male maturity. It’s what makes a man a man, and without it we wouldn’t get from one generation to the next. But testosterone, and other male hormones collectively known as androgens, have effects that reach far beyond simply setting in motion sexual maturity for half of our species.

So what happens when someone lacks this body-morphing hormone? What about when you have too little, or too much? And what role does it play in the female body?

To tease out some of the remarkable effects of this ubiquitous hormone, I interviewed endocrinologist Professor Jeffrey Zajac on the latest episode of Up Close. Professor Zajac is the Director of Endocrinology at the Austin Hospital and Head of the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine.