There is a group of hormones called the 'Androgens'; among this group of hormones resides a very important human growth hormone called 'Testosterone'; It is a growth hormone that is produced by the testicles in a man, and so, is equated with all that is masculine. Testosterone has gone to hell and back when it comes to taking a lashing for misuse especially in the sporting arena. This hormone, testosterone, has certainly acquired a reputation - and with it a personality of its own.
Athletes and bodybuilders are the main abusers of this hormone and so testosterone is often believed to be the cause of aggression, bulging biceps and the all-masculine hairy chest - something the bodybuilder believes to be the worst side effect of the use of the hormone as a catalyst propelling him faster on his journey to the better side of masculinity. Physicians believe the worse side effects are heart disease, kidney failure and a host of other life threatening developments due to the prolonged use of testosterone, but these are mere 'difficulties' the body builder and athlete is willing to put up with as long as he can attain an advanced level of development in as short a time as possible. Testosterone has, what can be termed in psychological terminology as a 'split personality'. While the use of testosterone will produce a lot of desired results such as strength, muscle mass and athletic looks, the undesirable darker side of the hormone produces effects that the health conscious would avoid like the bubonic plague. So, on one hand the hormone can be looked upon as a hero and on the other hand, it is the villain leading you on a faster journey to your nemesis.
Despite the side effects of testosterone and its cousins- the anabolic steroids - the demand for the hormone has increased considerably in recent times because of its widely demonstrated seemingly positive effects on the human body. The price of the hormone along with anabolic steroids increased when its use was banned for purposes other than medical therapy in the 1940's; this gave rise to a huge black market that was estimated to be worth millions of dollars. While the law enforcers look upon the hormone with a great deal of contempt the medical fraternity admires it for its many uses as a therapeutic hormone in medicine to treat deficiencies caused by testosterone imbalances.
This simple hormone that is really a series of carbon rings can wreck havoc in the human body in either circumstances - too much or too little. So how much of human behaviors and growth is actually controlled by testosterone? Does testosterone really make a man a man? Scientists are in debate since the time testosterone was discovered whether extreme high levels of the hormone actually produce criminal tendencies in men and whether it really is the hormone of desire - no reference to the part of the body where it is produced. Will we ever know? I guess not, not even if the scientific fraternity spends all the millions allotted for the research on the subject there will still be objections from other quarters of the science and research world - but then, the other faction will attribute the objections to lower levels of the hormone in the connective tissues of their objecting colleagues, I guess.
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