Testosterone is a male-dominant hormone responsible for growth, development, and overall body composition. The hormone is present and functional from birth but fires up during the start of puberty and peaks throughout the early to mid-twenties. It's not common for testosterone boosters to be used by teenagers, but what if the decline is present and boosters are needed? Does this mean use is not allowed?
Let's take a look at whether it's a definite red flag below:
Teenage Boys and Testosterone
Testosterone is responsible for fundamental sexual development processes in males, such as spermatogenesis, testicular descent, expansion of the penis and testes, and arousal production. Studies show that puberty causes an approximately 30-fold increase in testosterone production in boys.
The surge in testosterone production at this age happens so the body can develop primary male characteristics. The rapid increase often comes with changes in mood and behavior which is why teenage boys are always described as having raging hormones.
This isn't uncommon, and often the behavioral changes subside once testosterone levels naturally regulate. Although the increase in testosterone production is a natural, inevitable process, it can be affected if certain body processes are not carried out efficiently.
The following body processes control testosterone production:
- The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis controls gonadal function and testosterone levels
- Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are two hormones that increase testosterone production in the gonads. These hormones are secreted by the anterior pituitary from the hypothalamus.
Issues with gonads and the pituitary gland might result in low testosterone (hypogonadism) in teenage boys.
Overloading on Testosterone
All dysfunctions (too high or low) associated with testosterone can wreak havoc on the body. If you have low testosterone or are experiencing symptoms of a deficiency, overloading testosterone or accelerating production of the hormone too much may not be the best way to go. An overload or overproduction of testosterone can lead to individuals being hyperandrogenic. This leads to symptoms such as penile enlargement, excessive hair growth (pubic, beard), and voice deepening.
An overload can also lead to the development of conditions such as:
After intensive research, I found that most overloading occurs in teenage boys who abuse testosterone-boosting aids like anabolic steroids. Steroid use is typically not recommended for teenagers because the body cannot handle large amounts of testosterone that are externally supplied to the body. Abusing any solution to low testosterone can cause minor or major setbacks, so it's best to use appropriate aids according to recommendations.
Negative Effects of Too Much Testosterone in Teens
So I've mentioned that overloading testosterone is not the wisest choice for the teenage body as it can cause the development of some unwanted conditions. But what other effects can too much testosterone have on the body?
Below I expand on some of the other negative effects of soaring testosterone levels in men:
Excess testosterone production can cause the skin to become oily, which causes acne. Teens who use testosterone supplements are at risk of causing long-term skin damage and developing painful acne.
While some might believe that boosting testosterone levels would increase growth, it doesn't. In fact, I was shocked to find out it does the opposite. High testosterone levels in teens can stunt growth, negatively affecting muscle and bone development. It can also lead to stiffer tendons and may increase the risk of tendon damage.
Male breast syndrome
Also known as gynecomastia, this condition causes larger-than-normal breast tissue and mammary glands in males. The condition commonly occurs in teenage boys when hormone levels fluctuate and usually disappears in 1 to 3 years. However, the condition can have a more permanent space in the body if testosterone production is intentionally accelerated for an extended period of time.
Overly active sex drive
We know that testosterone is a primary sex hormone that influences libidos, so it's no surprise that high levels of the hormone can send sex drives to their peak. The high is even more apparent in teens as their bodies naturally create more sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone). The high amounts of these hormones paired with accelerated testosterone production supported by boosters can send libido levels beyond peaks fueling an overactive sex drive.
Testosterone booster use generally comes with the possibility of side effects. The side effects linked to general use by adults are typically mild, manageable, and fleeting. However, this might not be the situation when teenage boys use it, so it's best to take expert-guided caution or avoid booster use completely. The best way to beat testosterone decline in teenagers is to follow a diet and exercise plan specifically designed to naturally elevate testosterone levels.