About testosterone

Free Testosterone: The Most Important Form of Testosterone

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endocrinologistSome endocrinologists believe that free testosterone is what really matters. After all, it is free testosterone that is capable of immediately getting to work on the tissues. Look at it this way, around three quarters of bound testosterone is attached to the SHBG (sex hormone binding globalin), and around a quarter is attached to the form of protein known as albumin.

One endocrinological school of thought is that a tiny percentage, less than 3% of testosterone is capable of assisting with the alleviation of low testosterone symptoms such as low libido, poor muscle mass, poor circulation, and brain fogginess.

What Do Studies Reveal About Free Testosterone?

studiesStudies have revealed that testosterone that is bound to albumin is only loosely held, and is actually capable of reaching the vital tissues and getting to work.

Medical professionals have come up with an unofficial formula that determines exactly what is bioavailable testosterone; Free testosterone, plus albumin-bonded testosterone is the equivalent to bioavailable testosterone.

Some medical professionals make a point that it is bioavailable testosterone that can truly be called free testosterone. An opposing view is that (again by medical professionals) total testosterone is more important because it behaves as a “depositor”, which ultimately helps to build.

This is debatable.

For the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on free testosterone, because this type of testosterone is vital and deserves to be monitored and maintained.

The level of albumin has a direct correlation to your free testosterone levels. Moreover, the SHBG can go up and down quite significantly relatively to free testosterone. In a nutshell, SHBG has significant influence over free testosterone levels.

As most men age, it is widely acknowledged that hormones such as testosterone and androgens deplete, and this is closely linked to a simultaneous rise in SHBG. Dropping testosterone levels will increase SHBG, which in turn will suppress free testosterone. The levels of SHBG inside the body are influenced by a number of factors including thyroid problems, abnormal estradiol, and a liver dysfunction.

To accurately ascertain whether free testosterone levels are low is by undergoing a simple blood test performed by your physician. You have to specifically ask for a free testosterone check, because of many physicians only measure total testosterone levels. Usually, free testosterone levels are given as a percentage of the total testosterone, and the universally acceptable range is between 1.5% – 2.5%.

It is not unusual for men undergoing testosterone replacement therapy to experience an elevated free testosterone percentage, because this kind of therapy tends to suppress SHBG. Many times, men undergoing testosterone replacement therapy can struggle to achieve desirable results for many reasons, and a lot of these are still not fully understood.

To Conclude…

debatingIt is still the subject of hot debate as to whether free testosterone is more important than total testosterone. As the medical profession is still a student on the subject, the most important thing for us normal mortals is to remember that there is plenty of evidence that points to the fact that free testosterone, although still not 100% definitive, is the most important form of this hormone.

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Nick Evans is a fully qualified nutritionist and personal trainer. Nick is also currently undertaking a PhD in Food Science at a leading Scottish University. Nick has been a keen bodybuilder throughout his adulthood and is well-versed with health supplements, hence he feels he is in a good position to offer expert advice on testosterone boosters.