The testosterone gene: Do you have it in you?
Anyone who has been to the gym clearly know the effects of the male hormone testosterone on the human body. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for “maleness” which includes body hair, facial hair,
voice pitch, aggressiveness and other traits. In professional bodybuilding circuit it’s understood that one must “stack” their “gear” to be able to compete. All the work in the world does not seem to help win competitions without the “gear,” which is the lingo for steroids and growth enhancing substances.
But clearly, within the normal human population, we have a range of testosterone types. Women have much lower testosterone levels than men and within men, a wide range of testosterone levels is observed, between 250 to 1000 nanograms per decilitre. In other words, a person with 1000 testosterone level has 4 times that of someone at 250. If testosterone helps with muscle building, then a guy at 1000 has four times the advantage. In a similar way, if certain activities like exercise lead to elevated testosterone levels, the amount of elevation also varies from person to person. For example, squatting might elevate someone’s testosterone level one time, but same exercise might elevate it twice as much for someone else. You get the point, when it comes to testosterone levels everyone is different in terms of what we start with and how it changes. So what determines one’s baseline testosterone levels and its subsequent increase or decrease? The simple answer is your genes and epigenetics. All aspects relating to human body are either genetic or epigenetic. Genes, as we know is the genetic code itself and epigenetics is how food, hormones, enzymes, drugs, proteins and other elements interact with and modulate the gene expression.
So, how to find out your genetic testosterone levels?
There are multiple genes that are known to regulate sex hormone availability. In a recently published scientific study it was demonstrated that a polymorphism in the gene coding for sex hormone binding globulin leads to a wide range of testosterone levels in individuals.
There are other tests that directly measure the hormone levels but they only indicate the hormone levels at specific time points. Genetics is the science which helps you in understanding your body’s metabolism and thereby assists in determining the best fitness plan to aid in muscle building as it takes into consideration important factors like your testosterone levels. We recommend that you learn about your genetic ability to the hormone level in addition to the direct testing method.