Ageing & Androgens: How Hormones Affect Your Body & Health
As we age, our hormones begin to change. Androgens, in particular, can be affected by hormonal changes that come with the passing of time. But what are androgens and what are the implications of ageing and androgen levels?
What Are Androgens and What Effects do They Have on the Body?
Androgens are a group of hormones responsible for the regulation of sexual development and functioning. They are mainly produced and released by the endocrine system, particularly in men. In both men and women, these hormones include testosterone and androstenedione, and their presence is known to promote the growth of male characteristics in the body.
High levels of androgens in the body are thought to lead to signs of facial hair, increased libido, better body composition, increased physical strength and even improvements in cognitive functioning. On the other hand, low levels can lead to fatigue, decreased sex drive, difficulty building muscle, depression, and bone loss.
How Does Ageing Affect Androgen Levels?
Ageing can have a profound impact on androgen levels in both men and women. In men, testosterone levels can decline steadily after age 30, with an average decline of 1-2% per year. As testosterone levels decline, many of the previously mentioned symptoms of low androgen levels can start to appear.
In women, androgen levels tend to decline more gradually over the course of their lifespan compared to men, with a greater decline seen after age 40. This decline can lead to a loss of libido, thinning of bones, slower metabolism and difficulty burning fat.
How Can You Maintain Healthy Androgen Levels?
While androgen levels will naturally decline with age, there are ways to help maintain healthy levels. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals can help to maintain androgen levels. Specifically, vitamin D and zinc are known to support the production and regulation of androgens.
Exercise helps to maintain healthy androgen levels by increasing muscle and stimulating testosterone production. It is important to exercise consistently and vary your activity, while aiming for a combination of weight training and cardio. Additionally, regular and prolonged aerobic exercise can help to reduce stress and cortisol levels, which can limit the production of androgens in the body.
It is also important to get enough quality sleep in order to maintain healthy androgen levels. Deep, restful sleep is essential for the production of testosterone and other hormones, and can help to regulate metabolic processes in the body.
Androgens are important hormones that help to regulate sexual development and functioning in both men and women. Ageing can cause levels of androgens to decline, leading to a variety of symptoms in both sexes. Fortunately, there are a few steps that can be taken to help maintain healthy levels of androgens. Eating a balanced diet, exercising consistently, and getting adequate sleep can all help to maintain healthy androgen levels as we age.
Keywords: Ageing, Androgens, Hormones, Testosterone, Androstenedione, Libido, Bone Loss, Exercise, Diet, Sleep.